Sunday, July 30, 2006

Trial and Error Tank

Ok, so that self-designed tank top is finally finished. It's not bad. But I think there a few things I might change.

Trial and Error Tank

1. The straps roll (due to the St st) and my first attempt at blocking didn't help. Bugger! >.< So I'm afraid I might have to add some kind of edging either knitted or crocheted to tame the rollies. But first, I'll attempt a wet block and see if that helps.

2. It could probably use a little less ease in the body and better shaping. This was a trial and error design, so I was trying it on throughout various parts in order to get the fit right. I think some better pre-planning would have helped. But, alas, I am impatient.

3. I can't decide if it's the ribbing or the ease that gives this top its "fattening factor". I definately don't want to be designing garments that make people look fat, including me. The shot above doesn't look too bad (if you look closely you can see what humdity does to my hair, yippee!). But the straight on poses were definately adding on some poundage.

So what I think I will do is go back to the drawing board and plan some adjustments. I think this will get frogged for a take 3. But I'll be taking a break and doing some other things first.

So tell me, honestly, what do you think? I'd love some constructive feedback.

Friday, July 28, 2006

YARN! and ML Blanket Update

Zoe on ML Blanket

It's Baby Zoe! And she's sitting on the Mountain Laurel Blanket I knit for her. That's why she's smiling ;) I received this pic in the mail along with a Thank You card from my brother and SIL. I couldn't resist posting it. She's too damn cute!

Anyways. This is just a quick update. I've finished my tank top and will post pictures this weekend, so check back. It turned out pretty good for my first self-designed-knitted-garment-thingy.

And the knitting fairy left me a knitalicious combo on my doorstep yesterday:

Fiber Fix!

My yarn order from ebay came! 10 skeins of Handicrafter Cotton for $5 and 3 skeins of Bernat So Soft for $3. I already have a project in mind for cotton, which is why I bought it in the first place. But when I saw the other yarn for so cheap, I ordered that too. I mean why not? It's cheaper than Wal-mart (I realize this isn't the most fantastic yarn in the world, but :P). AND the Fall IK was in my mailbox waiting for me too. I've been oogling and reading since last evening. I like the Equinox sweater on the cover and Gatsby Girl. Don't miss Eunny Jang's article on lace shaping. I have that saved for tonight (a perfect way to spend a Friday evening).

Tonight: CO for Mr. Octopi

Monday, July 24, 2006

SmockTop Sundress Finished!

My first successful attempt at sewing without a pattern. I'm quite proud of myself. I LOVE this fabric. It's light and silky and just perfect for summer.

SmockDress (6) SmockDress (5)

And me modeling, not the best picture, but whatever:

SmockDress (1)

If I were to do it again I would make the "bodice" piece a bit wider. The top section lies right at my natural waist, which is something I'm not really comfortable with. I like stuff to sit below my waist. That's just me.

Overall, I'm happy with the results. But I definately got the sewing bug off of me. I probably won't be sewing anything again for a long, long time.

I'll make up a tutorial if anyone's interested. :)

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Don't tell Mr. V, I just bought MORE yarn. Well, not that I really need to keep it a secret. I'm not afraid to tell him or anything (not that it'll be secret for much longer), but even he's been noticing the large amounts of yarn laying idle in my craft area. My stash has quickly outgrown it's plastic container and is now overflowing into shopping bags (note to self: purchase more plastic containers). Now, my stash isn't exactly large by most knitter's standards. I'm normally pretty good about buying yarn when I actually have a project planned. Normally.

But I've found that stashing just CANNOT be avoided under the following circumstances:

1. Loving family members give you random balls of yarn as gifts. They don't realize that buying one ball of yarn in one color limits the project possibilities greatly, but they're heart is in the right place and you appreciate the thought. Plus, you have something to fondle while trying to figure out what exactly to knit with it.

2. Evil on-line yarn stores (*cough-knitpicks-cough*) offer free shipping after spending X amount of money. Even though you realize that spending more to get free shipping doesn't really save you money (unless you're buying really expensive yarn *cough-noro*) you still frantically search the site for yarn that you will "probably, certainly, most definately" use in the future.

3. Yarn sellers discount yarn to such a ridiculously low price that you feel you MUST buy it because it will never again be in your grasp. Again, it forces you to buy yarn for some glorious mystery project ("I'll find something to knit it with, really!"). I almost fell victim to this earlier today (damn you Herrschner's !!)

Wait! Actually I did eventually fall victim to this. But in the end, it only cost me $3. I found an awesome Ebay store where I got a 10pack of Bernat Cotton for $5 (which I'm planning to knit Licorice Whip with) and a 3 Pack of Bernat So-Soft for $3 (this is stash enhancing purschase, I'll use it really!). I actually made sure to read the auction a couple times to make sure I was reading it right. They say they sell discontinued items and overstock and that they're an actual yarnstore located in Nebraska. And for once, the shipping costs didn't make me want to commit manslaughter. Here's the link to the store: check them out. NOW!

Sundress and Tank top are coming along. Sundress will finished first though. Perhaps tonight. I was hoping for earlier, but well, me and sewing don't get a long very well. I had a little mishap that required some back-tracking. >.< God, I love knitting!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Designing Woes

I've been designing two garments at the moment. One, is a knitted tank top. The other is a sewn sundress. I've hit pitfalls on both so far. It's kind of discouraging, but I must persevere (my inner-masochist won't let me quit). First, let's look at the tank top:

This take one. I worked it on Size 5's in the rnd. I chose ribbing for the bottom part thinking that it would help alleviate the need to decrease for waistshaping and help make it more form fitting. I tried it on at the point you see you here. It doesn't look bad. But it doesn't look good. The bottom edge fits alright, but the ribbing wasn't doing a good job with waistshaping. So I frogged back into the ribbing and started knitting on Size 3's thinking that the change in needle size would shape the waist, again, w/o having to dec sts. Wrong. I'm decreasing stitches now on Size 5's. We'll see how that works. I'm getting bored with this. I think it's time to move onto to something I have a little more confidence in finishing before the season is over.

Enter, the sundress.

This is take two on the pattern pieces. The first try I didn't give myself any ease, and I realized rather quickly that a skintight garment wasn't what I was going for. Luckily, I only cut out one piece. I had enough fabric to make up for the mistake, but just enough. I can't afford anymore. But I'm confident now. I have the pieces cut out and I drafted some directions so I don't f-up the sewing step. One of the major reasons why I love knitting more than sewing is that knitting is very forgiving when it comes to errors. Made a mistake? No problem, just unravel and try again. No harm done. But with sewing, you have limited fabric, you cut or sew wrong, you're pretty much screwed. Maybe I'm just not creative enough. Who knows.

ETA for the Sundress- sometime midweek. (i hope).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Must. Resist. Temptation...

Some links of interest:

Has anyone been to Herrschner’s website? They have awesome yarn sales every week. Some of these yarns are ridiculously priced. For example: Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora for $2.97 (reg. $7.50). The shipping rates are typical ($4-up). If they had a free shipping deal after a certain amount (like Knitpicks) I would be in heaven. But you can sign up for email notices of their yarn sales, which change every week. I have noticed that some of the items sell out, so a heads up via email may be a good way to go if you like bargains.

Ferragamo, or rather “Fake-a-gamo”, bag. It’s a neat pattern inspired by a Saks “carry-all”. I think they were asking $1650 for it in the catalogue, but thanks to some Craftster-gals there is a knock-off pattern available and it’s free, free, free! *adds to knitlist*

Megan’s Counterpane/Coverlet Square. Been thinking about making a fancy blanket just for us (Mr.V suggested such after seeing the Mt.Laurel Blanket). This is a possibility. I like the idea of knitting smaller pieces and then sewing them together later. This would be a nice “off-and-on” project. You know, something to turn to when everything else is super boring.

I really need to stop tempting myself with all these projects. I already have enough on my plate at the moment with designing and knitting my own tank top and also designing and sewing my own sundress. BTW- I have finally decided on a sundress design so now I can start making the pattern. That’s what’s up for this weekend. I’m not sure what else I’ll be doing. It’s gonna be freaking hot this weekend: a good excuse to stay inside (with the a/c) and knit. I'll be sure to post some progress pics this weekend, too. Stay cool.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Utica Boilermaker 15K 2006- A knitgirl goes the distance

Gete Wami of Ethiopa wins the Women's Title with a time of 49:31
(thus, reaching god-like status-click on the pic for more highlights)

The 15K was a great success! I had a great run and a great time considering that was my first long distance race (I've only done 5k's since now). I completed it in just under 1h45m. That average's out to a nice comfortable pace. But what was nice was that I enjoyed myself. Yes, I actually enjoyed running a 15k (9.3 miles) on a warm summer's morning. Although I was tired towards the end, I wasn't miserable. That had a lot to do with the spectators cheering you on the whole way, the music, and my running partner. I was weary about this race. The training runs were hard and hot. But then I remembered why I run in the first place: because I like it and kept that in mind up until race day and when I crossed the finish line.

If you run, I would definately consider this race for next year.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Poor Choice of Knits

Well, Eliza looked good on the mannequin in the pattern picture. On me? Not so much. But looking at its partially completed form you can probably see why it's just now been frogged.

  1. It's too short
  2. It's not form fitting and, thus, makes me look fat.
  3. The shape of the neckline is also not flattering.
I got about half-way through the straps, decided to try it on, and then decided to frog. Remember when I said I'vebeen wanting to create my own patterns (and maybe one day actually sell them?) Well, I started. I've CO'd for my first self-designed top. A tank top. Simple, and I think a good place to start.

Tomorrow is the big day for me. Tomorrow I will run the longest distance I have EVER run... EVER! I'm actually kind of excited and pretty confident. I've been watching my diet this last week and a half (with the help of Mr. V). I've also had some pretty good training runs. I was able to get up to about 8 miles during training, which should be good enough. The race starts at 8AM so the sun won't be as bright. Bring it on, baby.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mid-Week Ramblings

In case you can't tell, work is kind of slow right now. That's one of the reasons why I've been posting a lot lately. I'm working on the straps for Eliza and I'd say I could probably be finished with it this weekend. I'm on the fence about how I like this tank. But I am a little more optimistic now the straps are forming.

I finished sewing the skirt from the red fabric in the previous post. It's a very simple design, but that's ok because the fabric stands out on its own just fine. And I think I've found a dress pattern for the other green flowered fabric. I'm glad I'm putting my sewing machine to use. It was getting kind of dusty sitting in the corner amongst all my knitting stuff. Poor thing. It'll be getting some more attention soon enough.

Has anyone seen the new Summer Knitty? This is probably the best one yet in terms of the sheer number of things I'll actually knit (or rather, see myself knitting). I'm not upset over the lack of "summery" items. It's already kind of late in the season to be knitting a large "summer" projects. Small projects are good for the soul anyway. I would say most knitters knit less in the summer anyway (at least I do), thus, big projects just won't do. Here are some of my favorites:

There's more, but I'm too lazy to list and link all of them. Hopefully, you're not too lazy to click. :)

I also read this article about designing and publishing knitwear. This is something that I'd like to do. Though, I find the idea of designing a sweater quite daunting, probably because I haven't really knit any. So I guess I'll have to start out small. I have a couple of ideas swimming around in my naugen. I have a sketch book where I right down pattern adjustments and notes. So what's stopping me?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eliza Progress and such

So here is Eliza in it's partially complete glory. Nothing fancy, and the yarn kind of masks the seed-stitch ribbing a bit. But better lighting will solve that problem.

As you can see it's a simple tank. A little to simple, if I do say so myself. It's not the most interesting thing to knit. But that might have something to do with the size5 and 4 needles I'm using. I'm knitting this out of recycled yarn (wool/silk/cotton blend), btw.

Guess what? I'm actually going to sew something. I purchased some silky fabric at Joann's the other day. They're having an awesome sale on their summer fabrics and the clearance fabrics are an extra 60% off. So stock up, bitch!

The green flower fabric is incredibly silky. This will be a summer dress. I'm thinking of maybe following on on-line tutorial or even designing my own. I think I can do without an actual pattern. Craftster has silenced my inner voice that says I need a pattern for everything. The red embroidered fabric is also silky, but has a slight tafetta-like texture. This is already cut and pinned and ready to be sewn into a simple summer skirt. There was only a little more than a yard left on the roll so I'm limited as to what I can do with it. But it was only $1.69/yd so I'm happy :)

I don't have anything planned for the holiday. I'm not a big July 4th person. Plus, it being a tuesday really dampens a lot of potential holiday excitement (yes, I had to work yesterday). But not that really do anything anyway. But if you aren't a homehugging nerd like myself and have plans, be sure to have fun and be safe :)

1000 Islands Camping

Some pics from the 1,000 Islands weekend:

The beach at Wellesley Island State Park (no goose poop in sight, but plenty of algae. chilly water- ah, refreshing!)

I came, I saw, I conquered (also at Wellesley Island)

The sun retreats over the Isles

be one with your surroundings...

Boldt Castle

A great weekend getaway! I highly recommend.

Don't you have a vacation to plan?

Monday, July 03, 2006

More Stalling

Some more links of interest:

  • Knitted Wire Bracelet Tutorial- found on craftster. Super sweet! Although I’m not a big jewelry wearer, I’m a big jewelry admirer and maybe soon, a jewelry crafter.
  • Lace Leaf T-Shirt- free tutorial also found on craftster, but linked to the creator's website. Very tempting. Very cute.
  • July MagKnits- although I haven't been into any of their patterns lately. But it is nice to have new free patterns every month. The Ballet T is the most knit-worthy in my opinion, and the side-knit socks are also interesting.
  • Summer Knitty 06- which should be out any day now...

Tomorrow I have off from work so I’ll post pics of Eliza and my camping trip. Promise.

An amusing fashion tidbit: I normally read for their Fashion and Style section. I can’t take real news anymore so I read the superficial glarp that no one else admits to reading. I found this article entitled “Earth to Milan: Show a Little Restraint” by Guy Trebay (if you click, you might have to sign up first). And if you click you must absolutely view the slideshow. It’s a review of the Milan menswear collections. Don’t waste your time reading the whole article. Read this excerpt and then view the slideshow:

Say no to zippers so brief that they are an affront to the masculine anatomy (Costume National). Say no to boring minimalist blazers worn over tights that leave little doubt as to whether the wearer has been circumcised (Calvin Klein). Say no to seersucker swallowtail coats for the beach (Etro); to pastel golf wear seemingly designed for caddies with a sideline in a soft-core porn (Missoni). Say no to the unfortunate trouser length that, as the stylist L'Wren Scott remarked, now blights the streets of London.

That is exactly how I felt after looking at the pictures: Just Say No. In some cases, I squinted in order to tell whether the model was actually a man. Good grief. I’m not saying I like my men macho or anything, but I don’t want a poster boy for androgyny either. Hello! A man doesn’t have to be feminine in order to be well-dressed.