Thursday, August 31, 2006


new stuff

Gee whiz, it's been too long. I finished the Picot Camisole from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits.

Yay, see?(Oy, so shiny!) It hangs, um, a little low. But that's okay! It's a sleeping shirt, made of soft, silky bamboo (Eden Madil, bought soooo long ago). No adjustments to the pattern. It's really ideal for a petite woman, which I am not, so I'm just gonna be large and in charge. If you make this one, be sure to make it a size smaller than you are. Negative ease, if you please.

Detail of the waist shaping.

Detail of garter lace edge.

Also, the weather here has been gray and stormy and rather Octoberish, so naturally one's thoughts turn to mittens.

And let's make them the MOST COMPLICATED MITTENS EVER.

This is the Frostrosen Mitten by Nordic Fiber Arts, and they were complicated (for me) because this is my first two color project. The kit is super-sweet: you choose the colors of yarn and they send them to you along with the pattern in a plastic bag that totally reminds me of checking out books on tape from the library when I was a kid. Do you remember those? Where the book came with the tape? And when it was time to turn the page the xylophone went "plplplplplpling!"

Ahem. I can't believe it, but I actually learned how to hold the white yarn continental style (left hand) and the blue yarn English style (right hand). My eyesight is a little strained from reading the charts but it was so fun to see the pattern appear. They are super-warm, too. Not so perfect for August, but great to protect ones hands ("mitts") from the elements.

The elements of beer, of course.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Only 400 days later...

I finally finished my tres chic Phildar halter top!

This project suffered from some user errors, mainly stemming from the fact that I ordered the pattern book from Canada, the yarn from the Netherlands, and had to translate the pattern from French to English. Seriously, I have enough trouble using bank machines; I don't need to create this kind of chaos. But this top looked so purdy in Phildar's Ete 2004, all elegant and simple. It was photographed in white, but I wanted purple. Fine, right? (The yarn is, by the way, a very simple cotton DK weight. You probably don't need to be chatting with the Netherlands. Word to the wise.) If I had really, you know, finished the translation of the pattern before beginning, I would have noticed that the pattern didn't have instructions for making the cord that goes around the neck. That's because it only came in white, pre-made, and you were supposed to order it when you got the yarn, DUH.

I-cord to the rescue! It worked. But when I tried it on, I noticed a distressing looseness about the back. Too loose to really wear in public, should the looseness in the back migrate to the front and become Lohan-esque. No, something had to be done!

Like....eyelets! When I thought of them, I described them to Mr. Cupcakes as "circle things, that you can put string through." Mais oui, je parle anglais! He immediately identified them as eyelets. Off to Fabric Place we went, where I purchased 100 eyelets (this should be a lifetime supply) and the eyelet pounding thingy. There is probably a technical name for this. Let's call it the pounder.

Adding the eyelets took a bit of math. I wanted the top eyelets three inches apart, the second eyelets two inches apart, and the bottom pair one inch apart. I found that "guesstimate" did not work as well as "tape measure."

I just kind of jammed them in there. The eyelets come as one piece, and then the pounder flattens the back end down.

It turns out that the pounder should probably not be used at 10:30pm on Sunday night. Also, although I really wanted to use this book to absorb the pounding

it was not hard enough, and I had to switch to a metal plate instead.

In the end, I think the eyelets work!

This is sort of a "as you go along" project, with lots of modifications. Kind of fun to keep changing it as needed.

Coming up next: a bamboo camisole. And socks, of course.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Back at home

I did make it back from Montana, although I sort of fell off the blog wagon there for a while, no? A couple of days after getting back, Alex and I went to Baltimore, then I went on to a conference in Washington, DC. Lots of fun, lots of hot weather, lots of archives talk (hurrah!), but now it's time to get back to work....back to life, back to reality, as Soul II Soul would say. Remember Soul II Soul? I think I had a cassette of one of their albums, inspired by the excellent modern dance performance choreographed to one of their songs, a performance I participated in one summer in junior high. I? Am not so good at modern dance.

A few mountain pictures of Montana . . .

A sunrise over a rock outcropping.

Lovely woods in Gallatin National Forest.

Deep! Walk carefully.

Pretty pink flower.

Alex took many excellent pictures of Baltimore, available here. I took no pictures in D.C., although there was once again a phone in my hotel room bathroom! So here's last year's picture.

Pretty much the same concept.

And here's the cover of my first album. I took this picture in a shuttle in Denver. I think the album will be called United Airlines is Killing Me (A Thousand Different Ways).

Coming soon: the stuff I knitted while on vacation. The yarn I bought on vacation.
Desperate longing for more vacation.

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