As you can tell from my lack of posts, I've been busy. The two worst words in the English language are "Fall Break." I ask you, did we get fall break when we were kids? No sirree, we just plugged away until the inevitable Christmas break when we would terrorize our mothers for a whole month while they quietly drank coffee, smoked cigarettes and terrorized us right back with massive house cleaning projects.
With all the talk about the bad economy, I decided to skip paying for camps and classes and spend lots and lots of quality time with the kids this week. Good think, because a terrible illness fell over the house. Any money spent on those classes would have been wasted. Note to self: Always believe a 5-year-old when he says he's going to throw up. How do I put the whole couch in the washing machine? When he was on the mend, Thing 1 cooked up Paper Clip Man while I was swatching and knitting for my latest creation.
About the economy, it's not going to stop me buying yarn. Not by a long shot. Yet, at least. But with a little recessionista ferver I gathered up these yarns from my stash. Tune in next week to see what became of this:
I also finished up this Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts - in a gorgeous hand-painted silk I picked up at Knit 1. So beautiful and soft!
That's it for the update. Next week, the new pattern my top go-to hat patterns, thoughts on flattering sweater dresses (do they exist?)....and more.
Shown here wearing the trapper hat from Vogue 2005/2006 Winter is the best darn hat model in Chi-town. He's available at 12:30 a.m. the night before Christmas to try on hats for last-minute fit adjustments. He makes me laugh hard almost every day. He is the smartest, nicest, kindest person I know. And he's mine all mine! I'm so lucky! Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!
Knitterly Details: The crown was a lovely celery green and the brim and tie were in a cotton-candy pink color - both were Cascade Magnum. Couldn't publish the color photo or he would have to turn in his man card.
What have I been up to? Well, there were 5 days of this with girlfriends, ahhhhhh!
Then, making these masterpieces for Thing 1 (boy twin) and Thing 2 (girl twin), who had 5th birthday parties on Saturday. Yes, two days after getting back we threw two parties in one day at my house. And yes, I need to get my meds checked :)
I did do some swatching for a scarf idea I had. Remember I promised to post pictures? Well, they are true cringers. I had this idea for a ruffly-type scarf that had bold purl bands in a chunky yarn. I looked and looked and no one had ever done a scarf like that. Know why? Cuz it's a bad idea. Really, really bad.
Off to pick up the pointy sticks.....I have many new ideas and I'm sure one of them won't suck.
Here she is, the new sophisticated everyday tote....perfect for carrying around knitting and my life. The one I obsessed about here and here. And it was under budget! By a lot. Two snaps for me...such the little recessionista shopper.
When I spotted this bag, it was one of those moments in life when the perfect thing is right in front of you. You hear a little voice. The one that says, "Snap this sucker up right now, B#@ch." (My little voice sounds a lot like Ari Gold.)
Like a proud parent I just have to show you how well she's working.....
And she will soon be joined by Fifi, a nifty little replacement for the tacky-looking Ziploc bag currently housing my latest creation. I mean, my new baby needs better accessories than something you put sandwiches in, right? Rebecca Danger created this very necessary item - it's kind of like a "Knitloc." It has been written about in Knitty and here. I'm hardly the first one to your party Rebecca, but I wish you the very best of luck in your venture.
If you're still reading this, you may wonder if I'm every going to actually knit anything. Yes. Eye candy on my latest design promised for tomorrow's post.
It's a gray day, I'm working on a pattern that isn't going well, and I just want to push the easy button, you know? Where do you go when you can't find inspiration? How can I get my knitting mojo back?
Saturday afternoon I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I opened the mailbox....both Vogue Knitting and Lucky were sitting in their pristine plastic wrappers waiting to entertain, delight and inspire.
And....SIL was coming over to babysit. I could read undistracted in a coffee shop while DH did his thing. Could life get any better? (Just so you don't think I'm a total loser, we did actually go out to dinner in a hip neighborhood after the coffee shop time.)
As a follow up to my little rant about figure-flattering knits, I thought I'd point out the most universally figure-flattering pattern in the Holiday 2008 issue of VK.
The winner is this lovely cardigan designed by Deborah Newton:
This piece features tons of figure-flattering details like an empire waist, vertical lines provided by ribbing, a U-shaped neckline and those pretty buttons -- all of which direct the eye up, up and away from typical problem areas. The diamond lace pattern from the empire waist down skims over the bits many of us would like hidden, but doesn't add bulk. Last, those 3/4 length sleeves hide any hint of "Bingo Arms" and actually make arms look smaller because they flare out at the end.
The only complaint I have is that the cardigan isn't knit in one piece from the top down. The body is knit in one piece flat and the sleeves are knit separately. The shoulders are seamed and the sleeves are set in and seamed.
For correct fit of this garment, it's imperative that:
The empire waist hit under the bust (Honestly, if I see any more people wearing empire details that hit them mid-bust I'm going to scream. People, we all have our bad fashion moments - just please don't make this one of them.)
The 3/4 length sleeves really hit you at 3/4 length of your very own arm
The bottom hits you right where you start to go in from the widest part of your hips
If you can't try it on as you go, how will you avoid a cringer?
We've all done it. You fall in love with the pattern, spend hours picking just the right yarn and....you end up with a cringer like this one here.....
My apologies to Cathy Carron, who had this beautiful "Cal" hat pattern in Hip Knit Hats. The model looked very chic. Me? Not so much.
I was hanging out in the LYS on Friday when people started commenting about how many unflattering knits they've noticed lately on Ravelry. We've all seen those photos of the woman with the huge chest who made a shrug that looks like a boob-holder. Or the tiny person who made a chunky cardigan that makes her look like a 10-year-old wearing mommy's sweater. A requisite photographic self-portrait of the wearer in her dressing mirror accompanies a comment that they are pleased with the result. All you keep thinking is "Do they really plan to wear that in public?"
I must admit I have worn this hat in public. Multiple times. I also had bear claw bangs in the 80s. It happens to everyone.
One of my main objectives for this blog is to bridge the world of knitting and personal style. As knitters we deserve to make beautiful things that will flatter our bodies. So let's band together and make beautiful things with yarn.
Here are my two go-to resources to help knitters evaluate knits before casting on....
This site lets you enter all your measurements and then it creates your own shop with clothes that will fit your body and your style. Knitters can use this as a great reference point for what might look good on their bodies. I've ordered several pieces from this site and I've been very pleased. Why? The site actually tells you which size of something will look good on you. No ordering 2 - 3 sizes of something and wondering what will fit. To my surprise this actually worked. Even with pants.
Angie is a style consultant who posts every day about something related to style. Her site has forums as well as an "Ask Angie" button so you can ask a specific fashion question. I wonder what she would say I should do with that hat? You can browse her past entries for tips on knitwear. This site is a gold mine of information about what to wear.
I love, just love, knitting podcasts. They are the perfect thing to listen to when you're knitting. If you're all alone clicking away, you feel a sort of solidarity with your podcaster friend. You really aren't the only one staying up until all hours to complete the latest creation. My heart always goes pitter pat when I see that little blue dot next to my two favorites on iTunes: Stash and Burn and Cast On.
I've been with Nicole and Jenny of Stash and Burn since the beginning of their podcast in January of 2007. Their podcast, about "life under the weight of the stash," is like listening to two best friends chat away about knitting. And you are overhearing it in the next room, enjoying it so much you can't help but eavesdrop. The podcast usually features Jenny and Nicole chatting away about their latest projects in a detail that knitters can appreciate. Once, they even did a podcast based on a suggestion I had about "wildfire" knits, aka Clapotis. (If you need a link for that, I can't believe you are even reading this blog!) I highly recommend this podcast - you'll love it!
Brenda Dayne's Cast-On podcast is like NPR's "Fresh Air" for knitters. The production values of her podcasts are equal to anything I've ever heard on the radio. She mixes reader essays with awesome music, along with interviews and her own interesting commentary on life as a knitter in Wales. I'm not the only one who loves Cast-On, as evidenced by the fact that it recently reached the 1 million downloads on iTunes. And I'm probably not the only one who gets a little sad upon hearing Brenda's signature ending..."If you're cold, put on a sweater. That's what they're for."
Check these podcasts out if you can....and I'm always open to ideas for new ones I might enjoy. Any suggestions?
I love to create container gardens! It's the easiest and quickest way to transform a space and create an inviting atmosphere. Plus, once you buy the right containers you can change your look every season. This blog chronicles my journey to create container gardens that make people truly happy in their outdoor spaces.