Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Attack of the giant knitwear

In the past year or so, I've become more and more fascinated by the fashion world. As a result, I've developed a habit of picking up Vogue every month. I can't tell you how much I love the absolute absurdity of this magazine. It seems to assume everyone lives on the upper east side of Manhattan, summers in the Hamptons, and spends an inordinate amount of time shopping. Oh yeah, and every one's skinny. Really skinny. Personally, I just buy it for the pretty pictures.

This months Vogue claims to be their largest issue ever. I believe it.



Not only is the magazine itself over sized, so seem to be the contents:



There is a lot of knitwear featured in this issue. A lot of totally bizarre, totally gianormo knitwear:




Obviously this look is only appropriate for runways and fashion spreads. Wouldn't it be fun to knit, though? Get a big 'ole bag of roving and a couple of baseball bat sized needles and spend an hour whipping up a dress? How do I get people to pay me $3675 to do that?

In the slightly less "extreme" category, I noticed another woolly trend:



I suppose it's a little more wearable than the giant green dress. Then on another page I saw something strikingly similar:



A purse that looks like a sheep-dog. Interesting. (As far as I'm concerned it's infinitely less offensive that that god-awful Louis Vuitton print.) It looks like it would be easy to knock-off (But would you want to?) I think it's intended for fashionistas that don't want the responsibility of a miniature dog, but still want to appear to be carrying a small animal.

The best knitty business in Vogue this month, was actually an article ABOUT knitting:



A Vogue staffer learns how to knit and makes herself a Twinkle tunic much to the astonishment of her coworkers; "I can't believe you made that!" I certainly appreciate the reference to knitting as a "haute hobby". Score one for the knitting public profile!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Yarn avalanche

Ooops.



I have too much yarn. I am trying to save money. Why then did I come home today with a big bag of yarn?

You see, Lettuce knit was having a 10% off all sock yarn thing going on today (bastards!). And the money saving? I'm going to France in October (Yay! Home of Phildar!)) I need money for France, true, but don't I also need a brand new Clapotis? How can a knitter visit France and NOT wear a Clapotis? That's like going to France and not eating a baguette!



This Lornas Laces will do nicely thank-you. My first clapotis, though lovely, was neither full-sized, nor did it coordinate nicely with my winter coat. Part deux shall be magnifique! (Must brush up on my sad, broken French)

What happens when I leave the yarn store? I pass by a yard sale and immediately spot a bag of yarn. Two dollars! I basically just bought it for this:



Mmm... Rowan. Most off the bag was acrylic which I will pass on to someone else. I have to prioritize the yarn stash if I want to continue to contain it in a reasonable manner. I'll yarn-diet tomorrow, I swear!

*** POST SCRIPT ***

NO. FREAKIN'. WAY.

As I was editing this post, the phone rang. "Hey, Julia? This is Megan from Lettuce Knit". Not only did I take advantage of the sale today, I also entered a draw to win prizes from South West Trading Company. I won!



A Tidal Wave socks pattern with a skein of Tofutsies in a pretty pink and white barber pole colour (#735). NOICE! There's magic in that store I tells ya. MAGIC!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Keep on keepin' on

I know I haven't posted in a while, but the fact is, I've been entirely uninspired with my knitting. Why?



This little monster is taking forever. It's a big bag of no-fun too. I thought knitting stripes would be a good way to use up some stash yarn. Yeah! Sure I'm using up the yarn, but the ends! Oh god, the ends! (I gave up carrying the other yarns behind as I feared wee baby hands would get tangled in the loops.) I've been trying to weave in those pesky ends as I go, but it's beyond tedious. And then there's this:



I forgot about the whole stripey/joggy business when knitting in the round. (By the time I noticed, it was to late to rectify.) The endless ends, the sloppy seams, and the teeny gauge has turned this project from "I'll just whip off a little baby sweater" into "For the love of all things holy why is this not yet finished?!!!".

My other projects are treating me a little better, but they're not without their flaws. The Springtime in Paris sweater:



It's coming along. The first part of the pattern is just a giant brioche stitch rectangle. It's become my movie-with-subtitles knitting. Unfortunately, the mindlessness has led to a few boo-boos:



Oh, snap! This one really bothers me:



I'm going to try to live with it as it's only a few inches away from the cast on edge. (Ripping out that much knitting is not an option!) It would probably be a little further along if I hadn't went and cast on this:



Damn you Drops and your cutie-patootie free designs! I thought the cables would be fun. And they were... until I began questioning their correctness:



Hmm. Does that look messed to you? I'm not very well versed in cable knitting, so maybe it's just fine. I stopped and knit a swatch of the cable pattern to check if I had somehow mis-read the chart. It looked exactly the same as my knitting. It's possible that there's a mistake in the pattern as it's the first edition, but enh? Maybe it's just me.

So there you have it. My gallery of disappointments. (I know it won't last, so bear with the Eeyore attitude until things turn around.)

On the upside, I fenangled my Phildar Swing Jacket and I like it much better. I even wore it in public - whee! Pictures soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the road again

Aw, shucks guys. Thanks for all the great feedback on my jacket and vest! I'm going to adjust a few things on the Phildar jacket which I think will settle my fit issues:

1) Remove collar and re-attach, tightening neckline,
2) Move the buttons closer together to rectify "boob gap"
3) Wash and block (again) - attempting to eek out more 'swing'

If that doesn't work, I'll just have to frog it.

Kidding!

This past weekend I found myself in the Ottawa Valley yet again. This time visiting my parents with my bro and our friend Jenny. I thrifted my ass off. In fact, we all did. The car on the way home looked like this:



If you're a regular reader of my blog you know how the rest goes:



More fabric.


More patterns.




More needles...



...and yarn.



Is this growing old yet? I really don't know where to put all of this stuff. I'm just showing you the craft related scores, you don't even know about the records and clothes. Eek! Thank god my boyfriend has the same thrifting affliction. Otherwise I'd have to try and get by giving him one of these:


(Tee-hee! It followed me home!)

My knitting progress is nothing to write home about, but how's about a little silversmith update? I have a couple of things to finish up at my last class, but check this out:



My ring is complete! It fits perfectly and I've been wearing it constantly. I'm not accustomed to wearing such a big honkin' stone on my hand, but I'm diggin' it. Go big or go home!

Speaking of going home, we had an interesting turn of events on the way back to Toronto. Ever run out of gas?



Oops! I guess more people take that "low fuel" warning light a little more seriously. (It was a rental - how were we to know?) If there was ever a good way to run out of gas, this was it. Having inadvertently breezed by a rest stop exit, we got off the highway as soon as we could in search of a gas. We made it about 2 kilometers before the tank ran dry. We coasted around a corner and low and behold, appearing in the distance... an Ultramar sign! It was an Ultramar gas station! We were saved! As we coasted into the parking lot we realized it wasn't a gas station at all, but a pick up terminal for trucks that transport gas. Dang! Pretty close, though right?

Sure enough, a very friendly gentleman in a hard hat was there who offered to take us to the next gas station. As he left to find a gas can we couldn't believe our luck. Someone to help and we wouldn't even need to buy a gas can! Then our Ultramar angel returned with the can. Full. He said he found it lying around and proceeded to fill our tank with 4 litres of blessed, wonderfull life giving gasoline. Whee!

Let this be a lesson to you all. Ignore your car's low fuel indicator and everything will work out just fine.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Swing has Swung




At long last, pictures of my finished Phildar Swing Jacket.



I can't really put my finger on why I don't love it. It's just something about the fit. See, it looks pretty good if I have my arms out, or my hands on my hips like above. But with my arms down?



I looks a lot more boxy than swingy.



At first I thought maybe the chest was just too wide, and if I took it in, then it would be more bell shaped and therefore, more flattering. But how can the chest be large if I have this:



Boob gapage!

Sigh. I don't think it's really the style - I have another, factory made swing jacket that I love. Is it that the shoulders don't fit? The neckline is too wide? It doesn't flare enough? Not enough drape? I don't know. I'm hoping I'll be able to make some kind of alteration and, BAM! I'll be totally in love with it. Maybe I should block it again? Suggestions welcome!

THE RUNDOWN
:


PATTERN
: Phildar Swing Jacket From Fall 06/07 cataloque, pattern #16 (N 456-T6-221)

YARN
: Elann.com peruvian highland wool

COLOUR: 402

NEEDLES
: Denise 4mm

Monday, August 06, 2007

Leader of the Pack

F.O. y'all!



Yet again, there is no one around to help me take pictures. Luckily, this has worked out to be the best self-portrait session I've ever had:



Gotta love the bobble-head effect of an aerial point of view. But check this out:



The side!



The back!

I don't know how I managed to get descent shots with the 'ole reach-yer-arm-out-and-click routine, but it makes up for the hell that was the knitting process.

This vest should have been an easy knit, but I sure had a lot of trouble with it. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it may have been my penchant for knitting lace in less than ideal situations. Lace requires concentration. Concentration requires a certain level of peace and quiet. Knitting in front of the tv whilst enjoying a glass of wine? Not ideal knitting lace knitting situation.

Thankfully, the end justified the means (the means being multiple instances of ripping back and re-knitting). I freakin' LOVE this vest. I love the colour, I love the yarn, I love the way it looks on me. At long last, I have knit something I will wear! More than once! I can wear it in any season with almost anything I own! YAY!

Even better? I bought four skeins of Blue Sky Cotton to knit this with. I used just over one. (The pattern calls for Twinkle Cruise yarn knit quadruple - oops!) You could totally get a whole vest out of one skein with a little finagling.

Here's the deets;

Pattern: Biker Vest from Twinkle's Big City Knits by Wenlan Chia

Yarn
: Blue Sky Cotton

Colour
: 613 Ink

Needles
: Denise Interchangeable 10mm

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The joys of new toys

"Why do birds, suddenly a-ppear..."




I did it. I bit the proverbial bullet and just bought a new one. Going from a 20GB, 4th generation ipod, to an 80GB video ipod is like Dorothy stepping into the technicolour land of Oz.



VIDEO podcasts. Whee!!!

I also picked meself up the new copy of Bust (you all read Bust, right?) and looky here:



A whole D.I.Y. fashion spread! Of course, having an editor like Debbie Stoller means there is tonnes 'o knitwear representin':



I was all "Check that hat!" and then I was all "Runway knits? Rad! I totally own that book!" (Okay, I don't actually talk like that, but sometimes I imagine I do. Sometimes I also like to imagine I talk like an old-timey movie "shtah"... "Now, you look here now, you see?"...stuff like that.)


And in the interest of saving the best for last. I. AM. FINALLY. ON. RAVELRY.
We're definitely not in Kansas anymore.