Saturday, March 27, 2010


Spring break! My friend Emily and I drove to Vestal yesterday, listening to bad 90s pop and driving through long stretches of flat, brown land alongside a lot of trucks. This week is set up to be really relaxing - no plans except writing my midterm and getting some reading done.

So the only projects I brought on this trip are ones that I've already started and need to finish. This little Multnomah in Ella Rae Lace; a silk shirt that's been on the needles since last summer; some gloves and another shawlette - this time, Ishbel in a red beaded mohair. I like having a lot of projects, but it's starting to feel bogged down, and I figure a week off is as good a time as any to work on them.

I also forgot to bring more than one pair of earrings. Luckily, the ones I did bring are the perfect: a pair of Tasi earrings. A little rustic, a little formal, and a lot pretty. It's the same designer as a necklace I bought about six months ago and is one of my go-to pieces for days that I want to wear jewelry.

I'm still feeling pretty burnt out. I fell asleep at 11 last night and slept until 10, but it's almost starting to feel like break now that I'm done writing 4 pages of my 8-10 page paper. I'm definitely ready to check out some yarn stores, hang out with my friend's cats, and knit a whole lot.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Midterms doom

Whew. That's what I have to say. Not much knitting has been happening in the last two weeks, and in fact, not much of anything besides studying has been happening in that time, either. Right now I'm in the library trying to motivate to read for my paper on the origins of the Korean war. Last Monday I got really sick, which ended up lasting until late Thursday and knocked me right out of the game with homework and paper-writing. I got an extension for my Korean war paper, but luckily it was the only midterm that I had to move.

So basically the last ten days have been part 6000 of Why Getting Sick In College Sucks Butt.

But hey, right before getting sick, I finished a little piece of fluff!

Pattern: Peacock Tail and Leaf from Knitted Lace of Estonia

Yarn: Artyarns Cashmere 1, exactly 510 yards
Needles: Size 4 US Addi Turbo Lace. I'm so obsessed with these needles - they are the perfect combination of pointy and grabby for the kind of projects I knit.
Modifications: I knit quite a few more repeats than recommended because I wanted to use up every inch of this beautiful yarn. I had less than a yard left after grafting the edge to the body of the scarf. Otherwise, none. Nancy Bush, you are a genius.

Now, which project from Knitted Lace of Estonia should I cast on next?

Oberlin has been a little crazy on the weather front - it was really warm last week, so I got to break out one of my spring dresses. This was the first day I was starting to feel better, so I still felt a little peaked...

Dress: Dzhavael Couture

Underskirt: Grey patterned skirt from the GAP spring 2008
Boots: Miz Mooz, because I can't stop wearing them
Belt: Random find from Gilman Village in Issaquah, Washington
Sweater: Handknit, Hexacomb cardigan from Spring 2008 Interweave Knits, in Queensland Cotsoy
Earrings: One of my favorite pairs, which I thought I'd lost, but they were actually in the pocket of my trench coat and I just hadn't found them because it wasn't warm enough to wear a trench again until last week... hahahah.

I'm about to head out for upstate New York to spend time with a friend and her family... I'm pretty excited to get some knitting time in, and hopefully I'll have more interesting things to say when I get back!

Happy spring break, everybody!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Moar Spring!

Joy! Rapture! Sun! Just ignore that patch of snow behind me!

It was warm again today, which gave me a chance to break out a jacket that I bought last summer when it was just hot enough to not need one... and the dress I picked up last spring and basically lived in all summer. Super comfy, and has an adorable little bustle detail that can be let down if one isn't feeling quite so sassy.

This blog is getting awfully clothes-heavy, mostly because most of my WIPs are incredibly dull to look at right now... but perhaps I'll get to a Stash Appreciation Wednesday tomorrow!

Anyhoo, details:
Jacket: An Ren, bought at Fine Points in Cleveland
Dress: Effie's Heart spring 2009 collection
Shoes: Vintage '30s from seller on Etsy
Socks: Unst, from the amazing Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road, in Jitterbug
Scarf: Miralda, also by Nancy Bush, in Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere

And now I'm off to block another Nancy Bush project... more info on that soon!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Crazy news: today, in Ohio, it was warm enough to wear this without a coat.

Cardigan: Tea Time, by Martin Storey in Rowan Classic Summer - the first sweater I ever finished. (Note I didn't say the first sweater I ever knit.)
Skirt: The Gap, spring 2008
Belt: Magician's Scarf by Marilyn Webster, an Alchemy pattern
Leggings: Hah! They are not, in fact, leggings, they are the magical and amazing SmartWool long underwears that keep my legs from freezing off in the winter.
Boots: Miz Mooz. Oh my goodness, I am in mad passionate love with these boots.

I felt quite daring, wearing two shades of pink in the same outfit.

Perhaps the second best part about mid-March.... oh yeah, it's Girl Scout cookie time.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Busy little knitting fingers

Things are busy. I have a midterm tomorrow in Japanese history and wrote an essay in Japanese for class tomorrow. And I've been knitting socks like mad! I've already finished the Madder Ribbed Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks... now it's on to the Lichen and Yarrow. I just finished the first Lichen ribbed sock in Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop, colorway Secret Agent Man.

For some reason I had some trouble with both the toe and the heel on this one. They're both different than the construction I'm used to, and I wasn't as careful about reading the instructions as I should have been. I had almost finished the toe when I realized that the star was not going to come to a nice point as it should... had to rip back and knit again. It wasn't too bad, but the Sock Hop can be a little tricky for frogging, as it has two very distinct plies that don't like to pop back onto the needles too easily.

This yarn was awesome to work with, though. Very subtle striping, and colors to die for. Mmm.

And, because I'm bad, I cast on for a second sock... but in the next pattern from the book. Sometimes, I find that if I knit the two socks in a row, the gauge ends up slightly different in the cuffs. I think it's probably because I'm less confident starting out, and then the second sock hits and I knit faster (and looser) than the first. So, to remedy, I have a little Socks That Rock lovin' going on:

I was actually going to use this for the Lichen Ribbed Sock, but it pooled even more funny than this at 60 stitches around. And, since the Yarrow is 66 stitches, I figured it would break up the pooling weirdness but wouldn't require switching needle sizes. Ah, my glorious 2.5mm needles, how I love you! And I actually like the way this is striping...

I've also been following a lot of fashion and style blogs lately. It's funny how different people think about fashion. The beautiful and incredibly stylish Frocks and Frou Frou caught my eye about a year ago, and I always love what she's wearing - she looks awesome, and her clothes are always classy, wearable, and not sky-high expensive.

And then there's Sea of Shoes, a young fashion blogger with an incredible collection of vintage and designer shoes and clothing. While I envy her personal style and her amazing closet, I have mixed feelings about her blog. As someone who started babysitting at age 12 and got a part-time job as soon as I was old enough, it ruffles my feathers a little to see someone who is so young shop for and buy that much expensive stuff. I can definitely say that a large portion of it is envy, but some of it is a dose of skepticism instilled in me by my parents (although not all of it has stuck, as my stash can attest!) about the use of having a lot of things. Not to mention my own personal experience with designer goods can be distilled down into all of the times that I've been browsing in Nordstrom and walked longingly past the designer collections because I feel so monetarily inadequate that looking at it or trying it on is out of the question.

All that being said, I'm desperately in love with the blue & orange heels, yellow stiletto sandals, and aqua and cream booties from this collection. Also in love with belts, particularly wrap belts, after seeing several really beautiful ones around campus and on Project Runway.

My goodness, I'm opinionated. Hah!

Hope everybody's had a good weekend!

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Love

So I got a surprise in the mail this week.

And by surprise, I mean that I drooled over this coat for over a year, saw it get sold (to my utter dismay and horror), and then found it back on sale again in January, after which I promptly sent a money order so that I could get my greedy little paws on it. I let it slip away once - and it wasn't happening again!

I have to say that this is the largest sum of money I have ever spent on a vintage piece - actually, probably the most I've spent on any one piece of clothing or really, any other thing besides tuition, in my entire life.

And it is so, so worth it. The fabric is 100% cashmere with tiny little prickly guard hairs that remind you that it is made from the fiber of an animal and that it is a Coat with a capital C. The label says Ampter's Denver, and the only listing that comes up when you google it is actually the one for the coat - which is, hahah, listed as sold - to me! The lining is silk and sewn flawlessly; the shoulders have a beautiful slope due to a nice little gusset detail; the fabric is a very light-sucking black; it's insanely warm. It goes with everything, and is especially nice for making those hand-knit scarves of mine pop.

I have to say that I was more than a little worried as I raced to the post office to pick it up after over a month and a half of waiting with bated breath for my money order to clear. I had questions: did I just spend three paychecks worth of money (granted, I work barely half part-time) on something that isn't going to fit, that I will have to send back drenched in my bitter tears of regret and longing for that perfect black coat?

Luckily, my fears were assuaged when I pulled it out of the box and... oh. It was love at first sight.

I haven't really taken it off since.