Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FO: Giverny

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This is the last shawl, I swear!  This shawl is my Ashton Shawlette, which I've called Giverny after the garden where Monet lived and painted.  I had a Monet-themed room when I was a little girl, so of course I fell in love with Madelinetosh's Water Lily colorway.  Several years ago, when I was working at the Cleveland Museum of Art, I saw Monet's Water Lilies in person, and I think I just stood there for a good five minutes with my mouth open.  I think somewhere in my brain I thought it would look the same as it does on postcards and prints, but it's infinitely more beautiful in person!

And while I wouldn't call my shawlette a masterpiece by any means, it was a super fun little pattern with one of my favorite yarns ever.  It shall hold a special place in my shawl drawer!


Ravelry Project Page: kirinlemon's Giverny
Pattern: Ashton Shawlette, by Dee O'Keefe
Yarn: Tosh Merino Light, colorway Water Lily
Yardage: ~400 yards of a 420-yard skein
Needles: Size 6 US Addi Turbo Lace
Modifications:  Nope!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pattern Review: Fall 2012 Interweave Knitmags

So I got my Fall 2012 Interweave Knits in the mail the other day, and then moseyed over to Barnes and Noble to get a copy of the fall Knitscene.  I usually find something to love in both of these magazines - I've been getting IK since I was a very new knitter, and I have more than a little soft spot for their unique mixture of knitterly technique and classic style.  Knitscene, in contrast, has a younger audience, and often features garments that are more everyday-wearable and on-trend with fashion as well as fiber arts.  And whether or not I end up knitting something from each magazine, I love to have them around for inspiration - I'll often grab a back issue to page through right before I go to bed!

So, without further ado, here's my highlights from the fall Interweave knitmag offerings.

Interweave Knits Fall 2012

1.  Aran Sampler Cowl, by Ginevra Martin;  2.  Cornflower Cardigan, by Amanda Bell

3. Downton Pullover, by Amy Keefer;  4.  Traveler's Socks, by Stefanie Bold

Although I wasn't in love with everything in this issue, these four garments were huge stand-outs for me.  One of my knitting friends has a rule that in order to purchase a book or magazine, she has to love at least 3 items from it, and I find that it's a really helpful rule when deciding what publications get to take up my shelf space.

Pattern notes:

1.  I love that the Aran cowl has some technique and interest to it, but still manages to look fresh and stylish.  I think using unusual or traditional motifs as accents in an outfit rather than a full garment keeps the look contemporary, and I think this is a great example of that.

2.  I want to steal the entire outfit from the Cornflower cardigan wholesale.  It looks cozy, but still pretty, and I would probably live in it.  It also has the same traditional-in-small-doses feel of the cowl.

3.  The Downton pullover uses a Peter Pan collar in a sophisticated way, and I love the tiled pattern, the puffed sleeves and the cute button detail at the cuffs.  It's a great mixture of playful and grown-up.

4.  Last but not least, the socks!  I love a good sock offering, and the Traveler's sock is simple but interesting.  And I do have some Malabrigo Sock in my stash that still needs a pattern...!

 Knitscene Fall 2012

1.  Agnes Pullover, by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud;  2.  Perpetua Shawl, by Romi Hill

3.  Purslane Beret and Cowl, by Romi Hill;  4.  Sandra Sweater, by Odessa Reichel

Sometimes the styling in Knitscene skews a little kooky for my tastes, but this one hits all the right notes - fun and bright, with just a smidge of polish.  I really liked the direction they took the styling in the Ethereal editorial - washed out neutrals and an organic, sunlit backdrop - but wasn't in love with any of the garments.  Oh well - still some really good stuff here!

Pattern notes:

1.  I love the way they styled the Agnes pullover, and I think it would be a great fitted sweater staple in my wardrobe.  Usually red and green is a dangerously holiday-themed combination, but the bright, casual look of the plaid shirt somehow keeps it away from Christmas territory.

2.  The Perpetua shawl looks like a great way to use up a lone skein of sock yarn.  I like that it's got that circular shape, but is elongated enough to use as scarf.

3.  I love the flower shape of the top of the Purslane Beret, and I find that berets are the most wearable hat shape for me.  My only gripe is that it's hard to see what the cowl looks like in the magazine - and it's probably really pretty!

4.  The Sandra sweater looks like a sweet little sweater to wear with a high-waisted skirt, simple pumps, and an attitude.  The lace panel and puff sleeves are super adorable, and although I would probably leave off the contrasting stripe in the ribbing at the neckline and bottom hemline, I think this sweater would fit right in to my closet.

Hmm.  Thanks to these patterns, I might have some new knitting to start...

All images copyright of Interweave Press.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wedding Venue

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Woo!  It's official: Lumberjack and I are getting married next August 23rd, in this beautiful garden in the middle of a park that I've been going to since I was a little girl.  My mom, Lumberjack's mom, and I went to check out the space again this morning, and at the end we signed papers and paid the deposit.

When we visited back in February, it was pouring rain and there weren't any flowers.  This time, the whole place was exploding with color and greenery, and although it was misting slightly, it was still gorgeous.

It feels good, and a little scary, because now we have to start actually planning the wedding.  Holy crap!

Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Black Dress Fitting

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What have I been up to at school lately?

About fifty bazillion black dress fittings, that's what.  It's starting to get to the point where I'm fixing little things, like the position of the princess seams at the bust and the shoulder darts.  They aren't so bad right now, but they still need some tweaks to really lie they way they should.  It is pretty awesome, though, to see the transformation of the fit from crappy-sack-with-a-waistband to sweet little black dress.  It's starting to look like the dress I envisioned!

This version has actually been pinned for modifications and is clearly wrinkle-tastic, but I thought it might be cool to share some of my progress.

And you'll have to excuse my scrunchie (which was actually crocheted for me by the host sister!) because I've been cleaning all afternoon.  Tomorrow my mom and I are going to put a deposit down on the wedding venue, so I'm not sure I'll get a post in - if not, hope everybody has a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FO: Summer Flies

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Phew!  It's taking a while to get through all of my finished objects, because I want to spread them out a little bit.  This was the first small shawl I finished - it's a Summer Flies in Sun Valley Fibers MCN.  I loved the soft, romantic color of this yarn, and I thought that it would suit the pattern well. I've actually already worn it several times, and it's a great little shawl.

The only thing I've noticed is that the curved shape makes the shawl have more surface area in the body of the shawl, and less of a horizontal edge for wrapping, so the weight of the shawl pulls it down and the short upper edge doesn't secure it quite as well as my triangular shawls.  I still love it, but I think this shape would be more effective in a larger shawl.


Speaking of summer, can you believe it's already the end of July?  Because I definitely can't!

Ravelry Project Page: kirinlemon's Summer Flies
Pattern: Summer Flies by Donna Griffin
Yarn: Sun Valley Fibers MCN, colorway Cactus Blossom
Yardage: ~300 yards
Needles: Size 7 US Addi Turbo Lace
Modifications: None, except for going down a needle size.  Since the pattern is originally written for a worsted weight yarn and I was using a heavy fingering, I decided to size down.  It made a really nice, drapey fabric.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Crochet Bug

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Lately I've started warming more and more to the idea of learning to crochet.  There are just certain fabrics that can be achieved with crochet that knitting can't match.  So a little over a week ago, I tried to start a moebius cowl and failed miserably.  I made my typical mistake: I was too ambitious.  What, a cowl with nupps isn't the best first project ever?  Clearly, I need to be a little more realistic about what kind of projects to start with when learning a new skill.

And then yesterday I was out with my friend at a local yarn shop, and I saw this simple crochet scarf out of laceweight yarn.  I fell in love, hard.

Really, what better way to suck me in than to waggle skinny yarn and a lace pattern in front of my face?  And it's not even very hard - it's flat, it only takes chains and double-crochet, and it's out of my favorite weight of yarn to work with.

So I took my crochet to Purlygirls, and I proceeded to attempt to start it three times before finally putting the hook and yarn away.  When I first chained on, my stitches were way too loose - this is probably a holdover from my knitting experience, where I've found that looser is better.  So I changed my tension, and it started to look better.  Then I did my beginning chain and started the pattern... and ended up with 3 extra chain stitches at the end.  Not one time, but twice.  I checked the math, and the pattern had given the wrong number of stitches to chain for the initial row.  D'oh!  I did a little math and fixed the number, but by that time I was a little tired of ripping everything out.

So I took a few hours off, and then last night around eleven-thirty, I taught Lumberjack to knit a little bit of garter stitch, and I grabbed my crochet, and we both made progress.  I'm still all thumbs and I'm not sure if the rows are lining up correctly on top of one another, but I'm starting to understand a little more about the structure of the fabric.

I think I've successfully been bitten by the crochet bug, because now I can't put it down.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Outfit Post: Linen and Llamas

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Saturday was a glorious Seattle day - and I didn't have class! - so Lumberjack and I went on an adventure to the Ballard locks.  And I figured that I hadn't done an outfit post in a while, so I persuaded him to take some pictures while families and dudes with bikes walked by and stared.  Sorry, everybody.

I got dressed with the intention of trying out the casual-menswear-inspired look that I've seen and admired on others, but never done before myself.  I went overboard a little and ended up feeling a little like a cliché - oversized shirt, tight pants, long necklace, and oxfords, complete with a DSLR slung over my shoulder - but a fun cliché, at least!

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By the end of the walk, my feet had gone on strike... turns out, I need to break these shoes in a lot more before I can wear them to walk 2-3 miles at a time!  Good thing I brought band-aids with me.

Plum skinny jeans: d1961
Linen shirt: thrifted
Llama necklace: Madewell
Pink oxfords: Fluevog Amandas

And, as a bonus...


I got to turn the camera around on Lumberjack.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stash: Hedgehog Fibres

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A few weeks ago, Lumberjack was trying to be all sneaky about the fact that he had ordered some yarn for me.  But then he wasn't sure when it would come, since it ships from Ireland, and he was too excited not to share, he pulled up the colors on his computer to show me.  Holy crap.  Does this guy know my colors or what?

So yesterday there was a package from Hedgehog Fibres full of yarny goodness.  I opened it up and we petted it together.


Kidsilk Lace, a mohair/silk blend, in colorway Down By The River - this sucker is 546 yards, enough for a good-sized shawl!


Twist Sock, a BFL/nylon blend, in the colorway Naive.  I haven't decided yet what this will be, but it is the color of cotton candy and I will be content with hugging it for now.


Sock Yarn, a merino/nylon blend, in the colorway Ghost.  This yarn feels more like cashmere than merino, and it is the perfect shade of grey-purple.  Not sure yet if it will become socks or a shawlette so I can snuggle it with my face.

Sigh.  I love yarn.

Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

WIP: Ginger, with a Snag


Yesterday, I spent a few hours working on the Ginger wearable muslin.  Other than needing a good pressing, looks good, right?

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So the story is, I finished sewing in the invisible zipper yesterday afternoon, and it was beautiful.  The waistband didn't quite match at the zipper, which I wasn't super happy about, but I could live with it.  I just kept repeating "two-dollar muslin, two-dollar-muslin" and everything seemed to work out pretty well.

And then, excited to see how it fit, I zipped myself up into the skirt.  It fit perfectly!  It hit just the right place on my waist!  Hooray, I am not totally hopeless as a seamstress!

Then I went and sewed up the back seam and tried it on again to see how the skirt hung when all the seams were sewn properly.  But as I was zipping it up again, it stuck a little bit.  I jiggled it and pulled it gently.... and it raced up, skipped a few teeth, and jammed.

So here I am alone in my apartment in the middle of a relatively warm day (for Seattle), wearing a scratchy wool skirt and starting to having a conniption fit because I keep on tugging the zipper and it doesn't budge and I've just spent two hours fighting with this stupid fabric that falls apart when you look at it sideways and dammit, you stupid fucking zipper.

After running around hyperventilating for a few minutes, I finally had a duh moment, grabbed my seam ripper, and pulled the zipper out of the seam.

And now, it lies on my sewing table, mocking me.  I have to buy another zipper, because this one's toast.  And right now, me and the skirt, we're not exactly on speaking terms.

I think this calls for a knitting break.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

FO: Afternoon Tea

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The first of the blocked shawlettes!  This one is an Afternoon Tea knit in Tosh Sock, colorway Robin's Egg.  It was a quick knit, and a fun and relatively easy pattern.  I used most of the yarn, so I probably wouldn't try to knit this pattern with much less than 400 yards.  I actually wasn't sure that this was my color when I was knitting it, but now that it's done I really like it!  It's definitely expanding my color palette, but I don't think that's a bad thing.


Pattern: Afternoon Tea, by Helen Stewart, from Knitty Spring/Summer 2012
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, colorway Robin's Egg
Yardage: ~375 yards of a 395-yard skein
Needles: US 6 Addi Turbo Lace
Modifications: None!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WIP: Ginger Wearable Muslin

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A few weeks ago, my school had a fabric sale, where I picked up some nice fabrics very inexpensively.  The yardage was pre-cut, and each bundle was $2, so I got four different bundles to supplement my extremely tiny fabric stash.  This red-brown fabric is a plain weave wool blend with a brushed right side - I'm not sure what type of fabric it is, but it's pretty similar in weight and drape to some wool suiting fabric I bought a few months back.

Ginger has been on my to-sew list for a while, as with practically every other Colette pattern that has been produced so far, and I figured that sewing up a wearable muslin in an inexpensive fabric would be a good way to practice and get the right fit for the skirt I'll be making out of the more expensive stuff.

The one problem?  This fabric seems like a pretty loose weave, so it falls apart at the cut edge.  To help stabilize it (and finish off the seams!) I've sewn up the seams with hem tape.  I was hoping to find some turquoise hem tape - I love me some contrasting linings/inner hem treatments! - but alas, Joann's only had this light blue.  It'll have to do, I guess.

Although I've sewn up a few things at school, this is the first project that I'm taking from start to finish at home.  I've heard that Colette patterns have a relatively curvy fit, so I'm hoping that a straight 10 should fit me right the first time.  Who knows how long it'll take me to bind all the seams, but I'm hoping that I'll finish this first skirt in the next week or so!