February 20, 2013 § 2 Comments
So, not last Friday, but the Friday before I posted my successful new Jill’s Sweater, with the re-wound yarn from my Jill’s Dress in my Fashion Friday post. This sweater has become a new staple of my wardrobe. I have been wearing it so much, that I have actually even already noticed some slight pilling, ARGH! But it is a small price to have something new that I love so much, and is so unique.
You know, I have come to a very important realization recently: It is only as hard as I let it be.
“What?” you say. “That sounds Dumb.”
No really though, it is true.
This goes back to recently reading Yarn Harlot, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I find myself thinking a lot about this book these days. The chapter currently in my thoughts is titled “Three Blankets,” which is a broad—but personal—view about the learning curve of both having a child, children, and also about knitting. The blanket that she made for her first daughter, while at the time she thought was quite lovely, she grew to see later as “messy” and “horrible,” made from nasty acrylic. The blankets made for both of her successive children were far more successful. She talks about how, somehow, magically, it just got easier with each child, and then I realized, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. In fact, almost every parent I have ever asked has said it got easier with the second child.
Why is this?
Is it because we just have no freaking clue about what we’re doing with the first one? Everything must be researched, looked-up, looked into, worried over, washed, sterilized, sanitized, nutritional-ized, and beyond? Is it just that we are so tired by the time the second or third one arrives that we really don’t care if they’re sitting on the floor, licking the carpet at the bank? Or is it because we realize that that small stuff really doesn’t matter so much? If the poopy jammies don’t get washed RIGHT NOW, by God, the Earth is just going to keep on turning …
So, maybe we do this to ourselves.
Wow, there’s a thought.
And … maybe this is a silly thing to do?
I’ve recently started watching Mad Men, from the beginning of the first season. I’ve not watched it before, so it is all new to me, but everyone I’ve ever asked about it says the same thing, “It is amazing, you must watch!” I really haven’t had
much any time for watching anything recently. Now that the Little Buckaroo is bigger and AWAKE AND ACTIVE so much, we’ve started going to the park more, and Gymboree pretty much daily, just trying to wear him out. I can’t remember in which exact episode this came up, but it is before episode 7 of the first season, as that is as far as I have made it since I started watching at the beginning of the month. In the episode, Don Draper is consulting with his wife’s therapist, when he the therapist comments that the problems she is having with feeling overwhelmed by taking care of the children and the household, likens Betty’s to being a child herself. Ouch. Yes, I understand this is a period piece, taking place in the 60′s when social views were quite extremely different than they are today, but hell, I am having problems keeping up, and I am feeling overwhelmed. Am I just not owning up to my duties? Am I a whiner? Or, perhaps, I am just making things too hard.
I think that Stephanie is onto something with the knitting simile. I kept my very first real project, but alas, I did not keep my original “learning to knit” swatches. I kept ripping them out, bent on not wasting the yarn and hell bent on perfection. It seems like a funny thing now. I spent so much time—hours—making those swatches. They were terrible. My first project, a simple ribbed scarf with pretty wine colored burgundy wool isn’t perfect, but I still love it. I love that I made it. I love that I went into a real yarn store with my sister where she helped me pick it out. I had no idea what I was doing, but I had an idea, a memory of a scarf that I fell in love with when I lived in Italy. I knew, deep down, that my scarf wouldn’t come out the same, as it was to be my first project, and so I didn’t try to recreate my vision. I just tried to make something great. I picked my battles with that scarf. I didn’t know how to fix mistakes, so I tried my best, and then I just let them be. I remember binding-off with instructions written in a note on my cell phone through the worst plane turbulance I have ever been in, a huge storm in January of 2010, on my way back from the craziest photo-shoot trip of my life. Feeling like vomiting, I finished my bind-off with about 12 inches of yarn. I was so thrilled I showed the business-man next to me, “Wow, that is really amazing. I’ve never made anything like that. My wife tried knitting, but it is just so hard.” I felt to proud.
Since then my skills have improved, and my standards raised. A lot. No, A LOT, a lot. So, when it came time to re-do my sleeves for my Jill’s Dress/Sweater, I was happy to dive right in, at long last, but I certainly had expectations about exactly what I wanted, and knew I would except nothing less. All of my knitting books have been packed away for months now. The instructions for how to make this sleeve? Or even one like it? Freaking gone. Fifteen boxes lie between me and those instructions. So what to do now? I write lots of patterns, but I have only done this type of inset sleeve, worked in the round, picking up stitches once before.
It is only as hard as I let it be.
Damn it. I made these sleeves once before. I just said that I did, and I remember what it was like, don’t I? Have confidence, Julie!
I vaguely remembered making them for my Feather Dress (above), from the same book of patterns as the Jills Dress … Pick up the stitches in a circle. Mark the center at the shoulder. Mark the center at the underarm/join to work in the round. Work to center stitch. Work X number of stitches (I don’t remember an exact number but I do remember it was not many!) past that. Work and turn, work and turn, work and turn, work and turn, and an inset sleeve is beautiful grown from the shoulder center.
That’s it, just let it grow. Take notes on what I’ve done so that I can recreate it on the other side. Some basic math based on the gauge and the rest of the sleeves quickly completed, also in the round. Just like that. I didn’t let it be hard, and so, it wasn’t.
I love this sweater now. I just, freaking love it. I wear it at night when I am knitting, even if it is too warm. I love the deep, rich purple. I love the variegation in the yarn. I love the warmth. I love things about it that I normally don’t really like. The sleeves only took a day each, and that was really just working on them in the evenings. I really do wish that I had done this sooner, but emotionally with the project I just wasn’t ready yet. I was worried about not having anything to look up about the technique. I was worried about ripping out my hard work for the dress and regretting it. In the end, I found that the yarn-rewind was cathartic. I don’t regret making the dress before, and I also don’t with that I’d just started with the sweater. I think it was the right time, and I was mentally and skill wise in the right place to rewind, and let it be. It’s not a bad thing to make mistakes, or change our minds. It’s not bad to feel overwhelmed, and like you may not be able to do something, especially without any damn books around. But it is only as hard as I let it be.
I tell myself this new mantra every day. Actually, in all honesty, probably about 100 times per day. It is only as hard as I let it be. The baby is teething, and it is hard. We are remodeling our house and I don’t get to spend any time with my husband, and it is hard. We are living in a cramped apartment that we don’t fit in, and can’t baby proof, and it is hard. But, It is only as hard as I let it be. I can either choose to take him on the errands while screaming, or not. Sometimes these things just NEED to get done, and as much as he hates being in the car, and WILL NOT sleep, I can do it, but I don’t need to over-do it. When I need help, ask for it. As my sister says, instead of just assuming that other people know what I need, I need to tell them. Instead of just saying, “I need help,” tell them WHAT I need help with, specifically. I can do that, it is not hard. It is only as hard as I let it be.
Like Betty in Mad Men, I do feel overwhelmed, and this is going to happen. It doesn’t make me a child for feeling overwhelmed with my baby, or with my house. It means that I am riding and climbing the learning curve, and I’ve gotten to a steep part. I need to figure it out. Take a step back, rewind (literally, or figuratively, whatever the best scenario is). Take a new step forward. It is only as hard as I let it be.
In the last week or so that I have been working on this things have gotten a lot better. Yes, Ramon has been staying home a lot more than before (meaning, more than from 7:30 at night until 10:30 at night). He’s helping with the dishes, and making sure I get out by myself for an hour here, or a couple of hours there. And, yes, I did tell him that I needed this but things have still been a lot better either way. Crabby Pants has his first tooth! So a small break in the teething … for now. We’ve also discovered his LOVE for balloons. Gymboree helps a lot, too, giving us something fun and exhausting—in a good way—for the Little Buckaroo, too.
I am not perfect. Following my new Mantra isn’t easy, and sometimes even seems impossible. I know I still have a LONG, LONG, LONG way to go—my baby isn’t licking the floor at the bank anytime soon, but those plastic balls and mats at Gymboree? Sure, go ahead and lick those.
February 8, 2013 § 5 Comments
Well, I got the sleeves of my un-wound Jill’s Dress done, and in time for my Fashion Friday post this week. Details of the project to come in a few days. Hooray for machine washable wool. I threw this puppy in the washing machine yesterday afternoon after weaving in the new ends from the sleeves and the ribbing on the bodice, and then I threw it into the dryer on low for a half a cycle. By the evening it was ready for me to wear out, and so I did, all the way to Sushi—a rarity but a fav for me.
For fun, I thought I’d share two ways of wearing my “new” purple, variegated sweater, and both ways that don’t make me look like a crazy spinster (gosh, I hope this is true!). I think that pulling off tone-on-tone can be quite a challenge. With almost my complete shoe collection in moving boxes I stuck with a solid grey pair, and my new Zara Military Wool coat. So these are not exactly tone-on-tone, but close enough. Another challenge I often have is pairing two hand-knit items together. Here I have used my herringbone cowl as it is solid color, and a great starkly contrasting texture my newly finished Jill’s Sweater.
- Cowl: Handknit, Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho,
My project link, including my notes and materials, here.
- Coat: Zara, Military Wool Coat
- Sweater: Hand-knit custom conversion from Jill’s Dress by Kristina McGowan
- Tank-Top: Gap
- Pants: Old Navy
- Boots: L-A-M-B Rosebury, Circa 2009
January 31, 2013 § 2 Comments
This morning while the little Buckaroo was getting his breakfast bottle I looked down at our poor, extremely cluttered coffee table and what did I find? Low-and-behold, inspiration. The most unlikely of places, and yet, there it was. The tiny embroidery thread in lilac that was used to hold my latest hank of Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Silver Fox together, before being wound was left with a random shard/scrap of my purple bamboo knit fabric which I cut on the floor the other day, before it transformed into a fabulous maxi dress, and my gold metallic size 2 knitting needles.
Since seeing this spread in the January 2013 issue of Lucky Magazine, I feel like something in my brain was triggered to constantly go back to thinking of how to make tone-on-tone style work.
I cannot get it out of my head. My mint pants with a great green sweater, now if only I had a green sweater, or green yarn … My new lilac pants—my current obsession—with a deep purple something. Deep down, I knew I had just the thing.
But it was scary.
Until I saw my pile of purple mess on the coffee table.
It wasn’t scary.
Almost two years ago I finished this dress, Jill’s Dress.
I loved the yarn, and I loved the pattern, but I knew that this project just wasn’t right. The wrong yarn for the project. I really, really wanted a tight fitting, long sleeve sweater with this yarn, and I knew it as soon as I finished the last stitch. Well, actually, I think I knew it long before, but I really wanted to try to make this work.
I mentioned to a few people that I was going to rip out the bottom of the dress, and turn it into sleeves and everyone that I told melted down in utter despair. “OH THE HORROR!” they said. “You can’t, you simply can’t! It’s so beautiful! Why! Why would you want to rip it out! All of your hard work!” Yes, really, that many exclamation marks.
And they were right. It was beautiful, and I would reply, “But, I am never, ever going to wear it like this.” They convinced me NOT to do the unthinkable.
Well, it has been two years, and sure enough, I was right. I hate being right. All that hard work! Serious sad face.
Wait, no, lets not look at it like that. All that hard work! See, there is a happy face at the end of that one. A head start, and absolute confidence about the right thing to do with this beautiful yarn.
I had a sweater bodice completely finished, and I have been wanting to change it for years. When I saw my little garbage pile, I felt so inspired. I typically don’t like variegated knits for myself, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a place in my heard. I LOVE this yarn though. Its variegation is quite subtle, and adds depth and texture even in plain-old stockinette stitch. The embroidery thread from the coffee table mess almost matches my new lilac pants perfectly. The gold knitting needles? Maybe I need to find myself a cute pair of metallic gold flats (lets be realistic, that baby can crawl with the best of them, getting into loads of trouble, and heels just aren’t in the mix when—even though he’s only 7 months old—he’s going to be walking in no-time-flat, shoe pun intended). The purple from that dress would be the perfect, perfect sweater for my tone-on-tone obsession. I just know it. And purple. Who the hell can get away with wearing all purple?!?! Only crazy ladies they feature on those “teach-me-what-style-means” shows on the aptly names Style network? Hell no, bitches. I can do it, and I am going to prove it!
So, this morning I dug this dress out of my knitting bag filled with projects that are so close to being finished, but aren’t quite yet. Well, this was actually the very last project actually IN that bag. My goal had always been to go back and add the crochet princess and empire waist seam lines that the pattern specified, but deep down I knew that the reason why I never got around to finishing it was because it just wasn’t meant to be.
I ripped out the crochet seam in the back, but left the one in the front. Something I surely never would have thought of for a ho-hum plain-old v-neck sweater. A lovely detail. I have also decided to leave the crochet for the collar, and won’t be adding ribbing. Another nice detail I would not have likely thought of on my own. I ripped out the whole bottom of the skirt after trying the dress/sweater on, and marking where I wanted it to come to (not including the two inches of ribbing I will be adding).
After the extremely tedious task of un-weaving-in ends (OMG, UGH! Not for the faint of heart, and also not for those who have to listen to a screaming baby while they’re doing it), I frogged almost two complete hanks of beautiful Malabrigo Rios out of my sweater
dress. That is amost 440 yards! That should be sufficient for sleeves. Beautiful, long, skinny sleeves. Oh, and the ribbing. Mmm, now it’s not sounding like enough, but I had one extra hank from this die-lot left over when I finished the project. Stash? I can hear you in there hiding, quietly, under the guest bed. The trick is going to be locating which of the 7, or maybe 9 bins of yarn it could be hiding in, then identifying the proper ball from the proper lot. Have I mentioned that I love this yarn?
After the frogging, I carefully spun it around my swift, but even after tying I couldn’t imagine the super 80′s crimp left from blocking and two years of being knit relaxing while hanging in the bathroom during a shower. So, into the sweater tub it went, then I hung it out in the sun to dry. It’s going to take a few days.
When I brought it back inside this evening, after the sun had set I felt so genuinely excited about the turn that this old project is taking. When I was taking Fashion classes, I remember one of my teachers, who was from Finland, saying that once someone there gets tired of a sweater they rip the whole thing out, rewind the yarn, and create something new. A few of my classmates cringed, but I can see the joy and the love in doing this. Just because the project hasn’t turned out the way you wanted, or maybe it has become old and tired, doesn’t mean that the yarn is bad, it is just waiting for the next adventure, inspiration. Even though this yarn has been knit, and hiding out in a dark yarn bag for the past two years I see it again, today, as being utterly beautiful, and so full of potential.
I’ll need to take some time to work-up a pattern for the arms. I just wish that I had decided to listen to myself a lot sooner.
January 3, 2012 § 3 Comments
Our adorable little Christmas tree finally came down yesterday. Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to the holiday’s and 2011, but I am very excited about moving into 2012, as I know that there are my exciting first and huge milestones in my future. I will also add that I really regret not posting more in 2011, but I feel like some large obstacles got in my way, which I will work to overcome 2012, and I look forward to posting a lot more in the upcoming spring.
To play a little catch-up, I have finally been able to get to some knitting, and I decided that a few fun, little projects were in order. After seeing the pattern for the Big Herringbone Cowl by Purl Soho over a year ago, and deciding I needed to have one then, I made a quick trip to San Francisco to buy some new yarn—like I needed more—to get me excited and get me knitting. This project took just under a week, and was a really, really great one. I would totally do it again.
I have never worked with needles so large, and it was fun to watch the work go so quickly. I’d tried this pattern once before, but the wrong yarn and impatience lead to disappointment, and eventual frogging. This second time around, I was much, much happier.
I was hoping to get this done before our annual ski trip, and while I succeeded in doing so, the ski trip did not happen due to lack of snow. As it has been “cold” for California over the past few days, I’ve worn it out every day since I finished it, though the warmth of the wool suppresses the need for a jacket.
Many other folks completed this pattern with two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted. When I selected yarn I went with this, but choose Natural for the color. I felt that with such a complex and beautiful stitch pattern, I wanted yarn that wouldn’t overpower the natural texture. I am very, very happy with my choice, and it looks much prettier knit than it does in the hank, or wound into a ball. It would have been so pretty in the snow, and I am bummed that I couldn’t take pictures of it out with the white dusted pine-trees.
- I used long-tail cast on, and CO 220 on US 17 needles. I have practiced this stitch before, and I am able to knit it loosely enough to not make the yarn and stitches bind up on the left needle, and still have a clean and even looking stitch.
- Really great project that went along quite quickly. However, I must admit that I am REALLY disappointing with how the Bind-Off edge looks. After all that work, being careful not to make mistakes, this particular bind-off looks unprofessional and uneven. I haven’t had this problem ever before with a BO, but the “Herringbone” version, as described in the pattern is what I used. Next time I’d go with something else.
- I counted my rows carefully, and not including the CO row, I knit through 18.5 rows with the first skein of yarn. I completed a total of 36 rows in the herringbone pattern, followed by the CO row, and had very little yarn left over. Maybe 10 yards. Definitely got into the rhythm of the stitch pattern in by the second skein.
- Finished measurement before blocking: 50” in circumference, 10.5” wide.
- Finished measurement after blocking: 62” circumference, 12” wide.
August 25, 2011 § 3 Comments
Remember the Royal Wedding?
Well, I actually finished this project on that very day while admiring all of the McQueen in white. I finished it, that is, with the exception of the crocheted princess seam-lines. It has been siting on my Size 5 dressform since then, waiting, and hoping it would soon be finished.
Well, finally that day has come!
Every lot of Malabrigo is different, but I thought this would only be reflected with the color, not the hand of the yarn. I ordered this yarn, and wished that I had gone to pick it out in person. I have worked with Rios a number of times and love it, but this felt more dense but also fluffy than the rest that I had used. The smoothness and almost unnoticeable gleam in the yarn was gone. Displeased, I threw a little tantrum, and almost never got started on it. Once I did, ready the pattern, and building the project went very easily, smoothly and quickly.
Changes to the pattern, not many!
- I was dead-on with the gauge, so that made it easy to get started.
- I added some shaping in the bodice through the “side-seam”
- I also added some shaping in the waist through the hip through the “side-seam”
- Leaving the princess seams out. With the varigated yarn they just aren’t working for me. I love them in the original pattern, and this is where I got caught up for months. I have come to the conclusion that I do love them, just not in this specific yarn.
I know that I have mentioned this before, but I love the patterns in this book, and the super friendly author makes them even more fun to work on. And that’s how knitting should be, fun, right?
July 23, 2011 § 3 Comments
Since the dawn of my knitting time I have been knitting English style. Pretty and even as it may be, I have learned it is slow. I have seen the continental style of knitting, and have even done it on occasion, though with varied success, as my stitches have lost their previous perfection in consistence. My knitname “the machine,” referring to how perfect my little stitches look, is lost. Alas, I have stuck with the English style to retain perfection, and loose speed.
So, I have made a decision …
Yesterday my good friend Jensen and I were chatting on our hour long drive to MotoGP about Corporate America’s inability to embrace short term loss for long term gain based on misunderstanding and unwilliness to forsake ROI—Oh God, don’t worry, I’m almost done talking about Corporate America. He told me a story, of which I don’t have specifics and I will paraphrase, so don’t correct me if I’m wrong it doesn’t matter. Back in the day there was a fellow who played Tennis. You may have heard of him, his name is Pete Sampras. Well, he was really f*cking good, but wasn’t the best. See, he was doing a double-handed backhand, which kept him just out of the #1 Tennis Play of the World ranking. His coach decided to give it to him straight, telling him that he’d never be The Best if he kept doing the double handed backhand. So, he learned the new technique, and took a serious tumble in the rankings. He learned, caught back up, fought back and eventually became The One in Tennis. Lesson learned? Old dogs can learn new tricks, but sacrifice must be made.
Backtracking further, I had already decided to take this leap last Sunday, thus starting a second OWLs sweater, this time for myself. I am making great progress, and getting much more comfortable, but my stitches aren’t “pretty” yet. Though, looking at the grand scheme of things, by this time last year I hadn’t ever even made/finished one single sweater. So I think it is best that I learn now. Using some of the left over yarn (Berroco Comfort) from my Rihanna Inspired Nautical Cropped Pullover, I have convinced Ramon that this sweater is not a waste of time, as I am: 1. learning something really, really new, even though I have already done this pattern once, and 2. Since the yarn is black, it is doing a great job at helping to hide my mistakes.
While i am not working on this in contentinal kntting style, it is c h a l l e n g i n g to say the least. It is like knitting with thread. Ironically, this project hurts my hands more than working the previously unused muscles in my hands from switching styles. As it takes 1 1/2 hours to knit one inch onto this bad boy, I am thinking about doing something different with the sleeves, meaning, short, not long blouson sleeves. Ugh.
January 24, 2011 § 8 Comments
I bought this yarn to make a Christmas gift for a girlfriend of mine. However, I ran out of time to start, and, much less finish the project before Christmas. My original idea was to turn it into a scarf, and in early January, I tried this, no less than 23 times. After that I kept trying, but lost count. Nothing seemed to work quite right, or look quite right. Then, I got the news. My friend was in the hospital receiving chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Out of privacy and respect, until I receive her permission, I will not be publishing her name, but I would like to take a moment to do something for her. As the first woman I have connected with in a long time, we often find ourselves together over shoes. Her shoe closet put’s Carrie’s to shame, and she’s been wearing Manolo’s since before HBO gave us all an education. Since she is in the hospital receiving chemo for the next few weeks, I want to give her additional support end encouragement through our stilettos.
To show your support for my friend, take a walk in her shoes for a day. Lets fight Leukemia together!
Since she cannot step out in her shoes, I am asking you to step out in yours, and share the experience.
- During the week of January 31–February 6, 2011, wear your favorite pair of shoes out somewhere. It doesn’t have to be all day, it can even just be to the grocery store. They don’t have to be heels, but they should be your favorite, or best shoes.
- If you can, take a picture (iPhone, Android, dumb phone, camera) and if you can post it to the Project Hallway facebook page, her support group, if you are a member, or email it to me at projecthallway at gmail.com, I will share it with her.
- If you’re up for it, write a caption: share what the shoes are, why they are your favorites, and where you wore them.
I know that the additional support will help her through this, and the captions for your pictures will give her something to read while on the road to recovery.
For my personal girlfriends that wear a size 7, if you can wear heels, I will lend you ANY of my shoes for a day. McQueen, Louboutin, Dior, Manolo, Lamb. I will even bring them to you to wear, if you will post a picture and a caption to the Project Hallway facebook page
Please help show your support!
And now, back to the knitting pattern.
Often I hear people saying that you need to listen to the fabric or yarn you are using for a project, to learn what it wants to do. I have believed this only to a certain degree, until I found Malabrigo Rios in Purple Mystery, color #30: the yarn that I used for this project. She asked me to make her some hats, and only then was I able to listen to the yarn. I wanted to create something special, and new for her. After working with it in the pattern for my Taylor Swift Beret, I could see that the details would sing with this beautiful yarn. So, I created a new pattern, a derivative of my previous pattern.
The diamonds for your style, the purple mystery for your beauty, and the cable knots are from each one of us support group.
This hat isn’t as large or as slouchy as the beret, and does fit a bit more like a beanie. The diamond pattern is much more dense, and there are many more diamonds in it, creating a lovely pattern.
I originally made the pattern free, however, upon discovering that others were taking the pattern, making and selling item after item for a nice profit, sadly, without a credit or a donation, I have decided to request a very small fee for my pattern work, so that I can continue to come up with new ideas and patterns.
If any Errata are found, or thoughts about the pattern come up, I would love to hear them. Please feel free to respond on my blog, on Ravelry.com (user: projecthallway) or send me an email at projecthallway AT gmail.com.
©2012 Julie LeFrancois. All Rights Reserved.
Please respect copyright law and Do Not Reproduce in any form. Duplication & distribution of this pattern in any form without express permission of the author is a violation of copyright law: You may not make multiple copies of this pattern, reformat it for commercial use or resale, or sell items made from this pattern. Your respect for coypright law allows me to keep bringing you new and interesting designs. Write with feedback or errata via my contact page. Thank you.
October 4, 2010 § 1 Comment
Luckily it was only a little nubbin of a ball left anyway. Can’t complain though. I am on cloud nine because of my new Aurora, I finished a McQueen garment, and I made huge amounts of progress on Ramon’s Christmas sweater. Almost done with the front side, and half-way done with the back, I am really happy that I frogged it last week. I can tell it is going to be really nice when it is done, and it would have been a shame to have it turn out the wrong size.
Several friends have been quite appalled to hear that I un-did all of that progress. Dalyn went over ever reason she could think of about how to fix it and why I shouldn’t have frogged it as we drove to Nieman’s last Thursday for a boot party. Jeff wished I’d left it intact for him—maybe wouldn’t have been a bad idea, but I certainly couldn’t have Ramon and Jeff matching! I think that by the end of the week his sweater may be done—see, trying not to set expectations too high—and I have more yarn on the way for yet another project. I have been searching for this particular yarn that is hand-painted and hard to get your paws on. I found enough of it in Oregon, and was about to order online when I decided to call, just in-case. Sure enough they did have it, but oh how I love yarn people.
I made a trip down to my local yarn store on Friday, looking for a way to order this yarn. I wanted to try to get it through the local yarn-shop, because I adore them, and want to support their business. The yarn is made by Malabrigo, and while my yarn store carries some of their yarn, they don’t carry the type I want. Upon asking if they could order it for me, they said yes, but that it might be up to 6 months before I get it and I’d be best off ordering it online. 6 months? Do we have to wait for spring for the sheep to be shorn?
While looking around the yarn store, I may have found the right yarn for the blue Alexander McQueen fuzzy (Angora?) blue dress. I bought a ball and will commence testing it out after I finish Ramon’s sweater. What I found is Cascade Cloud 9. I love it, but not a lot comes in one ball, only 109 yards. I think that the dress may take around 2000 yards, and at eight bucks a pop that’s $152. Ouch, though less than what just spent on the Malabrigo. Gauge swatch to come.
On Thursday, after posting the Kitten Eating Yogurt on Two Legs video, I decided to take some Jeff advice and get down to the store to buy my lining. Last weekend while pouring wine, I whinned to Jeff a lot about not having my sewing machine. After explaining that the sewing lab is available but only for an hour and a half here and two hours there, he said that I needed to look at it like Project Runway, and just go in there and “bust the shit out.” Point taken.
My sewing helper. See how she is helping by sitting on my bag of sewing tools?
I got my wool and my lining cut, after agonizing in the store for an hour-an-a-half over the lining, and got into the sewing lab around 2. The machine I had made friends with, was of-course taken. I found my way to a little white Juki, and low-and-behold, it wanted to make friends, too! Feeling very happy and satisfied with my skirt and lining half-sewn and the brilliant greens and blues popping out from behind the black wool, I headed home at 4 to get ready to go to Nieman’s with Dalyn.
Delightful as always, I had a great time visiting the store of many beautiful things I cannot afford right now. I found some Manolos that are so freaking good I almost started crying. (See picture of fabulous shoes below, with my little Stuart Weitzman toes peaking out.) There was also an incident with a thigh-high Chanel boot made out of scooba material, somehow listed as leather. FYI, stretch leather and denim are not two great tastes that taste great together. Dalyn’s awesome personal shopper, Omid, know I will try ANYTHING on. He brought the boots to the ghost-town of a drink area where Dalyn and I were enjoying our cocktails. It took 5 minutes to get the thing half on, and another 10 to get it back off. Crying for help, Dalyn was literally crying from laughing. Best Nieman’s moment yet.
Makes me think that I need to work harder to find a job. I miss being able to buy these things.
After tossing the small bit of yarn that is now caffeinated, back to work on my very busy day. I really hope that I can find some time to squeeze in some sewing on my beautiful new Bernina!