Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red Shoe Love

red shoes - on blog
For many a year now, I've had silly daydreams of being able to kit myself out in bizarre and over-the-top historical fashion.
Surfing around on Zappos.ca (which is dangerous, fyi), had me bump into these rather Louis XIV-esque red velvet sweeties.
Me could nots resists.
They're on the docket for tomorrow.
Knitting news: I'll give you some tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm going to drink my drink and enjoy staring at my new foot fashion.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Isobel
Blog: Izzy's Knitting
Rav ID: Izzy
Some Great Designs: Izzy's Rav Design Page

I was very excited (and a bit stunned) to discover that this lovely, funky and totally cool shawl is available as a free download on Rav. It's called In the Pink, and after very quickly saving it to my library for future knittage, I perused the rest of the very generous Izzy's offerings.
She has another very tempting lace pattern, with the same sort of focus on structure and pattern featured in In the Pink.
I hope she keeps on designing! I find her modernist, über-geometrically-patterned take on the lace shawl fascinating and beautiful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sexy Vesty; Or, Black Diamonds

Photography skillz strike again!
Pattern: Sexy Vesty
Yarn: about 3.5 skeins of Lang Merino Superwash

Time to complete: one bloomin' week!

Sometimes you get addicted to a knit. That's definitely what happened in this instance. The yarn was really co-operating with me, and the little lace pattern was very simple to memorize (well, truth be telt, I only memorized it for the last two diamond repeats....)
I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to knit a vest. I don't wear vests.

Like many garments, I would see cute little tops of this particular fashion in stores and think "cute on dummy - not so cute on me". This is the same line of thinking that prevents me from purchasing very heavily cowled sweaters, tights, trapeze jackets, super minis and clothing items with expressively-large buttons.

Fortunately, this one has left me feeling positive about knitting again (after the malaise I was under in the post-Tareja days of last week). And I'm rather pleased with how it looks atop a regular ol' scoopneck tee.

This one may get some use out of it!

In new cast-on news:
I was supposed to have something to show for myself re: a particular sweater in a lovely Russet-y shade of Samira Silk from Handmaiden.
Sadly, I've naught.
Well, naught that would be interesting to photograph.
I have already discovered a misjudgement in my design plans, and instead of frogging the very few rows I've actually knit, I will be doing the good ol' improvised-fix in the end.
Here's to hoping I've enough yarn to make this one!
I shall return with something to show for myself.

***Pattern Notes posted on Rav here.***

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthday for Me, Decidedly Mid-Twenty; Or, AVAST YE!

ARRRR me fellow knitting pirateers! Today not only be Talk Like a Pirate Day, but it also be ME BIRTHDAY!
(be assured next Friday the Indie Designer Day will return)


In the past few days, I've received a couple neato internet funnesses. First came a meme, and second, an award!

Here's the meme.

The rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged me: NessaRenee
2) Mention the rules
3) Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about myself
4) Tag 6 other bloggers by linking to them
5) Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged

I won't be officially tagging anyone; I'd just like to blanket-nominate all who can actually make it through the riveting informational tidbits that I'll be listing about meself below-heres:
1) I've never broken any bones, nor sprained a damn thing. These are the fruits of a life based upon the glorification of inactivity.

2) I hate the maths, and my existence is based on running away from them and being able to prove to my dad that I haven't died and been eaten by ravenous wolves and vicious vultures because I dropped math as soon as I could.

3) I'm not a big fan of cake. Cakey-cake. Cheesecake gets full points for being delicious and heart-stopping. But cake, as in, birthday cake! - is not for me. Ever since my opinion on the subject mattered, I've chosen alterna-cakes for my birthdays (ice cream cake, cheesecake and most recently, simply my favourite sweets).

4) I've recently bought the perfect dress in the universe. Perfect for me, that is. (Pictured Left.) I don't think I've ever had such a "oh sweetness, this is awesome!" experience in a change room before.

5) I feel entirely wrong if I'm not always doing something. For example, I rarely actually watch tv. I'm always knitting something whilst it's droning and/or yelling at me.

6) And, in a nice little summing up: I talk to my tv. Besides my mother, I've never met a single person who employs such frequent and liberal use of the mute button as I. I take it as a personal insult that commercials/shows/etc... try to pawn off imbecillic ideas on me, as though I'll swallow that crap. They rely on you not paying attention to what they're saying. So MUTE the BASTARDS! (I also have a unique talent for getting my own dander up.)

And also, a few days ago the wonderful Team Knit (specifically Julie!) nominated me for this adorable ribbon.

I'm very flattered!
PhotobucketThe ribbon always had such wondrous awe attached to it for me as a child. You got them (if so lucky/talented) in dance and skating. Piano was all about the pretend-frameable certificate of completion; Guides and swimming the badges.
But I digress...

The rules are:
1- Post the award on your blog.
2- Add a link to the person who gave you the award
3- Nominate at least 4 other bloggers and add their links
Nominees, simply in alphabetical order:
Another Shop Girl (because her knits are always so interesting and fashionable)
Green Apples (because I love her wonderful use of colour - in knits and most recently in paints!)
Juicy Knits (because she always chooses the same knits that I've in mind to knit too - and they look so great on her)
Longhorn Diva (because she has fantastic taste and has introduced me to so many knits that are exactly to my taste)
So Knit Picky (because she's always so elegant!)
The Yarniad (because many reasons, but just for today I'll say that it's because it's her birthday too!!)

4- Leave a comment at the recipients’ blogs so they can pass it on.

Merci beaucoup to all. Have an extra of whatever it is you like, and the explanation excuse justification reason is because it's CanarySanctuary's birthday, and she said I could.

Birthdays give you incredible omnipotent powers. I'll have to try climbing walls and leaping a few tall buildings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thoughts Flying with Belted Knits


I've been pondering belted knits for a few days now, and I can't get it out of me brain.
A few Rav-examples:

Weird Rock Star's Kimono
Cables and Lace Cardi

While these (and the right-pictured Dusk by Hargreaves) are all kimono-styled, I'm thinking outside that box.
To something more boxy. Less cardi.
More scoop-necky. Less vee-y.
But certainly drapey. And Autumn-y.

I'm sure you'll all be rather unsurprised that I drool over Alexander McQueen pieces. His work is quite directly up my alley.
Historical, luxurious, and perhaps the best visual example of sumptuous one could possibly find.
Here's an example of a belted knit from his Fall 2006 RTW:
So very Lurvely.
(while writing this post, I took a quick time-out to search McQueen's online store. One day, I'll set aside a few thousand and buy a piece. A very good investment, methinks.)
Note: Those boots are possibly the best boots I've ever laid my eye upon. If only they weren't high-heeled.

Now this look, from Aquascutum 2008 Fall RTW has a few of my dreamed-of qualities: flowy, incredible belt, deep and very rich colour.

All this picture-posting and adjective-spewing will eventually lead to a knit.
Hope to get it logistically laid out, cast on, and with something to show for myself within a couple days.

In the meantime, I must run off to wind my recent stash acquisitions into usable balls and ponder my curious choice of Granny Apple Green for one of the two next designs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Black Diamonds; and, A Bit of Fair Time Fun

Scandalously superfluous!

with a little bit of happy dance thrown in.

Why the exuberance?
Well, my friends, I do believe that this Saturday has seen me make the most wondiferous single stash enhancement ever.
Since I cannot help myself, I pampered me to an early birthday prezzie and got:

3 different colourways of Fleece Artist's Woolie Silk
(I think the colours are best described as Granny Apple Green for whom I already have plans a-brewin', Amber and finally a Buttery Cream),
Enough Handmaiden silk to make a long-planned for autumn sweater (I must give the proverbial shout-out to Linda's Craftique. I buy gorgeous yarn from her booth every year, and yet have still never been the store itself),
a perfect and long-searched-for shade of chocolate brown in a dk merino from The Black Lamb,
some black baby alpaca,
and a couple hanks of black laceweight merino.

Hmmm, I feel a new personal colour preference coming on.

Stayed Tuned.

Oh yeah, and Rav got me "recognized". How cool it that?!
PhotobucketIn the meantime, I've been diligently knitting away on a new one (this time from the Great Stash Enhancement of July 2008.
As per my usual trademarking, this lace has many-a-woopsies, but I'll live with it.
I think I've cropped them out of this photo...
You'll see in (hopefully) a couple days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Meghan
Blog: Involving the Senses
Rav ID: meguerite
Great Design: meguerite's Rav Design Page

Another favourite indie designer with art leanings (she's a conservator! How cool is that?), meguerite has made the world a prettier place by writing this beautiful cardigan pattern.
It's called the Shalom Cardigan, and I love everything about it.
I've been holding out on making one myself, because I want to find the perfect yarn. It has to be something that would do justice to that lovely yoke!
Her blog is also wonderfully diverse; she's been travelling as of late, and has included wonderful photos and content. She somehow also manages to get beautiful knitting done, and post tantalizing photos of foods and amazing sewing projects.
Here's to hoping this very talented (and well travelled!) knitter shares some more beautiful designs with us.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Scram Lumpy!; Or, Make me Like this Knit

Well, don't make me like it, I think it would be better if I get the harsh truth.

Here be my Tareja:
Photobucket Image Hosting

Pattern: Tareja
Yarn: almost 3 skeins of Alchemy Silk Purse in colourway "Mediterranean"

Why I'm not diggin it:
Hrmmm. Mmmm. Rrrr.....
That's the noise I make whenever I put this one on. The whole time I was knitting it I was süber-excited about it. I could never get home soon enough to knit on it.

Then, I finished it, blocked it, and poo.

Now really, do I look like a circa-thirteenth-century-French-court-jester?
I may have to work on getting me some of those exuberantly-long curly toed shoes.
Photobucket Image Hosting
On the upside:
I've learned
1) how to add beading to knits
2) that I don't like knits with beads
3) how to design my own lace
4) that there does exist a shade of blue which I can wear without looking so muddy

and I've rediscovered
1) how much I love Alchemy Silk Purse
2) the funness of picot edging
3) the magic of a provisional cast-on
4) the mantra of "What would Stacy and Clinton say?"

It may happen that it'll just grow on me.
It may happen that I'm in some sort of nasty knit-hating funk.
It may happen that this sucker gets frogged and/or shoved to the bottom of the "knits that've gone wrong" pile where I can't see it and have thoroughly disowned it.

And, it may be that I've simply posted too soon - I've already waited a few days before revealing this sucker due to my less-than-pleased feelings.

In any case, I doubt this one will end up being sported to the aforementioned Knitter's Fair this Saturday. The weather seems to be taking a turn in my favour, and bringing along my beloved autumnal tempurature drops.
Ladies (and gents, if there be any of ye here):
Start your cold-weather knits!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Stacka Stuffs

As someone thoroughly dedicated to her stash and its enhancement, I have an innate urge to hoard pretty things.
This extends to patterns as well. Since my bookcase is soon-to-burst, the executive decision has been made to share and share alike the many patterns that I (honestly) will never get around to knitting. Why hide them away when a very happy knitter can be using them instead?

And so I present my stacka patterns:
This is only a sampling. Most patterns are in a book, and I'd be happy to show you pics of other projects in said books. All vintage, dating from the 1950s (methinks) to the glorious 80s.

"What hoop do I have to jump through to get ahold of one of these pretties?" You ask.
Well, this here is what I'll do:

Leaving a comment on this post, tell me
1) your favourite colour to wear
2) your favourite fibre to knit with
3) (if applicable) your best travel tips and info regarding Edinburgh, Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome.
I'm looking to get me good and prepared for my three week jaunt across the ocean.
4) a way to contact you (email, rav id, etc...)

I'll contact you and ask you which you'd like. First come, first serve basis.
These are good ones; I wouldn't have collected them otherwise!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Susanna
Rav ID: zuzusus
Some great designs: zuzusus's Rav design page

It's really too bad that this designer is blogless - but fortunate for us knitters that she's generous enough to share her wonderful patterns for free on Rav!
I must also admit there's a commonality between a number of my favourite designers - quite a few of them are art historians.
I think you can see her art historical-eye in the beautiful organic shapes she uses in her lace designs. She has several! - but I think my favourite is her Meandering Vines Shawl. Take a look at some of the projects on the Rav page - they're gorgeous!

I also thoroughly enjoy her descriptions on each pattern's front page. I like to get a bit of background on what the designer was inspired by when she/he created the pattern (she also give good tips on mods and how best to approach knitting the design itself).

Truth be telt, though: her pattern that really makes me itch with knit-anxiousness to begin are the wonderful Swirling Gauntlets.
I don't even need to say anything else - just look at them! I must cast on now!
I'm very much looking forward to any new designs that Susanna posts/publishes. Any knitter who can design lace and cables like this is certainly on my favourites list.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blue; Peacock Blue

PhotobucketHere you see me sporting the new Tareja knit. It's getting there.... I have a deadline of September 12, so that I can wear it to the Knitter's Fair on the 13th.

I'm returning to a colour discussion, cause, dammit, I like discussing colour.
Ever since I was a wee Girl Guide and was forced to sport that navy blue dress, I've realized I'm not into blue. I just don't do it well.
Or, so I thought.
Knowing colour theory has backed me up on the anti-blue crusade. Theoretically blue clashes with my oliveish skin tone, dark hair and dark eyes. Theoretically I should be dolled up in clothing that will bring out my natural warm tones. Blue is the quintessential cool colour.
So why do I like the shade pictured on me here?

When I heard about "getting your colours done" I knew it was something that had to be researched (because when I like something, I research it.)
I've got two sources here for you all to try out.
The first is a sort of rough outline that you can find on the site My Shape. You have to make yourself a personal profile, and on the first page of "Your Personal Style", question 11 asks you to click on a drop down menu that states "My colour palette is..." and you choose from one of the four seasons. Next to this is a "What is This?" link. Click on it, and you'll get a list that'll place you in a particular spot.
It told me I'm a Winter.
(Apparently all this colouring info came from "Color With Style" by Donna Fujii. I'm trying to get my hands on a copy).
Having some googling fun, I came across this website. It's neato because it gives you a shade card for your preferred wardrobe colour choices. According to this one, I fall a bit more into the Autumn category (not to mention the colour schemes for this one are reflective of those I actually wear and believe I look best in).
Fascinating, no?