Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Headless Model

Picture of the finished tank being modeled by the headless model (or me):

If the weather is cooperative, this is probably what I'll be wearing for the Maryland Sheep and Wool next weekend. Is it really only a weekend away?!

The skirt is just about finished and will have to be blocked before sewing it together and doing the little bit of embroidery. I need to find some ribbon to put through some of the lace. I think it's going to be pretty.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Finished Object!

My tank is finished:

Okay, I have to sew in the rest of the ends, but it is finished and it fits beautifully. Maybe some modeled shots this weekend when I have someone else to hold the camera. I think I'll probably be making another one because it does fit and I just love it.
Pattern: Shapely Tank from White Lies Designs
Yarn: Shine from Knitpicks in Orchard
Needles: Size 6 (with 5s for the edging)
Modifications: I got perfect row gauge, but my stitch gauge was a bit tight, so I just went up to the next size in the pattern and it worked out perfectly. I really do love this tank. Can't you tell? I'm really looking forward to her book next month.

Can you believe it's less than two weeks until the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival?! I'm going with a knitting/spinning friend this year so it should be incredibly fun. Anyone else going?


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Here's my Bonsai yarn:

for my Bonsai Tunic.

I'm just about finished with the Shapely Tank, just the armhole edging and sewing up the sides to go. Hopefully, I'll have pictures tomorrow, depending on whether I can get decent picture or not. I tried it on pinned yesterday and it looks like it fits perfectly!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Boring Post, Just Move Right Along

Well, I had hoped to have my tank finished this weekend, but didn't quite make it. I'm about two-thirds of the way done with the back. So I thought I'd show you a little something cool:

I know, you're thinking, they're just plain old white plastic pony beads. What's so special about those? Well, these are special. Take another look:

That's what these plain white beads look like in the sun. They are ultraviolet detecting beads that the kids got at the Adler planetarium in Chicago, but you can google "UV beads" and find several science teacher sources for them. They're pretty pale or white indoors, but when exposed to sun or other UV source, they change colors.

I know, it's not knitting, but pretty cool, huh? As for other things (like why I didn't do a lot of knitting this weekend), my basement craft studio is actually progressing. I have a nice-sized bookshelf for all my crafting books and I have two shelves, one of which is put together and has stuff on it. The one shelf will hold most of the non-knitting related items (i.e., polymer clay, beads, paints, fabrics, ribbons) and the other shelf will probably hold most of my stash. I'll have a work table with good lighting and I need to find a comfy working chair. Most of my knitting will probably still be done on the couch upstairs while watching bad TV, but this area will be for some polymer clay work.

See, I was honest about the title, so you can't say you weren't warned. But if you've stuck with me this long anyway, have a good one.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Regia Skirt

The first half of my skirt is about 8 rows from being done. See:

I would have finished last night, but I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series and I was so close to finishing Book 5 that I decided to finish that. So now, only one more book to go before the last book. I really hope the seventh is worth the wait; I mean, it would really bite to have six really good books and have it all ruined by the last one. Not that that's what I'm expecting or anything, I'm just sayin'. Anyway, where was I, oh, yeah, the skirt. Even though it's on size 3s, it's going pretty fast because it's mostly stockinette with just a bit of very simple lace thrown in. See how elegant simple can be? It will be blocked before being sewn together.

I'm really not trying to be so very mysterious about the next lined-up project (after the Shapely Tee and skirt). It's the Bonsai Tunic from the current issue of IK. Here's a close-up. I'm actually using the recommended yarn for once. I think that's probably a first for me, but I'm using a different color - just scroll down for the blue. Webs hasn't even charged my card yet, so who knows when it will actually ship.

Have a nice weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Chicago

I know I promised more Chicago picts yesterday, but I'm a bit behind. A lot of the pictures are actually going to be links to The Chicago Art Institute because their pictures are so much better than what I could take, even with my decent camera and the Institute has tons of the famous paintings that you always see everywhere - American Gothic, The Child's Bath, Nighthawks, and one of my favorites, Renoir's Two Sisters.

Also at the Institute were these. So, click on the link. I'll wait. You can click to enlarge. Are those not the coolest things? Do they not look like real-sized rooms? Sixty-eight miniature rooms in 1/12th scale (which means one inch of the miniature equals one foot of the real-life equivalent). As much as I loved just about everything else we saw in Chicago, I really loved these miniatures. One of my many interests are miniatures and seeing these at the Art Institute really inspired me to get my basement cleaned and organized so I can have a studio down there to work on some miniature projects. Let me tell you, it's a big undertaking, but I'm going to do it!

Now this picture was taken from atop the Sears Tower.

The big white building in the center is the Shedd Aquarium and the domed building in the upper left is the Adler Planetarium.

As for the skirt, I'm nearly done with the front (or back as you wish, it's the very same thing. I still have to make another one.) I was going to probably finish up my tank after I finish the first half of the skirt, then come back to the skirt and finish it and hope it's actually warm enough to wear my new stuff by then. I also have something else planned; I ordered the yarn from Webs on Monday. I'll tell you about it as soon as the yarn gets here.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Regia Silk Project Revealed

Quite a few have guessed that I'm making a tank with the pink Regia Silk. Nope, not a tank, or a very large sock. Here it is:

(You can click for quite a large close-up so you can see the details.)
I've been wary about making a skirt. I am, in fact, pretty wary about making clothing because of the fit issue. Lace scarves and shawls are easy. Gauge isn't really much of an issue - who cares if a shawl is an inch or two bigger or smaller? Socks are pretty small and I've made so many that I have it down to a science. Tanks I'm a little less wary of because they are pretty small as well. If you have to rip, oh well. But, a skirt on size 3s.

This skirt really captivated me since I saw it on the cover last year and I decided I wanted to make it. I didn't want to make it in 100% wool that it called for though. So I came across Regia Silk and saw how light and soft it is and fell in love. I even did a gauge swatch and got perfect gauge. (Are you impressed that I got gauge or actually did a swatch?) It's just very feminine and well, it's pink. I plan to line it because I think the lacy part is just a wee bit too bold for me, but I am in love with this skirt. I think my mojo is back in full force!

Isn't it funny how certain patterns just catch your attention and won't let go? How certain designers just design stuff seemingly just for you? I'm half-way done with my Shapely Tank and already nearly halfway done with the skirt, so I was looking for more tops to do for the summer (IF it ever gets here; with the chilly weather, I'm wondering where spring is). I went through all my old magazines and found that I kept choosing things by many of the same designers. It doesn't mean I like everything by a particular designer or that I won't make something by another designer, but I find I do tend to look twice at stuff by certain ones. Shirley Paden, Mari Lynn Patrick, Norah Gaughan, Veronik Avery are just a few that I seem to find myself choosing over and over again. Anyone else have a favorite designer or two?

By the way, who else has seen that our favorite pusher sock yarn store is going to be stocking laceweight as well? And right with Maryland S&W around the corner, too! My budget is SO shot for the next couple of months!

More Chicago picts tomorrow!


Friday, April 13, 2007

Actual Knitting Content

I finished the front of the Shapely Tank:

I'll be casting on for the back soon. Meanwhile, I cast on with my Regia Silk and I promise I'll reveal once I get enough to show.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Chicago and Maybe Just a Little Yarn

The trip to Chicago - it was cold. Cold is, of course, a relative term. I'm from Georgia and have never lived north of Virginia, so I may find certain temps a little colder than someone from, oh let's say, Minnesota ;-). I have actually gotten used to temps in the 30s, but in the week preceding our trip to Chicago, it was in the 70s and nearly 80 here, so 30 degree weather was cold. (Granted, it did get that low here while we were gone, too, so I would have been complaining about the cold here, too.) Anyway, now that I've completely bored most of you, for any still reading, on our first day we went to the aquarium.

We saw a baby Beluga Whale with its mom:


An octupus who had to be the most bored octopus in the world because he kept climbing up the rocks in its display, then letting go and floating down to the bottom only to start all over:

There were also lots of lizards and fish, of course. Lots of underwater viewing for the whales and dolphins. Pretty nice aquarium.

In Millennium Park, we saw this odd sculpture named, "Cloud's Gate" (I think) because locals just refer to it as "The Bean". Wonder why:

I did not get to any yarn shops in Chicago (I know, hard to believe). But for those of you still with me, here's something that was waiting at home for me:

That's Regia silk in pink (mere coincidence that it's one of Project Spectrum's colors) from The Loopy Ewe. And I'm still not going to tell you what it's for just yet :) Soon.

And also waiting was my Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival catalog. Less than a month to go! Anyone else going to be there? And is anyone hosting a blogger meetup this year?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Windy City

This is where I've been for the past week:

It was cold, but totally worth the trip and I'll have lots of pictures to share in the next week or so. Not a lot of knitting as we stayed pretty busy, but lots of museum stuff. Did you know the Art Institute has a really cool display of miniature rooms?! But it will have to wait a couple of days. We've been on the go for a week; tired, glad to be home (sort of, I really did enjoy Chicago!). Lots of blog reading and blogging to catch up on!

More Chicago pictures to come though!