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June 29, 2006

Meet Ms. Marigold

Here is Ms. Marigold, in all her glory. She fits pretty well and I love the feel of the yarn. I am, however a little afraid that because it is so soft will stretch out easily, a pity only because I like my clothes slutty snug. The somewhat ill-fated Tubey suffered from this and ended up a bit lumpy. This is meant as a layering piece, so it should be less of an issue. I was very lucky to have leftover yarn in a similar texture; even though it is heavier it matched up well enough. It will be good to wear in the shop, since it always seems to be a temperature inhospitable to human life in there.

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Owl Update: I ripped out the old zipper and put in a normal lapped one last night. This, combined with a bit of fudging around the hips seems to have fixed the problem. Too bad zipper removal is so ravaging to fabric... It shouldn't be too noticable since I took a little trick from the days when I was a photographer and spot-toned with a black sharpie. All those white threads now blend right into the dark background. I just have to add a hook and eye and it is wearable once again!

Posted by loyd0008 at 12:26 PM

June 28, 2006

Orly?

I am please to present to you the front of my new Owl Dress, made for romping about the city with nary a care:

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I am not so pleased to present the back of the aforementioned dress. Most likely due to my lack of skill (and patience) in zipper application, the back of this dress has unsightly wrinkles, mostly around the hips. These will not stop me from wearing it, just from being satisfied with it. Through many trials and tribulations I have ameliorated it from is sorry original state, but I just don't know what else to do! It will probably not be very noticable when I am moving about, but it is still going to bug me. I'll probably just wear a big ribbon or something to hide it. Any suggestions?
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I should finish up Ms Marigold tonight. She required more yarn than I had purchased and so I had to finish the ribbing and armholes with some berry colored stuff left over from Tubey. I like the combo and it should look pretty good once blocked. Unfortuately, there are about a katrillion ends to weave in. I really hate that part!

Now I am going to avoid all of the cleaning piling up around me and do some prelims reading at a coffee shop. Foucault or Lyotard? [le sigh]

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:03 AM

June 27, 2006

Needles and Notebooks

Sunday evening I made this little pincushion, following the tutorial from Whipup. It was pretty cinchy except for the fact that I am horrible at slipstitching! Luckily it is only a couple of inches and gets covered by the blanket stitch edging anyhow.

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I bought these massive pins the other day and I think I am going to have to make a larger cushion to accomodate their length.

In not-so-low-tech news... I bought a laptop! Since J will be needing his computers back when he ventures off into the East, I threw down a bunch of money on a new MacBookPro + printer + ipod nano (that is for J). The last two have mail in rebates, so that is a nice bonus. I was really nervous making such an investment, since all of my computers have been PCs that were basically hand-me-downs from my father. I also got a snazzy new laptop bag from Tom Bihn to keep it nice and safe. Everything has shipped but the computer itself. How long will they make me wait for the thrill of new technology?! With it, I will surely be able to conquer the WORLD!

[fade out to maniacal laughter]

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:56 AM

June 21, 2006

Retro '52

Here is the dress that I mostly finished before Italy. All that remained was, you guessed it, hemming the circle skirt. Damn me! Why do I continue to torture myself?? All in all this was a pretty simple pattern: no zipper even! It does have a rather complicated fall to it, however, and gets a little crinkly as the sheath rubs against the overskirt. (I feel a little dirty saying that...) You can see that process commencing in the first photo where the wind has disheveled things a bit.
I used red cotton sateen for the overskirt part and I really like it. I will certainly be making things out of this in the future. I also dug the color combinations of the fabrics and the cute little buttons. All in all, I think it is super-neat, but I am afraid it will be a pain to wear. I need to start making things that are easier to wear, more everyday kind of stuff. That or I will have to find more interesting places to go...

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In other news, I am dying for some ice cream.

Posted by loyd0008 at 7:13 PM

June 20, 2006

Red Velvet

So here is my second Green Gable, this time in Knitpicks Main Line, color Red Velvet. I love this pattern so much that I want to make a 3/4 sleeved version, though admittedly I haven't worn them very often yet because I am afraid of messing them up. Isn't that silly??

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Ms Marigold has been frogged once, but this time she seems to be moving along pretty well. I do have some trepidation about how my (now currently huge thanks to PMS) breasts are going to fit into this sucker. It looks so cute on skinny girls, but I have a feeling I may need to do a little bit extra ribbing to keep it from looking like some kind of Frederick's of Hollywood Peep Show Extravaganza.

In other news, J and I went bookselling today and made close to $200 dollars! Woohoo!! Still a bunch more to get rid of before J's big Bostonian move. Somehow I hate to just give them to Salvation Army because I know they will really just get lost in book limbo and collect dust, mold, and mouse droppings in the back of some filthy store. Not that most used bookstores are all that much better, but at least they have the chance to actually be in circulation instead of being used as a doorstop or something. Oh well. I have a bad habit of buying Barnes and Nobles discount hardcovers mostly just because they are on sale and hardcover books look so pretty. I have, in this fashion, read some real duds. (Why did I persist in reading them? A good question. Why do I continue to buy them? An even better question...) Sadly, though, used bookstores never actually want hardcover books. So, I end up with a bunch of books that look pretty, but that I really don't need to have in my personal library. I need to learn to let go. I mean, do I really need 14 Choose Your Own Adventure books?!? Sources point to yes...

I used the funds won in this fiendish manner to pick up some new fabric from Crafty Planet this afternoon. Man, I love that place. I need some more easy-to-wear dresses that I don't have to think about too much and so I found these sweet little owls to help me out. They are going to become another Girlie Dress, this time shorter and smaller with wide enough straps to hide a bra under. I mean, a girl can only take so many days wearing a strapless bra. Really. (Do I seem obsessed with breasts?? I guess that is one side effect of PMS, along with being able to smell EVERYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE.)

I have joined the Sew Retro group in hopes that it will keep me productive and able to share design tips with like-minded sewing folks. (Typing sewers looks weird) I'm not very good at thrifting (too much effort for too little payoff for me), but I do love the swingy retro dress patterns I have been getting lately. I hope I can still fit into them with all of the chocolate I have been eating...

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:43 PM

June 14, 2006

Home again, Home again

Here I am, back in the Twin Cities. I actually got back a few days ago, but was too jetlagged and otherwise exhausted to post. It was an amazing trip and I have bazillions of photos, but don't worry I won't make you sit through all of them. This is, of course, a knitting blog, and so the first photo will be of this fantastic little yarn shoppe that I found on a street off of the Duomo (cathedral).

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I got the address from , as she had just done this Tuscany gig last month. She said that she avoided filling suitcases and suitcases. I, however, did not. My parents ended up purchasing a lovely new leather travel bag for me which proceeded to fill with the kilos and kilos of yarn that I bought there. We went to another place on the other side of the river, but this was the one that did me in. Most of the stuff I got was 1.5 euros for 100 grams. Wowzers!! There was a great sale area that had lovely fine angora, cotton ribbon, and chunky wool that did me in. In most of my knitting career, I have managed not to stash overmuch: just about enough for a project or two. No longer. There are at least 7 sweaters just waiting to come into existence for their earthly trial (no, I'm not actually a Mormon... maybe a knitting Mormon? fishing the souls of sweaters out of the aether so they can go to sweater heaven??) Anyhow, I figure it is really just an investment in my future, since, when J moves to Boston in a couple of months, I will be lonely and broke and needing knitting more than ever for solace and entertainment.

Speaking of entertainment, I just signed up again for Netflix. We had lists and lists of movies we wanted to watch and so I took the plunge. However, now that we actually have it back, I can't think of what any of those movies are! Any suggestions...?

Ok back to vacation.

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That is me on the Ponte Vecchio. I took about eleventeen million pictures of that damned thing, "just in case" to make sure that we got some good ones. Now the album is full of them... J took this one on one of our last days. The silk scarf is from the market. 4 euros! Needless to say, I stocked up. Also, ties. Silk ones. For 4 euros. I don't think that J (or I for that matter) will ever need another tie. We also went to the Antique Perfumery/Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella. That's right: where Hannibal Lecter bought that infamous perfume to scent his letters to Clarice. I couldn't resist. No perfume for me, though, just yummy flower waters and tea. I did purchase custom-made perfume from a little shop near the apartment we stayed in the first week (we moved to nicer digs when the parents met us for week 2). The fellow at the ancient spice shop/perfumery/scientific chemical store blending it was so great and helpful and it was much fun. He was one of the nicest Florentines we met. There were some other nice ones, too, but also some real jerks. Like the little girl with the little curl in the middle of her forehead: when she was good she was very very good, but when she was bad she was horrid. Some of the folks in "customer service" were unbelievably rude, to the point of malice and the drivers. Now, I know that I complain about the incompetence of Minnesota drivers, but these folks were in a different league altogether. The cars are about 1/2 the size of a Geo Metro and they drive them everywhere and at any speed. Pedestrianism is truly a hazardous occupations. When we took taxis to and from the airport, I almost wished I had some of my mom's rosaries with me. Terrifying!

We visited most of the touristy sites: the Uffizi, the Duomo (only outside), the Campanile (belltower-walked up all 414 steps!), Piazza della Signoria, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, Galleria della Accademia (where David is housed), as well as taking day trips to Pisa and Prato and Rome. Pisa was nice, mostly because we got lost and missed all the touristy parts and Prato was a pretty little town, but a bit of a disappointment since I had read a New York Times article that made it out to be this tiny place full of yarn and fabric shops on the cheap. Mostly they had the same chain places we saw in Florence plus a couple of home decor fabric shops that were closed for lunch most of the day. (I'll never quite get why all of the shops in Italy don't just hire someone else to be there from 1-3:30 when everything is closed...) Not that I would have been able to carry anything else, but still. In Rome we only had time for the Vatican Museum/Sistine Chapel and the Colosseum. That was enough for one day.

This one is from back in Florence at what we called the Boar Market. The Romans brought over a marble boar (the original is in the Uffizi) whose snout it was good luck to rub. When folks were deteriorating it, the city replaced it with this copy. We rubbed away like good tourists (J somewhat begrudingly, evidently). Good luck? I guess we'll see about that...

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Here is the view from the back porch of the apartment on the second week. The first week, we were in a tiny little place above a restaurant where they had a nightly singer doing versions of Volare, as well as that Dean Martin "When the moon hits your eye song" that one always hears at the Olive Garden in addition to stranger fare including, but not limited to: Bohemian Rhapsody and The Phantom of the Opera. Rather amusing with an Italian accent. Or should I say that it would have been amusing if it were not every night until midnight. The second week was much more peaceful. Though I think that my parents had to deal with the noise from a local night club....

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I managed to sleep moderately well, which is pretty amazing since I am the world's lightest sleeper. I have done more than my fair share of sleeping since we got home: body is still confused. Also, I have been plagued by troubling headaches and wooziness. I was fine all the time we were there, but now that I'm home, my blood sugar (or something) seems to want to keep me nauseous all of the time. (Edited to add: Rethinking the feeling, its not really nausea, because I get hungry and don't feel like throwing up. It is kind of hard to describe, so maybe I'll just call it "malaise". It happens somewhat often, so can't be a proverbial bun in the oven. Also, it seems better when I have a real meal. Bah! I don't know...) Naps seem like a good idea at the time, but they really just make me more tired and the headaches persist. Le sigh. Post-vacation depression? Pre-prelim anxiety? The returning sympoms of Acute Internet Addiction? Who knows. It is nice to have constant interweb access here. I wanted to post (we even had the laptop) but free wifi is an unheard of concept there and most internetting is done at little shops like Internet Train where one buys a card for a certain number of minutes and scurries off to an anonymous computer to leave a trail of personal information for anyone to pick up. Some poor schmuck even left his Gmail password "remembered" on a computer. He had some interesting love letters....

Well, the headaches were gone, so maybe I should learn to cut down on my web surfing. Maybe I'll even get some reading done for those damned exams. I brough Kant with me, but that was a lost cause. I joined the gym today, so hopefully I can get into an actual schedule of doing productive things. Yeah, right. I did manage to almost finish another Green Gable and start (and now restart) Ms. Marigold. Pics soon. Ciao!

Posted by loyd0008 at 3:27 PM