Thursday, June 29, 2006

Yo! Socks!

I finished my first pair of socks! Go me.
First the sock and I watched some sweaty men chase a ball around a field.

Then, an entire pair of socks was born!

You might notice the little nubbin on the right one where there was a weird bumpy splice in the ball of yarn that I was too lazy to fix. I think it gives it that "homemade" charm. Also I read the directions wrong and so the toes are half the length they are supposed to be. But, they still fit.

are in this post so I won't write them all again.

The dress is progressing slowly. I think I realize now why I haven't sewn anything since high school, it's because sewing is BORING. And I feel like a hunchback after a few hours of scrunching over the machine.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

you sew crazy!

I've been involved in a somewhat fruitless search for bridesmaid dresses recently. Not that picking out clothes for other people is ever easy, but this search is compounded by various factors, such as distance, budget, and big knockers (theirs, not mine - and therein lies the problem, since I seem to be unable to judge which dresses would suit someone who doesn't look exactly like me). Also every single dress in the world seems to cost $300. When did all the dressmakers get together and decide to make all their dresses $300? Of course I'm exaggerating. Some of them cost $3000.
Anyway last night I had the crazy idea that maybe I could make the bridesmaid dresses myself! Whoa! There are only 2 bridesmaids, plus maybe J's sister who will technically be a groomsmaid but will potentially be forced into matching the bridesmaids anyway by her evil future sister-in-law. So I went trolling on Craftster to look for dress ideas. And inspired by this and this, I went out today and bought this pattern:

Now, some of the dissenters among you (OK, that would be myself) might be thinking that I haven't sewn anything more complicated than a pants hem since high school, and that there is a layer of dust on my sewing machine so thick that little animals could shelter there. To you (me) dissenters I say, hey! Things get dusty really quickly when you live in a city! And I've got to be at least as smart as I was in high school!
I'm actually not even sure if that pattern would make a reasonable bridesmaid dress, or if it would be suitable for the large knockered among us, but I bought some cheap cotton prints to make a mock-up (that will conveniently serve as a summer dress for myself). Some of you skeptics out there (again, that's probably me) might be thinking that this whole thing is a giant ruse to make myself a cute dress. Well, you might not be wrong.
Anyhoo I bought these guys at Discount Fabrics:

The blue one is going to be the main color (I'm making the one pictured in the middle on the pattern, with the super short sleeves). I really liked that fan print but I'm a little worried that it's going to be too Asiany looking, given that the dress is sort of kimono-esque, for a non-Asiany person like myself. But I liked that fabric way better than any of the other ones. Then I bought 2 different ones for the contrast. I think I will end up using the yellow one on the left. But I was so drawn to those crazy giant flowers on the off-white one that I found myself bringing both up to the counter. Or I could even use both. Anyone have any opinions? Please save me from making my own decisions.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

O Fraptious Week

It is amazing what not working can do for your productivity. I went to Seattle to see my parents for about 10 days, and I got so much knitting done! It's shocking, since when I'm here and going to lab, I rarely get any science done. So now I kind of wonder what I actually do with all my time...
Anyway here's the finished Ella, looking, if I do say so myself, quite nice. And I think I can say that, since its fabulousness is entirely due to the pattern, and not my knitting skills. I loved this pattern, it is the perfect combination of easy and interesting. And you have to love any pattern that tells you upfront not to worry too much when you make mistakes. Usually I feel like the knitting gods are looking over my shoulder and frowning when I decide to just k2tog instead of going back to find where I made the extra stitch. But Wendy (the fabulous author of the fabulous pattern) clearly understands knitters like me.
This was knit with 4 skeins of Lorna's Laces Sport in Black Purl using size 8 needles.

This shawl is so darn wide it was hard to take a picture of the whole thing. I tried standing on my bed but even that didn't work. Here's most of it:

But wait! That's not all! I also finished (drumroll....) one sock!!! My very first sock! I know it's been said before, so I will just say that I now understand why everyone keeps blathering about being addicted to sock knitting. When I was still a sock virgin, this made no sense to me. I thought, why would you want to spend all that time and money knitting things that you can buy at Costco in a pack of 10 for $10, and that's going to get all stinky once it goes on your foot anyway? But now I see the light. For one, it was so much easier and faster than I thought it was going to be. This one took about 3 days. (We'll see how long the 2nd one takes, now that I'm back in SF not doing science.)
This pattern and the yarn were both christmas presents from my future mother-in-law, of alpaca shearing fame. The pattern is called YO cable socks (which my dad saw and said Yo! Cable socks!) by Knitting Kitten Patterns, the yarn is a lovely red sportweight alpaca by The Alpaca Yarn Company.
Here's the front:

And here's the side:

AND, when I got back from Seattle, I found this waiting for me:

A cheapo pack of Rowanspun DK in Punch that I ordered from Ebay. It's such a snazzy color. I was telling this to Marie, I know I had a project in mind when I ordered this yarn, but I cannot now for the life of me remember what it was. Marie suggested the hourglass sweater, which I think might be a good idea, but I know that wasn't what I was thinking of. This makes me think I should go through all my yarn now and label what projects I have in mind for all of it. Jeez. Maybe this absentmindedness explains why I don't get anything done most of the time.