Thursday, October 30, 2008

Peasantry: An FO

I finally photographed my Peasantry sweater. It's absolutely awesome, though I don't think I'll be wearing it out much. Lee loves the fit, but not the retro-ness of it all. Here it is, my Peasantry:

Pattern: Peasantry from a vintage 1970s crochet pattern booklet from my mom.
Yarn:Recycled goodwill sweater and Caron Simply Soft in black for the edging and embroidery.
Timeframe: Loooong time. It was over two years from start to finish, July of '06 to August of '08!
Mods: Larger crochet hook (K instead of I) - I just couldn't get gauge with this sweater!
Problems: The yarn was sooooooo tangled and then didn't take the black dye, so I had to get some black yarn for the edging and embroidery. I got Caron Simply Soft, as it was the right color, thickness, had about the same feel to it as the white yarn and was also machine washable, but it isn't holding up wonderfully well. It's getting very fuzzy and indistinct. The sweater is also about 1/2" too tight at the hips. It's pulling the seams there. Other than that, it's a very nice fit!
Yes, I managed to wear a black bra for the photoshoot, but ignore that. I put it on after walking home in the rain, and then realized I didn't have pictures yet. Lee was recruited, and he did a very nice job for the most part. Should have told me to stand up straight for the side view, but I love the close-up of the chest details and the main picture.

I started this before I understood correct fit and all, and I'm just really lucky it turned out exactly how I wanted it. The hips should be about 1/2" wider, but I'm not all that disappointed by it. All of the details fall exactly where I wanted them to - it's a wonderful tunic top with bell style sleeves. The embroidery falls well below the widest point in the hips, so doesn't draw attention to that, the set in sleeves are at the perfect point of my shoulders, and the bell sleeves come down just past my finger joints when they're hanging. For some reason, the right one looks shorter than the left in the pictures, but that is not actually the case. The sleeve embroidery is also just past the widest point of my hips, and the neckline is perfect. I was worried it would be slightly too high, which would cause the top button or two to want to be open or otherwise unruly, but it's just right. I think I will be using this sweater as a model for later sweaters, probably knit. If I add a bit to the hips, it would be a practically perfect fit for me, as I love tunic tops and bell sleeves. I think I will probably knit something to those dimensions, probably with a lace or cabled panel for interest, but not the embroidery you see here. Maybe colorwork, with pewter clasps instead of buttons. I think I like that idea...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I had two items in my sidebar for awhile that have recently (like a month ago) moved to UFO status. You may have noticed that if you're on Ravelry, or if you pay more attention to the sidebar than I do. That little Hedwig Amigurumi that I'd been working on for over a year now was not finished before I left for Japan, and was something I was not interested in bringing with me. Mostly, I did not want to have the yarn taking up space once I was done with it. Had I finished the wings, I probably would have brought it, but I did not want to bring a random skein of yarn I'd have no use or desire for once I got here. We thought we'd be getting a very small place, but ended up in a really large, open, nice apartment where I could have easily had such a small item hanging around. Oh well. Hedwig is officially into UFO territory, until such time as I return to the States or Lee and I have his parents send us our items in storage at their house. It could be awhile! She's so close too, just needs the wings crocheted and then the wings and feet attached. The real problem is that I do not fully remember how I did the wings before and would therefore probably be ripping back and re-doing a few times before I was happy with it. I did not want to deal with that, so I left it.

The other item that has been officially moved to UFO status is Blaze. I love that sweater, and I really, really hope to get another skein of that yarn to finish it someday. I have a more than likely source, but she's recently moved and hasn't yet unpacked that portion of her stash. I may be able to finish it to the point where it's an off the shoulder number with what I have, but since the new skein will be a different dye lot, I want to alternate the new and old skeins and therefore can't do any more with it until I get the new skein. Since I don't have it now and may or may not get it soon, I decided to rescue my cord from the sweater, put it on waste yarn, and leave it. Now that we're here, I could have brought a heck of a lot more stash. I brought a good portion of it, but definitely not all of it. Anyway, Blaze is sitting in the US, and this is a picture taken when I removed the cord.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


See, I still knit, kind of. I've had this Cascade 220 hanging around for awhile to make Fetchings. I've never used Cascade 220, and find it to be very wooly. I think I like the Plymouth Classic Merino better for that category, though if I were ever felting, the Cascade would be what I'd choose. Once I'm done, I'll have a better idea of what this yarn is like.

They're going pretty quickly, considering the fact that I've only worked on them on my walk to work and at the band concert last week. I also realized that I'll have much leftover yarn, over half a skein when I'm finished. I checked Ravelry's advanced pattern search function, and it's awesome. You can put the yardage and weight of yarn you have, and it'll spit out all the patterns you can do. Calorimetry popped up, and that is definitely what I'll do. I wear my hair up to work, and now that I have a second pair of fingerless gloves, I may as well have a second ear warmer to match them. I have a lovely rainbow colored one given to me by the lovely AngelaNoel that I wear with my brown fingerless gloves.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yay, my absentee ballot came in! Now I just need to try to get it back in time to be counted! You should vote too. This election seems to be much closer than it should be. In my opinion. Your vote may actually mean something this time around, but only if you actually vote. I'm getting it done, paying to airmail it all the way from Japan, so as far as I'm concerned, there's not really any excuse for anyone else!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Amethyst Wrap

The Sea Silk Wrap Test Knit that I was working on is now published as the Amethyst Wrap from Gardiner Yarn Works. That means I can show it off, yay!

Pattern: Amethyst Wrap
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential in Peacock Multi. Love the pooling on this one, though I wish it were more consistent.
Timeframe: August 12 - September ? I have no idea when I actually finished this one because I was considering making it longer, but then didn't.
Mods: None.
Problems: Not so much a problem, but you really should use more than 100g of yarn for this one to make it a wrap.

The pooling was rather nice from this one, but it changed randomly. It wasn't my gauge that caused all the changing, it was the yarn itself. One change was caused by a missing green segment in the dye pattern. I'm sure some of it may have been me, but I know for a fact not all of it is! I love the details, but you really can't get all of them in a single picture. Or maybe a better photographer could, but I can't. I love the cabled edge. It's very pretty. I also love the lacy-ness of the border. You can see the cabled edge with no flash, but the lace gets lost. You can see the lace with the flash, but there is no cable. Maybe with a better background and lighting, you could still get the lace while photographing the cable, but oh well. All of these pictures were taken when I was blocking it. Hey - the date the picture was taken is saved with the picture. I know when I finished it! August 24. That took less time than I thought - cool!

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Cross Stitchery

I am ever so excited; I've finished all the plain colored cross stitches on my Art of Disney Cinderella's Castle humongous cross stitch and am now at the sparkly bits, to be followed by the backstitching and finishing of the design. Which means that I am inching slowly forward. I don't think I'll be finishing it by 2009, but I do believe it will be framed and hung by 2010. We've decided that any cross stitches I happen to finish while we're in Japan will be hung in the back storage-type room, as there's already all kinds of holes from posters and things in those walls, and that way they won't clash with any decor. Also Lee is not terribly fond of either cross stitches or Disney. I assumed my crafting stuff would be relegated to the back room as well, but he does like the colorful yarns and wants them to be stored in a bookcase in the living area. Sounds good to me!

I know I've said before that I needed to move Tinkerbell because the first time I stitched her I was on crack. Well, really I was young and dumb and read the directions to say that there should be at least 2" of canvas surrounding the design when finished, and decided that Tinkerbell should be done first at 2" in from either edge. This was not the correct way to go about it. I had put the piece down for awhile, and when I picked it back up again, realized the correct way to stitch and started at the center, stitching the castle correctly and leaving Tinkerbell as she was until it was time to deal with her. She's really quite far off. Horizontally, she's not bad, but vertically, well, as you can see, it's bad. I worked on the new one until I needed to take out the old one. The old one has hair and wings, while the new one has a face and a dress. At this point, I ran out of flesh-colored thread, and I couldn't do her hair or wings as they needed to go where the old one was.

I love looking at the back of correctly done cross stitches, and as you can see from the back of this design, when I started, it was not correctly done. Look at how much smoother the new one looks! I have obviously come a long way from where I was when I started stitching this piece. Everything else looks great from the back, and now Tinkerbell does too. I think I'll be continuing on this one for quite some time, since I'm on the sparkly bits like fairy dust and fireworks, and I like sparkly things. Once I'm done with that, I love how backstitching really makes the design pop, so I'll probably keep going for awhile on that. The castle does require a lot of backstitching though, so I may lose my steam and put it down partway through that. Like I said, it probably won't get done in 2008, though it could, and I'll most likely get it done sometime in 2009. Who knows, if I'm still wanting to cross stitch more than knit, it may actually get finished sooner.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Before I left for Japan, I bought a zipper for my mother-in-law's cardigan, and some gold thread to finish up four unfinished cross stitched ornaments. I tend to lose the hanging thread while stitching the ornaments. While I should have had them in my WIPs, I did not, so I do not get to cross those off. I figured that since everything but the hanging thread was done, I was not going to inflate my number by four. I needed the thread for the two Santa ornaments, the Ark, and the gingerbread boy, shown on my mini Christmas tree:

The fifth ornament on the tree is the reindeer I showed off before. He's finally done as well. I'm really on a cross stitching bent right now, and am trying ever so hard to not bring out another ornament or other small cross stitch. Most of the ones I have in progress are not in small and portable bits, and the two that could technically be portable have too much yarn or too many small pieces to actually be carried about in my purse. I could just get a bigger purse, but that would not be good. Instead, I'm cementing my status as the odd foreigner by working on a pair of Fetchings, to be followed by socks, as I walk to work. They fit in my purse, can be done while walking, and help me to reduce my stash. Also I need more work socks because the one other pair of socks made from the same yarn as the felted Baudelaires was accidentally tossed in the washer/dryer last Friday. Lee's been doing the laundry and general tidying up, so I must have worn them on a day when he tossed my clothes into the laundry, since I don't put them in there. Oh well, I guess I just need to make more socks!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I made it to Japan. I also got an apartment, started my job, and did a whole bunch of other things. Lee and I started a blog just about our Japan experiences. I backdated a bunch of posts, and posted them all when we finally had internet. We're actually borrowing the neighbor's unsecured wireless at the moment, until we get our own. The amount of paperwork and bureaucracy here is astounding. You have to do X to get Y to get B which you need to do X. We can start the process to get our own internet on Tuesday, when we get our Alien Registration Cards. Then we can get library cards, and bank accounts, and internet, and cell phones...

I was planning to knit on my Mystery Stoles on the plane. I really was. I wanted to be all caught up when I got here. I got on the plane and decided I really wanted to cross stitch. So I worked on my Art of Disney Cinderella's Castle until I needed to cut the thread and realized that they don't allow such tools on the plane and I don't have a covert pendant style cutter so was without cutting ability. I switched to the little ornament cross stitch that was in my purse because I needed to buy extra gold hanging thread. I managed to lose it from about six of the ornaments I've finished cross stitching, so needed more to fully finish them. Without a cutting tool, I managed to get a bunch of the ornament done, and would have finished more if my OCD ways allowed me to just use another thread instead of waiting until I cut the prior one to use that first. The back shows you just how much of a mess it became before I put it down and...well, I don't remember what I did next. I don't think it was knitting...Sudoku? I probably sat back and just tried to sleep. It was a very long flight.

I haven't done much more crafting recently. I finished the cross stitching and inner backstitching, glued the fabric on, but I haven't yet finished the outline backstitching. I've just been so tired when I get home that all I want to do is eat dinner and force myself to stay awake until I should be going to bed so as to try to beat the jet lag. So far, it's not quite working.