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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It's curtains, I tell ya!

Well hello there!


Much like my Fisher Price friend here, I've been spending more time at the sewing machine than with my knitting needles lately. It's almost too hot to knit nowadays. This weather is really only suitable for loafing, puttering and frittering. And good news! It's only supposed to get more miserable as the week goes on.

How hot is it? Well, perhaps this was the dumbest thing I did this week. I was on an assignment Saturday and sweat so badly that I got into my car, hid underneath a beach blanket and changed shirts. Then I hung my repugnant shirt on the car's air conditioning until it dried. Thing is, I was on the upper West Side. This kinda behavior could have gotten me arrested.

Anyway! I spent the week sewing festive new curtains. I picked up this loud fabric while I was at home -- it's for the bedroom and really makes the sage walls pop. They also match my grandmother's afghan.


I also bravely returned to Fabric Save-A-Thon and picked up more gingham. You can't beat the price -- just $2.99 a yard. This is for my little craft area, which is coming along slowly but surely.


I'm wondering now if curtains make for a boring post. But they're like the eyeshadow of a room!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just one thing

Ever been so tickled by one little detail of a pattern that you just had to make it? Maybe despite your better judgment? So it was with me and this crochet tunic.

I present to you this adorable pocket. This was why I had to make it. Such a cute pocket!



The pattern calls for the (back from the dead) Cotton Ease, but I was home with my folks and couldn't find it or any other decent cotton. So I picked up a whole heckuva lot of Sugar n Cream (and yes, that was the exact yardage.) Something possessed me to buy it in a shade of retina-searing green. Why warning flags weren't raised at this point, I'm not sure.

Mercifully, the pattern is nearly all triple crochet, meaning super fast and great "Little House on the Prairie" knitting. (Mom and I saw an excellent one in which Willie falls for a humble farm girl and purposefully fails a college entrance exam so that he can stay in Walnut Grove and marry the lass. You can only imagine how his mom took it!)

Ahem. So I finished the tunic in record time and, well, it shows. (Mom would like you to forgive us the leafless tree in the background. They fear it's dying and have called the resident tree doctor.)


Downright garrish, I know. But maybe I can wear it as a beach cover-up? I won't even raise an eyebrow at my beloved Coney Island!

Speaking of outrageousness, this weekend was our first annual Spiders Summer Gala. I was honestly nostalgic for it before it was even over. Virginia was a fabulous hostess, which came as no surprise since she'd taken home first place at her company's bake-off for strawberry rhubarb pie, for heaven's sake. I can't even convey how great the vegetarian buffet was, outdone only by the game of "Spiders Jeopardy."


A pic of Team Awesome Kick-Ass -- including me, Sandra, Jess, Kathy, and Steph -- swiped with permission from Tres Chic Veronique

It was a beautiful night on a lovely rooftop, made even more sparkling by our tiaras. I felt like true knitterati!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A doomed peacock resurrected!

Perhaps I'm a head case. But when I read about the fate of a peacock on Staten Island, all I could think is, "Wouldn't it be great to crochet a peacock's resplendent plumage?" So, yeah, I did.


Ain't he grand? Really, crocheting this was all about the tail feathers. So take a gander:



So, in the latest in my series of my newsworthy knits, here is the doomed Staten Island Peacock. (Totally improvised and perhaps not well thought out. But I'm at my parents' house for vacation, so I'm not feeling too cerebral.)

Materials:
Body: Classic Elite Provence in bright blue, portion of skein
Plumage: Brooks Farm Four Play in Amy colorway
Feet and mouth: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in gray, small amount
Or whatever peacock-colored yarns you have in your stash
US G/6 crochet hook
Yarn needle
Small amount stuffing
2 black buttons

Gauge:
Who cares? It’s a stuffed animal.

Abbreviation:
sc = single crochet
2sc = two singles crochets
sc2tog = single crochet two together, decreasing a stitch.

Body:
Ch 15, slip stitch to form a ring
Rnd 1: Sc around.
Rnd 2: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next 6 stitches. (17 stitches)
Rnd 3: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next 8 stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next 7 stitches. (19 stitches)
Rnd 4: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next 9 stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next 9 stitches. (21 stitches)
Rnd 5: sc in each stitch (21 stitches)
Rnd 6: sc2tog, sc in next 9 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 8 stitches. (19 stitches)
Rnd 7: sc2tog, sc in next 8 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches. (17 stitches)
Rnd 8: sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches. (15 stitches)
Rnd 9: sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches. (13 stitches)
Rnd 10: sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches. (11 stitches)
Rnd 11: sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches, sc2tog, sc in next 3 stitches. (9 stitches)
Rnd 12-18: sc in each stitch. (9 stitches)
Rnd 19: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next four stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next three stitches. (11 stitches)
Rnd 20: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next five stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next four stitches. (13 stitches)
Rnd 21: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next six stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next five stitches. (15 stitches)
Rnd 22: Two sc in first stitch, sc in next seven stitches, two sc in next stitch, sc in next six stitches (17 stitches)
Rnd 23: Sc in each stitch around (17 stitches)
Rnd 24: Sc2tog, sc in next seven stitches, sc2tog, sc in next six stitches. (15 stitches)
Rnd 25: Sc2tog, sc in next two stitches, sc2tog, sc in next two stitches, sc2tog, sc in next two stitches. (9 stitches)
Rnd 26: Sc2tog, sc in next stitch, sc2tog, sc in next three stitches. ( 7 stitches)
Rnd 27: Sc2tog, sc2tog, sc in next stitch, sc2tog. (4 stitches)
Pull yarn through remaining stitches. Weave in end.

Plumage:
Ch 22.
Begin ripple pattern.
Rnd 1: Dc in fourth chain from hook, dc in three ch, 3dc in next chain, dc in next four chains, skip 2 chains, dc in next four chains, 3 dc in next chain, dc in next four chains.
Rnd 2: Ch4, turn. Dc in next four sc, 3dc in next sc, dc in next four sc, skip 2 sc, dc in next four sc, 3 dc in next sc, dc in next five sc.
Continue in this manner, increasing one stitch at each end of pattern, for five more rows.

Finishing:
Stuff peacock’s body. With embroidery needle and yarn, sew the trimmer end of plumage to the bottom of the peacock.

Feathers atop head:
Connect yarn to top of head.
Ch5. Four sc in last ch. Weave in ends.

Beak:
Ch2, turn.
2 sc in each st, turn.
2sc in first st, sc in next two st, 2sc in last stitch.
With embroidery needle and yarn, sew wide part of beak to face.
Sew on eyes.

Feet, make two:
Ch 7, turn.
Sc in six ch, four sc in last ch.

Oh, and in other crochet stuffie news, my mom and I worked up a little stuffed octopus. We're calling him Ocho! And he is mighty disagreeable.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Surprise!

This went so fast that I didn't even have a chance to tell you about it.


It's a slightly lengthened Cloud bolero, a pattern that I had never seen before Ravelry. I thought this would be the perfect little number to throw on at the office, seeing as the temperature is positively arctic thanks to insane air-conditioning. It's like goosebumps cold, people. We're all dressed like it's December. Maybe I need to call up Al Gore and ask him to intervene?

Anywho. I used four balls of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, which I picked up with a generous gift certificate to Knot Another Hat from Jon's mom. (Thanks again!) This knit up FAST. The pattern is easy to memorize and superb "Law and Order" knitting. (There's a 16-hour marathon tomorrow, for those of you not working. That's a lot of Lennie!) The only thing that I struggled with was the picot bind-off -- I'd never done it before, and I'm not sure that I even did it right. But it looks about right. I decided to lengthen it mainly because I had enough yarn, and I always worry that cropped cardigans make me look truncated.

It's a little tough not to look like a simpleton when using the timer on your camera. (That's one of my grandmother's cameos. Cute, no?)


The back of the bolero really shows off the feather and fan pattern. (Sorry for the partially obstructed view -- again, I'm not that adept at using the automatic timer on the camera).


So I've been feeling a little bad about criticizing Fabric Save-a-thon in my last post. Please don't think I'm a snob or nasty to salespeople -- I worked at Joann Fabrics for a few months and endured awful, awful customers. I just don't want to be insulted when I'm making a purchase!

Oh, and if anyone is interested in deconstructing the new Transformer movie, well, here you go.