Of Bows and Lace

My Coral Summer Tank has been finished! I am so pleased to have this done, and am a little sad that I have so few days left in summer to wear it.

I also realized half way through the day that this is a doubly crafty outfit day, as I also made my skirt! My mom made my prom skirt/top and we later made up two more of the same skirt pattern. It's amazing how all it takes is a different fabric to change a pattern. It's a very simple skirt, some pleats and a narrow waistband, so it totally lets the fabric do the talking.The prom skirt is a purplish blue silk, then there's this one and another similar one but in a white/black/pink french themed print. I'm looking into getting a couple patterns under my belt that are really versatile that I can just make a whole closet of. More on that later!

I'm thinking that I maybe should have put on some makeup before this shoot, but I have to go work at the pool in an hour, so that wasn't really an option. Oh well, maybe next time.

My favourite part of this is the bow, but I think it would also be super cute with just the waist band, or maybe a button instead.

The details!
Tie Back Shell by Connie Chang Chinchio from Spring/Summer 2009 of Knit.1
3.5 skeins of Butterfly Super 10
3.5mm needle for tie and bottom
2.75mm needle for lace portion - I had to go way down to get gauge in the lace
Mods: I made the bottom about two inches longer, and added a picot hem instead of the regular hem. I also scooped the neck more, starting the decreases after 4 inches instead of 6. Everything else was the same!
What I Wore called, she wants her pose back! This is what happens when my mom says "pose like Jessica!" We are both big readers of fashion blogs, and what Jessica wore is always a huge topic. "Did you see What I Wore?! I think maybe that shirt would have worked better with pants..."

What ever it is, I'm happy with my outfit for today! Oh, and super thanks to Mom for taking the pictures!


A done deal

So despite having made that ridiculous stitch repeat mistake one more time (for a total of three) a few days ago, the tank is almost done. The front went much more quickly than the back due to an executive decision made by my mother and I when we decided that the boat neck really wasn't flattering on the girls, so I was much better off doing a scoop. I measured it against a favourite t-shirt and found that I only needed to do four inches after having split the front and back.

I am also making the skirt part a little longer, but other than that, the knitting is almost done. Then on to crochet the neck and armholes, plus the little hole in the back created by the bow.

I'm so excited to be able to wear this before summer leaves us. I'm thinking this may have it's real world debut at Stitch 'n Bitch on Wednesday.


Knitter Beware

The 68" of ribbing is done! It did occur to me about half way through that I was essentially knitting a really long scarf, but that's beside the point. I picked up and knit a couple of inches down, but I'm going to wait for a bit to finish that up since I think I want to make it longer than the pattern calls for. Denny made an excellent suggestion of a picot hem, which I think will certainly make itself into the finished garment. In the mean time I have knit half of the bodice and have just split for the back.

I must make a public service announcement on this one for a moment. It has come to my attention that this lace pattern is out to get me. It has not once, but twice switched gears on me. See, the pattern alternates from big diamonds to little diamonds. It sounds easy, but that is merely a wolf in sheep clothing, hiding in plain sight waiting for a hapless knitter to let their guard down for a grand total of one row before throwing everything off. I have had to rib back an inch twice due to accidentally working two big diamonds in a row instead of alternating.

Look at it sitting pretty on the (newly painted!) porch. A picture of innocence. Knitter beware, it has hidden motives.


New Clouds, Hot Clouds, Done!

In the winter term at school I took a painting class as and elective.The final assignment was to paint multiple people interacting. I ended up doing an amalgamation of two photographs I had taken at my friend's Spiral Beach concert. You may remember that I blogged about the start of this project here. While I did hand in the painting when classes ended back in May (and got an A!) I didn't think it was quite finished. I found that with moving out of my apartment I suddenly have absolutely no where to store or display the paintings I did in class, so I decided to give it to Dorian, who is the bassist on the left.

I found that with moving out of my apartment I suddenly have absolutely no where to store or display the paintings I did in class, so I decided to give it to Dorian, who is the bassist on the left. I bumped into Dorian the other day and we made plans for him to come by and pick it up. This meant I had to stop stalling and finally finish it up! There where some little nitpicky things that I wasn't happy with. The background wasn't black enough, and some of the points between the figures and the background weren't very clean. Over all I am quite pleased with how it looks, and am a little sad to see it go... Luckily Dorian loves it, so I'm can rest easy knowing it's gone to a good home.

I learned a lot about myself as an artist from that class, most importantly that I can be one. That class and especially that painting, taught me that I just have to do it, that if I just set my mind to it I can create something that isn't half bad.


Coral Summer

Summer has finally arrived in Toronto, what better way to celebrate than with some summer knitting?!
I'm using Butterfly Cotton, in my new favourite colour. It's a perfect coral pink/red. I'm hoping to just motor through on this one so that I can still wear it while it's hot. What you see there is about 50" of the 68.5" waist tie that has to be knit first so that the top and bottom can be picked up and knit out. It's a good thing I really like this tank because that much twisted rib is starting to drive me a little crazy. I'm going to hunker down with some old Lime 'n Violet podcasts, sit on the front porch and enjoy the weather. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!

p.s. don't you love the colour combination of the lime, coral and tangerine? I wonder what I could make with all those colours together... Maybe some colourwork, with the gray as a background to tone it down a bit.


Cat Service Announcement

Thomas the Cat says ...

This yarn is okay for public use.

Don't worry, I checked!


Celebratory Beachyness

So the whole reason my family took a trip down to Michigan was to visit my grandparents, who live in Holland. Holland, Michigan that is. It is a town where while there may be lots of Dutch people/descendants living there, aside from the odd windmill it's nothing like the real deal. But that's not really the point. We always go once a year, usually in the summer to visit, as my grandparents have gotten to the point where long travel really isn't much of an option any more. However, this year was super special, as it will be their 60th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. They got married when they were 22, in New York and went on to have 5 children, one of which is my mom.

There are seven grandkids, of which I am the oldest. I had a lot of fun taking pictures with the little boys on my Nikon. They were quite entertained for a bit at dinner, which can sometimes be difficult when you are 7 or 8 years old!

The girls, that would me and my cousins Sara and Kate, had fun dressing up for the dinner we had in celebration. I got to bust out the dress my mom made for me in the spring. Isn't it pretty? And it fits perfectly too. That's the result of some excellent tailoring on my mom's part. I've learned from her that it's always important to try thing on lots of times along the way!

Of course, we were there for a full week, and the dinner was only part of it. There was lots of time to sit on the deck and play cards. I was fully beaten at Hearts every time we played, but it was fun! I also figured out that if I let someone else deal I could get a round in on the hat I was knitting.
Aren't those colours gorgeous. My friend Victoria is moving to England permanently so I did the one thing I can do. I knit her something. She asked for a beret and picked out this gorgeous skein of Casbah. The pattern is of my own devising, but very simple, so I think I may write it up.

Of course, we also spent lots of time on the beach! Campfires were a must... with s'mores of course.

Goofing off...
There's nothing like a sunset over the water. I'll miss it, but it's nice to know that its still there. See you next year!


Mariposa 2009

In the spirit of the last post on New York, I figured I might as well catch all the way up on what I've been doing in the month of July. Over the Canada Day weekend I went as a photographer volunteer to Mariposa, in Orillia. It was fun to be at a festival again, though it was a bit different from the festivals in England that I've gone to. The biggest difference would be that you can't camp, and I think that really changes the atmosphere. It was loads of fun though. A large quantity of my friends were performing, so I spent the time running around taking pictures of them.

Ben and Suzy's band Flashlight Radio played a bunch, here in a workshop with Luke Doucet, Patrick Brealey and the Good Lovelies. Liam played pedal steel for them as well.

Feets! Liam, Dan, Michelle and I.

Rey of the John Henrys.
Patrick Brealey.
Luke Doucet, with some of the Good Lovelies on the left.
Ben with his mom and Fred Penner, taking a break in the performers food tent. The food they had was excellent by the way. Top notch.

Speaking of food, Liam found a pea taking a rest in the centre of his burger bun, which amused us all.
Dan came up with his wife to play drums for Flashlight Radio. I love this shot because they look like such rockstars, hauling gear with the Starbucks!
Suzy and Ben played an little acoustic mini set in between two of the headliners on the mainstage.
And they also played their own set! Liam is on pedal steel, Suzy on guitar, Dan on drums and Ben on bass.
Joel Plasket played a surprise set, which pretty much made the weekend.
All in all a beautiful place to spend a weekend!


How High? Knee High!

Michigan, not being a close place, demanded some exceptionally simple knitting. I am incredibly prone to nausea while in a car, so I plan these things wisely. I haven't actually been sick in a car for years, but I think that is more to do with me knowing what I can and cannot do while in the car rather than it going away. If I look down to read for more than half a page I have to take a wee nap to make the sick feeling go away.

But enough about carsick! The drive is about 7 hours each way, so it needs to be big-ish. I deliberated for ages on what to bring, finally deciding on a pair of knee socks. I bought a skein of STR lightweight in Gingerbread Dude about a year and a half ago. I believe that it may have traveled with me to Wales when I was there, but never got used. Part of the problem was that I had seen someone else (Laura I believe) knitting hers up and it wasn't coming out the way I thought it would. Some how I imagined it with more white. Someone did point out to me that gingerbread men are more ginger than icing, but it didn't change my mind much.

When we got a skein of Quilla in the shop I snapped it up. I am knitting the cuffs, heel flap and toe in the white, and alternating two rounds of Gingerbread with one round of Quilla. I am totally digging it. I think they will look excellent with my red boots in the fall. I got as far as the heel flap in the car on the way back. Now it's next to my computer for when things get slow on the internet.

The other sock is my one finished Lakeside Stocking which I started way back in February in California out of Malabrigo Sock. I got as far as the end of the calf decreases before realizing that it was just too small, so I ripped the whole thing out and started again on a 2.5mm instead of a 2.25. One thing I changed from the pattern was to knit 12 rounds of 1x1 rib, then knit and eyelet round, then another 12 rounds of 1x1. When they are done I will go out to Mokuba and buy a length of stretchy ribbon to put weave in the eyelet row as a kind of garter to keep them from falling down. I did the same on the Gingerbread stocking as well, and you can see it a little better there than in the darker one.

I'm expecting a very cozy winter what with all these kneesocks...


Centre of the Universe....

I was going to post about my recent cottage weekend, but my camera battery is need of charging, so I thought I would show you New York instead! I went with my family at the end of June and had a fantastic time. I took so many pictures! Instead of showing you all of them, which would probably be pretty boring, here are a few highlights.

Our hotel was in Battery Park in Manhattan, so we walked everywhere. My feet, they hurt a lot. However, it was much better to be central. I wish Toronto had a waterfront that was this nice!

My cousin Renata lives in New York now so we met up with her and my Aunt Jo, who surprised us at dinner. We didn't even know that she was in town!

Chelsea has this cool park/walkway that is converted from old railway tracks. I have heard that the powers that be are thinking about doing something similar for the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto. I was skeptical at first, but if it's anything like what has been done in New York, then I think it's an excellent idea. It was very clean in design, and focused on indigenous plants in it's landscaping.

We went to the MOMA, where I saw a collection of collections, which was really cool to see. I took a class in the winter term on collecting, so it felt really relevant to see something that was exactly like what we studied.

I met some very nice boys from Spain doing Capoeria in a park.

I hung out with my Mom.

In an holy-crap-the-internet-is-a-tiny-place sort of way I bumped into Ysolda in Washington Square Park, while it was pouring rain. My brother obliged us by taking a picture, though he was well confused and made fun of me quite a lot. He clearly does not understand the power of the interwebs. Ironically, Ysolda had just come from a shopping spree at Purl Patchwork, while I was on my way to the same place. I believe that you can see the results of her trip here.

My fabric purchases were limited since I can get most of the same stuff at the Workroom here in Toronto. I did pick up two yards of Kaffe Fasset's Shot Cotton in a gorgeous indigo colour and a Japanese dress pattern. I'm hoping to sew that up in the next few weeks.