Practicality and Wool

So I decided to take part in this year’s Historical Monthly Challenge, hosted by the ever lovely Dreamstress and her band of merry (wo)men.  So far I have hit a few snags, the first being not remembering to check it until finals were scarily approaching.  As such, I decided to take part in the May challenge of Practicality.  I have cut and mostly sewn a lovely chemise, because what else is one of the most practical of garments?

Here is snag number two: Our A/C is out.  Not too horrible, but in the 80+ degree Fahrenheit weather plus ridiculous humidity, I just cannot bring myself to turn on my iron, and an unpressed garment is something I am not willing to try and finagle my way out of.  I had the repairmen over today, and while they fixed (replaced) my ancient thermostat, a piece is broken and I have to wait for the property manager to OK it before they can repair it.  *sarcasm* Yay!

Knitting, however, is something I will always do and although I mostly use wool, it really hasn’t been too bad (lack of air conditioning not withstanding).  As a result, and the time I have between making my apartment look semi-decent for the ac guys and the 5 week condensed online course I am taking, I am almost done with my Snowflake sweater.

I’m about to pass out with the heat coming off of the computer, so cross your fingers for me to get the A/C fixed this week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

I Am a Moron

I’m not new at this, I swear!  So why did I just spend a frustrating half hour of my life searching for an error in a pattern that doesn’t exist?

I’m working on the beautiful and gorgeous Snowflake by TinCanKnits.  I’ve loved this pattern for years, and I’m finally working on it.

I’m making it in a xs, and I just spent an ungodly amount of time searching for an error that only existed in my head.  I saw that after the yoke I needed 260 stitches.  I had that.  Then after putting the sleeves on placeholders, I needed 170.  Ok, but that wasn’t working!!  Then I realized my problem.  I had 53 each for the arms, and the 77 for the front and back and I couldn’t figure out where the 16 for the CO on the underarms came from!!

Then I realized my mistake.  I’ve been knitting for over 15 years, and I was reading CO as Cast off, not Cast on…..  I still can’t believe I did that.  It’s worthy of bashing my head against the wall.

Just to prove that I’m not as dumb as I seem, I got my final grades back for this round of classes.  Two B’s and two A’s.  My final test grades were, 100, 92, 84, and 80.  The 100 was in Art History, and the 92 was in pre-calculus.  I got an A in pre-cal, and yet I can’t figure out how 77×2 + 16 = 170.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go sulk now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Finals and Papers

I have two history papers due on Tuesday, one for art history and one for world history, and after that, FINALS!!  Well, the first week of May…

So instead of sewing, I am hard at work writing on the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and a funerary stela that has a spindle on it!

I give you instead, beautiful fashion plates.  Enjoy!

And I recommend checking out the fashion plate slideshow at the Charleston Museum website.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Looking Through the Past

I’ve been working hard on my corset muslin, almost done with it, in between school and my heavy duty spring cleaning.  I also purchased the delightful Victorian Undergarments Class from Historical Sewing.  I don’t yet have a good set of undergarments to shape out a dress, but as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself and looking at all of the delightful fashion plates from the late Victorian era.  I do love a good hoopskirt, but my favorite era is the lovely bustles of the 1870’s-80’s.

I did a google image search for fashion plates, and found these two, one from ’75 and one from ’76.

This one has five beautiful dresses, but my favorites easily being the first, second and fourth.  I love a good plaid, and the first dress just screams my name in the way that the fifth just fails to do, and the fir on the blue fourth dress.  Exquisite.  And I love a deep purple.  Jewel tones have always been my favorite colors.   They are dark, without being dark, and just such vibrancy!  I could go on all day, but I think I’ll move on to the next picture.

Guess which one is my favorite?

You’re probably wrong.  See that sliver of purple?  The hint of a lovely purple and plaid/checkered print.  It intrigues me.  The blue is nice, and the white and pink is gorgeous, if way too girly for me, but the hint of the purple dress just sends me running to the fabric store.  (Not literally, I’m way too broke for that!)  Maybe someday, but for now, I have a set of undergarments to finish!

Side note:  In my traveling, between classes time I have been working on a Totoro variation of Paper Dolls by the lovely Katie Davies.  I’m basing my design off of the lovely project by Ghanima with Totoro and the soot sprites from Spirited Away.  Mine is going to be a cardigan and I’m only on the first few inches, but here is a pic of the WIP:

DSC_0071 DSC_0072

The red is my waste yarn for the i-cord bind off.

DSC_0073 DSC_0074


As you can see, I ripped out the red and did a i-cord bind off.  The ends shown are where I’m going to steek this for a cardigan.  I’m not sure yet if I’m going to be putting in a zipper or a buttonband, but I’ll figure that out when I’m done.


As you can see, I don’t have much of the black.  I’m going to work up to the underarms and then figure out what to do.  I do however, like that the sprites are understated against the dark grey.  This was intentional, and I’m not sure if I’m going to give Totoro the same treatment or not.  I kinda like the surprise of detail, but who knows?   Any opinions?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Corset Pattern and Cleaning

I’m almost done with my crafting room, and I have the corset pattern printed out.


I’m super excited about it, but I no longer have a copy of Photoshop, so I was forced to use GIMP instead.  It’s a fine program, but I’ve used Photoshop extensively for years, so working the new program was fairly awkward to figure out.  Because of that, I was forced to be “rough” in my measurements.  I figure I can fix any great differences in my mock-ups.  I don’t know how well it can be seen, but the seam allowances are only 1/4″, so I do plan to add some more allowance.


I took a better picture to show this.


Now, it is getting super late, so I’m off to bed.  Night!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Spring Cleaning and Allergy Season!

As allergy season comes along with all the subtlety of a charging bull, I am cleaning and organizing my “crafting” room.  As I am a multi-crafter, flitting about wherever the fancy takes me, I have a lot of stuff to organize.  I have a couple binders of knitting patterns, a bin of sewing patterns, some crocheting patterns, more embroidery patterns than I will ever finish in my lifetime, plus random bits of drawing materials.  I just finished going through all of my sewing patterns and digitally organizing them for easy access.  I need to get a better storage area, but for now they are stuck in a bin.  Tomorrow I plan on going through my knit patterns and organizing them as well.

I also swung by my yarn store today and picked up 15 skeins of Quince & Co. I got two skeins with white mohair, and six dark blue finch, six grey finch, and one dark green finch.  This may be the last time for a while I can purchase yarn, so I’m stocking up.  Cause that makes sense….

I’ve also decided that I’m taking part in the Foundations Revealed competition.  I’m trying for Theme 1: Black and White.  And because I am crazy, I’m going to try and draft a period pattern from a patent.  This one.  Luckily a lot of the instructions are on the FR website, courtesy of a Miss Sandra Stuart.  I’ve dabbled in corsetry before, but never gotten past the fitting of the muslin.  I honestly think it is because I tried too simple of a pattern…..  My first tries in crafting tend to be the equivalent of jumping out of an airplane, I like to challenge myself.  Or else I get bored.  My first sweater had cabling and lace detail, on size US 4 needles, and my first lace shawl was the most complex thing I could find on Ravelry.  Once I know I can do something crazy and insane, I tend to dial it back for future projects, because I am confident in everything I do.

So as soon as Spring cleaning is done, I shall get started on a new project.  Let’s see how that goes, huh?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Dear Vogue Knitting

Two posts in one week, wow.  This may be a first, but honestly, I’m too lazy to actually check!  😉

I am currently going through all of my patterns and sorting them out digitally, so I can easily find what I have and what I want or need (both on Evernote, and Ravelry, which is great for sorting out patterns).  And as I was going through my knitting magazines  (so I know what I like in them and what I don’t)  I realized something, and so I am making a note to Vogue on my discovery.

Dear Vogue Knitting:

While your patterns may not be as practical as Interweave or as easy for beginners as KnitScene, I do love the fashionably of your patterns.  They speak to the fashionista in me, and while there are some that I would never ever wear, there are those that make me want to run to my LYS and spend ungodly amounts of money on new yarn.  Also, currently, yours is the only magazine subscription I currently hold.

I have an issue though that needs to be mentioned.  Your pictures, while pretty, are less than useless.  There is a pattern I wanted to make in the Fall 2013 issue that is nothing like the picture it shows.

Picture from Vogue Knitting Fall 2013 as found on Ravelry’s project page

This top is absolutely gorgeous.  I want it for myself (maybe a bit longer, I would hate having my tummy stick out like that) but the picture is misleading.  This is actually a top AND a cowl.  Whaaaaaat?!  This would be fine if there were any other pictures to tell me this!

The pictures are wonderfully and artistically done, but they are not enough.  This is also not the only pattern like this, and I think that it explains why there are so little projects done for most of Vogue Knitting’s patterns on Ravelry.  Nobody knows what the actual product looks like because the pictures are “artsy” and not “useful”.

I’m not asking Vogue Knitting to change their identity, because we do need a more “fashionable” knitting magazine.  Of all the other knitting magazines I can think of, Vogue is the only one to stay on or ahead of the fashion curve because most try to include projects for all skill types.  What I do want is an inclusion of more detailed pictures, maybe in the back with the instructions, so I don’t have to google all over creation to find that one person who knit that piece.  There is a beautiful sweater in the magazine with a contrast panel in the front and there is not one picture of what it looks like from the back.  Apparently there is also a contrast panel in the back.  I found this out from my Ravelry organizing.  Who knew?

As I said earlier, I’m lazy.  I want to look at some pictures and knit.  I don’t want to have to dig to find out what a pattern looks like before I get the yarn, I want to know what I’m diving into.  Please add more detail pictures!


Leave a comment

Filed under Knitting

A Note on Swatching

We’ve all heard it. “Swatches are essential.” Well, are they?

Long answer short: yes.

But we’re stuck, because swatches are lying little b****es. They’ve stabbed us in the back so many times that we’ve forgotten how to trust. That too long sweater? For once I actually followed the pattern, but that sneaky b*****d lied and told me that I was doing things right on schedule. 

I know why they do it (sometimes), they stretch more with more weight or they shrink (that one I don’t get). 

Which is why I always swatch, they just usually come out looking very “project-shaped”. I am one of those knitters that don’t mind reknitting a few times (more than three, and I’ll be asking “what project?”). The reason I do this is because when the swatch is a part of the project, it lies less.  Yes, sometimes the yarn changes when washed or colors bleed, but I have a simple work-around: small swatches for color-work to test bleeding or separate washes for first time items (or until I’m satisfied that all of the dye is safely in place).  As for changes in washed items, I haven’t really had a problem. Sometimes I make a hat or something where gauge doesn’t really matter if I’m worried, but it’s still almost always a usable project.  I’m going to be honest: I don’t dislike swatches because they lie or because they’re sneaky, it’s really because that yarn is pretty much gone.  Sure, you could rip it out and combine it with other similar yarn or swatches, but I don’t.  I even keep the yarn used to tie together skeins.  I don’t cut it (if I can), I put it into a baggie to use as stitch markers and scrap yarn.  None of my yarn is “wasted”.

So what prompted my rant on swatches?  I actually swatched.  Multiple times.  Why?


I’m designing a sweater.

Oh, and once I was done with the swatches, I turned a few into dog sweaters, so still no waste.  🙂


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

You Might Want To Sit Down For This

Are you sitting? Good.

I started a new project, one to keep me sane between the Christmas knitting/sewing. It is the Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. Super cute.  So I was just getting into the little hexipuffs when I reached a break in the yarn. Now this is the Cattywampus that I bought a few months ago, and I was very confused. So I looked at the ball and found the end of the yarn.  So dreading what I thought may have happened, I wound the end into a small ball, and when I got to the end, I only had a few yards in the ball.

Now some of you might know what happened, but I’ll continue my story.

So I looked at the main ball, examining every inch of it until I found a neat little hole in the side.  I immediately started rolling out more little balls in denial, but then it happened. A little chunk fell out. Now, I had pizza for dinner, so I tried my hardest to pretend that it was a piece of crust, but it wasn’t. There was a nice round moth hole in my yarn.

Now I’m nuking all my yarn in the microwave, freezing it in the freezer for a few days, and then reorganizing my stash.

This is a nightmare.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


I just broke in and got a pinterest account.  I kind of hate myself for it, but most of the beautiful pictures that I’m looking at are linking back there, and I might as well.  I still don’t have a Twitter, so I haven’t totally given in yet.  Honestly, I hate most of this “social networking” stuff nowadays.  I have a blog to collect my thoughts and keep track of my crafts and other such progress.  Plus, I have a hard time finding blogs that really keep track of progress and show details, and I want to have a resource out there for others like me who want detail shots.  I do have a Facebook, but I can’t even remember the last time I was on it.  I’m only mid-twenties, but I remember before this networking, and I don’t really like what it’s doing to people.  But things like certain blogs and some other things are helpful.  I don’t know, maybe I’m being sort of hypocritical complaining about social networking through a social network, but that’s the way it is.

Anyway, if the Yarn Harlot hadn’t thought of it first, I might be a Craft Harlot.  I’ve started on my Christmas Crafting, This means that my 1880’s outfit has kind of gone on the wayside (but not too much).  I added a new page up top with all the places that have helped me with my historical sewing, but I think I’m going to add one with my Christmas Crafting Progress.  None of my family knows about this, so I’m hoping if anyone actually finds this they will want to be surprised instead of looking.  But then again, I don’t think anyone in my family will accidentally stumble upon this blog, as I am the only one interested in historical sewing, Doctor Who and knitting.  My mom is a crocheter and does needlework, but she is computer illiterate, so she wont find it.   

I only have two project now.  A needlepoint for my mom about Dogs, and a shawl for my bf’s aunt who I picked out of the hat.  

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized