Fashion in the Dollhouse

I've kind of fallen off of the knitting bandwagon lately. I still love it. I'm still passionate about taking the collection of fibers that have been made into beautiful yarn and turning that yarn into something I can wear. But over the past week or so I've been kind of coasting. I'll pick up a project, knit a few rows, and then put it down. I'm not sure why this has happened, but I'm hoping to fix it soon. I'm almost done with the border of the Great Gatsby Dress, so things should get more interesting after I finish that piece. Of course, that means acquiring the proper needles for this project. Hopefully my friendly neighborly AC Moore has the giant circulars in stock. Oh and those "hockey gloves" I'm knitting? Yeah, haven't worked on them since. *sigh* Poor boyfriend's going to be freezing for quite some time.

In happier news, I'm blogging live from my brand new computer! Last week my best friend came to visit and went up to Best Buy with me. I now have a lovely HP Compaq Presario. It's black and has a wider screen than what I'm used to. And it's absolutely amazing. I'm pretty insane about it, but it's such a relief to have a computer that works! My good friend Frank gave me the opportunity to test out the audio capabilities yesterday by recording an episode of his podcast Echo Alert (if you haven't checked it out, you should. It's about the new hit tv show Dollhouse and is tons of fun to listen to). It was so cool to record and have it actually sound good. I've already gotten a piece of a chip (flax seed tortilla) stuck under the zero on the key pad . . .

But back to knitting. . . .

My subscription to Vogue Knitting finally started. Earlier this week I got my first magazine. It's all about luxury yarns and long, light summer knitting. I haven't read all of the articles yet, but I really like it. The main reason I wanted the magazine is because of the last pattern, #31 It's a pair of socks by Mari Muinonen that look very similar to the socks worn by Eliza in the Dollhouse opening credits. I've never knitted socks before, so these probably should not be my first pair, but I want them soooo bad! I pretty much want the whole outfit, but I'll settle for the socks. For now.

I've been thinking a lot about fashion lately. Not in the "oh, I want to be a supermodel and wear designer clothes" way, but in a more practical sense. As you can see in the previous post, I recently acquired a new pair of glasses. I've worn contacts for years, but as I've moved out of my parents' house and taken on a lot of my own finances, contacts are no longer financially feasible. I mean, I'm taking over my car insurance soon, I can't really afford $30 a month for contacts on top of rent and food. So anyway, it's becoming more difficult to figure out what to wear because things look a little different with glasses. Plus, even though I'm a college graduate, people at work still think I look sixteen. So now I've started going through my clothes pulling out stuff. Half my clothes I've had as long as middle school, so it's time to grow up. Items like the green jean skirt I bought when I was fourteen just don't fit with the image of a graduate student.

Once again, what's all this have to do with knitting? Well a lot of fashion has embraced knitting, and in the same vein, a lot of knitting is fashionable. It's no longer granny sweaters and mittens (though oversized mittens have become quite popular). So by playing with my knitting, I'm able to find more of what looks good. Knitting magazines have become a great way to see what is out there and I've been getting a lot of good ideas.

Now if I could just find the desire to actually go shopping.


First Sweater Woes

This time it is officially complete. I finally bought buttons at my local A.C. Moore and put the vest together. I love it, despite the fact that it is too big. I was worried that it was going to be too small because I made the smallest size and tend to knit rather tightly. I guess I should give in a buy a measuring tape and figure out how to rewrite patterns for my measurements. Because I'm self-taught, I've been learning these things as I go, so I already have some idea of what I need to do. I still love it. I mean, after all, it is my first sweater, right?

In other knitting, I finally picked up the hockey gloves again. My boyfriend keeps whining about how his hands are cold when he plays, so I finally gave in. The only thing in the winter hand wear that I've ever made are the Bella mittens, so it's yet another completely new venture for me. They are made on straight needles, which is another foreign concept to me, but things are starting to take shape. I've finished the thumb on the right glove, and it's actually starting to look like a glove, so we'll see. I'm hoping to have them done by the end of the month.

The Great Gatsby Dress hasn't really made any progress in the past week, but I'm still liking it. However, the daydreaming has begun about other patterns. I bought the pattern for the Alene Camisole by Joan McGowan over at White Lies Designs back in March. I never got around to purchasing the yarn, but now I really want to make it. I think the move to the coast has had something to do with the desire to make this. It would be really cute over another camisole. Just have to find the right yarn to tolerate the humidity. Any suggestions?


Hazy Shade of Raspberry Summer

I finished it! Well, mostly. I've finished all of the pieces of the Wicked Vest except for the seaming and buttons. I'm off of work tomorrow, so the plan is to put all together then.

In the meantime, I have begun the Great Gatsby Dress from this summer's Interweave. It's really pretty, and I was prepared for it to take forever, but . . . the lace section is kicking me in the butt. It's much more complicated than anything I've ever knit before, but I'm on the fifth repeat and I think I'm finally starting to get it, so that's good. I have several other projects that I should be working on, but I'm enjoying this one, so we'll see how long I can stick it out.

While I was visiting my family, my mom and I went to visit my aunt. We went to one of the local yarn stores in Hickory, NC, A Strand of Pearls. I don't know much about yarn shops, but I really enjoyed this one. All of the yarn was organized on the walls with a table in the middle of the main section at which several people were knitting. In one section was a reading corner, with knitting books along one wall. The other wall featured a large tree made out of balls of yarn. The owner was very friendly, as was her 10 week old korgie.

They were having a sale while I was there: a basket of Loop D Loop by Teva Durham Moss, buy one get one free! So of course, I bought some. Two beautiful skeins of bright raspberry pink. Now what am I going to make with this yarn? I'm not sure. This is the first time I've bought stash with no intended purpose. Common for knitters, but very uncommon for me. I may just have reached a new level of obsession . . .

. . . but it's so pretty!


Finals, Moves, and Other Distractions

Between three senior projects, finals, graduating, moving, and not having access to my pictures, I have managed to go quite some time without posting anything on here. However, that does not mean I have stopped knitting. In the past two months I have completed my undergraduate degree and moved to a southern coastal town to attend graduate school in the fall. Since the move it seems that I can't do enough knitting. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I know a total of four people (my boyfriend and his family). I'm not an overly social individual and would rather just hang out in my apartment (roommate-free for the majority of the summer) chattering away on twitter and watching tv shows, which I have been acquiring more of again.

Unfortunately my new home, which is within walking distance of the campus, Best Buy, Starbucks, and TJ Maxx, is still without a local yarn shop. Fortunately I live behind an AC Moore, so am not quite as devoid of yarn as I have been, which is causing my yarn stash to grow once again. I'm currently in love with Caron's Simply Soft which I used to make my purple hat back in January. I have a gorgeous dark green that I am using for the Wicked Vest. I love how soft it feels and the way patterns really show up in its texture, making it great for these projects with lace elements. And even though I'm not very enviromentally concious beyond those things which make good economic sense, I do appreciate the fact that each skein contains .6 recycled plastic bottles.

Speaking of vests, the super secret project is complete! For my mother's birthday in April I knitted the Mistake Rib Vest from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. What started out as a fun simple project quickly became something that I dreaded pulling out, taking the place of my friend Jessica's blanket from Christmas break. Mostly the problem I had was that there was barely any variation in the pattern coupled with the fact that it shortly grew to be too big to carry around with me. It was knit in one piece, which was nice though I still had to seem the sides. Overall I am pleased with the result though I'm not looking to make the pattern again. My mom was thrilled with the finished piece, which made all of the frustration worth it.

In stark contrast to my mom's vest, I am thoroughly enjoying the Wicked Vest that I mentioned above. the measurements and pattern changes are far enough apart that I can watch tv while working on it, but still are enough to keep me interested. I started the project two weeks ago, but took a week off in the middle to work on another project that I've since frogged out of frustration. I finished the back of the vest today and am anxiously waiting to start one of the front panels. It's the first big project that I've made for myself, and I'm absolutely loving it.

I've decided to start making more projects for myself because I want to be able to show off my knitwear. This is not to say that I won't keep knitting other projects for friends and family, because I really do enjoy sending projects to people and hearing their reactions. However, I'm really liking the fact that I can expand my own wardrobe in a way that I can completely control. After I finish Wicked I am planning on starting the Great Gatsby Dress from this summer's Interweave Knits. My mom bought the yarn for me-- more Caron Simply Soft in a beautiful grey/blue. My new rule is to only make things that I could wear for the teaching assistant job that I will be starting in August. I have a lot of great ideas and can't wait to cast on more. Even more than before, knitting has become an addiction that I can't bear to shake.

There is so much more to discuss, but this is going to be it for tonight. I'm visiting my family for the week and when I leave I'm planning to finally take my mother up on her offer of one of her sewing machines. I want to start off with a needle case to make traveling a bit less chaotic and am planning on making a lining for the Luminarie Skirt (in the new IK) once I get around to knitting it. Hopefully I'll be updating on a more regular basis (weekly?), but I make no promises I can't keep. We shall see.