Wednesday, July 25, 2007

80 degrees and wooly.

Hey, kids! I've finally emerged from Ravelry! (For my sweet non-knitting faithful readers who come here to keep up with me and not my projects, Ravelry is like a Friendster, for knitters.)

I haven't really posted very many of my own projects, but it's taken some great willpower to not browse endlessly. In spite of my excellent restraint (cough! ahem.), I came across Marnie's gorgeous version of Annie Modesitt'sCorset Top ), and have decided to add that to my must-knit list.

This is the kind of thing that Ravelry was built for, I suppose--I'd never seen Marnie's FO, despite having been a long-term reader of hers. But on Ravelry, I was browsing the pattern and came across Marnie's corset, and completely fell in love. I had no intention of knitting that project anytime soon. But today, I even ordered the same yarn Marnie used, Filatura di Crosa Brilla, which is on sale at Elann! Monkey see, monkey do.

In the meantime, this is all the knitting I've been doing. Eighty degrees and humid in Austin, and I've been knitting with Malabrigo: a warm cabled hat as a thank you gift for the enabler friend who's been loaning me her Buffy DVDs.


M's leaving for a fancy university teaching job up in Wisconsin, so I thought she might be able to use a nice cabled hat. I know there's a billion hat patterns out there, and a million cable patterns, but I've used this one twice and have been pretty pleased with it.


Here's a gratuitous shot of the yummy ball of Malabrigo I used, in the Hummingbird colorway:


I had been trying to eke a hat out of half a ball of Malabrigo I had lying around, but after two attempts, decided to suck it up and hit the LYS and maybe find some nice Manos. To my surprise/delight/astonishment (pick your favorite superlative), Hill Country Weavers had stocked up on some Malabrigo! Hurray! Hurrah! There weren't a whole lotta colors to pick from, but the saleswoman said that they were testing it out and would probably order some more stock. They even had laceweight!

I think my life is complete now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

If you don't hear from me in a few weeks...don't hesitate to send a search team.

I got my Ravelry invite today!

Wish me luck, I'm going in.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Goodwill goodness.

I'm so excited about my latest thrift store finds that I had to share:

Sigh. I love this blouse so much. I think I may marry it.

I washed it by hand so that I could wear it right away, since I'd just done my laundry last Friday. And I loathe handwashing. There was a teeny little spot on the front that came right out with the help of my Clorox bleach pen. Which is the best invention since...oh, maybe the lightbulb. Seriously.

And then, in spite of my ongoing efforts to declutter, I couldn't help but bring back this beauty.

It's a handmade pitcher/vase, and I couldn't resist the color and the glaze.

I'm not always this lucky, but I went in completely on the spur of the moment and just skimmed around to see what popped out at me. It's one of my favorite ways to have a weekend adventure.

PS: Has anyone seen La Vie en Rose, the Edith Piaf biopic? Just to add my two cents worth--Marion Cotillard as Piaf is astonishing. She portrays the singer from young womanhood to the last years of her decline, transforming herself seamlessly from a wild young girl to an unconventional beauty, to a prematurely old woman, shriveled by addiction and poor health. The movie itself is entertaining. Definitely worth seeing!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


It's been a long time since I've posted, and a really long time since I've blogged about anything substantial. Coming back from Cancun with the worst cold I've had in a while really took the wind out of my sails for a while--I couldn't even dredge up the energy to knit, and what's the point of a sick day or two if you can't indulge in some knitting?

I'm also admitting to myself now that I think I lost some of my blogging mojo for a while there...posting joyless little entries that don't have much of the same energy and gusto I used to load up my writing with. Looking back over earlier entries, I couldn't believe the way I used to go on, and on, and on...and on. (You get the picture!)

I imagined that maybe my blogging style was evolving to shorter entries, more to the point, and while that's true, I also think that I wasn't very juiced up about the writing. You know the state of mind, where you get this great idea for a post and think of the clever title and start composing it in your head long before you actually fire up the laptop?

Luckily, I've had all of you to draw inspiration from and keep me interested! I feel that things are about to take a turn for the better, which probably also means good things for my dissertation-to-be, since any kind of writing feeds the professional writing I have to do. Anyway, I hope to post more often, and with more joy.

Here are a few things to update you on:

Cancun! I've already shared a few pictures, but here are a couple of highlights:

These are pictures of Tulum, taken by Jennifer and her dad. These Mayan ruins are, in a word, astonishing. I'd been to the Aztec ruins of Tenochtitlan before, which are spectacular in their own way, but I was in no way prepared for the magic of Tulum. It's a walled city overlooking the ocean, so before you walk through the tiny doorway in the stone wall, you have no idea about what lies behind it. The claustrophobia of the passage only intensifies the astonishment at how the city opens up in front of you.

Iguanas sat and posed regally for us. I imagined that they were ancient Mayan princes who remained to dwell among their ruins and keep guard. They so obviously gave off an air of ownership.

The city drops off at the edge of a cliff, opening out to the Caribbean. The water is the bluest, warmest water I've ever seen. I wish I were floating out there right now.

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Another of our outings was to Isla de Mujeres, where we scooted around the island on a golf cart, had lunch, and did a little shopping. I took some pictures while trying not to bounce off the back of the golf cart (watch out for those speed bumps!).

Isla Mujeres

All in all, a truly wonderful vacation.

In crafty news, I didn't have a chance before I left to Mexico to post about the tote bag I made for Jennifer. This is the All-Day Tote from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing:

How happy am I that I finally broke down and bought a self-healing mat and a rotary cutter? That made cutting out all the pieces for the tote super easy, since everything was basically a square or a rectangle.

I'd found this Alexander Henry fabric, the Sexy Wrangler Cowboy Pinups, at my local quilting shop last year after having seen it on the blogosphere in a few places. (I think it's out-of-print now, but you can still find it on Ebay occasionally; I just checked and saw some fat quarters.) I instantly knew I wanted to make something for Jennifer out of it, since she was leaving Texas to move back to her home state of California and, well, I wanted her to have a little something to remember us by.

Ha! Well, it's almost been a year since she moved away, and I finally got around to making the tote. I decided to use the fabric for the lining, and found some pretty denim to complement it for the outside. I love the way the red stripes make it look a little tailored, and completely fail to prepare you for opening up the tote and finding this:

(That's Vanessa Minillo on the cover of Lucky in there, looking utterly content to be surrounded by all that beefcake. Ahem.)

The cutting of the pocket was utterly serendipitous. I swear I cut this piece without any kind of planning.

The surprised scream and giggling when Jennifer looked inside was totally worth it. She also loves the tote in general, and used it on the beach, and has brought it with her for her summer visit back to Texas. A success!

One thing, though--I think the tote could use some reinforcement, in the form of interfacing or a cardboard bit on the bottom, and Jansdotter doesn't mention either in her instructions. But since I wanted to make this tote very packable and washable, I decided to leave all that out.

Next time, I'll update you all on my lace tank from the Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2007 issue. I've realized that knitting complicated lace while watching Buffy leads you to only one place: Tink City. So it's coming along, but a little sloooowly.