De colores.I spent most of the day Friday working on this:
My niece, who is already involved in more extracurricular activities than I ever was in high school, and who hasn't even hit kindergarten yet, will be performing in her baile folklorico recital on Monday. Sadly, I leave tomorrow and won't be able to see her, but at least I managed to finish this skirt for her to wear!
If you've ever seen a Mexican baile folklorico performance, you'll recognize the skirt that the girls wear and that are very much a part of the dance as they twirl the hem edges around with their hands...OK, this is very poorly described, but you can watch a clip here.
My sister asked if I would make the skirt since the one she ordered via Abuelita Express wouldn't get here in time (granny's on a trip to Durango and was supposed to bring one back but has been delayed). Sure! I said. I'd been wanting to sew something for the kid but didn't know her measurements, so this would be the perfect opportunity.
The pattern's Simplicity 3863. Looking at the pattern instructions, which don't run longer than a page, I smugly said, oh, this'll take about two or three hours. Ha! Oh, the hubris. Can you see why that guess was very, very off?
The ruffle. Oh yeah...Satan's invention, that ruffle was. Applying the ribbons was pretty straightforward, albeit time-consuming. Gathering the ruffle and setting it in place? Not so much fun.
But otherwise! The skirt's as "easy" as they get...no buttons, no zippers, just two ties on either side. All in all, it was worth it just so that she can twirl with the others on Monday.
My sister asked me what my must-do things were before leaving L.A. We came up with the following:
- The Knit Cafe
- Pedicure (so cheap here!)
We headed over on Melrose Avenue until we finally found the Knit Cafe. I averted my eyes from the help wanted sign on the door (it said "knitting experience required"! I have that!) and walked in with my nieces, sister, and brother-in-law. They wandered around while I handled, in a very star-struck, googly-eyed fashion, the sample knits from the book (Kat Coyle's pink dress! The pom pom awning! The cashmere shawl!).
I finally settled on two pretty skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in white and bright pink, which is actually quite fitting because when I visited Purl Soho last year I bought some LL in white and blue, which turned into some very pretty ribbed socks.
I was a little too self conscious to have my sister take a picture of me there, but I snapped one of my niece, who was only too happy to ham it up while my brother-in-law wondered where the coffee was (it's the Knit Cafe, after all! turns out the coffee maker's tucked away and i didn't see it until just before we left):
Afterwards, we went to the Grove shopping mall, which was fun but also scary in that kind of pseudo/simulated small-town aesthetic that seems to be popping up in sprawling cities where no one ever gets out of their car (Austin has the Domain). The Grove has a "town square" that looks like it came straight out of a Gilmore Girls episode. The farmer's market at the end, though, was really fantastic--almost anything you can think of to eat. I had the best glass of lemonade, which I slurped down eagerly in the 95 degree heat.
We stopped in East L.A. for the much-talked-about bionico. My friend V., a native Angeleno, told me to make sure to have one for her. When I found out what it was--apples, bananas, strawberries, melon, raisins, granola, and coconut doused in sweetened condensed milk--I was more than happy to oblige. The shop we went to (whose name my sister can't remember, even though she took me there specifically because they do bionicos best, in her opinion), also had a dizzying array of ice cream flavors:
I guess I'll have to plan another trip to L.A. so that I can try the pineapple flavor! We finally rounded out the day with the pedicures, and my sister got one too, which was a nice treat. We sat side by side as my niece bounced around us, testing the water in the foot spa with her finger and checking out the acrylic nails on the hand mannequins.
I'll be back in Austin for a day and then off to Chicago for a week to check in on my mom, who had to have some minor foot surgery. And then the semester starts! Where did the summer go?
P.S. Thanks to close quarters with a five year old, I am currently obsessed with Charlie and Lola. Please tell me I'm not the only one.