Saturday, December 3, 2011

FO: Rasta Truffle


Project: Neck Truffle by Breean Elyse Miller 
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rasta in Zarzamora 
Needles: US17

I finished this cowl a while ago (last March) but have yet to post about it (I think that was mainly because I yet to take a picture of it). Can I say how much I love this project? It's so simply and the result is so pretty! I get compliments on it all the time (I think it's the ribbon).


The one issue I have is with the yarn and gauge - it has stretched out a little with wear, but that's more my fault, I shouldn't have made rectangle so long. I definitely plan on making another one of these in the future.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winter is Coming

Has anyone else noticed that it's gotten suddenly cold in the Bay Area? Not too long ago (a couple of weeks?) I was complaining to myself how it was 70 degrees, what happened to fall, grumble grumble, etc. The other day it was cold enough for me to pull out my little space heater and turn it on before I went to bed...and when I woke up.

Speaking of when I woke up - OMG THERE HAVE BEEN SO MANY EARTHQUAKES HERE, I'M SO SCARED. I've never experienced a big earthquake, minus the one in '89, but I was quite tiny then, so I'm kind of terrified about this one that's been "due" for a while on the Hayward fault.

In preparation for winter, I've started a couple of new knitting projects. First there's Rosamund's Cardigan. I love the cable detailing but I'm not too keen on the sleeve length so I'm making them longer. I'm using Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool (which is surprisingly squishy when knit up) so yardage is definitely not a problem.

I was pretty excited for Rosamund's Cardi until I saw the Creature Comforts Cardi by Madelinetosh. As soon as I saw the pattern I bought the yarn (from Eat.Sleep.Knit) and the pattern on Ravelry. I cast on last Thursday (the yarn came on Tuesday, not sure why I waited two days to cast on...) and I am loving all of it. I just passed the part where you add pockets and it's moving pretty quickly.


Isn't it so pretty? I know, you can't really see most of it...but you get the idea.

Monday, March 7, 2011

FO: Malabrigo Abalone


Project: Abalone by Beata Jezek
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn
Needles: US8

I am so proud of this cardigan! I've already worn it a few times and it is so nice and cozy. I do worry a little bit about the pilling but so far it doesn't seem too bad. I made quite a few modifications to the pattern so that it covers more in the front, all of which are recorded on my project page. I really loved how simple this pattern was and how easy it was to modify. This is the first project that I've done major modifications to and it didn't end up in a complete disaster - yay!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The End of 30 for 30

Yesterday was the last day for my 30 for 30 challenge. I had to extend it by a day because I was sick for a day and stayed home in my pjs...But 30 days of wearing 30 different outfits from just 30 pieces! Here's what I chose for my 30 items:

Pants (4)
Black "skinny" pants
Black slacks
Pinstripe pants
Jeans

Skirts (2)
Blue skirt
Snake skin print skirt

Dress (1)
floral-y print dress

Tops (16)
turquoise jacket
cream polka-dot sheer blouse
long black cardigan
cream floral lace blouse
long black cardigan
black knotted sheer blouse
open gray cardigan
black striped tank
pink/coral top
grey 3/4 sleeve
new knit cardi
white cowl tank
purple plaid button up
grey ModCloth jacket
dark grey cowl sweater
white 3/4 sleeve tunic

Shoes (7)
grey button boots
grey suede boots
peep toe flats
black wedges
chucks
brown wedge boots
red peep toe wedges

I kind of cheated in that I didn't pick out all 30 at once. I had a rough idea of what I wanted, then I would swap out some stuff if I decided I wanted to include one thing instead of another. I didn't realize I had picked out so many tops. But I guess that makes sense if I'm going to be layering. I wish I had more skirts, but it's a lot easier to wear pants to work, so I stuck with those. I also think I chose a lot of shoes, but they're all a bit different, so that's not terrible. Now for the outfits:

Day 1: Black "skinny" pants, (grey tank), turquoise jacket, peep toe flats
Day 2: Black slacks, cream polka-dot sheer blouse, long black cardigan, black wedges
Day 3: Black "skinny" pants, cream floral lace blouse, long black cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 4: Jeans, black knotted sheer blouse, open gray cardigan, grey button boots
Day 5: Jeans, black striped tank, Chucks
Day 6: Floral-y print dress, grey tights, grey suede boots
Day 7: Pinstripe pants, pink/coral top, open grey cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 8: Jeans, grey 3/4 sleeve, new knit cardi, grey suede boots
Day 9: Blue skirt, (sweater tights), white cowl tank, (khaki coat), brown wedge boots
Day 10: Jeans, purple plaid button up, grey suede boots
Day 11: Jeans, black striped tank, grey heather jacket, Chucks
Day 12: Jeans, dark grey cowl sweater, red peep toe wedges
Day 13: Jeans, white 3/4 sleeve tunic, Chucks
Day 14: Black "skinny" pants, dark grey cowl sweater, grey suede boots
Day 15: Pinstripe pants, black knotted sheer blouse, new knit cardi, peep toe flats
Day 16: 
Day 17: Jeans, purple plaid shirt, grey ModCloth jacket, grey suede boots
Day 18: Jeans, black knotted sheer blouse, new knit cardi, grey suede boots
Day 19: Jeans, purple plaid shirt, grey ModCloth jacket, grey button boots
Day 20: Jeans, (black tank), grey ModCloth jacket, Chucks
Day 21: Jeans, black knotted sheer blouse, open gray cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 22: Floral-y print dress, grey tights, open gray cardigan, black wedges
Day 23 (2/24): Snake skin print skirt, dark grey cowl sweater, (long plum socks), grey suede boots
Day 24 (2/25): Jeans, turquoise jacket, grey suede boots
Day 25 (2/26): Jeans, (black tank), new knit cardi, peep toe flats
Day 26 (2/27): Jeans, (white tank), ModCloth jacket, peep toe flats
Day 27 (2/28): Jeans, black striped tank, long black cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 28 (3/1): Black slacks, white cowl tank, (green jacket), black wedges
Day 29 (3/2): Pinstripe pants, black knotted sheer blouse, long black cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 30 (3/3): Black "skinny" pants, (grey tank), turquoise jacket, grey button boots

Notice that Day 16 is blank. I could not for the life of me remember what I wore on that day. It was right in the middle of the week, so it was a work day. I went back either the day after or 2 days after to write down what I wore and I drew a complete blank. But I'm pretty sure it was different than the other outfits. Hopefully.

Some things I learned from this challenge:
  1. It is hard to come up with different outfits. Maybe I've lost some of my creative juice, but I started just switching up the shoes in some of my more-liked outfits and calling that new. If you look at Kendi Everyday, her outfits looked completely different each day. I did tend to not plan out my outfits until the morning of, so some more advanced planning could have helped a bit.
  2. I have a lot of clothes I don't wear. I usually have a few favorite pieces and then some more unique items that I can't/don't wear as much. In the future, I need to make sure I buy clothes that I really want to wear all the time. I bought that jacket from ModCloth right before 30for30 and that's all I wanted to wear, which is great. But then there is another sweater that I got from H&M that doesn't fit that great, and isn't that comfortable, so I don't wear it that often (and I didn't include it in my 30for30).
  3. I don't have a lot of color in my wardrobe. Well, I do, but I don't wear it that much. I wear a lot of grey and black (I would have looked like I was going to a funeral when I went to the career fair on 3/2 if it weren't for the pink headband I was wearing). Don't get me wrong, I love colors. But I also don't think it's such a bad thing to have mostly neutrals in my closet. If that's what I wear most, and I'm drawn to them in the store, then so be it. But I think part of the reason I like neutrals (read: black and grey) so much is that I can make a colorful knitted cowl and wear it with no clashing problems. I think the crafter in my has influenced my taste in clothes so that I can make anything with any color yarn that I find gorgeous and not have to worry about what I can wear it with.
  4. Working in an office makes this challenge more challenging. If I could wear jeans to work, I would have picked out more than just one pair for the challenge. I had mostly slacks I was wearing, which would be completely different from my style if I was back in school. I feel a bit like I have lost my style since I'm limited in my clothes during the week. I got 3 days (casual Friday plus weekends) of the week to wear anything I wanted, instead of the usual 7. Although now I'm working part time, so I will get 4-5 days of the week to wear anything I want. But working isn't really an excuse. I see cute work outfits all the time in stores and online, so there's no reason I can't wear something fashionable to work.
Boy, this is a long post. I shall end it here, but I do have to talk about that knit cardigan at some point and the new cowl I'm working on. Oh, and Miriam is here to visit, yay! So maybe I will have some adventures to talk about later.


Edit:
I forgot one more thing that I learned - laundry! I usually do my laundry every 2 weeks, or around then when I get a chance...but with this 30for30 thing, I felt like I had to do my laundry much more often! Especially those jeans - look how many times I wore them! It will definitely be nice to wear other clothes in my closet for a while, and give those recently worn items a rest.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

One More Thing...

Yesterday I tried this brilliant recipe for Filet Mignon in Red Wine Balsamic Reduction. I was drawn to it because it seemed so simple. Normally I steer clear of cooking meat because I'm not a very good cook...I can't really tell when it's done and I tend to overcook it. But this recipe for filet mignon looked so easy and didn't require that many ingredients, so I thought, what the hell, why not?

It was delicious.

I got a little less than 2 lb of meat, substituted more shallots for the mushrooms (ick!) and used regular wine (Red Diamond 2008?) instead of cooking wine. I also didn't cook very consistently; for example, I had to take the pan off the heat for a sec while I cut up the shallots (oops...). But the meat turned out great nonetheless, and I had enough for about 4-5 servings (it was so good I had to eat two slices out of the eight). I cheated a bit and served it over pre-made garlic mashed potatoes, but really, I can only do so much cooking in a day.

I think this is a perfect recipe to make for dinner guests (or, even better, an indulgent meal for yourself). It's simple, quick, and turns out amazing results. Although make sure you have a corkscrew on hand if you're using a new bottle of wine...I had an interesting time trying to open a bottle of wine without one (it's possible, though not recommended).

Halfway There

It's day 15 of the 30 for 30 challenge and I seem to be going strong. I still have a few items that I haven't even worn yet, but I'm also starting to re-wear some things. Here are the days you missed:

Day 8: Jeans, grey 3/4 sleeve, new knit cardi, grey suede boots
Day 9: Blue skirt, (sweater tights), white cowl tank, (khaki coat), brown wedge boots
Day 10: Jeans, purple plaid button up, grey suede boots
Day 11: Jeans, black striped tank, grey heather jacket, Chucks
Day 12: Jeans, dark grey cowl sweater, red peep toe wedges
Day 13: Jeans, white 3/4 sleeve tunic, Chucks
Day 14: Black "skinny" pants, dark grey cowl sweater, grey suede boots
Day 15: Pinstripe pants, black knotted sheer blouse, new knit cardi, peep toe flats

I included some things in parentheses just so I could remember the full outfit, but they aren't part of the 30 items. I still have to talk about the cardigan I finished knitting, but I will save that for later.

On another related note, I made my first sale on Smashion! Yay!

Monday, February 7, 2011

30 for 30 Update

Day 1: Black "skinny" pants, gray tank, turquoise jacket, peep toe flats
Day 2: Black slacks, cream polka-dot sheer blouse, long black cardigan, black wedges
Day 3: Black "skinny" pants, cream floral lace blouse, long black cardigan, peep toe flats
Day 4: Jeans, black knotted sheer blouse, open gray cardigan, grey button boots
Day 5: Jeans, black striped tank, Chucks
Day 6: Floral-y print dress, grey tights, grey suede boots
Day 7: Pinstripe pants, pink/coral top, open grey cardigan, peep toe flats

Sorry, no pictures, but none of the outfits were that fabulous anyway...otherwise, so far so good, right? The only problem I've encountered so far is that Spring is coming early. I picked out clothes mainly for layering or wearing alone in relatively cold weather (Bay Area Winter). But it seems that Spring has decided to intrude on my fun and make things all sunshine-y (and pollen-y). I can make do with a light blouse and pants/skirt, but that allows for much fewer options for outfits. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I have too many clothes

This is no surprise for most people that know me. I am not a minimalist. I like to buy stuff, I like to keep stuff, I like to collect stuff. Let's not even go into all the things I keep for future art and craft projects...I currently take up space in my studio and my bedroom at my parents house. The problem with having a lot of clothes in my studio is that part of my closet is covered by a wall. I don't know why someone thought that was a good idea, though I suppose it's okay for storage, but I can't see anything that goes past the three feet of sliding doors (also not a great idea, because you can only see about a foot and a half of your closet at one time. This was solved by removing the closet doors, surprisingly a thing I've done more than once...). All the clothes that go behind the wall I hardly wear because I can't see them. To address this issue I have with clothes I'm doing a couple of things:

1. Purging 

Yesterday, I took out half of my closet. I got rid of things I haven't worn in years (or at all). I've always had a hard time getting rid of a lot of clothes because I keep thinking I might need a top like that one day, or I'll wear that skirt when I have a shirt to go with it. But this time I have incentive. I joined Smashion, a site where you can share looks, and buy and sell clothes from other people. I set up a store front and I plan to list all the sellable clothes that I don't want anymore. Talk about incentive. Anything I don't sell will just go to charity. Everybody wins =)

2. 30 for 30

Tomorrow is the first day of the 30 for 30 challenge. The idea is that you take 30 things you want to wear and "remix" them over 30 days. These things include tops, bottoms, light outerwear, and shoes (and don't include heavy coats and accessories). An added challenge is that you can't buy anything for those 30 days, you're just supposed to shop in your closet. I'm excited for the challenge but I'm also a bit worried that I'll just end up wearing the same thing every day. I work in a office, cubicle-style, and sit at my desk all day. It's typical business attire, so I usually wear slacks and a nice top, maybe a cardigan. The challenge for me over the next 30 days is to try and not wear the same outfits each week. Hopefully the accessories will help.

Now I haven't picked out all 30 items yet, but if I do get to 30, one thing I won't include is any knitwear I finish. Which will basically be just my Malabrigo Abalone that I've been working on. It's almost done so I should be able to wear that soon.

I'd love to take pictures of my outfits every day to document them, but given as I wake up (sometimes) before the sun rises and get back home after the sun sets, and I am only one person and am not about to take bad photos of myself in front of a poorly lit mirror, it's not very practical. Having someone take pictures for me at work isn't really an option either. Maybe if I have a really good outfit, I'll share, or on the weekends when there's light.

So that's what I plan on doing over the next month. Which means I'll probably go on a shopping spree in March...especially since Miriam is coming to visit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh, no! Ravelry, where have you gone?


This is what keeps happening when I try and open Ravelry. I'm dying here. I want to look at new patterns but I can't! I could open it on my phone but it's not the same, and it started slowing down and not loading all the pictures as well. *le sigh* Hopefully it won't always be like this on this computer/internet/server/thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FO: Cabled Mitts


Project: One Cable Mitts by Valerie Teppo
Yarn: The Fibre Company Terra
Needles: US8


Aren't they lovely? I heart cables.


I made these for me and I love the pattern and the yarn and the way they turned out. I like how they’re a bit chunky but still fit under a coat and the fit is nice and snug, so no moving around my wrists. I used almost a full skein - I was terrified that I might run out of yarn, but turns out I have a few grams leftover. I can't wait to wear these to keep my hands warm (and still have full use of my fingers!).

p.s. I love how I can make pictures bigger now that I changed the column width! And don't worry, I'll stop talking about the column width...

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's a New Year!

How exciting, 2011. Now it's going to take a whole year for me to get used to writing "11" at the end of my dates. I'm doing okay so far.

I think I may actually have a new year's resolution this year. I know, right? I never have resolutions, or if I do, they are loosely kept. Carin from Round the Twist, a video podcast I follow, called them "guidelines." I love that, because really, "resolutions" just sounds like too much.

So my guideline for this year is inspired by an old episode of Brass Needles (another podcast I follow) where one of Miss Kalendar's guests said her new year's resolution was to make at least one thing from or inspired by each of her many craft books. I happen to have many craft books (take a look at all the fiber-related ones here on Ravelry) that range from knitting and crochet books, to sewing, to stenciling, etc. And I don't think I've made a singe thing out of them. Well, I think I've knit a couple things, but really, some books have only been flipped through. This needs to change. It's great to have these books as eye candy and inspiration, but I really need to make something more of them. Thus, my resolution guideline is to make at least one thing from/inspired by each of my many craft books. We'll see how this goes...

p.s. Did you notice that I made the column width on my blog wider? Now I can make my pictures bigger. Yay!