Monday, March 19, 2007

To illustrate

More fun with technology: the MacBook will connect to Blogger if we use an ethernet cable instead of wireless. Trent has had a few go-rounds with tech support about this fun issue. (Note: issue still not resolved. I've given up and am using my work computer, which is probably against some policy.)

The Spider's-web Shawl
It's really hard to take a picture of lace-in-progress, especially when you have 700+ stitches crammed onto a 32" needle. But here it is, in all its eye-searing glory (remember, you can click on the pictures to embigify them):

Here's what it wants to be when it grows up:

Spider's-web shawl, full hexagon, from Victorian Lace Today, out of Karabella laceweight mohair. At this point, it takes over an hour to do two rounds (one patterned, one plain), and I have 42 rounds left, so this may be a loooooong term project.

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm trying sewing clothes again. Inspired by the Dress a Day blog, and a couple of upcoming weddings I need to attend looking respectable, I decided to start with dresses. Here are my chosen victims:

I'll be attempting view A, shown in tan, on 3877 (the first pattern above), and view D (shown in mauve) on 4050. I spent a couple of evenings working on bodice fit for 3877, and I still haven't quite conquered the sleeves, so I decided to start with 4050, which is much easier to fit. I'm going to be using stash fabric, some polyester I bought in Vancouver, BC in the Indian district several years ago. The view I'm making has thin ribbon trim, which should be just a boatload of fun to sew onto polyester. I cut the dress fabric tonight, but I haven't cut the interfacing yet. I scanned the fabric for you:

I bought 3877 for the black and white print in the middle of the picture below (it's a stretch cotton), but now I think that the skirt, which has godets, is too full for the fabric, which is a tiny bit on the stiff side. I may alter the dress into a real wrap dress and take out the godets, or I may pick a different pattern for this fabric. So, 3877 is now designated for the screaming red rayon/linen blend at the far right of the picture below.

The fabrics on the left are a gorgeous wool windowpane check, and a cotton 1930's print reproduction. I purchased them both at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco.

100 Miles by April 1

I'm in real trouble here. I'm at 73, assuming my count is remotely accurate.

Time keeps on slippin'....

In the nearly-a-month since my last post, the following things have happened:

1. I finished an academic term, which means I spent two weeks straight grading papers and then wept in despair because so many of my students failed because they didn't turn in assignments. If they had turned in more assignments, I would have had to do yet more grading, but at least it wouldn't have seemed so futile.

2. After the plague of F's, only magenta mohair could cure my pain, so I promptly cast on the Spider Web Shawl (full hexagon version) from Victorian Lace Today. It's motoring right along. I've dubbed mine the Eye Searing Pink (ESP for short) shawl, because...well, as soon as I can get our home computer to talk to Blogger, or remember to transfer pictures, I'll show you. Oh, and the camera will need new batteries.

3. There were a series of computer problems. For awhile, my work laptop wouldn't speak to our home network. Meanwhile, our home computer (now an cute widdle Mac) won't speak to Blogger as long as our wireless connection is encrypted. This state of affairs greatly inhibited my ability to update my blog.

4. I had a glorious week without work. I knit, I took the dogs to the park, and I cooked. I have no real memory of anything else. I think there was some fabric and yarn shopping, and also a lot of sleep.

5. I decided to start sewing again. I stopped sewing several years ago because the patterns never fit and the fabric selection was lousy anyway. Now, however, there's a lot of cute fabric available. Also, I had an "Ah ha!" moment and realized I could make test versions of garments out of cheap fabric (these are also known as muslins). I have no idea why it took me 5 years to realize this, because I made muslins for everything back in college when I worked in the costume shop. It's fascinating to return to sewing after several years of knitting because I have a great deal more patience for the process now. I spent two evenings last week working on a muslin for a dress bodice (because I'd like to be able to raise my arms), and I wasn't nearly as twitchy and frustrated as I would have been 5 years ago. It's like swatching, but bigger and faster. Once I get the picture/computer connection issue straightened out, I'll post pictures of recent fabric and pattern acquisitions, too.

6. A new term started. My body came back to work, but my brain didn't. Those first few classes were pretty painful. I may not have used coherent English sentences. I wouldn't be surprised if I sounded like a Charlie Brown teacher.

7. I went to San Francisco for the annual get-together of my online knitting group, and forgot the camera. It was a completely wonderful trip: good friends and lots of laughing. (Also, some shopping, and more than a few glasses of wine.)

8. There's probably been more, but damned if I can remember. I'll try to create a more colorfully picturey and linky post tomorrow.