Friday, October 30, 2009

The City that Never Sleeps

Yikes! After about a month of nonstop craziness at work and a whirlwind trip to the City that Never Sleeps, I find I'm crazy exhausted and apparently have managed to neglect my blog for an entire month. Not that I didn't have things queued, because I did...I just never managed to get to adding the text to the photos!

Ah well - any idea where I disappeared off to? I did lots and lots of walking and wandered by the above building - it's probably hard to figure out what it is since it's not one of the more recognizable perspectives - most people take their photo from much further away - or from a higher angle, so as to get its distinctive roofline. It's the Chrysler Building :) I had a chance to visit with some relatives and meet up with some friends for a huge celebration over the weekend.

In addition to visiting and merry making, I wandered around town, ogled the buildings (some of the buildings in NYC are wonderfully ornate), freaked myself out by wandering through the crowds in Times Square, caught a musical off Broadway, and (old news) watched the Yankees qualify for the World Series. My BIL & SIL treated me to a game - they are season ticket holders - while I'm not one for baseball, there is something to be said about watching a game *in person* surrounded by crazy fans.

...all that and I even braved the subway, with no issues...until the last day on my way back to the airport! Folks were kind enough to confirm my revised travel plans once I figured out that things were going awry and I made it to JFK with enough time to clear security and get a coffee before reporting to my gate for boarding. *whew*!

Friday, October 09, 2009

I need to stop

with the casting on of projects with lots of stitches on small sized needles...Or rather I need to stop doing so when I have a deadline in mind that is less than a month away.

I've recently cast on for the Featherweight Cardigan from Knitbot (Hannah Fettig) - she's the same designer that came up with the Whisper Cardigan, which wears more like a long bodied shrug - the yarn I've selected for the featherweight cardi is finer than that called for in the pattern, and as a result, I've found myself knitting on US3s. Somehow I don't think this was such a good idea...but i have three weeks to try to get it done! Of course, I'm still pondering pattern modification - I'm thinking of adding cable detailing to the ribbing and the front/collar section. We'll see how that goes - of course, I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

She doesn't just knit...

...she also sews!

We're talking about Wenlan Chia - this should come as no surprise to those of you who are more on top of such things - Wenlan's Twinkle line has been in existance since 2000, and includes yarn & knitting designs, home furnishings, jewelery and a ready-to-wear collection.

This new Twinkle book, Twinkle Sews, includes 25 patterns for you to bring some of Wenlan's whimsical style into your own wardrobe. Sizing ranges from 0 to 16, with the patterns being provided by way of a CD. They print out on regular-sized letter paper, with instructions on how to assemble them to get you going on your way.

Since everyone's sizing is a little different, sizes start with 32" bust, 26" waist and 35" hip (size 0) and go up to 40" bust, 34" waist and 43" hip (size 16). If you know about pattern construction and apparel, you may be able to easily adjust the patterns accordingly to best fit your body.

Before I get too far, I should say that I haven't sewn a piece of clothing for myself in ages - mended, yes. Altered, yes, but usually by hand - sewn from a pattern to fit my body? Definitely ages ago...and with the assistance of my mother.

After a brief introduction, the book opens with a basic techniques section. This includes information on how to use the patterns (including the legend for notations on the patterns), sizing, seaming and stitching, shaping, linings, closures (zippers and buttons), finishing (bias tape, hems), and a host of other things. If you are completely new to sewing, I would recommend an introductory sewing class or book before plunging into the projects in this book.

After the Techniques section, the projects begin with a chapter on skirts. The patterns include A-lined, gored and straight skirts - with the simplest pattern at the beginning, moving to more complicated patterns as you progress through the chapter. Photos of each pattern are featured in the beginning of each chapter, along with the project description, a tip and note pointing you to the page on which the instructions for the project begin. After the photos, and just before the project instructions begin, are a few technical notes to help guide you on your way to success. Each of the project instructions inclue a skill level rating, a materials list, a note to the page that the large photos are on in addition to smaller front and back shots of the finished item. Also included are small schematics of the pattern, and step-by-step instructions for assembly and project completion.

Each subsequent chapter follows the same format as the first. The 2nd chapter focuses on raglan sleeve construction (tops, and tunics), the 3rd chapter focuses on drop-shoulder construction (more tops, tunics and dresses, including the one on the cover), the 4th and final chapter focuses on spaghetti straps (summery cami's and dresses).

Overall, I think this book is put together quite nicely, and the patterns should work for various body types and ages - it's just not a book for a beginner is all :)

Monday, October 05, 2009

and now...

...something wee.

Knitting for babies is great for instant gratification :) especially if you go and use big-ish yarn :) have a look at what recently came off the needles in a bout of stealth gift knitting!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Happy Mid-Autumn Moon Festival!

Tonight is the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival - the moon should be nearing it's fullest and roundest shape - I've packed up my mooncakes, and it'll be a great evening for a night-hike!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Seasonal change

Happy Belated Atumnal Equinox! I guess time flies when I'm running around like a crazed woman ;) I guess I had a break long enough to go for a color change - this time, I've gone with Red (I was going to go with Red and Orange, but they didn't have any orange on hand) - something bold and much more obvious for the Autumn. I love the bright hue, but am not convinced I'll continue to keep it up after this round. Maintenance is easy enough, and I did get a full three months out of the blue and purple...I guess we'll see in another three months :)