Running in circles

Hey all!

I promise I have not dropped off the face of the earth, but I do feel like I am running in circles. Every time I turn around I seem to misplace something, and it is driving me up the wall. I want to show you my finished kiltie, but I misplaced the elastic for the waistband. I want to show you some of the work I have been doing with film photography, but I misplaced the duct tape needed for a craft for it. And I’ve been too busy looking for the elastic and the duct tape to make much progress on my newest knit, so there isn’t much to show you in that department, either. What’s really annoying is that the house is clean, and I seem to have genuinely lost these items, instead of just loosing them in the shuffle. Yesterday I bought a bag of groceries, and then literally forgot about it and went into the house without it. My groceries were in my car all night. Fortunately none of it needed to be refrigerated. So as soon as I find something, anything, I will update you on it. Also, my Project 333 is officially starting Friday. I am trying to get all my clothes clean at once, so I can go through them critically and decide what to keep for March/April/May, but that seems really complicated at the moment, too. Also it’s kind of scary to commit to. I mean, I know I can switch out clothes if something isn’t working, and it’s not like I have a huge wardrobe and I’ll be cutting down to a 1oth of the size, but it’s still a big commitment.

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Mint and Mustard.

First and Foremost: I finished my kiltie! Pics soon. I am super excited.

Secondly, I have been kind of obsessed with Go Chic or Go Home. It’s so fun to see all my clothes uploaded, and plan out cute outfits and what I’m going to wear. At first, the thought of adding all my clothes seemed like a Herculean task, even after I’d pared down my wardrobe. I started out with just tops and bottoms, because I thought those would be easy. But I accessorize so much, it’s hard to think of my outfits stripped down with out accessories  They just seemed incomplete. So I added tights, then hats, then shawls/scarves. I think I’m going to add my shoes too. I’m still working on getting only 33 items in my wardrobe for the start of March. I don’t think I’ll have 25% handmade. I make a lot of things, but mostly they’re accessories, like gloves or hats or scarves, I don’t make a lot of clothing pieces. I am going to try to make more clothing for this challenge, but that’ll be something I work on over the year.

Here is one of my favorite outfits so far:

M&M1 M&M2 M&M3This outfit I love because I haven’t worn this skirt in forever, but now I want to wear it all the time! The sweater I thrifted a few days ago. I took a risk and didn’t try it on because I figured I’d just re-donate it if it didn’t fit, but I love it. It had a little faux collar in it, I haven’t decicded if I’m going to take that out or not. There were faux cuffs on the sleeves, but I cut them off because they were too skinny for my arms. I’m still working on taking photos of myself, it’s a little awkward, but practice makes perfect!

Hibernating

Hey, it’s been quiet around here. The last two days were topping out a 60 degree, which I loved, but today it’s snowing, so it’s back in hibernation mode. I’ve cast on a Kilite, and it’s been frogged twice, along with the miles of stockinette stitch, it’s not fast moving. I am really excited for it to be finished. I’d love to to be able to wear it to a Superbowl party Sunday, but I’m aware of my abilities enough to not get to hopeful. I’m also about a quarter of the way through the Windward, another fun, but slow moving project.

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On the Project 333 front, I have done some work. I sorted through all my clothes, and am donating over half, and throwing out a few things that are no longer wearable. It’s not a huge impact in terms of what I wear on a daily basis, since most of the clothes I’m donating are clothes I don’t wear anyway. It is nice to know that my closet is cleaner, and that I’m donating clothes to people who could use them. I also uploaded photos of all my clothes to Go Chic or Go Home a cool website that lets people upload clothes and create outfits, as well as find inspiration through things other people post.

Frozen

It’s cold outside. It’s freezing outside. Actually, freezing is an understatement, because it is below freezing. The high for today is 9 degree, with a windchill of -5. I like the warm weather anyway, and dislike cold, but honestly, anything under 20 degrees is just torturous. I wanted to go to pick up some fabric from the store. Despite the weather, I have a bit of cabin fever. Since I quit my ‘day job’ I have been working from home. While its nice to not have to commute, especially in the winter, working from your couch doesn’t afford you much in the way of scenery. Fortunately I took pictures of myself all layered up before I tried starting my car. Apparently my car doesn’t like the cold either.

Frozen frozen2Cold days are good days to be a knitter, though. I’ve got my Celtic Slouch Greenbriar Hat, my Scalene (love Carina Spencer’s designs, btw), and some fingerless gloves I whipped up, no real pattern for them. The key is layers, and as many layers as I can add the better. The good thing about scarves and gloves is that they cover up all the little cracks of skin that sometimes get exposed to weather. The shirt, also, is a recent construct of mine, thanks to this article, but it’ll have to wait to model, because it’s sleeveless cotton jersey. It super comfy though, and I’m wearing it right now. I dyed it ombre, where its a light blue on one end, and charcoal grey on the other. It’s also reversible in the sense that I can wear it upside down, and have a white cowl on a charcoal shirt.

The only problem with layers is I never seem to be able to layer my bottoms as much as my tops. Sure, you can always throw on a couple more scarves, or sweaters, but you can’t really add extra pants, can you? And if you do layer, with tights or something, you can take them off once you get to your friends house, like you can a coat.

Anyway, those are my musings about layers. I have retreated back in to the warmth of my house, and am thawing nicely with some grilled cheese and tomato soup, along with old episodes of Buffy.

 

Keeping Warm

I have been busy this last week, …making things for myself! It’s kind of a nice change since what felt like a forever of Xmas gift knits. I tried to make socks – three times. Since I knit my laptop sleeve, I turned two heels on it for the detail at the end. It was way easier than I thought it’d be. I’ve tried knitting socks before, and as much as I theoretically understood the concept of how heels should be turned, what I had in my brain never really lined up with what my yarn was doing. Since the directions came from my One Skein Wonders book, I thought following a sock pattern from the book would be equally easy. And it was. I turned heels with no problem! Then immediately lost steam on the rest of the sock. Was not interested in finishing it, and did not want to knit a second one. So I tried another pattern. Same thing. Then I thought maybe one of the ‘sideways‘ sock patterns would be nice, since they’re knit lengthwise, and you don’t have to turn a heel. But there was way more calculating involved than I wanted to do, especially if I would have to repeat the whole process for a second sock. So maybe sometime I’ll try the two socks at once deal, but until then, I just whipped up a cowl.

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So this yarn, is Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks. I’ve wanted some self-striping yarn for forever. But once I got it, I immediately got knitter’s block about what to use it for. I tried it for mittens, but I didn’t like the regular-ness of the stripes. It looked more like I had just used stripes of different colored yarn, which wasn’t the effect I was going for. I didn’t really want a striped hat, so that was out. Then the sock thing failed. Next I learned that the Felici line is apparently discontinued by knitpicks, so I can’t order more of it. So I decided to just whip up a cowl to use up the 2 skeins I have.

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This cowl is perfect. I love the colors, and it is unbelievably soft. And extremely warm, for how loosely knit it is.

And yes, my Wanderlust mitts are making a cameo. Because it is cold outside!

Protecting my Baby

I finished my Moso Netbook Sock courtesy of Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. My BIL and SIL gave me the book for Xmas, and I love it so far. I wanted to adjust this patten to fit my 15″ MacBook Pro. I ended up using Brava Sport Yarn in Cobblestone Heather on US 4 needles to size it up. I didn’t swatch, I just winged it. I also used Sew Mama Sew‘s Simple Laptop Sleeve pattern to create a lining for the inside of my sleeve. I really liked the grey corduroy, and I like how it looks with the grey yarn next to it. The green button was just a little touch of color. The lining was quick, it only took a morning to make. The knit sock I started on the road trip back from Florida, but it only took a few days concentration to finish. Along with the lining there are two layers of batting sewed in as well. Overall, the lining turned out a little snug, it just barely fits over my laptop. Which is fine overall, since I didn’t want the cover to be too loose. It’ll be perfect for travel.

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Rebuilding my closet

One of my resolutions this year is to be more precise with what my ‘style’ is. My closet is an amalgam of everything I’ve bought in the last 5 years, yet in spite of that (or perhaps because of it) I have a surprisingly small wardrobe. I rarely donate clothes, because I wear them into oblivion, and then they just stick around in my wardrobe unworn. So I wanted to take some time to think about my wardrobe and and what style I like, and then slowly build on to that throughout the year. I don’t have thousands of dollars to just drop on a new wardrobe all at once, but I figure I could build over time, as well as sew and knit some things. I also shop at thrift and consignment shops a lot, and I think that will be a major focus of things I buy as well. 

I’ve mostly been using Polyvore and Pinterest to create outfits I like, so that I can get a better sense of what I want my wardrobe to look like. Then, earlier today, Leeleetea bogged exactly what I had been looking for. Her 12 Outfits Project is dedicated to making 12 outfits this year. That is a little ambitious for me this year, but definitely something I’ll be following, and aspire too. Maybe next year? She did however mention both A Verb For Keeping Warm’s Seam Allowance goal of making 25% of your wardrobe handmade, which led me to Project 333‘s goal of only putting 33 items in your wardrobe to be space savingsimplifying, and provide piece of mind. Another inspiring story is Sonya Phillip’s 100 dresses. I especially like that she make simple, bright dresses that can be worn over jeans. When I think of making dresses, I think something from Modcloth, and how those are way to complex for me to even think of making. I’ll also be relying on Putting Me Together‘s Remix Basics to decide how I can use clothes in multiple ways, so I’m not wearing the same out fits over and over.

Here are some rules (more like…guidelines) that I want to follow in my goal for this. I reserve the right to edit and change the rules as need be. They are my rules.

1. – Starting officially in March (for the duration on March/April/May) I will pare my wardrobe down to 33 items. (this is tops, bottoms, scarves, and shoes) (not including necklaces and bracelets or undergarments/socks)

2. – At least 25% of the 33 items in my wardrobe (8-9 items) will be handmade, either knit or sewn. This does not count items I have bought and repurposed they have to be made completely from scratch.

3. – The purpose of this is to simplify my wardrobe, not bust stash. I can/will purchase fabric, yarn, and accessories as necessary to complete my wardrobe.

4. – The handmade items in my wardrobe can be items I have already made. They count toward my 25% handmade goal, but they also count towards my 33 items total.

Those are the only rules I think I need so far, as I don’t necessarily plan on swapping clothes in Project 333. I think I’ll start wearing a lot more dresses/skirts and leggings, and I can’t/don’t want to make jeans, or most pants, really. I will keep you all updated on what is going on with my project here from time to time, as well as on instagram (lilacsnwool).

 

I’m a Wanderer

Finished my Wanderlust mitts! And boy did they wander. Cast on in Michigan during our 10 day stay with Brad’s family, worked on on the 4 day road trip to Florida and back, and finally finished here Ohio. (I have to admit, the 60 degree weather in Florida did not inspire me to do a lot of work on wintery mitts!)

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They’re great, thick and squishy, and go all the way up to my elbows. They also knit pretty fast, considering how much yarn is in them. This is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Rooibos Heather, a ball of yarn for each mitt. I ended up wearing the right mitt on my left hand, and the left mitt on my right hand, because that put the seam down the middle of my palm instead of the back of my hand.

(knit notes: provisional cast on and 3-needles bind off give this mitt a nearly invisible seam line, and in my opinion is much preferred to picking up 86 stitches for the bind off (as suggested in pattern) or to mattress stitching about 14″ on each mitt.)