For Breakfast In Bed

It’s kind of a long story, but what the heck — you’ve got some time to kill, right?  I’ll valiantly try to keep it short.Joan Crawford Knitting

A decade ago, plus or minus, my brother and I were back in Iowa, helping my mom as she attempted to continue living in her apartment.  As part of the job, we went out to get her some new housewares.  And on the way back to the apartment, we stopped at an estate sale.

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Calling all Cupcakes!

OK, the Internet is definitely a weird place.cupcake gown

After Sheryl’s comment sent me off googling "knitted fruitcake," somehow this is what I found, over at the Sydney Morning Herald:

"These are just some of the finalists in this year’s [2005] annual Shoot the Chef competition where student and professional photographers compete to produce the image that captures the essence of what it is to be a chef."

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Nothing to Say?

Ya know, it’s hard to blog when the things you are doing are (a) things that you can’t write about or (b) boring.

In the second category lately are many administrative things, like setting up fall class schedules and working on websites.  The good news is, the Polar Bear Patterns site is coming along nicely — well, at least it’s functional.  There are still a few things to work out — mainly I’ve been having issues figuring out just how to glom everything I do into one place.  It’s harder than it sounds:  patterns, classes, general knitting, etc.  At least, it’s harder for me than it sounds like it ought to be.  I’ve been doing everything myself up to now, but I’m thinking I may soon need some professional help.  (And I’ll need someone to work on my websites too — ba-dum bump!)

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Hubby’s Socks and the Three Toes

Well, on Sunday evening (Sunday the 13th!) I finally cast on another pair of socks for DH.

The yarn is Lana Grossa "Meilenweit 6 fach" in a true solid dark green – his favorite color.  I like doing toe-up socks, so I don’t have to bother too much with a gauge swatch or any math or anything.  I figured I’d just increase until the toe was the right size, eh?

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Out of the box

Fact:  boxy, square sweaters hide anything you’ve got worth showing.

An image consultant came to one of our local knitting guild meetings a couple of years ago.  She had a handout that showed some “before” and “after” pictures of women dressed in various clothing styles, which either suited and enhanced their body shapes, or didn’t. Here are some statements from the “before” pictures about “what’s not working”:

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I’m in I’m in I’m in I’m in I’m in!!

Of course, this means I’m in at [Ravelry->].

Actually, I got invited about a week ago, but haven’t had time to go exploring before now. What fun! Lots to do!

Unfortunately for me, someone already has the username “tessknits” – so on Ravelry I’m now known as “tessm”. Maybe we should start a group on Ravelry for knitters named Tess? Both of us!

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Then and…Where?

Many of my knitting friends know that I love, love, LOVE old knitting books. Old VKs are a fave, but I’ll thumb through just about anything. (And I have the overflowing bookshelf in my studio to prove it.) Often you can find a stitch pattern, a silhouette, or a detail that will spark an idea. Looking at vintage styles is a great way to train your eye to distinguish between short-lived trends and enduring classics. Most knitters I know don’t want to knit a sweater that will be out of style next year. After all that work, they want something that will be wearable for a while. If you can open a 40-year-old book and spot something that still looks good, you have a pretty good idea that it will look good for another 40 years! Vogue Knitting used to have a feature in every issue called “Then and Now", which was by far the best thing in the magazine. They would take an old style from a vintage issue and make up a modern version, using current yarns and colors. Occasionally they modified the fit a bit, but mostly the copy was true to the original. Unfortunately, and unfathomably, they stopped doing it. It became hit-or-miss in the mid-to-late nineties, and by now has apparently been given up completely. I have no idea why on earth they discontinued this feature! Now I can only count myself lucky that I learned this concept early in my knitting career. sm_mo_vest.jpgsm_vestad1.jpg Here’s my latest vintage knit – a skimpy black vest, made in my fave fiber (mohair) – along with the modern ad that had me looking around for skimpy vests.

sm_vintvestorig.jpgsm_vintvestcover.jpg Compare my version to the original vintage pattern pic. And just in case anyone else wants to find it, here is the cover of the vintage Spinnerin book it is in.

Interesting note: the vintage directions do not result in the somewhat odd sleeves shown in the vintage picture. (I guess typos in knitting patterns have been around as long as there have been patterns.) You would have to cast on some extra sts at the armholes to get the silhouette shown, and the instructions don’t call for that at all. I knitted the armholes according to the directions, although I modified the original instructions to knit it all in one piece, eliminating the side seams. Great stuff!

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