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Sunday Cuppa très Chic December 11, 2011

Read while raising a cuppa or two: cultural SansFroids for the Week of December 11, 2011…

— Get those moths offa my sweater!: some new cinematic villians!

— Your Price? $203,150 Hermès Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30 cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware @ auction

— Alrighty! My husband designed my dress and I’m game (but a little peeevish)…

— Happy 50th Birthday Nia Peeples! Everybody dance now

— Vous Plaisantez Mr. Designer? Just what is this commercial trying to tell/sell us?

What’s Not to Love December 8, 2011

Thanks to some recent discussions, I’ve found out I’m NOT the only person on the planet who loves to Mattress Stitch.

My secret to success?


Find a comfortable chair & footstool and it’s easy to strettcccchhh out and get busy. The work lays flat along my lap and legs and it’s a little factory. :)

Chic Knits Cassidy

I’ve finished all the section knitting on my icy light blue heather Camilla Valley Farm Canadian Collection 2-ply Worsted Weight (heh, mouthful) and am now happily seaming it up. It turned out there wasn’t enough yarn for a hood (as suspected) but I’m going to make this a nice crewneck, using the same type of ribbing that’s on the front bands.

Once I get get good and comfy, the seaming goes really fast. I’ve used Corsage Pins (from the florist) to pin the sleeve together, putting one pin in at about every increase made along the side edges of the sleeve. It’s easy to feel the little difference (sort of a bump) in the fabric surface where the increases are, so I match bump to bump along the seam.

Then it’s just like lacing a shoe: back and forth, back and forth.

I left a long tail of yarn when I cast on the sleeve and am now using it to sew it up.


From the wrong side, it’s matched up great and the seam has a very low profile…

Now, off to seam the body of the sweater…

Goin’ to the Frog Pond December 6, 2011

One of the most challenging things of the recent apartment spruce-up was finding boxes. But I’ve discovered that every cloud almost always has a silver lining. Having to move a couple of big bookcases so work could be done on the walls behind them meant whatever was inside had to be moved.

And, before they could be moved, sigh, everything had to be packed up…

For awhile, I had a nice little source-stream going on with the corner grocery guy, who was saving mid-size boxes from delivered liquid products for me. Not only are they very strong, they’re not humongous so they can be easily moved by womankind when filled! Even though I had quite a few, after serious packing and loading, I simply ran out of time (and boxes). So then, I started raiding my closets. I figured any “soft” stuff that was packed up could live for awhile in bags, while their boxes did their duty elsewhere.

And that’s how I found this:

Chic Knits Knitting Pattern

Voila! Silver lining!

I came up with almost enough boxes to do the job but at the last minute, I confess, I was stuffing DVD’s and remnants (oops, forgot about the TV cabinet being moved) into any bags I could get my hands on. ;p

Now, these lovely skeins weren’t always so glorious. This yarn started out as various knitted pieces for samples of designs in development, and have been ingloriously “lounging” in a dark pile for quite awhile. It isn’t uncommon for there to be several partial versions of something before it hits the runway — my personal best so far is six. These could be a orphaned front, or an upper bodice, or a sleeve. The lovely turquoise yarn was a whole sweater that came in from an outsourcing try, but it turned out to have been knit at a gauge much smaller than what the pattern actually called for, so it was packed up for a rainy day.

And that day has come! I am having a love affair with the *color* grey and decided to re-purpose that yarn for another design. I had several skeins of unused yarn of that dye lot but needed to round up for the win!

So to the Frog Pond we went…

From the archives: here’s my way unscientific process for Recycling…

Just click on the pictures for a larger version and I apologize in advance for the fuzzy slippers. ;p

How to Recycle Yarn

How to Recycle Yarn  

Frog the pieces by using a standard center-pull ball winder. This *un-zips* the yarn in a very neat way in no time at all.

How to Recycle Yarn  

Re-skein the yarn neatly and quickly using a swift. Mark the shaft of the swift so you can set up a standard-sized skein every time. Use one hand to turn the swift from the top, and one hand to keep an even tension on the yarn coming off the ball.

How to Recycle Yarn  

Here’s a re-skeined ball. Tie the skein will in several places (I like 3) for stability during washing & drying using some scrap yarn in a contrasting color (see big picture above)…

How to Recycle Yarn  

Here’s all the ingredients: ball winder, swift, frogged balls of yarn & re-skeined balls…

Voila! All that is left is to wash the skeins a enjoy the view as they dry…

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