(Why all this navy? I found a navy and gray coat at the J. Crew outlet I had to visit last week. I guess that’s like caving and emailing the ex-boyfriend you kind of hate but must know all about and, instead of getting mad all over again, he gives you information about a freelance job that pays really well? Something like that.)
Tuesday Project Roundup
If, like me, you don’t like cold, you’re already dreading this winter. And if you’re reading the news and already are an anxious person to begin with (like me), you’re both dreading the cold AND fearing for the collapse of the economy and the end of Life As We Know It.
If so, I recommend learning to knit and making some socks: You may be anxious but you’ll have warm feet.
This pair was already about 60% finished–probably about this time last year–then put away. It’s amazing how quickly a sock goes after a sweater! (And it’s the yarn that’s making the stripes; not any fanciness on my part.)
Last weekend I finished the green sweater I’ve been working on for over a month (see the progress shot here) and I’ve already worn it twice–success! (The success is even sweeter because my latest sewing project is not working.) I really could have used another skein of yarn to make the body longer, but by the time I realized that, I didn’t want to wait for another one to arrive, so I made do.
Like all cardigans, it can be worn open:
With the sewing project not working and this project finished, I’ve been wandering around with no focus in the evenings. Poor Mr. Isbell just wants me to “sit down and watch the movie,” and I think Toby does too. Fortunately for them both, I found half of a sock I never finished last year. So tonight should be a calm one Chez Craft.
I picked up my fair entries yesterday evening and thought I’d take a picture, since I never searched the archives to find the original project posts. I submitted the very plaid dress I made last November for a friend’s wedding–first place–and the houndstooth jacket I like so much–second place. Yay, me!
When I was there last night the semis that carry the collapsible midway rides were all packed up and ready to head out in a convoy. My fascination with long-haul trucking (don’t know where that came from, unless it’s Kerouac) collided with my curiosity about how traveling midway ride operators must live, and I just about put the Focus in line behind them. Maybe someday I can take six months and research a book about carnies and their state fair circuit…
Something about shirtdresses make me think I could wear them on my imaginary ranch, while gathering eggs, visiting my loyal horse friend in the stables, standing at the back door looking out over the Wyoming mountains, etc. (Not, of course, while actually doing ranch work and getting dirty. Nobody ever mentioned that in My Friend Flicka.)
That’s what knitting guru Elizabeth Zimmermann said, and I agree. It’s so nice to work with soft springy apple green wool instead of flaccid cotton. (Although with that descriptor, who wouldn’t prefer wool?)
Here’s about 1/3 of a sweater from a pattern said Elizabeth thought up for a baby, modified for an adult (not by me, though; by this knitter). It’s a delight to knit and I’ve been stuffing the ever-growing thing in my purse so I can do a pattern repeat on my lunch hour. I’ve realized I don’t wear the bigger things I knit, just the scarves and gloves and hats, so I’m hoping this one will break the trend.
As Elizabeth said, “Knit on.”
I thought I should wear all black, the universal sign of sophistication, to my high-school reunion, but I hate wearing black and sewing it is even more boring. So I decided on navy blue, since, as Cecil Beaton said, “Chanel demonstrated that nothing was more chic than fine linen, navy-blue serge, and lots of soap.”
I had a pattern from my mother’s stash that wanted to be made for a special occasion (well, it wasn’t a muumuu, so it seemed dressy), so I went for the “navy-blue and lots of soap” Jackie O look, minus that back belt:
It actually doesn’t look like much on the hanger, but with a tan, pearl studs, and a yellow clutch, it was just right:
So…Friday is my 10-year high school reunion. I’m going, because the curious part of me that “has hobbies and sees what happens” knows that if I don’t attend and see how bad it really is, I’m always going to wonder. (Also, I thought, “What if someone in a book I write needs to go to a high school reunion and I don’t know the exact feelings of displacement? I’d better go.”)
Of course I made a dress for it (pictures next week). But I also decided to make a clutch, which gives you something to do with your hands when you’re standing around talking at an alcohol-less event.
…because it needs to hold my flask. To quote the best high school reunion movie ever,
“Who needs hard alcohol?”
Presenting: Lounge pants! These are a vast improvement over my old John Deere green pair from J. Crew.
And lounge shorts! Mr. Isbell really doesn’t get any sewing done for him, so when he asked I had to make him something. (Of course, he originally asked for a suit, and couldn’t understand why I didn’t jump on that project.)
And after I finished these, I went crazy thinking about fall patterns and fabrics and sewing plans and knitting plans and how I could replicate this coat for less than $250. It’s like the crafty version of the ant getting ready for the winter, I guess.
I decided to revisit the cotton knitted bag pattern that turned out too small to hold anything except a tomato, and the result is I overcompensated, ran out of yarn, used up some odds and ends to finish, and ended up with a bag that’s big enough for a watermelon and looks like a sock monkey*:
The bag stretches a lot; it could probably hold TWO watermelons. But it’s useful and it’s finished. I’m so tired of knitting with cotton, though–it’s time to break out wool and start planning fall projects.
*Monsieur Le Singe, Guiseppi Tomasi, was something I made in high school. Because I was cool like that in high school.