Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Just Keep Swimming

That Finding Nemo tune is in your head now, isn't it? You're welcome. Who doesn't love it?

The title is in honor of this:

How cute!! I love the packaging. Pretty packaging makes everything better, even the things you didn't think could be any more awesome, like what's inside this one. Opening presents is such fun! Waiting inside were these:

My Sulu Design goldfish earrings! When I first saw these, I knew I had to have a pair. They weren't left on the cardboard for long. Almost immediately I tried them on.

And loved them so much I couldn't take them off. They are fabulous! I've gotten so many compliments on them today, too.

Go, check out her Etsy Shop! Just don't buy any of the stuff I want. Haha. No, go ahead, otherwise you couldn't buy anything. All of her creations are really beautiful. I definitely see more Sulu Designs in my future!

Larkin from Pattern Review, if you read this, I can't pm on that site... I don't have a paid account yet. You can email me at cnp71201 at hotmail dot com. I left this message on a forum at the website, but who knows if you'll read it there, so I thought I'd leave it here too, in case you dropped by again. :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FOs - Glampyre Sweater and Skirt

Well, I promised pictures, and I'm actually delivering almost on time, for once. I am really bad about meaning to update the blog, then forgetting to.

First, the knitting. This is a knitting blog, after all! So I mentioned that I was knitting a Glampyre pattern, but failed to mention which. I didn't mean to break my deal - this started out being an extremely simple, knit-with-eyes-closed thing... the minisweater pattern. Inspired by this beautiful modification, and the fact that I just had to have an entire sweater in this beautiful color, I just kept knitting. I made up an eyelet pattern based on the number of stitches I had left, and used that for the bottom of the sweater and the sleeves below the elbow. I did some shaping for the waist as well, but the sleeves are nearly straight. I planned on (and still do) knitting a flower to wear for the closure, but haven't done it yet. I don't know where this pin came from (possibly a thrift shop), but I've been saving it for something special... I really love it. I like the sweater pretty well, what do you think? Please excuse the lack of makeup, and the couple of pounds I think I put on over my break. I need to get back to the gym asap!!

Oh, and the yarn is Wool of the Andes in Hyacinth, actually a bluish purple (think What Dreams May Come or the purple in the LSU band uniforms). Wonderful color!!

And no, don't worry - I'm not planning on wearing the sweater with that outfit. I was too lazy to find a cute one to model (hey, I just got back to school after a long trip!), so I just kept on the top and skirt. The skirt is the one I just made, and I am pretty happy with it. The waistband turned out lower than I wanted, but aside from that, it fits just right.

The pattern is Simplicity 5914, view B. I lowered the waistband (a bit too much, actually), but aside from that, I made no changes. The fabric is some tweedy stuff that I found at Hobby Lobby. I love it! It is so cute. Several pictures to follow... I don't think I have a pair of shoes that really goes with this skirt, so I tried on two to see how they look.

Here's a close-up of the fabric:

This project also included my first ever attempt at a zipper. It actually wasn't hard at all... just a little tedious.

Next time I get near a sewing machine (sometime before Christmas), I will make my grandma's Christmas gift.

It's an Elvis throw kit. She is a huge Elvis fan. I hope she likes it!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sewing Talk (pretty patterns)

I did finish my skirt. It is really cute! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, although not completely happy. I'll post pictures soon, and do a review on it as well, and I still have to post the sweater I completed, too. I've also been working on the Gatsby Girl sweater, and have gotten pretty far on the front. I imagined I'd have it done over Thanksgiving break, but it just didn't happen. Ah well. I will finish it soon... I want to get it over with, so I can try to have the Spencer done by Christmas... I think, in the color I'm using, it would make a fabulous sweater to wear on Christmas day (assuming it's not 70 degrees then like it's been here the past several days).

Hey, guess what! Check out these beauties I found. Vintage (and one not-so-vintage) sewing patterns! I really love the styles from the 40s and 50s... and some of the 60s as well.

I'm hoping to figure out how to combine the empire waisted vintage skirt with the ruched bodice of the slimmer pattern, to make something very like this dress. Any tips on combining patterns? Or on making a huge, gorgeous ruffle like at the bottom of the dress? Make sure to scroll down and see the detail. It's divine! I want to find fabric in that deep rosy color.

Edited for ginaT: The first pattern is a Butterick from 2000. The pattern number is 6761. I found it on eBay. Let me know if you need additional info!

Edited again!: ginaT, I just found it on ebay. Dress Pattern. Hope it's the size you need!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although, technically, it is not Thanksgiving any longer. It was a great day. Much food was eaten and much fun was had. Yay!

I'm checking in to say that I finished the Glampyre sweater, but I'm not sure that I'm happy with it. Pictures and a discussion to come soon... tomorrow? I also have been sewing, and have nearly completed a skirt, so stay tuned for that as well.

I also finally got around to doing a couple of reviews of things I've sewn, so here are the links:

Burda Blouse

New Look Tote Bag

Thursday, November 16, 2006

If you are fortunate enough to wear a size 8.5 shoe

I envy you, and I'm about to show you a great deal (at least, imo)!

This eBay auction, for these shoes:

Aren't they gorgeous? They can be yours! Stupid me bid on them, without realizing that the size 6 meant UK, not US sizes, and since I normally wear a 5.5 in US, they are going to be much too large for me. According to various sizing charts online, a UK 6 is equivalent to a US 8.5. I am so heartbroken. I looked on ebay for these shoes for the longest time, finally found them, and now they aren't going to fit.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A little knitting progess report

The Hyacinth sweater is coming along, and I'm not telling which Glampyre pattern it is, but it is looking even more gorgeous than I imagined, and is knitting up so quickly! She is a genius! In fact, I'm so impressed and delighted with how my project is coming out, that I broke my rule of no new complicated projects until the current ones are finished to volunteer to be a test knitter for either of her two new patterns! They are both gorgeous and I think I have yarn that would work with both. I probably won't be selected, since my size is probably pretty common, and I'm sure lots of people volunteered... and I did warn her that I'm a slow knitter. But... I am going on vacation and hope to have more knitting time during that time, so I could get a lot done then! Maybe I should have mentioned that. Oh well, if not, I'll just have to wait until the patterns are released for sale.

And the Gatsby Girl sweater is a couple of inches nearer to completion. Yay! I may have it finished before the year is over. Haha!

Edited to add: I wasn't selected for the test knit. I'm disappointed, but it's probably for the best. I can continue to focus on things I already have going rather than start something new, though my "knitter's add" side really wants to!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

IK, VK, More "To-knits", and Lorna's Laces

I've no knitting progress to discuss, due to the upcoming finals week, so I'll write about something else for now.

The previews of the IK Winter and VK holiday issues have been up for awhile now, but I am just now getting to posting about them. I don't have the issues yet, though I hope to obtain both, so I am only mentioning the things on the website previews. And no, this will not be full of insulting-yet-somewhat-funny remarks. I'd rather play nice, especially as my failure in designing has helped me to realize how hard it is, and I know the magazines aren't catering to my taste only.

IK Winter:

I really like the Arctic Diamonds Stole, but I have yet to really get into lace knitting, so I'll just admire photos of this for now.

A Cardigan for Arwen - I'm a LotR nerd, so I fully appreciate the use of the name Arwen. I also like the cabled edging on this a lot. It doesn't appear to have shaping, though, and it doesn't close (both things could be remedied). I'll probably have to see some finished ones to decide on this one.

Love the color of Cabernet Ribs. The v-neck is too low for my taste.

The yarn used for the Cable and Bobble headband is in gorgeous colors. I don't have much use for knit headbands... or any other kind of headband either, for that matter. I think they look good on short-haired girls, but they look awful on me.

I think I am the only person in knitblog-land who really loved Annie Modesitt's Corded Yoke Pullover. I think it would be nice knit in a cotton blend that has a sheen, with short sleeves. The bared shoulders make me think of summer. And some beads on the cords. That would be cute, I think.

Cowgirl slipper socks are knit in worsted (warm!!), use a feather and fan patterning, and are short. Three things in their favor. I like them.

I love those sweaters with fair-isle yokes, so yes, I do like the Enid Cardigan.

I adore the Equestrian Blazer. It's knit in a shade of purple-pink, simple, and beautifully shaped. Add this to the "To-Knit" list!!

The Jawbreaker Cardigan is not my style, but the yarn is really pretty, and I could see this looking great on slimmer figures (then again, what doesn't?).

I wish the model wearing the Nantucket Jacket hadn't been slumping. Is this shaped? The bonus photo looks like it is, and if so, it's a gorgeous design that could work for me. Another of those that I'll have to see knit by others before I decide for myself.

The Pewter Coat looks nice. It's pretty... I like the cables and the collar.

The Provincial Waistcoat, I think, would be more "knittable" with sleeves. Of course, that defeats the purpose, and changes it into a jacket, but there's my opinion. If it had sleeves, I'd really consider it. It's pretty, and I love the shaping details. Maybe it would look good over those collared shirts I love to wear.

Another Rambling Rose! Very different from the one I have knit. Very lovely... I adore it! I'll add it to my "To-Knit" list if I see that it looks good on other people. I love all the patterning and details, but am not sure that they'd flatter me.

The Refined Raglan is cute... it's almost boring, but I like the patterning on the raglan increases. It gives some interest, while still keeping the sweater simple. Simple is often a great thing, and works in this case. Another fun thing about this sweater, is that it can be knit in a bright color due to its simplicity... but not many people can get away with the particular color shown. My biggest question is whether it's shaped (yes, I know, that may be getting old, but it is a huge concern for me).

I don't know any guy who'd wear the Retrograde Pullover... maybe it's the color, but it looks awfully feminine.

I LOVE the Rustic Holiday Stocking! GIMME! It is adorable!

The Thrummed Mittens are cute, but I'm not really a mitten person... I like to have the use of all 5 fingers.

The Touch Me Tunic is not my style, but it's not ugly. I like the bonus photo better than the main... it definitely shows off its good features more. The lace pattern is nice.

Tweed Beret - I love hats, but I don't know if I would look nice in a beret, and I'm not going to knit one before I find out.

The Venezia Pullover is my FAVORITE! I love it, I have always loved fair-isle sweaters, and this one is SHAPED, meaning I could wear it without looking enormous. The teeny needles I'm sure are used to knit this don't bother me. I've never knit fair-isle, but I ain't afeared! The major holdup (aside from the million things I have yarn for now), is that I don't want to knit it in these colors, and I don't know anything about matching colors for fair isle. I want it in pinks and mauves, with maybe some smokey grays and cream... and I don't know. It calls for TEN colors! Anyone have references for choosing fair isle palettes? This one's added to my "To-Knit" list, for darn sure. I even updated it on the sidebar list.

I love the Wine and Roses Mitts, but I'd have to figure out fingers. My fingers are always cold, too, not just my hands.

The Blue Skies cardigan is not my style. I kinda like the collar.

I'm not into knitting baby stuff, so I won't bother with the booties. Maybe if I ever decide to have children.

Eunny Jang also has an artcle on steeking in this issue! Can't wait to read it... her articles are great.

Notice I said nothing about the subsciber-only flip-top mittens. I'm not a subscriber, so I won't have access to the pattern. But they are a dime for a dozen, so I'm not overly concerned.

VK Holiday:

I love the two sweaters that gorgeous Asian model is wearing. The third picture looks like a wrap in some very beautiful colors, but that's all I can tell about it.

Nothing in the "Purple Reign" section really grabs my fancy. I really like the collars on the mauve and navy sweaters, but I'm not too fond of turtlenecks. The first one, although cute, looks really bulky, and while it's tempting, I know better. The third one I can't really tell too much about. The collar and cabling are nice, but the shaping? Who knows. The purple vest thing reminds me of Mrs. Marigold (by Zephyr Stle), but not as cute.

In "Town and Country," I love the lace ruffled skirt the first model is wearing (too bad that's not a project). The sweater is nice, but doesn't interest me that much. The fair isle beret is pretty, but I've already discussed berets. I don't really care for cabled camisoles, and the twinset is no exception. I feel like there is nothing to balance it, or something. I ADORE the bag and the scarf, and completely understand why so many people have mentioned wanting to knit that periwinkle shawl-collared cabled wrap cardi... it's beautiful! I'd like to have a go at it, myself.

I love all three of the patterns in "Grace Notes," especially the last one.

I was all excited, thinking my mom had gotten me the VK I just reviewed. It turns out that she picked up the KnitSimple holiday issue instead. That's ok, it's not a bad issue, and was thoughtful of her. :-)

The knit birds are really cute, and it has a stocking that is alright, but nothing special. There is a very pretty afghan, and a cute crocheted teddy bear. There are also some cute "elf accessories," including the hat, mittens, scarf, and socks, and there is a nice blanket, made of huge granny squares and squares of garter stitch. IMO, the highlight of the issue is Nicky Epstein's amazing felted poinsetta wreath.

The sweaters aren't too interesting... there is one I really like, one piece, knit sideways in garter, which seems a neat construction to me, and the sideways garter gives it a really neat texture. But I wouldn't have the slightest idea on how to add waist shaping, so I don't think it's an option for me.

Some of the scarves are cute, but you've seen them all before. There's a really nice hooded scarf, a seed stitch scarf, crocheted medallion scarf, a scarf in something called a bamboo stitch, which is actually pretty cool, a chevron scarf, a couple of lace scarves.

The hat pattern is adjustable, but again, nothing special. There is a cute drop stitch wrap I really like, and a cami with only one cable on it, which is actually cute... the cable isn't overwhelming. There is another sweater I like called the Flower-yoke Pullover. I may knit this as a gift. There is a cardi made of a pretty sparkley yarn. For the kids, there is a cute earflap hat, a pullover for toddlers, a vest, and striped socks.

I will definitely make that wreath someday. I think the issue was worth it just for that pattern!

I'm finally getting my hands on some Lorna's Laces! Two skeins of Lorna's Laces shepherd sock in Mardi Gras to be exact. Here's a link to the only picture I could find of the color:
On Ebay

I'm hoping that it's a truer Mardi Gras colorway than the picture shows - more gold instead of orange. The lady I'm getting it from couldn't remember. I know, I know... only Louisianians think that purple, green, and gold look great together. I have a major weakness for Mardi Gras colored yarns. I'm worried though... I don't have a ball-winder or anything like that and I think it comes in hanks. How will I wind it if it doesn't come before I head to South Louisiana? Should I knit socks or gloves? I'm thinking it would be awesome to knit gloves in this colorway and wear them to Mardi Gras! Can anyone recommend a MG-esque sock or glove pattern? Or one that just looks great with varigated yarns? I'll consider either. Any suggestions, really, are welcome. I know sometimes a pattern works well in a var. yarn, and sometimes the yarn obscures the pattern entirely... but I have yet to work out how you can really tell without swatching.

Oh, and thanks to Knitter's Review, I got mine for less than half the price of that eBay auction, including shipping. Score!

I don't talk about cooking too much, but over the weekend I made my favorite dish, crawfish pasta, and a carrot cake, and both turned out so well! Mmmm, delish!

Oh, and by the way, I still haven't found a scarf pattern for my lonely ball of Malabrigo... but it is crack in the form of yarn. This stuff had to have been spun in Heaven, by the angels. It is the softest stuff ever! Anyone know how it wears? I'd LOVE a silky-soft, beautifully colored cardigan out of this stuff!

Edited to add: After more searching online, three other photos of the Mardi Gras Lorna's Laces show a yellow-gold color rather than orange. Yay!!! Cannot wait for my new yarn!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Name Change!

I never really figured I'd post much in the blog, so I never spent any time thinking of a name for it. And, I've kept to that, somewhat... haha. I don't really post often. I normally only post when I have something to post about, or feel I haven't posted in so long that people may think the blog's been abandoned. I like to write about patterns, yarns, and all that great stuff for my own purposes... but I never figured I'd be one of the bloggers with tons of readers and witty posts, although it is cool when someone "drops by." But I was never happy with "craftycrystal" as the name. It was the first thing I thought of, and while I thought it was pretty lame, I just couldn't think of anything to replace it. But, as I'm a Louisianaian, and rather proud of it, I decided to try "Knit on the Bayou" and see if I like it any better. What do you think? You have to sing it, to the tune of CCR's "Born on the Bayou." ;-)

Also, I am NOT admitting that I started another project. Using the Hyacinth Wool of the Andes I was going to use for the Drops Design cardigan with flowers... for which I'll now need to find another yarn. I was never certain about that sweater in this color, anyway. I'm thinking maybe a lilac.

Editing this to say that Susan had a much better suggestion for a name, and I am so taking it. Thanks! :-D