Saturday, March 27, 2010

Captain Tightpants

Not that I haven't always wanted to use that as a post title or anything...

But I thought I'd show you the unofficial first installment of the Firefly Sock Club. It's actually just for a small group of friends - we all love sock yarn and we all love Firefly, so I suggested that I'd do up a short, very unofficial sock club for us.

Our first installment is Mal-inspired.

Christina of Woolen Mill St Yarn has been helping with the yarn, which is fantastic and squishy (and my custom-dyed Dr Rush is currently knitting up into a great pair of Toast). I picked up the great stitchmarkers from Knitoramaa. And VCM made up some cute 'you can't take the sky from me' project bags with a dash of Kaylee-inspiration added.

Okay, I think my Black Turtle Beans have almost cooked through. I'm off to see what I can make with them!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Bonnets and Red Hot Chocolate

I think I'm set for Easter. I have pictures of Easter bonnets and just the right yarn! First, aren't these amazing bonnets?

They're from an 1869 edition of La Mode I picked up. Again, I just smile as I turn the pages.

This morning I also got my latest installment of the Needle Food Sock Club. No, don't worry. This is not the sock yarn! I wouldn't spoil it that soon (though, wow, it's gorgeous!). It's some Red Hot Chocolate I obtained when I upsized my sock club parcel. It's glorious.

Speaking of food... who loves noodles? My hens love noodles!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trust me, I'm a doctor

I am, actually. A doctor. Although, I always feel like I should wear this T-shirt to explain.

Now, you know a little while ago, I had a serious geek/kitsch impulse that had to do with illusion knitting. Seeing illusion knitting in photos just wasn't enough. I couldn't get my mind around it. Then the geek/kitsch impulse struck, too, and so I picked out some Bendigo Woolen Mills in Ginger and something else (it's the Ginger that's really important to note here) and was knitting...

Well, I'm still just showing you photos, but... wow. Illusion knitting really does work. Trust me. Look at this - totally innocent stripes. No one would even blink at these stripes.

Until they saw them from a certain angle...

Of course, I think he looks more like Barty Crouch here, but, you know...

And no, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it! (Added note, link to pattern here.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little French Vintage

I've been turning these pages with wonder. It's like magic - a window into a previous era of French fashion.

The pages are yellow and frail, but, oh, I just smile as I look at the illustrations!

My French is not strong, but if I arm myself with a dictionary, I should be able to make out most of the articles!

In the meantime, I've put down all lace knitting for a spell. I read this post a little while ago and it stayed in the back of my mind. I've got fantastic lace and cables on my needles and I am a girl who likes to have multiple projects on the go so that I can pick and choose what I feel like knitting, but yesterday I realised... my brain is tired. I spent several days struggling with exhaustion that I couldn't understand. Then I thought - I'm writing a lot. So I'm engaging in a nice 'holiday' with plain knitting in pretty colours. Now when I pick up the needles, I relax. My brain needs that. It's okay. I will return to the lace later.

Because I am loving the Evenstar Shawl! It's just that there's just one stitch left to make a ssk, so I'm pretty sure I did something wrong in the last row...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Peaking over the MacBook screen

I've been glued to the screen of late, tapping away diligently. If I chance to look up, though, I can see the sleeve of my Coraline cardigan begin to emerge. Isn't that the prettiest little cuff? I love it. It is oddly satisfying.

Unfortunately, sometimes I don't look up from the screen. As I result, I not only find myself with growing chapters, but also with far too many patterns for colourwork mittens. I mean, seriously, how many mittens do I need when I live in a place that doesn't even get snow? Today it was the Tea and Cake Mittens (Ravelry link - have you seen the new log-in page? Cute!). I'm thinking a nice TARDIS blue for the background, because they're just the thing for a regenerating 10th Doctor. I'm not sure about the 11th yet. I have heard rumours about what he needs, but a few friends will shoot me for giving away spoilers if I write them here.

Ah well. My Mac&Cheese has almost reheated and I'm at a really good bit in the writing...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

She Has My Phone!

Look, I'm serious... that's my phone in her hands! (Although I'd seriously love this phone.)

This is one of the shots inside Precious, Kim Hargreaves' book. The styling is gorgeous - very 60s. There's at least five sweaters in it I want to knit.

Speaking of knitting, I am making progress on many things all at once, so no actual knitting to show, but my Twilight Knits package did at last arrive.

The colours are that bit unusual (there's more black in the purple and yellow that I managed to not capture in the photo) and the yarn is lovely and squishy. However, I think the yarn went on a sight seeing tour before landing at its destination. No fault of the seller - just the inexplicibility of the mail service.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Brought to you by the colour green

It's rainy. For some reason, the article on Wizard Rock is stalled. What to do... what to do... make a little guacamole? I've never made it before, but delicious! I just combined mushed up avocado with spring onions, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and mustard seed oil. With corn chips, a great lunch time treat.

And I have hot water again, which is very welcome! Although, look at my poor pumpkin vine:

That is apparently the work of the recent hail. Yes, I blamed the hens at first. They have claimed innocence and after reflection, I think I believe them.

Oh well, back to article revisions.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Feeling 18th century

Still no running hot water...

And no servants running about heating water for my bath, either...

I've been getting a little obsessed by skirt shapes. Particularly eighteenth century skirt shapes. You can see a partial image here from the gorgeously illustrated Dangerous Liaisons (although, come on, like me you thought that there is something very Doctor Who about the mannequins used - like a mash-up of "Rose" and "The Girl in the Fireplace"). There's also some excellent screen captures of Jefferson in Paris here that also show the kinds of dresses I'm thinking of. The kind that make me think a little shawlette tucked in around the bodice would really work for an updated version. They are, after all, a contemporary spin on the fichu...

Yes, I've been thinking about new ways to wear the dozens of shawlettes I've made and am making.

You can also see above a dress pattern I snapped up the other day - a 60s take, I think, on that 18th century skirt. The square neckline, extend the sleeves a little... I think I could make it a wearable wink to the 18th century.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The weather outside is frightful...

When the weather looks like this and your hot water system died the night before...

... you need a big bowl of Mac and Cheese, right?

No, I didn't just eat all of that and no, it's not really Mac and Cheese, but it's not too bad! Gluten and dairy free inspired by the Mac and Cheese recipe I linked last post. I didn't have a number of the ingredients, but I improvised with some added egg and bacon and some gluten free bread crumbled on top and on a night like this... it's good. And there will be lots of leftovers.

Meanwhile, I am working on the Evenstar Mystery Shawl. I'm already a clue behind, but I'm not too worried. Here's a sneaky peek.

Okay, now all I have to do is convince four very soggy hens that they'd like to get in out of the weather and go to bed early so I can begin heating up pots and pans of water... all I need is a little tin tub and a kettle over the fire.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I've Missed Lasagna

There are a few things I really miss since going gluten and dairy free. One of those things... lasagna. You can get gluten free lasagna sheets, but what do you do about the cheese? There are vegan cheese substitutes, but some aren't great and they're hard to track down. That's where Delectably Free came in.

Can you imagine? Who thought some pine nuts, water and lemon juice whipped up in a food processor would be so much like fresh ricotta cheese?

I varied the recipe a little - and of course, I didn't measure anything, because I never do. Instead of zucchini and parsley, I popped in spinach and basil fresh from the garden, along with some hens' lettuce (the hens aren't talking to me for that act of poaching). There's a lot more mushroom. There's also more than enough left overs to do me for a few lunches.

And it was good. Light and yummy. I'm definitely trying out her Mac and Cheese.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pussycat Bows

How can you resist a dress with a pussycat bow?

And the first woman pictured on the pattern envelope here is just aces - she's teamed her pussycat bow with a fetching hat and as Edith Head advises: "Hatlessness is all right in certain places, but there is no flatterer (with the possible exception of a Latin lover) more certain to make a woman look younger and prettier than a becoming hat."

I picked up Edith Head's How to Dress for Success after reading about it on Glass of Fashion. You have to love a book that features the model with a bag over her head.

I've been hooting with laughter as I read such gems as:

"When you place yourself on the launching pad, pointed toward the great adventure of matrimony, please be realistic and pick a goal you can reach."

"The wildly popular pants craze which was started many years ago by Marlene Dietrich shows no signs of abating, but unless you look well in pants, or are willing to spend the time and money to equip yourself with a really efficient pantie-girdle, I say stick to skirts."

At this point, I look guiltily at the chocolate brownie and begin to wonder if they still sell really efficient pantie-girdles...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mmmmmm... toasty!

This yarn just makes me yearn for soggy winter days. I love it so. It's numma numma, one of my very favourites, in Baba Ganoush and Georgia Peach (you can tell which is which by that glorious peachiness on the right skein). I admit, I didn't really know what Baba Ganoush was. I am now tempted to make some, particularly since it's gluten and dairy free. That way I can have my yarn and eat it too...

Ouch. Yes, I know. That was bad.