Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Good Stuff

As you might have noticed Monday, I got post-writing happy last week and started scheduling posts, (but forgot to put pictures into Monday's...oops). Lack of blogging is largely due to wanting to talk about things in a certain order but not being the least bit ready to do it that way, so I'm tossing order out the window and going for topics I've got the photos for.

That said, here's what I'm sure you've been waiting for: the knitted wedding dress!


Complete with me-made crushed tulle underskirt and me-crafted ribbon belt. "Crafted" is maybe too strong a word for the belt. I literally pinned two flowers to a piece of ribbon. It looks gorgeous, though.


Yet, that is not the limit of my craftiness! Oh no! Naturally, we needed a personalized cake-topper. I whipped it up super quickly, super last-minute with the help of the clay stash of my friend Ali.


Aren't they the sweetest? We think so too. :)


And that is as far as I've delved into our wedding and honeymoon pictures. There are a lot of them. :P I can understand why photographers charge so much to take, evaluate, and edit photos. It's going to take us years at the rate we are going....

Coming soon: what I'm working on and a new FO!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Steve

I'm happy to announce that we have welcomed a betta back into the Bunnies & Bettas household! His name is Steve. Or The Captain. Or Captain Steve.


I've missed the bettas more than John has and managed to talk him into* getting one on a short stop into Petco for some litter. I've really enjoyed watching him. He likes to hang out in a cave in his aquarium just like Ophelia does. I think they might be related. ;)


John has advanced from bettas to angelfish to discus. I keep asking him to write up some fish posts, but he is resistant. He's been busy working on a million other things, so I can't blame him. Discus are stunning and huge and colorful. I'll ask him for a discus post so you can see our new additions. (He has tentatively said yes, so get excited!)

*I picked one out and said we were going to buy him.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ocean

My vision was to finish this top in Oregon and model it on the beach and make a video with those pictures set to the song I named it after. Alas...I stood at the sort of yucky, artificially blue pond near our house amidst the gnats and only got two decent photos. Just imagine how great the vision was as you read.

Ocean


PatternHélène by Veronik Avery
Yarn: Knit Picks Lindy Chain in Sagebrush
Needles: US 4
Project Page

This is one of those rare instances where I am sort of glad patterns age in my queue much longer than I anticipate. This pattern was released in 2011, when there was one color of Quince & Co. Sparrow, which also happened to be one of the very few linen yarns on the market. Now, in 2015, I had the choice of many Sparrow colors and also this much cheaper, much more colorful, Lindy Chain, among other various linens and linen blends. Naturally, I had to go with a minty green. It's sort of been my jam since last fall, though I don't know if that's shown in my knitting or not....


The pattern is a piece of cake and (I know there are sleeves but) NO (knit separately, then attached) SLEEVES. No sleeves might by my jam for a while too, she said after already starting one or two sweaters sleeves first, ignoring the pile of sweaters without sleeves >.>. In fact, this pattern is so great that even after swatching and half-checking my gauge, I knit the whole thing at a gauge that was entirely too small (row-wise, the only gauge that matters and the only part of my gauge I didn't check) and it still fits me perfectly. Magic? I think so.


I really want to recommend the yarn to you. I do. I mean, I knit a top out of it and it's great. It hasn't fallen apart, didn't spontaneously combust, or anything. But, it's a chain construction and it snags sometimes, even with dull needles. The snags are pretty easy to fix with a bit of tugging, but it's obnoxious. It also didn't soften like I expected. I might toss it into the washing machine, but I don't expect that to help much. It's an alright yarn. Great for the price, really. I can't give it 5 stars, though.

Have you knit anything with linen? If so what? Which yarn(s) have you used that you would recommend? I'll probably give Sparrow a go. People talk highly of it. What do you think?

Ah! Almost forgot the music link. Named for one of my all-time favorite songs. It's by a country duo no one has ever heard of that I still think is absolutely genius. It's one of Spike's favorite songs too. :)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Portland

Well, I got an unexpected day off today, the house is clean, and I had to frog my knitting project to go down a needle size (*grumble grumble...swatching, I know...grumble grumble*), so let's write a blog post, eh?

We're married! Yay! It's honestly not that much different than it has been for the last 5 years. I'll get to the wedding in a future post (the dress, most importantly, I'm not the kind of girl to bombard everyone with wedding pictures, but I can't not share the knitted dress). Today, let's talk about what I brought home from our honeymoon trip:


Yarn, of course! Lots and lots of it, haha. We drove from my hometown in Idaho to the Oregon coast (another future blog post) and ended up in Portland, where I met some fantastic Ravelers who took me on a mini yarn-shop-hop. I left with all of this scrumptious wonderful stuff! At first I had planned to buy colors that would remind me of my trip. Then I decided local dyers would be a good choice. And then I went off the rails altogether.


We went to three yarn shops, all gorgeous and all brimming with the most amazing yarns. First stop was Twisted. I was going to be good and buy for my queue if I bought anything. The first thing I bought was this Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Sagebrush. I've heard people talk about it, the color was gorgeous and reminded me of the ocean, it was soft, would work for a sock pattern I've been wanting to make. Done. I should have bought the amazing local stuff they had, but I couldn't match it to a pattern and I couldn't choose my favorite colorway. :P I'm going to have to order it, though, because now I feel I can't live without it, haha. I'm still very pleased with my regional buy, though.


Next, at Happy Knits, I scooped up some Black Trillium Fibres Merilon Sock in Hedwig because it was local, gorgeous, Harry Potter-related (I was with HPKCHCers), kinda reminded me of the Oregon fog and rocks I saw a lot of, and would make John some happy socks (to distract him from the other yarn I was buying).


Finally, we stopped at Yarntastic. There was a sale on my favorite yarns AND a locally-dyed yarn in a Harry Potter-related colorway dyed exclusively for this shop, so I did a bit of both: a sweater quantity of Rowan Felted Tweed for Stasis (I mean right?) and the Potions Master sock yarn from Nerd Girl. Yum!


Some of you will say I shopped with great restraint. Some of you will think I went a bit overboard. I'm at peace (though there was a moment trying to cram it all into the suitcase where I was not). Vacation yarn is a must, I think. And when I've got friends showing me the best of the best, well...who can say no?


I had a fantastic time meeting these ladies and hanging out with them for a day. I really loved Portland and would love to go back. I think there are about 30 more yarn shops I have to visit, so I just have to visit again. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

It Ain't Easy Bein' Green

At long last, here's what I've been referring to as my Slytherin sweater (Caligula would have been Slytherin, for sure!):

A Viper for the Roman People


Pattern: Grace by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Countess Ablaze Viscount of Spark in "Caligula always found some cause for envy"
Needles: US 4

I tried to be really smart with my yarn-buying last year because I'm trying to destash quite a bit. I've been largely successful, but I have to buy up yarn from time to time. Just have to. Last year, one of my favorite indie dyers, Countess Ablaze, was dying special monthly batches based on the 12 Caesars using quotes from Suetonius' biographies of the Caesars as inspiration. I'm a classicist, so I can't turn something like that down. I jumped at the chance to grab some Caligula-inspired yarn and matched it to Grace, which had been in my queue (and in a book on my coffee table) for a while.

At first, I was a little apprehensive about making myself a sparkly green sweater, but if one is going to have a Caligula sweater, one must absolutely go nuts and embrace the insanity! I'm glad I did! I'm also a Slytherin through and through, so green and silver is a necessary wardrobe staple, eh?

I will never wear this buttoned. The bands are too flimsy to sustain that kind of wear. If I ever change my mind (it is kind of cute), I'll have to sew some ribbon to the bands for stability. In all other ways, this is the perfect sweater! If you haven't made yourself a Grace cardigan yet, you need to! I'm going to wear this thing to death!

If you are interested, this year's journey with the Countess is through Homer's The Odyssey. The yarns have been really, really stunning. I haven't had the opportunity to get any, but I plan to. :)

I don't think I've mentioned, but I am getting married very, very soon! That's part of the reason for my blog flakiness this year. It'll be the reason I may go silent for the next month or so, too. I'll try not to! I have lots of freshly finished things to show you. :) If I can find the time in the next week, I'll get those lovelies scheduled. Then, when I come back, I'll be able to show you the wedding dress and lots of other cool things!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ranting and Rambling

We are well beyond the bounds of the "Friday-ish" sweater and still no post! Until yesterday, it needed three more buttons and some ends re-woven in. I had an argument with a button and its placement in the promised week, which ended in undoing the bind-off of one button band and binding off a tad looser. Turns out, it wasn't the poor button's fault, but a problem I've always had with yarn-overs paired with directional decreases.

They are smaller paired with one than the other, which means the lace detail across the top of the cardigan doesn't match up when I button it because it's lower on one side than the other. Aggressive blocking might do the trick, but it takes a hell of a pull to get them to line up, so I'm skeptical. The worst part is, it will never matter because I don't intend to wear it buttoned, but I still care SO MUCH! In any case, it is officially done and ready for pictures.


In other news, I have in my possession quantities of yarn for two coveted summer tops (i.e., sleeveless, a nice break after the Winter of Sleeves) and it is KILLING me that I can't cast anything new on until I have finished a significant number of works-in-progress. It's supposed to be motivating me, but it might be having the opposite effect. I haven't knit much in the last couple of weeks. Only 2.5 sleeves left.


I broke down and swatched the minty stuff last night. I'm going to start that top tomorrow, in-progress sleeves be damned.

I basically wrote this post to rant about all the stuff I'm not doing. I feel better about it. Your turn! Rant here or forever hold your peace! You can rant on your blog and I'll happily go read it there too. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Flannel Dress

Lots of people have been asking me how the dress turned out, so it's really time I share, eh? Well, see for yourself!


My verdict: not too shabby. A couple of minor details like:



Meh. Minor things. I fixed the hole (it was a sewing error...like...I missed that bit...nothing sinister). If I can retrain John to use dryer sheets, problem #2 will also be a non-issue. The reigning opinion is: cute, it's like a pajama dress! Not exactly what I was going for, but it is super comfortable and made from flannel, so I can't fault them that opinion. I find a belt helps dispel the pajama opinion a bit. This is a photo-heavy post, so my apologies, but I'm pretty proud!




It's my first sewn garment, so there was a lot of learning to do on a tight curve, especially given the pattern format (Japanese patterns are super minimal), but I don't remember thinking anything was particularly hard. Buttonholes gave me the most trouble, but I have an amazing friend who helped me with that. Thanks, Codi!

This is pattern V from Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom. I plan to make quite a few more dresses from the book, just not with flannel or until I can take a proper class on sewing garments. :S That said, I have sewn a skirt in the last couple of weeks and my grandma and I as a team figured that sucker out with very few problems. The biggest problem is that my grandma doesn't like it, lol. I'll get some proper pictures of it and you guys can tell me what you think. I'm on the fence. Crushed tulle might not have been as great a choice as regular tulle....

There is another sweater for Friday! The blog is back! Woohoo! I'll try to actually get it up on Friday, but I make no promises. It will go up Friday-ish.

Are you sewing anything? Does it look totally professional and amazing? I know you can do it, though I certainly can't. ;)