and that’s why you always finish your seams.

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i am a little ridiculous. i made two anna dresses so far. one midi length with a v neck, and one maxi length with a slash neck and thigh-high split. these two dresses have been my foray into synthetic drape-y fabric. i want to be comfortable with silk, but first i want to learn on cheaper material.

one crucial thing i did not do for the maxi dress is pink the skirt seams. i finished the dress, ecstatically, tried it on and was so happy with the result– it fits like a dream. i wore the dress to work and about an hour into the workday, i noticed the seams were getting really….. unravely. by the end of the day giant clumps had formed along each seam, and some spots had unraveled through my seam! i was so upset! the parts of the dress i had pinked were fine, but these raw edges just were not happy. my plan is to rip out all of the skirt seams, and take them in a little bit so i can finish the edges correctly.

what a stupid mistake. now i know, i suppose!

pajama update.

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they are done! but the shorts are too tight!!!!!!! BOO!! haven’t had an epic fail in awhile i guess. (btw the shirt is a back view. i will definitely make this pattern again. super cute. just make the shorts in a bigger size). UPDATE: i gave the shorts to a lovely co worker! she said they fit!

twirl.

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i finished my hat on the plane to california. it was pretty funny because i wanted to finish it night before but couldn’t, and when we got to the gate we immediately boarded, so i feverishly did the final decreases on the takeoff, and pretty soon into the flight i completed it and attached the tassels. it was an early morning flight, so most people were sleeping or groggy, but i was doing a little dance of happiness in my plane seat.

UPDATE: here’s a pic of the finished hat:

california was so beautiful, but the most fiber-related part of the trip happened in a yarn store in Petaluma. Knitterly was the most wonderful little place. i took a walk around, noticing and petting all the pretty skeins, and then i came back to the front of the store, almost about to walk out without purchasing anything, and then i found the most breathtaking (seriously..) display of yarn i had ever happened upon.

handspun, pre-center pulled balls of yarn nestled in white tissue in wide, shallow blueberry boxes were stacked on (i think) a picnic table with bench “shelves.” i lost all interest in anything but this, and touched every single ball of yarn. some of the yarn was undyed and ranged from a very dark dark gray black to a light brown mocha to a wonderful light smoke. the dyed colors were reds, purples, blues and greens. i must have picked up almost every ball to consider purchasing it.

one of the employees saw my enchantment and explained to me that the yarn was made by a woman in Napa who lives on a farm with all of the animals who provide their wool to make the yarn. she shears, cleans, spins and dyes all the yarn herself! on the labels she includes the names of each animal who contributed to the finished product. the kind employee also told me that this wonderful fiber artist started out not using dyes, but once she made some herself, she couldn’t resist the amazing colors she could achieve. the yarn is only sold in two stores, knitterly and another store in downtown san francisco, and sells out very, very quickly. it is also ridiculously reasonably priced.

i deliberated about what yarns to get for a very long time. i settled on two bright grass green balls, and two medium heathery gray ones. i plan to make a cladonia striped shawl with these beauties.

bravo, california.

brioche hat.

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im making purl bee’s brioche hat. i think ive started it and ripped it out at least 4 times, which i almost never do. the brioche stitch is soooooo confusing, with all the bark and burp rows (WHAT!?!). i looked for youtube tutorials but they all were very confusing, and since i was doing the maddeningly specific “two color brioche stitch in the round,” it was difficult to find the video tutorial i needed. i did find one tutorial that showed continental style knitting in the round but it was so slow moving and the narrator knits in a really foreign way to me, so it made no sense.

i finally found a website dedicated to brioche stitch and i familiarized myself with all the different types and what the stitch is actually doing. i had actually found this site earlier, but i didnt click around on it, so when i came back and realized this site has an insane amount of info, i mentally kicked myself for not realizing sooner and learned my way around the brioche state of mind.

salvation came to me in this newsprint cowl (rav link). this is seriously the exact same cowl pattern as the purl bee. whoever made this pattern, THANK YOU SO MUCH because its the only two color brioche pattern i’ve found that makes sense to me. its so simple, why do other patterns have to muck up the directions so much????! but ANYWAY!!! im several rows in and she’s looking mighty pretty. im glad i found a use for this traded handspun white yarn– its sooo soft! and i also had this teal blue cascade 220 sitting around, and the combo is just so perfect! yay!

despite all of this, i love these little triumphs i work myself through.

back in the groove.

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here’s a sneak peek of a little guy (a cowl, in this case) im working on..

knitting seems to be growing on me quite a bit, which is a nice change from the awkwardness i used to feel when using multiple needles (instead of one crochet hook). i remember first picking up knitting and getting the strange feeling that i was forcing my way into a grid of needles and stitches that had no desire to bend. crochet has always felt like an extension of my hand; the hook feels pliable and able to maneuver into any stitch. i am so happy that im starting to feel that way with knitting. HOORAY! 

felicity saves the day.

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remember felicity the american girl? my sister had her, but i had samantha. i have no idea why i wanted that one, because felicity was highly superior. the patterns and styles of her clothes were beautiful. i even read all the books.. hahahaha.

ANYWAY, i finished my first hat! one of my friends has been using the felicity hat pattern (requires a ravelry account) for quite a few hats now, so i thought it would be a good place to start. Her hats are always fit fabulously (i said fabulously, yes). 
this was my first experience with noro. ive seen ravelry-ins using it for awhile, and i wanted to see why people go so nuts over it. PROS: i really liked the colorway, so creative and different. i usually stray from using self-striping yarns, because i just dont like how the colors blend into one another, but noro’s is so nice. CON: the yarn broke twice (both at crucial moments of the project, which was extremely nerve-racking, but i got through it.)

i used to think that i really liked crochet hats. after this, i am pretty sure i liked knitted ones better.. they use less yarn, less bulky, and stretchier in the right places. sorry, crochet. i loved you for so long, but it seems as if i am moving on to knitting. its not you, its me.