New Level Nerd
While capsule wardrobe/uniform dressing strikes me as bloody boring, I am intrigued. It is rather interesting. For one, it is utter simplicity. It also requires a good sense of play in order to create a multitude of outfits from less than one dozen pieces of fabric.
One of the members of the French Chic board issued a small challenge to anyone who wished to join: Create a capsule wardrobe of only ten items and play within the boundaries of those pieces to create as many outfits as possible. Naturally, accessories (Oh, those French women and the scarf!) could be employed. Given that I am as inspired by Dan Ho as the late Isabella Blow, my Inner Simple and my Inner Style are in heated debate. I would like to streamline, but I am not ready to pare down to a capsule or a uniform.
Considering how shoe-focused I am, I own a mere 16 pairs of shoes, two pairs of snow boots and my workout "sneakers". The handbag count is four, but I did not bother to count my vintage hat collection. It is well tamed from the 50+ I once owned. As for clothing, that count is a bit more shameful. Not counting coats, workout clothing, tights, scarves and such, I have 56 pieces of clothing in my active wardrobe. By "active" I am talking about the clothing that fits me. There is more tucked away, but these clothes are for "leaner times".
How do I know this? I spent the afternoon taking inventory...and entering the information onto a spreadsheet. Do not say a word...particularly if you are a Ravelry user! That site is so good, so yarn nerdy!
29 June 2007
Post Karte Project
My package from Reethi arrived yesterday, and it was perfect timing because I missed out on the shoes I showed yesterday. My size is not to be found -- at least not at a price I am willing to pay.
While I am slightly despondent over the green shoes, please do not feel sorry for me. The gifts from Reethi and these plum beauties -- by the same designer as the green shoes -- have me feeling rather cheerful.
27 June 2007
Nearing the End
My bookcases have seen little flux as well. Thwarted by an inability to focus on anything more taxing than books on personal style, organizing a closet and living simply, the Classics and more heavy non-fiction still await my attention. My attempts at both Mansfield Park and Persuasion filled me with a perverse desire to exhume the dusty remains of Jane Austen and snap a bone in exchange for giving me a migraine and tired eyes.
A quick look at my finances was very revealing. What I "saved" in yarn, I spent in food, clothing and shoes. While I curtailed my eating out somewhat, I still need to cut back further in that area. Particularly now that I am allowed to buy yarn again.
Quite often I feel as if my possessions (yarn, books, clothing, all of it) are nothing but a burden on my soul. A few days later, something in me snaps, and I want to collect clothing and shoes as if I were Iris Apfel or Nan Kempner. Alas, the financial gulf between the academic staffer and the New York City socialites is a rather wide one.
In pursuit of my desire to live simply, to reclaim my time from electronics and gadgets and to save money, I have seriously pondered cancelling cable. Life without television would buy me time to sew, to knit, to read and these Chie Mihara shoes. After all, I would have to do something with all of the money I save from cancelling cable service.
25 June 2007
My Monday Night
I ran a few errands before returning home, and when I stumbled in -- laden with gym bag, knitting bag, handbag, small lunch cooler, altered dress and a Target bag -- I was near tears with rejoicing over one small fact. I had the apartment to myself.
Living with a man and his children often reminds me of living with roommates. I pray for a bit of time alone, and I breathe a tremendous sigh of relief when my prayer is answered. Too often, I am fooled by the empty driveway, and I bounce into the apartment only to discover that the youngest -- who is without a car -- is home.
I read somewhere that Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter have two houses joined by a common corridor. It sounds divine to me. As an only child, I may play well with others, but I do not live well with others. Not at all.
Below is how I spent my solo Monday night thus far.
- Doing a load of laundry.
- Eating popcorn for dinner.
- Indulging in a facial mask. I need to do this more often.
- Sifting through blogs on Goggle Reader. I need to do this less often.
- Paging through magazines for fashion and home decor inspirations.
- Slicing and packing watermelon for lunch.
- Knitting one more repeat of the Frilly Milly lace pattern.
- Laying out my work clothing. I do this often enough.
Within minutes, I shall be luxuriating in the bath with a copy of Ready to Wear.
Written out, it looks pathetic. I certainly did not achieve much, nor was it particularly exciting stuff. However, I any woman with roommates or children will know how precious this time alone is. Chores can be done with deliberateness. Silence can be the most magical background.
22 June 2007
A Tales of Three Sweaters: Fizzle
Our fair maiden often sought, and followed, the knitting counsel of Theresa. In spite of Theresa's wisdom, there were times when the fair maiden was too pig-headed and failed to heed the sophic Theresa's advice.
Rowan Handknit Cotton is a much-loved yarn throughout Lumay Land, Theresa was no exception. Yet, in spite of her
love of the Handknit Cotton, she did not think it a suitable choice for the knitting pattern called Sizzle. Yet, our fair maiden did not heed the cautions, and she proceeded to knit Sizzle with Handknit Cotton. She was buoyed by the support of two other members of the knitting court -- Anneliese and Sharyn -- who selected Handknit Cotton as well.
*cue foreshadowing music*
The stiffness of the yarn resulted in a most unflattering silhouette. The fair maiden cried out, "my Sizzle is a Fizzle". Not even the acquisition of cute new shoes -- bought on sale at Bass Outlet in Centrailia -- could console the fair maiden, for all she could notice was the front of Sizzle creating a tent shape and taking flight from her body.
Alas, the poor maiden took some small comfort in the fact that two her fizzled Sizzle was one of three in the land. Although it pained her greatly, the fair maiden had no choice but to reduce the fizzled Sizzle to a pile of orange yarn cakes.
At least of the Tale of Sizzle. Who can say what garment in Lumay Land is safe from the might wrath and swift of our fair maiden?
21 June 2007
A Tales of Three Sweaters: Nerissa
Nerissa from Rowan Magazine 41
March 16th - June 20th, 2007 (nearly an epic knit)
I have no idea why this took me so long to finish such a simple pattern, but I am blaming it on a justified fear of poor fit
2.5 balls of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in #640, Sprite (that is Mint to you and me).
I knit the 34" size, using #6 KnitPicks Options for the body and #3 KnitPicks Options for the trimmings.
This pattern, like so many, had the lace pattern repeating up to the nipples. This current wave of breast bisection is an utter mystery to me, as it flatters very few women. I like to flatter my pert-for-my-age bosom so I stopped the lace pattern after 9" and inserted a garter ridge to create an empire effect.
As if a good fit on Nerissa and sharing my birthday with such wonderful people as Steve, Saun and Pete weren't gift enough, a number of friends surprised me with unexpected and delightful gifts. Sharyn brought a necklace and bracelet from Hawaii, Teri softened the blow of a dismantled Molly Ringwald with an iTunes gift card and Nancy shed her Dark Lady image long enough to send me the sweetest and most adorable stitch markers I have ever seen! They are so f-ing cute, they make me want to scream (and swear, apparently). It gets better.
20 June 2007
A Tale of Three Sweaters: Miss-fit Molly
In spite of my hopes of passing the mantle of the JenLa Golden Frog Award, 2007 may be a banner year for ripping in Lumay Land. What I ripped in all of 2006 is nothing compared to what I have ripped so far this year. I even threw a few garments into the trash (Tubular Camisole) when the ripping got rough. Elastic, short rows and bobbles...bye-bye!
Teri is Queen Rip. She ripped out Nicky Epstein's Floral Felted hangbag because her stitches looked ever so slightly "off". Mind you, the project is felted!
So what did I expect when I sought Teri's counsel on my Molly Ringwald fit dilemma? After some brainstorming, we were left with two options: rip or give Molly to Teri. For shits and giggs (as Sharyn says) she tried it on. You cannot imagine how it feels to eat the words, "If you can jam those big Ds in there, she's all yours".
I could not face the swift, and Teri offered to do the ripping for me. Late last week, this package arrived via Fedex.
Only a true friend will do your knitting dirty work and pay the shipping.
19 June 2007
There are some numbers that I do not care to see, such as the current scale reading. After 11 months of Weight Watchers, I should be at my goal weight. After all, five pounds per month is a healthy and reasonable expectation for shedding weight. Alas, I am roughly half way to that magic number, and my six-month long plateau shows no sign of breaking. The good news is that I can be happy that I have "maintained" this long with nearly zero effort on my part.
The better news is that I have finally committed to incorporating exercise into my life, and it feels wonderful. But the best news is that I can gab endlessly about nutrition, RPMS, and BPMs with Alyssa without either of us getting bored. In fact, we might well be more excited by each other's health and fitness successes than our own. I know that she inspires me to take on a tougher workout and eat better, and I hope it is reciprocal. Not only does Alyssa share my rediscovered love of fitness, but she shares my numbers geekiness as well. Put those two factors together, and you have endless emails about food diaries, workout routines, not to mention online health and fitness tools.
I have known about Nutrition Data for some time, and I find it extremely useful to view the nutritional value of French fries before I saunter over to the cafe for lunch. But should I fail to opt for the more nutritionally sound options that Nutrition Data is happy to provide, I can calculate the offset of my lunchtime saunter on my lunchtime indulgence at Map My Run.
It pleases me that dashing to the library at lunch is an admirable two-mile walk, and the fact that I tend towards a brisk pace is just icing on my walking cake. Oh, I mean it's the whipped skim milk topping on my sliced nectarine.
Labels: health and fitness
18 June 2007
The Jig Is Up
First off, the labelling of any event as "renegade" immediately makes snot faces such as myself look for every opportunity to challenge the renegadeness of it all. Indeed, my first issue? The ice cream truck. How renegade is it to serve ice cream on a hot day? Next.
The use of the 1970s owl as a renegade symbol? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. It also makes me think of macrame, which is what we modern crafters abhor, no? Maybe it is ironic... Because irony is so renegade.
For all of my snarkiness, I had a good time walking the fair and I did purchase some prints from The Black Apple and Jamie Zollars, as well as a tile/coaster from y*not*me*designs.
Yarn-related adventures are forthcoming.
15 June 2007
While a great number of you crafty gals in blogland make my mouth drop in awe with the speed at which you produce projects, I keep good company with another craft slacker, Petula*Darling. We "met" last summer via our
One thing that binds Petula*Darling and I is our love of petticoats and the lamentation that it is extremely challenging to find find petticoat-friendly skirts. Thus, a challenge was born. The gauntlet was thrown from Maine to New York, and we have committed to a petticoat-friendly skirt sew-along. Although I thought it was just "sew a skirt"; I was not aware of the added stipulation of petticoat-friendly until reading Petula's post on the subject.
The deadline, and public unveiling, is July 11th, and I have yet to find/select/draft a pattern. You would think that the possibility of wearing sewing book pages as a skirt would get me moving. Instead, I am incorporating squats and lunges into my workout. Just want to cover my butt, so to speak.
14 June 2007
Knit 2 Together
Noro Iro # 66 - 1 hank and the smidgiest smidge of a second hank
Denise #10.5, 40" circular for cast on
Inox #10.5 , 16" circular for bulk of the hat
June 10-14, 2007
I made absolutely no modifications other than guessing that I might need to knit this on smaller needles than suggested in the pattern (#11) because I tend to knit a little loose. I did not swatch, and I think my hat ended up a tad snug. However, this could be finessed with blocking.
The brim still needs to be sewn, which I hope will give it a bit of a boost in the front. Also, I need to attach the strap and find the perfect buckle for the hat.
The introductory paragraph to the pattern:
Wearing a hat with a brim makes me feel a little like Miss Marple. This one is jaunty, easy, and fast to make.
Yes, it is relatively fast to make, although I doubt Miss Marple could see her way through the agony of the Twisted Purl Stitch with her twisted, arthritic hands.
Labels: Projects - Lady Dectective Hat
13 June 2007
When my uncle finally took a bride, they moved into the apartment above ours, and without consultation, Aunt Janet replaced the strawberry patch with a garden of sunflowers.
You cannot imagine the rush of nostalgia I felt squatting at Vassar Farm yesterday, picking my allotment of fresh strawberries. I could not resist popping a few berries directly into my mouth at that moment. The sweetness. The juiciness. So wonderful.
After nearly two hours of cleaning and chopping yesterday's share distribution of vegetables, I whipped up a simple meal of sauteed sorrel, steamed broccoli, chickpeas (canned but seasoned with herbs from the Meditation Garden) and a generous portion of quinoa. Joe and I noted that such fresh food requires very little in the way of preparation and seasoning. The freshness comes through, and that is precisely what we want to taste.
The shell peas will be cooked tonight, but we had to pop one open last night. Even raw, the peas were so sweet and delightful. Mostly likely, the peas will be mixed with quinoa and served as a side to some sort of protein. I have a few hours to sort out that minor detail.
It is difficult to stare in the face of abundance and wish for less, but I think the first day on the job for the office coffee maker was a showing of over-abundance.
11 June 2007
The Car Project
I am in the homestretch with Nerissa, and I have a bit of fear that it will be another fit disaster. The fear is irrational, as I tried on after finishing the neckline, and all seemed well. However, we know what foul tricks the knit pixies can play with our garments when left idle in a knitting bag.
04 June 2007
Back to Reality
01 June 2007
What I lacked in sewing time, I made up for in quality visiting time, gym time and knitting time. I did get a fair amount of knitting done on Frilly Milly.
Teri and I have been having fun, and I have been sharing knitting groups stories, particularly how Sharyn (who claimed not like knitting) has turned into "a real knitter". In honor of Sharyn's descent into knitterly madness, what follows are some photos of Teri's first intensive Fair Isle project -- with steeks!
Labels: Projects - Frilly Milly