23 January 2012

Welcome, Year of the Dragon!

Today (it is still January 23 here) is the lunar New Year and, under the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Dragon.
2012 Year of the Dragon

I was born in a Year of the Dragon. (I leave you to guess whether I will turn 48, 60 or 72 this year.)

Happy New Year!

21 January 2012

I have also been sewing.

By January 3 I had already resurrected one garment and sewn another from scratch! If only I could continue at that pace I could give Carolyn a run for the money! Well, perhaps not.

First, I made this dress last year but never wore it because the delicious slinkiness of the silk jersey clings to every bump, bulge and baloney sandwich underneath it. So shortened it to a top and cut sleeves (from Vogue 8575, my go-to pattern because I never get round to putting it away) from the excess, turning it into this.

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Then, when it came time to pack for a weekend in DC to visit DD and attend a law professors' conference I discovered I had nothing warm (or clean) to wear so I made another, better iteration of Vogue 8525. This one looks exactly like the photo on the pattern envelope, since I made it out of a nice charcoal grey double knit. I wore it every day in Washington because I like it and I could wear as many layers underneath as the temperature required. I pressed DD (who was surprised to learn I had made the top! Oh, joy supreme!) into service to take a picture, but I see she doesn't really grasp the outfit photo concept, which is probably just as well.

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Meanwhile the overly ambitious two-at-a-time-toe-up-magic-loop socks are proceeding apace. I'm somewhere around the instep preparing to learn how to do a heel. I didn't bother with a gauge because, well, I just didn't, and I figure the socks, if they ever materialize, will fit someone. Even if they have to be worn over shoes--they are looking pretty large.

And, finally (for now), I sat down for some serious "what happens if I do this?" time with my Brother 1034D serger, generating sample stitches, on muslin and stretch knit, carefully labeled with Differential Feed Setting, Stitch Length, Stitch Width and Needle and Looper Tension Settings, which I then tossed in a heap.

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A good day.

15 January 2012

The New Year So Far

The downside--the ONLY downside--of being a law professor is that the holiday season brings a heavier workload. Exams to grade, syllabi to polish, exams to grade, annual meeting of law professors to attend, exams to grade, the list is endless. Plus I had exams to grade. So while the rest of the stitching-and-blogging world is relaxing, partying, taking stock of the year gone by and making lists for the year to come, I'm grading exams.

Or, rather, doing other stuff to avoid grading exams. I've actually been rather productive so far this year, but whenever I've sat down to blog about it I've felt so guilty about those not-yet-damned exams festering next to my keyboard that I've had to go knit something.

My snooding with chunky yarn and big needles went so well that I decided I'm a knitting natural and should make all the men in my household hand-knitted socks for Christmas. The original plan, of course, was to have the socks actually knitted by Christmas, ha ha I mean ho ho. Instead, each lucky recipient got yarn and a promise. But isn't the yarn pretty?
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So to make up for lost time I've decided to try knitting these socks toe-up, two at a time by the magic loop method. I've watched this wonderful youtube video a hundred times at least,

and I am proud to announce that I have created this:

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If you look closely you can see a toe-ish sort of shape there. In fact, there are two. And they are still there on the needles and cable this morning, despite my beloved kitty's best efforts to destroy them while I slept.

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He chewed three holes in my ziploc knitting bag and pulled a skein through the largest of them! My cat is now in the doghouse.

OK, not really.

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