Archive for January, 2010

napoleon vest

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this project. I’ve actually worn it quite a bit since I finished it in early September, so maybe I’m more than just “pretty happy” with it.

Knitting the Napoleon Vest was enjoyable, although it didn’t go as smoothly as I would have hoped. My gauge was tight (ugh…AS USUAL), so I knit the 40″ size, rather than the 36″…a trick that usually works fairly well for me.  After I had knit all the pieces and begun seaming, the vest was HUGE, so I wound up unraveling 1” from each side of both the front and back pieces (eliminating 4” total) before grafting the sides together. I think the armholes would have been a mess if I hadn’t. However, it looks like I could have left a little more room on the sides after all, since I got a more fitted look, rather than the blousey look the tucks were intended to create.

So I guess the only reason I’d say I’m “pretty happy” rather than “thrilled” is because I still like the casual, blousey look of the vest on the model in the pattern. I like it so much that I’m tempted to knit this again, but I don’t think I’m that kind of knitter. Actually, I think the pattern would be really great converted to work with a finer gauge yarn, but I KNOW I’m not THAT kind of knitter!

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The French Press Felted Slippers are a really quick and satisfying knit. So quick and satisfying, in fact, that this is actually my second pair!

I made the first pair for my sister for Christmas (which she loved), but these are all mine. I used Cascade 220 for the first pair, which felted pretty well, but these are knit with Classic Elite Renaissance. I LOVE the color, but they took many more cycles through the washer to felt down to the right size.

The thing I appreciate the most about this pattern (aside from the uber cuteness), is that the heel construction is very well thought out…they don’t slip off your feet! They do, however, slip across hardwood floors with ease. I didn’t want to break my neck, but I just couldn’t bring myself to apply puffy paint to the bottoms for traction. I just…couldn’t. After wandering aimlessly around the craft store for a while, I decided to add suede patches to the soles. I actually glued the suede to the bottoms of the slippers using some kind of “tear mender” adhesive that was supposed to be well suited for leather (amongst other things) and promised to dry flexible and machine washable within 90 minutes.  So far, they’re working out really well!

I’ve been wearing the slippers so much that they’re starting to fuzz and pick up dust and cat hair, but I don’t think it’s anything a sweater stone and some more diligent housekeeping can’t fix. Or maybe I’ll just whip up another pair!

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A dear friend gave me three hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Melange for my birthday in October, and although I should have been cranking out the Christmas gifts right about then, I dropped everything and started this Wavy Razor Shell Scarf the very next day. 

I’ve had this pattern in my queue for years, but the yarn was so dreamy to knit with that I didn’t mind taking my time on this project. I added an extra pattern repeat (CO 53 st.) to make the scarf a bit wider. It’s pretty much the perfect size in both length and width. More pics on Flickr.

This photo is also my first self portrait for the 52 Weeks project on Flickr. 52 self portraits? Eep! My reluctance to participate is the very thing that is motivating me to participate…masochistic as that may be.

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I survived hosting my first Christmas. My inner Monica Geller wasn’t totally satisfied with my time management (dinner guests arrived before the overnight guests had even had brunch–oops!), but it was really nice to have my house full of family. It was exhausting, in a good way. Although the next morning I wondered if I had hosted a raging frat party, rather than a lovely family holiday. Picture half-consumed food and beverages on every surface (well, obviously), garbage everywhere (mostly wrapping paper), furniture strewn haphazardly about the house (to make floor space for the baby nephew), and the best part–little piles of barf for me to clean up (because the cat just can’t help himself when it comes to nibbling on Christmas ribbon). Nice, right? Anyway, gifts were exchanged and apple pie was baked and the fire was flickering away and a turkey was fried in my backyard. It was a little bit epic.  

As you might expect, I gave several handmade gifts…just the way I like it!

A stocking cap made for my nephew. He is not so sure…

Also for my nephew, a personalized silver ornament to commemorate his first Christmas…

French Press Felted Slippers for my sister…

A sterling silver belt buckle for my other sister. My life’s work…

Mimosa Neckwarmer for my Nana…

And my sister gave me some vintage letterpress blocks. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them yet, but I LOVE them.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.
(More Christmas pics on Flickr!)

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