Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What I Knit and Crocheted on My Summer Vacation

This is a crocheted shawl pattern from Karabella (#309). I went into A Mano one day and Annette was working on this pattern. I fell in love with the photo and bought her only copy (sorry). I've been looking all over online to find a place to point anyone who falls as hard as I did, but to no avail. Maybe Annette could order more if you ask her.
The yarn I used is from Elann, called Peruvian Baby Silk. It is made of 15 crocheted hexagons that are then sewn together and the ruffle is crocheted last. I still have a few rows to go on the ruffle, and haven't blocked the ruffle yet. It took about 18 balls, but at $2.50/ball, it was quite a good value. I've been working on it mostly while waiting at vocal therapy for Reese three times a week.

Here is a close up of the pattern. If you look carefully, you can see the seams where the motifs join.

Last week at Lake Arrowhead, I only brought 2 projects. This one, a pair of Jaywalker socks by Grumperina from magknits, is for a dear friend who shall remain nameless because he might read the blog and I want him to be surprised. The yarn is from A Mano by Socks That Rock in a colorway called Smoky Topaz that isn't on their website.

Now here is what drives me nuts about Socks That Rock yarn:
This is how far you get with one ($20) skein. I know I could have made the cuffs, heels and toes from something else and maybe it would have stretched enough to complete one pair with one skein, but I thought it would detract from the beautiful pattern. so I'm going back to A Mano today and hoping they have another skein. They had quite a few when I bought this and the popular colors are the bright ones, so I feel pretty confident.

Now about that pattern: I would have finished these socks (if I'd had enough yarn) but I had to frog the first one TWICE after knitting halfway down the leg each time. First I started with the larger size. WAAYY tooo Large. Would have fit a bear. The smaller size was also too large. So I had to devise my own adjustment, casting on only 68 sts and it was very easy to adjust the pattern. I am not a loose knitter! These are size 1 needles! I didn't want to come down to zero because I only had these size 1's with me! I didn't want to wait till I got home and the only yarn store in the area didn't have 0's. As an aside, it was a cute yarn store, called "The Yarn Store", in Skyforest, about 10 minutes from where we were staying, but I was strong and refrained from purchasing.

I worked on another project while I was there but I am not ready to share the photos yet. I will drop a few hints, though. It is from Koigu, it is crocheted, it has beads, it is modular, and I will publish the pattern myself if it doesn't get accepted by the place where I will be submitting it. Here is a little photo tease:

And a final note. Please leave a comment if you are reading this blog, because I feel terribly guilty about taking time away from my work and if no one is out there being entertained, then what am I doing this for?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sexy Knitter's Club KAL Finished

My Tempting 2 Sweater for the Sexy Knitter's Club KAL was completed last weekend. This is what it was supposed to look like:
I planned to do flowers around the neckline instead of a band but ended up not doing the flowers because I didn't have enough yarn so I just did a simple scallop. Instead of k2tog, k1 for the last row, I took the live sts and did sc, sc dec around the neckline, then *ch5, skip 3sc, sc, rep from * around. Next row: [sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc] in each ch-5 sp; join and end off.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Another Version of Seraphina

I was inspired by Ellen Bloom to make the Seraphina Shawl . She brought one into Stitches From the Heart that she had made from Mexican Wave. "Hey, I have some Mexican Wave," I thought, and made this. Of course, I changed it by sewing the sides together and adding some dichroic glass buttons I had purchased at The Fiber Fest, turning it into a shrug, which I think actually looks better on me than on Dolly.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Photo Session Tuesday

On Tuesday, I had the sense of coming full circle and emerging on a new plane. I had a photo session with my old friend, Harry Langdon
The last time we worked together was probably the end of 1987, so it's been nearly 20 years! Harry was one of my 'guardian angels' in my past life as 'Designer to the Stars'. Here is the story of how I met Harry:

I had a store on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, before it had gone completely gay and was an interesting collage of unique boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and hip businesses. Within one block of my store was a popular health food restaurant called Lost on Larabee, Larabee Sound Studios, a hard core alkie bar called Duke's, Mr. Franks (women's boutique), the Santa Palm Car Wash, the famous Orange Julius stand, and me, at first called Palace Museum and then changed to my name. My next door neighbor was Fred Slatten's Shoes (the most far out platform shoes worn by everyone from Elton John to Cher to Saudia Arabian Princesses)

I had a wonderful time creating every fashion fantasy that came into my imagination, and the wilder I got, the more successful I became. Every day was like a huge present, waiting to be opened. You never knew who might walk through my door - Prince, Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac! Someday I will write a memoir of those years.

But to get back to How I Met Harry:
I was often asked to loan clothes to photographers who loved the color and drama of my wild and sexy creations. Several times a month, I would be asked to look through their books, but I never wanted to loan my clothes, knowing that people shopped in my store to find something unique they had never seen anywhere else, and I didn't want my designs to become over exposed.
One day a soft-spoken, extremely gentle man came in my store and, after looking around, asked to meet me. My assistant brought him to my workroom in the back and he introduced himself to me, complimenting me on my creativity and saying something like, "My name is Harry Langdon. I'm a photographer, and sometimes the women I shoot bring in such boring clothes. Maybe you'd be interested in loaning me some clothes sometimes. I work with other designers like that, and then I give them some pictures in return. It might really be helpful to your business."
I explained to him why I didn't loan clothes and he was really nice and understanding. I'd heard the same thing so many times, I thought, and pictures of my clothes don't pay the rent. He bought a blouse for a "girl's birthday who probably wasn't going to be getting many presents".

The very next day, Harry called me. "I have an actress coming in tomorrow for a reshoot. She didn't like the pictures I took of her last week, but she brought such boring clothes. I was just thinking that your clothes might bring out a different side of her."

That actress was Raquel Welch and this is one of the photos Harry gave me in return for me loaning him a rack full of clothes.

And that was how our relationship, which spanned about 12 years, got started. Thanks to the genius and generosity of Harry Langdon, I met and dressed many of his celebrated clients and accumulated a beautiful portfolio that helps preserve wonderful memories.
I'll let you know as soon as my new website is ready, so you can see what Harry shot for me on Tuesday.