Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Boatneck Batwing Lace Knit Top


As a casual knitter it's rare that I knit a sample swatch or hand wash... or follow any directions with my handknits. I often just end up making my own patterns up as I go like the last larger sweater I knit. However, the more I hang out with more professional knitters (mainly Sarah Peasley) and follow various knitters on Instagram, the more inclined I am to swatch and do things properly, which I did for this top. 

The open knit made me nervous which is why I actually started by following the swatch directions. I knit during my AA meetings and I was worried it might be too complicated to work on during a meeting. The swatch definitely gave me a feel for the pattern and it wasn't too bad to get in a groove. Like most patterns, once you get the hang of it, it's fairly easy to read your knitting. One direction is a straight knit which also helps keep it simple.


I've been eyeing James N Watts' patterns on Ravelry for a while but the ones I liked the most had sleeves and I don't really wear sleeves unless it's a cardigan or a hoodie. When this new Boatneck Batwing top dropped I checked to make sure I had some yarn in my stash to use and purchased this pattern. 

This yarn is by Anzula Luxury Fibers, Meridian, Lace 55% Tencel, 35% Alpaca, 10% Nylon in the colorway Tesla. It feels deliciously buttery in this knit.


When this was fresh  off the needles it looked too short when I put it on and I thought I would get around to knitting it again with a little more length. Once I hand washed it and hung it to dry it dried to a length that I like much better. I have a fairly long waist so unless it's intentionally a cropped top I prefer longer tops.


I wasn't sure how much I'd like this top in this color, or how much I'd like knitting it. Turns out I couldn't put it down.  It was fun and easy to knit, I have 1 or 2 mistakes that I just wear in the back so I don't have to look at them when I wear it. The color goes with my summer wardrobe and I'm sure I'll be knitting this again in another color....I'm going to wear it more to get the hang of it though. A big me-problem; I get it snagged on everything. I have the same problem trying to wear lace too, but overall, I love this pattern!




Tuesday, October 17, 2023

My Secret Little Crop #3; Super-cropped Cotton/Hemp blend

Backtracking to my summer projects...I can't get enough of this crop top pattern by Jessie Maed Designs. "My Little Secret Crop" knits up quickly and I found some stash yarn I wanted to try for a lighter weight garment...I also wanted it shorter to go with overalls. I started and finished this crop top in June and every time I wore it out it got compliments. 

Out at lunch for a date-day:

Waitress:  I love your top
Me: Thanks, I made it.
Waitress: You did? Do you sell them?
Me: No
Waitress: Would you sell them?
Me: No, I just knit for myself, it takes too long to knit to make it worth selling.
Waitress: ...[clearly disappointed tension]
Waitress: Oh, it even has a crisscross back! [walking away]
Me: It's a pattern on Ravelry if you learn to knit...
Bryan: I thought she was going to rip it off you. 

I thought it looked cute with my work pants, 
it was easy to throw on for a totally different look to grab dinner when I got off. 

I have a bunch of small balls of a cotton/hemp blend that I love. I know I used this yarn in red for the red leaf tunic I made years ago, I'm not sure what I have all this green for. Sometimes when I love a yarn I just buy a bunch, which is probably why this has been sitting in my stash. I have been good about not doing that kind of purchasing anymore, I have more yarn than I'll ever be able to use (yet never what I'm looking for so that's when I buy more). Anyway, the green hemp/cotton blend with a pretty Berroco variegated blend turned out really lovely. I wore this top a lot this summer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Huggie Loop Stripe Earrings

I still bead at night, but it's a bit of a struggle to be inspired to make jewelry anymore since I'm no longer working in clothing retail. When I was in that job, patterns and color changes were abundant and what I wore to work mattered. Now what matters is my measuring, math and product knowledge, which, turns out, is a lot more fun for me. So, my jewelry-making struggles unless I have an event I'm planning an outfit for, such as Abigail's Wedding this past spring (which I created her hair pieces and new jewelry for myself).



In July I ended up planning an outfit to wear to the Sad Summer Festival. It was going to be hot and Jen got pit tickets. So, I had an outfit planned with my black Vans shortalls, closed-toed Chucks, and a loose tee. I had a color theme because I love my yellow 70's-look stripe platform chucks and I have a new yellow 15/0 seed bead I've been dying to use. 

I kept in mind being in the pit while panning these earrings and I didn't want them to dangle much, if at all. The pit usually involves lots of pushing and managing crowd surfers so dangly things can easily get caught and ripped off. I decided to make closed loops integrating the post and earnut as part of the design. The first pair I made I just focused on the colors in the shoes. They weren't quite what I had in mind, so I made a shorter "huggie" style pair with a black base and the yellow that I wanted to use so badly.

I finished and tried on both pairs while I was getting ready to go and really perferred the second pair, both in the short length and color. They worked really well for the outfit, and the pit (although we ended up on the side that didn't have the circle pit or crowd surfers).

I made a third pair while I was playing with some neon green beads I had gotten in Minneapolis last year which have a fun 80's vibe. I like that this style is simple and understated but has the pops up color and allws me to still play with color, plus they're easy to wear to work. These are headed to the Lansing Art Gallery for their Michigan Made Holiday show (Opening Reception is November 9th, 2023)


Tuesday, October 3, 2023

"Is There a Thing to Which Brings Us Less Joy Yet We Devote More Time" the social media piece Final Post

I have blogged about the process of this piece but I'm just getting around to a final post about it.  I finished stitching the edging on this weaving just in time for the "Brave New World; Fiber Art in the 21st Century" Exhibit which went up in the second weekend in September. I really needed that extra push of having it going into a show to finish this before the subject matter became totally obsolete. That's how fast things seem to move on the internet and social media these days. When I began the draft for this weaving TikTok wasn't even on my radar and now it's just as popular (or more?) as Facebook and probably more popular than Twitter (now X?) is.  In 20 more years will these even be a thing? And what will they have morphed into?

I digress. I don't like social media. I'd delete my Facebook if I didn't have to use it for my art business and to keep up with my friends and fellow artist's event here and there. Ultimately I don't scroll through any of my social mediums much because I'd rather be enjoying time at home or doing my artwork. It has it's place, but I've worked to make it a very tiny place in my life for my sanity.  It's not healthy for me to be on it all the time and it's absolutely depressing how it sucks me in and I'll completely loose an hour that I'd rather be doing something I actually enjoy. Such as weaving this piece.

This weaving is called "Is There a Thing to Which Brings Us Less Joy Yet We Devote More Time" which is a quote from Chris Thile when he was hosting a favorite radio show of mine on NPR. He was talking about how he was alone at home and got on Twitter: Is there a thing to which brings us less joy yet we devote more time?  This sentence exactly describes how I feel about going down that social media rabbit hole. I think it was at a time that I had the Facebook app completely removed from my phone. I chose greys and blacks for the base colors because social media tends to make me feel dark and grey.  If you look closely there are threads of color in both warps representing the occasional good that can come from interacting with it. Now that I'm further removed from the making of this piece I'm remembering that I designed the edging with the "connected to Wi-Fi" symbol. During the weaving of this I cursed myself that I couldn't just stop weaving when I felt like I had had enough, I needed to get to the other end with the Wi-Fi edging to finish the piece. I really enjoy that little extra bit that I put into the design that at least I notice even if no one else does. 

The beaded edge took some sampling as I wanted to switch it up from my usual stitch. This bead stitch is a netting pattern instead of my usual St. Petersburg chain stitch. I haven't really had the time to think about whether I like it better than the other, I didn't have it up on my wall long enough to fully process this portion of the final piece before it was off to be hung. Possibly more on that later. 

I have my usual nit-picky things that I need to fix or wish I had done better but ultimately I was really happy how it turned out looking hung in the middle of the Adrian Center of the Arts gallery space. I also plan on never naming a piece with this long of a title again. 


(This photo was in my last post about the Brave New World 
exhibit but I think it s acute one of Bryan and I)


Yes, And weaving update; Half Way

I am just about to the half way point on "Yes, And" which is in the the yellow weft, the brightest color in the middle of 9 differ...