Thursday, May 30, 2024

Jesse Maed's Outline Tank in Orange & Long Fringe Earrings

Art Installation on our walk to the Madness show!

We went to a metal concert on Valentine's Day at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit and there was a woman there wearing a long skirt with large checkers. I had to compliment and inquire where she got it. Shein of all places, which is known for inexpensive (like really really cheap) fast-fashion clothing. She actually had me feel the fabric to confirm it was nicer than one would expect, I agreed and, of course, I ordered it. I recall a long period of time where it was hard to find checker-anything and it's practically a staple "color" for me so I don't usually hesitate to grab something checker right now while it's back in style. 

I love the skirt (yes, it will probably pill, it's already fuzzing weird after one wear, fast fashion and all) I decided I want to wear it for the Madness concert we went to this month in Seattle. I needed to pick a top to go with it and nothing that I had or was shopping for was inspiring me. I had purchased 2 patterns from Jessie Maed Designs in February so I decided it was time to knit one of those tops. The Outline Tank called to me and I went on the hunt for a really bright saturated color yarn. Of course there was nothing in my stash that fit the bill so I went over to Woven Art to hunt something down. 

I wanted a cotton/linen blend but everything was in neutral or pastels, in the sale area there was a lovely orange Manos Del Uruguay Alegria, a merino superwash and polyamide blend which I was worried would be too heavy for a drapey tank top, but I knit up a sample swatch, washed it and really liked how it turned out. (I also bought and knit up a sample of the Mojave cotton blend but what I thought was maybe a grapefruit color was much more pink when it knitted up than I liked). 

I had a month to knit this top. So I got started, it only took me 2 weeks, including a few tear-outs. I can thank our day at Pinball at the Zoo' for helping move this knitting along. Bryan drove (knitting time) and I was on the easy part of stockinette stitch so I got about 2.5 inches done between the drive and knitting while waiting for my turn on the machines. I also ended up hand-winding the second skein of this yarn on the drive there since it kept getting tangled on my swift. Thank you to Gotham Knits on Instagram for normalizing hand-winding a yarn ball for me! I really love the soft light weight of this top and yarn. The only issue is that the "outline" detailing isn't showing much in the straps and neck. The yarn is a little too squishy, next time I knit this I'll use a more structured yarn.

I was going to do a separate post for the earrings that I made, but they belong with this top. Even without the skirt finishing off the look....

I don't usually like to bead fringe. I pull too tight and it gets all kinked up, then when I loosen it, it seems to gap and have thread showing at the top between the bottom of the stitched base and the top of where the fringe starts, gravity taking its toll on the spacing. This is why I prefer to stitch beads into each other one and a time, tight and controlled. Not OCD at all....

(lighting is weird in this photo)

These actually turned out. 30 years of beading made me think through what would work best for my particular beading issues. A thinner thread makes me bead looser (it snaps when I pull too tight), I don't back through the fringe, I thread the fringe gently. I'm really proud of myself at how well these turned out, I kinda expected the same too-tight fringe disappointment but here we are with a successful pair. For a moment I thought, maybe I should start making fringe-earrings. They're really fun. Then I remembered how much I hate bead-stringing and I only do it when necessary. I'm not interested in getting into the habit of making these to sell, so fringe will come when it's needed for another outfit. 

I've gotten a lot of complements wearing the earrings and top together and separate. The Madness concert was awesome and I was glad to have a bright ska-outfit for it :)

Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...