Sunday, May 31, 2009

Autumn Arbor is blocking...

And here it is! I decided to block it in my spare room. I laid down a couple cotton blankets and laid a flat white sheet on top of that. I washed the shawl very, very carefully then wrapped it in a towel for about a half hour so the towel could soak up some of the water.

I then laid out the shawl (also carefully) and did not stretch it out right away but instead started at one end, pinned out the end and then started down the sides. I worked my way down the sides together, pinning down 7 points on one side, then 7 on the other, stretching the body in between. It didn't take quite as along as I had expected. About 45 minutes. I used up all but one of my blocking pins (I think the box comes with 200 but am not sure). The shawl is some 95 inches long. In fact, my spare room is quite cozy, so the shawl is actually laid out so that it goes just a bit into the actual doorway.

It'll dry fast. I was actually worried that the unpinned end would dry before I got it all pinned out, but it didn't. I'll leave it there for at least 24 hours, maybe longer. I cannot wait to unpin in and see how it looks.

I do love knitting lace!

In with the new!

I am such a knitter...

On Wednesday, I finished knitting Jen's wedding shawl, wove the two pieces together (though I must say I'm a better knitter than weaver and will have to work on that skill), but it being late at night and pinning it out would take hours (well, at least 1.5 hours, plus I'm not sure where I'll block it just yet...) I decided to do it on the weekend.

The next night I started experiencing knitting withdrawal so rummaged around in my collection of current projects. Most of what's there are unfinished winter projects: Nordic Mittens, Autumn socks... but I re-discovered Hoshiko from Rowan's Bamboo Tape Collection, which I'd also started in March and which is surprisingly close to being completed. So close, in fact, that yesterday I finished knitting the body. I would have kept going, but I discovered it needs a 5 mm crotchet hook as it has a deep crocheted edging. I, unfortunately, do not have that size hook and so could not go much further since yarn stores don't tend to be open at 11 pm on a Saturday evening.

So, I pulled out some yarn I bought last spring and started working on the bottom band for Bella Blouse. Did two repeats before calling it a night.

Just goes to show you can't stop the knitting force. It's got a life of it's own. This is why we have stashes and several projects on the go at once. It's so you never, ever, get stuck without a project!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My M.O.B. dress

I've been actively shopping (and thinking about shopping even longer) for a dress to wear to Jen's wedding. I equate dress shopping with bathing suit shopping, i.e. no fun at all. Not because of the wedding. Not at all. I'm looking forward to the wedding itself. It's the business of trying to look appropriate at the wedding that is proving to be such a huge challenge. And it didn't help that when I was seeking advice from co-workers about where to shop, one of them said, 'Oh, you have to find MOB dress! Well, good luck with that!" MOB? I asked? "Mother of the Bride dress," she said.

I hadn't realized there was a particular style of dress one must wear when one is the mother of the Bride. And I truly had not realized it was the kind of dress that had it's own acronym. And what an acronym!

Despite all that, I had bravely made a couple attempts to find a dress earlier on with little luck. I'd found beautiful dresses (most of which did not fit or weren't quite dressy enough and some were just too dressy or simply not my style) and I quickly discovered that most salespeople and I have have very different ideas about what the mother of the bride should wear (though the horrible acronym began to make sense....). I'd found horrible dresses which I'd not even bothered to try.

With time growing short (the wedding is June 4th) I'd set aside the entire Victoria Day weekend to find a dress, and just to make sure I had enough time, took Friday off as well. That, I reasoned, would give me 4 days. Surely I could find a dress in 4 days!

Well, as it turned out I shopped for a bit Friday morning then met a friend for lunch. I confided my shopping woes to her as we ate and she began listing stores: "Have you tried ......? How about .....?" I had tried them all, with the results described above.

Then my wise and delightful friend suggested a store I'd not ever visited. Ever. So right after lunch I went there, and lo and behold.... After trying on several disasters, I found one that was actually pretty good! I'm not sure about rather large mum-like flower pined to the center of the front, but the salesladies seemed to think it was perfect for a wedding event. And especially perfect for a MOB dress.

The salesladies (yes, there was more than one "helping" me select, try on, and display the four dresses I ended up trying on at the shop--they, of course, loved each and every single one. I, however, liked only the one. The others were described as making me look "sophisticated" which may well be the case, but they certainly looked nothing like anything else I'd ever worn or even imagined or hoped to wear). I love this dress. It's silk. It has flirty little layers that make it fun to wear. It has a removable little jacket, and can be easily dressed up or dressed down so it's even something I can wear over and over. I love it!

Anyway, back to my point... the salesladies suggested I needed black pearls to wear with this dress. I'm not sure I've ever seen black pearls, but I dutifully went to a few jewelry stores to see if they had any and quickly realized that pearls of any colour were a little more costly than what I was imagining my own self wearing! But then I found this beauty:

pewter and pearls...
This photo does not do them justice, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder so you might not be as smitten as I, but I LOVE this necklace and like the dress, can see that I'll wear it many times over.

I even have the perfect pair of sandals. Black strappy affairs, that are somewhat gladiator-like so they're in perfect style, but not so gladiator-like that they can't be worn when the current fad is over. And I have a little silk clutch, to boot.

As it turns out, I did not need 4 days. I only needed one good friend and one afternoon!

... now all I have to do is finish the Bride's shawl... (one and a half repeats left, then weave the middle seam, then block. By gosh, I think I'll make it!) ...