FO FRIDAY: OMG I FINISHED MIETTE

It’s been about a week or so, but I TOTALLY FINISHED MIETTE, you guys.

This is the face of a content knitter.  Also, I need some concealer, stat.

This is the face of a content knitter. Also, I need some concealer, stat.

To my deep and abiding shame, I haven’t made a Ravelry page for this.  I knit up this free pattern from one of my favorite designers in recycled Spud & Chloe Sweater that I bought from Seed Stitch in Salem.  (That sound you just heard was Henry James rolling in his grave.)  It took about two weeks and change to knit.  I was really excited to learn another technique for darting.  While I haven’t sewn the buttons on, I’m looking forward to wearing this closed with some of my favorite skirts.

Oh, the rest of the outfit.  I’m wearing the Heart of Haute Roxie Dress in Constellations and an owl necklace from EsotErica Boutique.

BIG BOSS THURSDAY: Little Lab of Video

Our lab will be featured in a promotional video about the University.  While our Fearless Leader gave an on-camera interview, the director wanted to feature members of the lab as well.  I hadn’t had a chance to don my plumage last week and had worn my Audrey II skirt, which the crew loved — the makeup artist was “obsessed” with my skirt, and the DP started singing “Feed Me, Seymour” when he saw me.

So, of course, I got a glamour-girl makeup job and a brief interview.

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Shirt: Heart of Haute; Skirt: Deadly Dames; Shoes: Fluevog Mini Zaza; Earrings: Leetie Lovendale 

WIP WEDNESDAY: The curse of Edna Mode

So remember the capelet I was working on a fortnight ago?  Yeah, I kind of misread the pattern.  It only occurred to me that I needed to increase on both sides of the ribbed border after I had knit 20 rows.  I’d been jonesing for a few smaller projects and decided to put that away for a bit so I could knit up some gift yarn into a shawl.

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This is Trillian, one of the Douglas Adams-inspired shawls that Martina Behm designed.  It’s easy enough to knit during conference calls and meetings, which is advantageous since I just took on some new responsibilities at my job.  I love how the yarn (Valley Yarns Charlemont in burgundy) knits up.  It has great drape and doesn’t pool excessively, and it has great stitch definition.

Me being me, however, I can’t help but make some mistakes.

Spot the misplaced purl bump in this picture.

Spot the misplaced purl bump in this picture.

I’m working with metal needles, which I don’t normally do because the stitches tend to fall off the needle if I stop in the middle of the row.  I thought I’d gotten all the stitches back on the needle in their correct condition, but, well…

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I’m hoping to complete this within the next week or so, both because I’d like to work on something a skosh more challenging and because I want to have something new for FO Friday next week.  Stay tuned…

TUESDAY TUNES: Soda Stereo,”Pic Nic en el 4 B”

As a music fan and once and future critic, few things are more poignant than finding out about an artist in the wake of his death.

I’d heard of Soda Stereo, Gustavo Cerati’s band, when I started listening to rock en espanol, but found his recorded output intimidating.  He put out so many albums over such a long period that finding a good starting point proved challenging.  He didn’t seem to be active back in 2011 or 2012, so I stuck to the artists I knew and who were consistently putting out music and figured I’d get back to him.

A few weeks ago, I learned about why Cerati had been silent for so long.  After suffering a stroke at the beginning of the decade, he went into a coma.  He died on 4 September of this year.

A few radio shows and podcasts to which I subscribe had put together tributes to the musician, which allowed me to hear some of his work, and I managed to track down a Soda Stereo compilation.  His late 1980s work with Soda Stereo was especially wonderful.  The combination of strong songwriting, impassioned vocals, and cheesy ’80s production reminded me of other bands I love, like Split Enz, The Church, and Television (specifically their 1992 reunion).  “Pic Nic En 4 B” got stuck in my head for days, and I’ve been listening to the album from which it came while I’m at work.

Felix and Jas at Alt Latino put together a great tribute that gives Cerati’s work a greater context, while Remezcla gives us Rene “Residente” Perez Joglar’s tribute.

RIP Gustavo Certati.

MOTHBALLIN’ MONDAY: No capes!

In theory, I love capes.  I love the idea of knitting a layer that wraps around you like a blanket, and I love how they look on other women.

In practice, however…

I can assure you, this is red.

I can assure you, this is red.

I have no idea how those splotches got on my lens, or why.

I have no idea how those splotches got on my lens, or why.

…not so much.

While I got gauge with both of these, I had to go down a few needle sizes, which made for a stiffer fabric.  This is why the bind-off row is all flippy.  (Yes, that’s a technical term.)  Also, they don’t cover enough to keep me warm, and there isn’t enough detail for them to look cute.

THEIR CERTAIN FATE: Both of these will be frogged at some point soon.  While I’m trying to find a good use for about 400 yards of pre-Made in China Cascade 220, the purple yarn will probably become an Alex Tinsley tam (possibly Foo Foo or Sweetness, unless you have a better idea.)

WEEKEND DETRITUS: Women in Clothes

Usually, the subject of women’s relationship with clothes and body image presents women as objects: “sluts” who dress revealingly or dowdy women who don’t take an interest in their appearance; judgments over gender performance; the role weight and build play in how other women view themselves.  Instead of taking these and other perspectives as gospel, rising literary stars Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leann Shapton ask women about their perspectives on these issues.  The result of their research is Women in Clothes, a formidable but accessible tome that looks at the subject from all angles.

Inspired by a Skype conversation about personal style, the writers distributed an exhaustive survey to a variety of women.  Their responses serve as the book’s backbone — in addition to the seven included in full, the authors excerpt answers from various surveys in three- or four-page chapters devoted to one specific question.  Additionally, conversations among the authors appear as sidebars to some of the essays and chapters.  This conversational style gives the book its accessible feel and point out that this book is just the start of the conversation.

First person essays take up the bulk of the book.  For those of you looking for low-hanging fruit, please note that half the cast of Girls is represented in the book’s pages.  Additionally, Umm Adam’s essay “I Do Care About Your Party” knocks down several straw man arguments and makes some poor-faith assumptions about why women take an interest in their appearance, and an interview with a scent scholar journeys a little too far into the land of TMI for my appreciation.  The way the rest of the writers interrogate issues like gender performance (the moving and alluring “Mother, Daughter, Moustache”), aging (“An Older Woman Going Through Her Closet”), consumerism, utility (“A French Girl Hoeing”), and artistic expression (a conversation between Molly Ringwald and Cindy Sherman) — among other topics — is fascinating and compulsively readable.

Given my interest in how clothes are made, I was especially glad to see several essays about and interviews with people in the garment trade.  While an interview with Bangladeshi seamstress Reba Sikder depicts with horror the collapse of a sweatshop, the darkly humorous “Maybe a Lot of People Don’t Do This” — in which a Vietnamese family made menswear in their Brooklyn apartment for pennies on the dollar — is shocking and illuminating in its depiction of textile production in America.

The title of the book might make the subject matter look simple, and the thickness might give it an intimidating quality, but Women in Clothes is a thought-provoking read.

Now re-reading: The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy, which makes for an interesting — if occasionally problematic — companion to Citizen Denim. 

New-to-me links:

So we know that fast fashion is bad for the environment, but did you know it has a negative effect on the courts as well?

Speaking of fast fashion, ever wonder where your clothes go after you drop them off at Goodwill?  Glad you asked.

After a fascinating and enjoyable episode about cosplay, The Dork Forest podcast looked at the evolution of Sex Nerd Sandra’s style and her geekery over fashion, makeup, and hair care.

WIP WEDNESDAY: Defying E. Mode

MY ANACONDA DON'T

MY ANACONDA DON’T

This weekend I cast on 313 stitches (!) for Lavinia, a recent pattern by Andi Satterlund.  I love Andi’s midcentury aesthetic and the relative ease with which she writes her patterns.  While I find some of her patterns hard to follow (due to my own quirks and preferences), I like that she doesn’t write patterns for garments with tiny gauges that need to be seamed, like what you’d find in actual 1950s knitting patterns.

So far I’m about twelve rows into this.  While the pattern changes too much from row to row to truly be memorize-able, the changes that happen follow a logical order.  The frequent decreases also make this a faster-than-expected knit.  I am, however, getting used to the increases and decreases in the sections between the fan ribbing.

I’m knitting this from Pingouin Coeur de Laine yarn, which I got at Wrap Around’s annual swap.  I had initially used this for the Lucy Van Pelt dress, which didn’t come out all that well.  Fortunately, I was able to recycle the yarn and make something better suited to my wardrobe and my build.  I’m happy with how well this is coming out, and I can’t wait to wear it!