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Very briefly:

La petite princesse is a better model than her mimi is a photographer.

La petite princesse is a better model than her mimi is a photographer.

There’s a bit more, such as the halter top before the flower was crocheted:

Knit almost exactly by the pattern specs

Knit almost exactly by the pattern specs

I had a little yarn left over, so I crocheted a couple of flowers:

Pretty!

Pretty!

Here are the three pieces, together, but not attached:

So sweet with the adorable flowers!

So sweet with the adorable flowers!

Then I sewed one flower to the top at the bottom of the right shoulder strap, using a pink button as a decorative center. And I saved the other flower to embellish a headband.

I haven’t attached the flower to a headband yet, but did wrap the 6 inch yarn tail around one of my darlin’ girl’s fabric-covered bands, so i could pop it on the eager young model:

Adorable!

Adorable!

I think she likes it!

Long story short

I’ve been knitting!

Longer version: I’m almost finished with a halter top for la petite princesse, out of some cotton yarn I scored a couple of years ago at my LYS’ annual yard sale. The pattern is Toddler Halter by Jennifer Carter. It’s a free download on Ravelry. (Look it up there. I’d link it, but I needs must finish quickly and turn in.)

More details in a day or so, when I’ve finished it.

In a completely unrelated note: Happy first day of spring!

Our temps today went to the low-to-mid 70s, and it won’t be long before this new halter will be just the perfect top for my darlin’ granddaughter to rock. (So, I guess the spring thing is not as unrelated as I thought. Hm. Go figure.)

G’nite, kittens! It’s time to head to dreamland.

In my last post, teased you with photos of the BC17 and a kitten “helping” me make a new doublet for the BC17 to wear at this year’s Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. To sum up, he needed it to be red, and he chose the gold lining fabric from my stash.

Here’s how it turned out, in a boring “hanging-on-a-door” shot:

Pardon the creases. They came out in the wash.

Pardon the creases. They came out in the wash.

And here’s posed picture of the boy wearing it, with some of his accessories.

Beware the uncoiled serpent - er, hose - at your feet, Red Undant!

Beware the uncoiled serpent – er, garden hose – at your feet, dread pirate Red Undant!

You may note a lack of boots, for example. In truth, he could wear this in warm weather with some sort of rope sandals, but it was far too cool during this year’s faire for that. He also had various bits and bobs that hung from his belt, and a black wool overcoat, but I didn’t get a photo of that. The Hubs did, and I’m hoping to get a shot of that (soon?) to share with you.

The BC17 and some other friends formed a comedy pirate crew, the Pirates of Impropriety, and charmed the patrons and spectators at the faire. They were so popular that they’ve been solicited about appearing at other faires in the area this spring! It was so fun to watch my son throwing himself into his character, Red Undant, and having fun with his friends. His theatrical bent? Let’s just say he comes by it honestly.

The medieval faire was held on the last weekend in January and the first weekend in February. I was lucky to be able to take off from work entirely around those weekends. I have hundreds of hours of leave accumulated, as I rarely take vacation, so it was a real pleasure to have the chance to rest for so many days. (I’ve completely swapped my sleep schedule over to accommodate my change to dayshift, a change that would have been much more difficult without the time off.)

Sadly, I got sick on Wednesday evening and am now struggling with a nasty case of the crud. Nasty enough that I had to call in sick today (which would have been my first day back after my vacation), but not nasty enough to require actual medical intervention (so far… knock on wood). I’m planning to work tomorrow and Sunday (my regular work days), provided I can sleep tonight. (Wish me luck, please? Thanks.)

So the faire itself? It was a blast! My singing comedy wench troupe, Just Desserts, was once again hired to perform, and our shows were packed. We performed 3 times a day each Saturday and Sunday, and we acted as street characters when not on stage. In addition, I emceed both Saturdays’ and Sundays’ end of day Closing Pub Sings, which are among my favorite things ever!

This year, we wenches were extra excited, because we also released our first ever album!*

That’s right, an album!

It’s called Just Desserts Live: Come Get Yours and it’s available on Bandcamp right now, soon to be available on iTunes, amazon.com, and other distributors.

Here’s what the front cover of the album (which is available only as a mp3 download) looks like:

I swear I did not actually bite Molly! Cupcake is just a tease. Promise!

I swear I did not actually bite Molly! Cupcake is just a tease. Promise!

And here’s what the back cover looks like:

Much more dignified here.

Much more dignified here.

If you want to hear any or all of the songs, you can click on the bandcamp link. There you can listen to each of the songs, in their entirety, without obligation. **

We’re currently running a push for FB page “likes” and have pledged to give away a free copy of our album when we reach 350 likes. As of 10 p.m. this very Friday night, we’re at 335. I’d love for you to like us and perhaps win a copy. This is the second giveaway we’ve run, and we plan to hold more in the near future.

Of course, you are always welcome to purchase the album, so you can get yours without delay.

* OK, so you’ve probably figured out that the mysterious and exciting “thing” I was doing (and hinting about) was recording this album. It took two live performances, plus a studio session for the bonus selections, to get the sound quality we wanted.

We also had a photo session with Allen Finley Photography, wherein many photos were taken to get the two on our cover art. He also took solo photos of us, which we may use for future endeavors.

Finally, some more of my off-work time was taken up in designing and creating the cover art for the album. In my old life as a magazine editor, I did a little layout and design, and it was pretty cool to have the chance to flex those muscles (unused for 8 years!) again. And I am, I must confess, quite pleased with the results.

That’s all for now, kittens. I must dose myself up with anti-crud meds and attempt to sleep, as 5:30 a.m. comes too damned early. G’nite!

January means sewing

The last weekend of every January brings the start of the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, which means there will be a call for new costuming pieces chez moi. And this year is no exception.

My costume (as Cupcake, the singing tavern wench) is pretty much set, but the BC17 is playing a new character this year, so he needs an update to his costume to suit. His character is one of the Pirates of Impropriety. He’s named Red Undant, and the BC17 wanted a red top for him. I have, you may recall, made him a poet-style shirt before, so I didn’t think this would be a big challenge.

I was not, alas, taking the local fabric supply into account.

To start with, my own stash (which fits in a footlocker-sized Rubbermaid container) does not include any red cotton or polycotton.

To complicate matters, all three of my local Wallyworlds have miniscule crafting sections, and there was no red cotton to be found. (OK, there was some red cotton, but it was of the quilting variety and had the most adorable patterns against the red background… The BC17 was not amused.)

Even worse, my local Joanne’s is relocating, with the store that’s still open* in a state of depletion that one would expect when “final clearance – 75% off” is posted and advertised everywhere. How picked over was the stock? The entire fabric selection would fit on a double-layered 75-foot shelf… with room to spare.

I spent 20 minutes searching and scrutinizing and peering behind and between the bolts of fabric, and found exactly one piece of red cotton-based fabric. It was 2.25 yds of a lightweight, red, stretch denim. And with the 75$% discount, I got it for less than $6, including tax!

Even at that great price, there was no way this would be enough fabric to make a shirt, so we settled on making a doublet to wear over his white shirt. It’ll be a red and gold version of the doublet I made him a couple of years ago.

Tonight, the BC17 went back to my fabric stash and found a gold lining fabric, then pestered me relentlessly encouraged me a few times to get the fabric pieces cut out. He was willing to do the pinning and cutting himself, so I let him… with my assistance. He’d never laid out a pattern before, so I got to explain how to do it properly, showing him how the pattern pieces give you clues to help you do it properly, demonstrating how to maximize the fabric, pointing out the grain of the cloth and how it affects the drape and stretch capabilities of a woven fabric.

He took it very seriously:

Measure twice and cut once... making sure the pieces are straight first.

Measure twice and cut once… making sure the pieces are straight first.

It did my crafter’s heart good to see him learning how to do this for himself. And he says he wants to help me sew the doublet, too, so his crafting adventure continues Thursday. He has to wear it this weekend, so I’ll probably sew some of it. Either way, he’ll be learning, and I’ll be satisfied with that.

As usual, the kittens wanted to help. I caught one crappy photo of little Maggie “caught in the act” on my cellphone before the BC17 chased her off. She was up there a few times, but I was lame unprepared to take photos then.

She was interested in the pincushion:

"I'll just take this little red thingy out of your way."

“I’ll just take this little red thingy out of your way.”

Feisty kitty tried to get in on the act, too, but the BC17 snatched him up almost before his paws touched the table, much less the fabric.

Finally, the BC17 put the kitties behind a closed hall door, so he could work without feline interference help. And in fairness, that lining material is super slippery, a real bitch bit difficult to cut out under the best of conditions.

Now, I’ve a stack of cut-out fabric pieces at my elbow, with every intention of sewing a dashing doublet Thursday… which is today, actually, since the clock just clicked over to past midnight, and thus into Thursday itself.

That reminds me, it’s past my bedtime. G’night, my lovies!

* The new Joanne’s won’t open until after the faire’s over, so it was a non-option.

Ok, so Spring Baby Cardi pics, plus hat and booties…

Ready?

Let’s go.

I'm calling it the Spring Baby Cardi. This is the yoke.

I’m calling it the Spring Baby Cardi. This is the yoke. (Sept. 27th)

You may remember that photo from the last post.

Here’s a shot of the sweater after I got about an inch below the armholes:

Love seeing the sleeve stitches on holders!

Love seeing the sleeve stitches on holders! (Oct. 4th)

A day later, I’d finished the body of the sweater…

It's beginning to look a lot like a cardi! (Oct. 5th)

It’s beginning to look a lot like a cardi! (Oct. 5th)

Then there was a sleeve:

Look at those decreases on the underside of the sleeve... lovely!

Look at those decreases on the underside of the sleeve… lovely!

What?! You can’t tell what’s what? Clearly, the sleeve is on the right side of the photo, with the skirt of the sweater on the left side. The hole is under the arm, and is one of the only two seams in the sweater.

Still can’t see it?

OK, fine.

Here’s a photo from a more prosaic perspective, taken after the underarm seam had been stitched up.

Oh, that looks more normal!

Oh, that looks more normal!

And finally, the FO shot:

Pretty purple buttons on a pretty sweater. (Nov. 4th)

Pretty purple buttons on a pretty sweater. (Nov. 4th)

A few weeks later, I made a hat, using the Twisted Pumpkin pattern from Charmed Knits by Alison Hanson. My only modification: I didn’t knit the stem part off the hat.

Feisty (the cat) is pressed into service as a photo backdrop.

Feisty (the cat) is pressed into service as a photo backdrop. (Nov 16th)

To make the sleeve striping patterns on cardi match better, I tampered with the skein. By pulling it out until I reached a suitable starting point in the dye pattern, I was able to make the sleeves look similar. And I set aside the extra yarn, knowing I’d use it for the booties.

And when it came time to make the booties, I made sure to match up the remaining yarn to have both booties starting at about the same place in the dye pattern.

And here’s how that turned out:

Such sweet little booties! (Nov. 26th)

Such sweet little booties! (Nov. 26th)

And, finally finally, here’s a shot of the whole ensemble:

A pretty set for a pretty baby girl. (Nov. 26th)

A pretty set for a pretty baby girl. (Nov. 26th)

When all was knit and finished, I had only a few yards of yarn left. (Whew!)

The baby for whom these were knit is named Eleanor, a fine old-fashioned name. Her dad tells me the booties fit now, and he thinks the hat will fit very soon. As for the sweater, it’s sized to fit at about 6 months (I think), although I’m hoping her dad (Thomas!) will put it all on her – and take photos – sooner.  That way, I can have the photos to coo over share with you all here.

As for how I spent last weekend, I was with my sister wenches, recording our first album!!

More on that later. I’ve got to get to bed, as I have to work in the a.m. (Yep, I made the shift to dayshift last week!!)

G’nite, kittens!

Well, sort of. I promised “pictures”… as in multiple… as in more than one.

Alas, it appears I only took one photo way back in late September. (I think I finished knitting them in a couple of weeks before that?)*

Wanna see it? (Indulge me? Thanks!)*

Here it is:

Pretty socks... with interesting pooling around the ankles.

Pretty socks… with interesting pooling around the ankles.

The bottoms look very similar to this, with the obvious exception of short-row heels and plain stockinette stitching across the balls of the feet and the heels. I didn’t want ribbing under the pressure points on my sensitive little footsies, so stockinette seemed a better choice there.

Despite their appearance above, the socks are the same length. I knit them simultaneously, using the magical (and thus appropriately named) Magic Loop technique. And thank goodness for that, or I’d never have been able to match the two socks! (Why, yes, I am saying that I made mods on the fly and didn’t keep good notes… and that I took far too long to finish them. Thanks for picking up on that… and for letting me acknowledge it before you could point it out. Not that you would. You’re far too kind for that… right? Right.)*

Just behind the sock toes, you can see a hint of the yoke of a baby cardi I was making. In fact, I’m pretty sure the socks were completed days before I cast on the cardi, as I am a very monotonous monogamous knitter.

Here’s a solo shot of the cardi-in-progress:

I'm calling it the Spring Baby Cardi.

I’m calling it the Spring Baby Cardi.

The cardi was finished in early November,** and eventually I made a hat and booties out of the same yarn, to be given as a set to a friend and coworker who was expecting (and then delivered) a baby girl. That is to say, she was expecting when I made the cardi and hat, but had given birth before I got the booties cast on, much less finished.

That set has been delivered (heh heh, birth pun!) and is still a bit too big for the recipient, but I’m looking forward to a picture or two when they are finally donned.

I have progress pictures of that cardi and will post them eventually, unless you all would rather I just put up the FO shots.

Either way, it’s going to have to wait a day or three,*** as I am transitioning my sleep from days to nights, to accommodate my move from nightshift to dayshift at my public-safety dispatcher job. That means it is past my bedtime now, so no more pics will be forthcoming in this post.

* Apparently, my absence here did not significantly affect my love of parenthetical asides and/or explications. (Thank goodness! I don’t know how I’d post without them… obviously.)

** The kniting was done in mid-October, but I didn’t get around to finishing the sweater (i.e., weaving in all six of the loose ends and adding the buttons) until mid-November. That’s how I roll sometimes, yo.

*** I am aware that my timelag-prediction skills (as they pertain to posting here) are at the very least rusty and possibly nonexistent. C’est la vie?

Hope your Tuesday holds love and laughter, kittens.

Oh, and remind me to tell you what I did this past weekend, ‘kay? It was really fun!

IOU

1. Final photos of the purple K1P1 socks

2. Photos of a finished baby sweater, hat and booties for a co-worker’s baby girl.

3. In-progress photos of a K3P3 Slytherin scarf I’m making for the BC17.

4. Random kitty pictures!

For now, let me simply say I hope you had a warm and wonderful holiday. And I hope your new year’s eve is as peaceful *or* party-packed as your heart desires.

As for me, I’ll be at work, helping keep my county’s residents safe and secure.

So if I don’t get a chance to update this poor, neglected blog before 2014 rolls in, I hope you’ll forgive me and that you’ll check back in 2014, when I fulfill my IOUs… and then some!

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