Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What happened to September?

Let's see, what did I do?  I didn't really do much spinning. We didn't meet at the grange until the last Wednesday of the month and I started four ounces of some superwash merino that has been in my stash for over three years. I was kind of on a roll so came home and spun some more. Then finished up that four ounces the next day. I have eight ounces of it, so still more to spin. Its stuff that was dyed for me trying to get something close to a BMFA colorway. The attempt was unsuccessful but I like the colors anyway. Reds and purples and almost a black. There's another eight ounces of the superwash merino with blues and reds, so hope to get them all done in October.

I had attempted, also the last couple weeks of September to knit a pair of Eleanor de Toldeo stockings (scroll down to the Toledo Complete pdf). They are knit on US 00 needles. Maybe not the best size to get your knitting mojo back on. ;-) I had gotten to the point in the cuff where it said attention was needed, so set them aside to do the above spinning while watching the premiers of shows on TV. Then went back and followed the double yo suggestion. I must not have done it correctly because I wasn't happy with the dropped yo stitch, so tried to frog back a few rows. Tiny little stitches, tiny little needles. Yea, right, ended up frogging all twenty some odd rows. So I tried to rewind the ball to start over and that's when my knitmare continued, it became a tangled mess that needs more than two hands to get it undone. I need to pull Brandon in to help me, he really is good about these kinds of things and has way more patience than I do!

Since I couldn't knit on those and I wasn't in the mood to spin, I pulled out a skein of blue and my pattern book for the Rivendell socks. I'm at row 50 and still unsure if I may have to frog it and do a work around. I'm worried that they are hitting right at the point where my calf widens and may be annoying to wear:
I think that the ten rows I have to do before starting the heel will fit, but I'm not sure how happy I am about the pull at the calf. Since they are using the pattern suggested US1s, I could switch to US 2 and knit the first 10 rows with those and then switch back to the 1s and finish. (Writing this I just typed my way to convincing myself I'm frogging and doing the plan. Looking at the top of the picture can you tell the pattern details? Can you see the way the wraps are supposed to look?  No, because they've been distorted by the pull. So while it would work, it wouldn't do the pattern justice.)  :-( The bad knitting mojo continues! At least I have a workable plan.

I spent the first part of the month doing a lot of thinking and research into my next dress. I have the pattern from Reconstructing History. This one. I have some yellow and was given some red satin. So the plan is to follow the low-necked version with the yellow the dominate color and the red for the guards. I even have the wild idea that I can do the dress such that I can make a second set of sleeves and then just change out the guards on the skirt and have a 'new' dress for 12th Night. (The color theme for that event is yellow/gold and black.) Since I don't have the money to buy fabric for two dresses and I really would like to have one for the upcoming feasts before that event, I need a dress that can change.

I even had the wild idea of trying to dye the red satin black, but had two people say no. This means I'll be doing some math to figure out how much I'll need to do the black in either a satin, brocade, or velvet. The velvet was $28 a yard for reference at JoAnn's. I'm going to need a sale or a 50% off coupon and money at the right time to swing velvet.

So while all that thinking and researching was going on. I did manage to get some baby steps done. I cut out the pattern pieces that I'll be using from the packet. Now, before you have heart failure that I cut the pieces out. I wisely cut them to the largest size, not to my own particular size. This means that I can let Andrea borrow them too. She had spent time sketching out a design based off a line drawing on a pattern from another company of the same dress without knowing it. Funny thing is she had looked at my pattern for awhile and read some of the instructions. It just didn't include this as an example of the dress:
Yea, we're going to need a lot of ostrich feathers too! This one is similar to what mine will look like, but I don't have the brocades/velvets. I have the gores cut out for my skirt along with the red guards. I just need to lay them out and start pinning. That's going to happen this weekend. I needed to make my own version of the bodice piece because I'm not sculpted like it was intended (go fuller to narrower rather than straighter). Thankfully we have a light box so I was able to take some white butcher type paper and create my own. I even, gasp!, did a semi-mock-up of it. It works so I'll use those pieces to make the bodice out of the real material.

I did get some stretch velvet with a gold design on it. I thought it would make a nice brestfleck piece (that funny piece that goes across the boobs at the top of the v of the bodice). I even got the wild idea to add beads to it. Some yellow/gold, red and I tried some pearl round beads have gone on to it. After having Jaime look at it, she was going to teach me how to do some couching with gold embroidery thread, I've taken the pearl beads off. They weren't real pearls and they were too large for the design. Sara had some pearlized white beads that will do the trick, and I'll be picking those up this weekend to use.

This weekend is going to be a sewing/largess work day at the Grange on Saturday. I'm going to pick the hive minds about doing a corded corset for the dress. I'm going to need more support than the interface lining will give that is part of how RH does the dress. Its actually suggested too. Couple days research to find a pattern that I can use and hopefully cut out for the weekend.

I leave you with Apple Nachos. Thinly slice and core enough apples for the number of people you are serving. I had three Fiji apples and three people, worked for me. Swirl around a plate in one layer. Create marshmallow creme (either heat some from the jar or melt marshmallows with butter - beware not to overheat!). Drizzle on the waiting apple slices. You can either melt some chips or sprinkle them on top, your choice, this is flexible! I opted to melt some butterscotch chips with a tablespoon of half and half in the microwave. Repeat with some semi-sweet chips. Drizzle on top of the marshmallow creme layer each of your two melted chips options, then sprinkle with milk chocolate chips. Present to family and serve. The recipe I found suggested melting caramels in evaporated milk. I didn't have any on hand, but found the butterscotch chips. For the little I was going to use of the evaporated milk, opted to use half and half. You could also skip the marshmallow cream and sprinkle mini marshmallows in their place. This is what mine looked like:
My marshmallow creme went just a smidge longer and got that weird rubbery consistency, so not sure if I'll just cut up the marshmallows next time or have things better organized. The boys really enjoyed this and really it was relatively simple to throw together with what I had on hand.

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