Friday, March 19, 2010

Book Review: Knitting Lingerie Style Part 2

Today I'm continuing the review of Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael*.

*  *  *

Chapter 4:  The Camisole

Most of the patterns in this chapter are impractical for me.  I wear camisoles almost everyday that I work teaching.  Because of my chest, V-neck shirts are the most flattering but not always the most appropriate for schools.  To cover up what the neckline reveals, I have many many simple store-bought camisoles.  These patterns generally aren't that type of camisole.  The Surplus Bodice Camisole though is a beautiful top that I would definitely wear to a school with a button down underneath.  I've never been a sweater vest person (they're too bulky and just add on the pounds for me) but this top is lightweight and uses a lot of lacework in the body.  And it also has my darts :o)

Chapter 5:  The Stocking

This might just be my favorite chapter.  Surprising right?  I've never even made a pair of socks.  But most sock patterns just don't appeal to me.  Knee socks are my favorite thing to wear in the winter but there seems to be a lacking of patterns out there for these.  Enter Knitting Lingerie Style.  There are 3 knee or higher sock patterns, one calf sock, and yes even the garter belt pattern to hold them all up.  Another plus:  they're all knit toe-up.  Thank you Joan, thank you so very much.

Chapter 6:  Lounge/Night Wear

How can you have a lingerie knitting book without for-the-bedroom knits??  OK so they're not really that risque, but the idea is there.  The chapter opens up with the Basic Baby Doll and Panty is very cute and I think the top can be worn as a top if you had something under it.  Maybe.  It might require some reworking.  Now comes my favorite pattern in the entire book:  Leggings with Mesh Sides.  I have the hardest time finding stockings/leggings that fit me.  I love that with this, I have a pattern to knit my own.  They go mid-calf on the model, but can easily be extended to the ankle or shortened to the knees.  They can take the place of store bought cheap junky nylons and be much much warmer in the winter if I want to wear a skirt.  I definitely want to make these eventually.


*   *   *

Overall, I think this books is great.  I love the fashion history given at the intro to each chapter.  And though the patterns are no lingerie in the way we think of, they are all inspired by and embellished upon traditional undergarments.  I'm not sure I'll want to bring this back to the library.  Might have to invest eventually and purchase it.

*All photos have been taken from the respective Ravelry sites.  I have not been compensated for this review in any way.  This book has not been given to me, nor purchased by me.  It has been used as a library resource.
1 There is no photo on the book's Ravelry page so this one is taken from mysweetoldetc's project page
Publishing Information
McGowan-Michael, Joan.  Knitting Lingerie Style.  STC Craft:  New York, 2007.
ISBN-13: 978-1-58479-577-3
Ravelry here
Amazon here
Publisher here

Only one week left for the birthday giveaway!!  Enter now!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review: Knitting Lingerie Style Part 1

I mentioned a bit ago that I took Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael* out of the library to help promote more investment in knitting books.  I can't say how much I love this book!  I really really really want to knit so many patterns from it.

The book is divided into chapters based on a specific undergarment.

Chapter 1:  The Bra

Breasts, as any woman knows, can be rather unruly body parts.  They bounce, jiggle, sway, and flop as a matter of course.1  Boy, do I know it.  This is one of my favorite chapters.  The first pattern is of course the Basic Bra. This does not look like an easy pattern:  underwire, lots of sewing and seaming.  The knitting itself seems simple enough though.  The pattern accommodates sizes A-D, disappointing because just a few years ago I was a DD and would have been (as usual with "fancy" bras) left out again.  Luckily weight loss made them go down a bit but I still find it a bit unfair.  I'm not yet entirely convinced that this pattern will work for larger cups though.  The cup is knit in two piece but they're knit flat and therefore do not "cup" on their own.  But I'm not really sure how the actual construction affects this problem (fingers crossed that it will create a cup).

Most of the other patterns in this chapter would not work for my chest but I do like the Gracefully Gathered Halter Top and Boy Short.  This pattern just screams tankini (bathing suit) to me.  I don't generally wear tankinis but I would considered doing the top with a bikini bottom or the bottom with a regular top.  They also look like great shorts for the summer or perfect summer pajamas.  I really want to make this one.

Chapter 2:  The Slip

The Basic Slip pattern looks great as photographed in the book.  A perfect late spring/summer outfit with white leggings (those may actually be some pedal pushers though) underneath.  I also like the Fit-N-Flare Trumpet Skirt.  I would definitely wear something like that to work.  Just a bit fitted with that little flare and ruffle around the bottom (uh, I guess hence the title).  I also love the photo- her topless with long wavy hair covering herself at the top.  Probably something related to me seeing Splash at too young of an age.

Chapter 3:  The Corset

The corsets pictured in this chapter are not meant to give the impression of being saved for the bedroom.  I honestly don't think hand knit fabric is even the best idea for these garments.  What we are presented with are garments inspired by the corset- narrowing the waist and emphasizing the bust.  Only the first pattern, the Basic Corset, even uses boning and this is the only pattern that remotely resembles the traditional undergarment.  I really like most of the patterns in this chapter because they actually *gasp* work with my body.  My favorite is the Waist-Cincher Top.  Not, it does not lace up or sock in your gut.  It creates the idea of vertical lines through repeated yarn overs and also uses yarn overs over the bust to 1- create increases to accommodate and 2- create the visual of darts.  I love accommodated shaping and in sewing darts are a must for adjusting my clothes :o)

Tune back next time for the rest of the review!

*All photos have been taken from the respective Ravelry sites.  I have not been compensated for this review in any way.  This book has not been given to me, nor purchased by me.  It has been used as a library resource.
1 page 6, Knitting Lingerie Style
Publishing Information
McGowan-Michael, Joan.  Knitting Lingerie Style.  STC Craft:  New York, 2007.
ISBN-13: 978-1-58479-577-3
Ravelry here
Amazon here
Publisher here

PS Don't forget to enter the birthday giveaway!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Green Day!

There is no school today for the district I sub in.  Really, who schedules a conference day for St. Patrick's Day??  But for me that means I get to be Irish for the day and go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade!  I've never been before so this should be exciting :o).  I'll try to take some pictures depending if I can even see anything.  The march goes up 5th Avenue starting in midtown and going uptown just after the Met.  If you want more info on the NYC parade click here.  Or you can watch it on NBC and look for me in the crowd!  Too bad I don't have a green jacket...or hat...or scarf...or gloves.  I might stand out a bit from the crowd haha.

Crochet Shamrocks- 001a

** Don't forget to enter the birthday giveaway!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

NLC Update: Buttons

Buttons have been the hardest part of this cardigan, by far.  I can't find any in stores that I like (seriously why do Michael's and A.C. Moore have so many kitschy buttons and no actual useful buttons???).  Then I was reading this post from Never Not Knitting and decided to check out where she got her buttons.  They came from Tangled Yarns.

I just started searching through all the wonderful buttons available and oh my gosh actually found the perfect buttons!


Are they not the most perfect color for my cardigan???

Until I realized they were $3 per button.  Ok, maybe I can swing that.  And then I saw it was from an Australian store.  Frickin-A there goes that idea.  $12 for buttons (I'd use 1 less since they're bigger than the buttons called for) is already a stretch for me but then add on international shipping?  I don't think that's such a good idea given my employment situation these days.  What do you guys think??

*PS* Don't forget to enter my birthday giveaway!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank Goodness It's About Frickin Time!

Birthday Giveaway!

So my birthday is officially less than 2 weeks away now and what better way to celebrate turning 25 than to have a giveaway?  Now since it's a birthday giveaway, I'm not going to tell everything that's going into the package.  There's nothing better than a good birthday surprise after all.

What I will tell you for now is that the winner will get to choose between the two Malabrigo Lace's I ordered from Flocks of Yarn.  (I'm stealing pics from the site since they look much better than the ones I took...hopefully my birthday means a new camera for me!)

Paris NightBobby Blue

On the left is "Paris Night" and on the right is "Bobby Blue."  I couldn't choose which one to use to make Citron so I'm letting you choose for me :o)

There will be other goodies, but we'll save that for a surprise.  I'll probably cave and dish eventually, but for now I'm keeping it a secret.

How can you enter?  Oh, so many ways.  I enjoy blogs that give you multiple ways to enter so I'm definitely offering that.  You earn 1 entry for each of the following that you do:

  1. Comment on the blog.  Since I already picked Rebekkah's name, tell me your favorite type of cake to have for your birthday (or other treat).
  2. Send an email to telling me about your favorite birthday memory.
  3. Follow me on twitter @crookedknits (send a direct message after so I know you did it for the contest).
  4. Find me on Ravelry!  Again, name is crookedknits, easy enough (same thing- send a message so I know you want the entry and you can do this if you're already my friend there too)
Entries are due by 11:59 pm March 26th.  I'll be leaving for Florida then, but the winner will be chosen when I return after Easter.

Good luck everyone!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brooklyn Yarn and Fiber Guild

I should be doing some homework/cleaning/showering right now but I can't focus on anything until I write this up...

Today was the second meeting of the Brooklyn Yarn and Fiber Guild.  Not too many people showed up, most likely due to the crazy weather we've been having, but I think that was a good thing because it enabled us to get a lot done without a lot of distractions.  We were supposed to elect officers, but we got an email on Friday that for most of the available positions, only one person volunteered to run.  So basically they automatically got the job haha.  There were, however, two positions that no one nominated themselves for:  Technology and Secretary.  I had thought about nominating myself but figured I don't have enough experience or knowledge about technology in general to run so I held back.  If there was someone more qualified for the position then it would be more appropriate for them to take it.  But since no one nominated themselves, I emailed back volunteering myself.  A couple emails back and forth later, it was set- I am now the Technology Chair/Officer (not sure how it's going to be worded) for the Guild!  Yay!!  As if I needed to add more to my plate but being jobless, hey why not right?  Plus, a great thing to put on my resume, and great experience.

I'm not really sure what exactly I will be responsible for yet.  Definitely designing the website (so psyched for this portion) and maybe being a resource for those who don't have much computer experience.  I'd really like to do some like mini lessons or group sessions to teach the members about Ravelry, blogging, finding resources, ordering products online, setting up a Paypal account, and just other general resources.  One thing that's listed in the group's By-Laws is setting up a secure area for members only- and I have no frickin clue how to do that haha.  Also they were thinking of setting up a forum area (again, no clue) but I don't know how much it would be utilized compared to Ravelry.  It's something I guess we'll just have to test out and see how it goes or what most of the members would like.  I already told the group to think of things they want to see on the website and I've already started some sketches and lists of what should be there.  I'm such a dork haha!

As for the meeting, of course I was knitting.  I started the Land of Oz Shawl with my Magic Yarn Ball Swap yarn from Fearless Fibers.  You would think that this is the easiest shawl ever- mostly stockinette with a couple of yarn overs- but of course I managed to mess it up.  It's not that big of a deal and probably not even noticeable to a non-knitter, but I seemed to screw up a couple of the yarn overs.  I might drop stitches down to the problem areas and fix.  Even though this is simple stockinette, I might have to start throwing in some lifelines.

While we were at the meeting, one of the members (I so haven't been able to keep track of everyone's names yet) brought up a buuuuunch of knitting/crochet/fiber books.  She works at the library we hold the meetings at currently and told us that the more we take out the knitting etc. books, the more the library invests in more.  So I took out Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael.

Sex and knitting 2

I've glanced through this book before and though I don't have intentions of knitting anything from it right now, I'm glad I get to peruse it a little more in depth now.  Being busty, undergarments are a very important part of my wardrobe and I spare no expense on them.  I need the most support I can get so I'm particular about this stuff.  Also, I was working on knitting myself a bikini once upon a time and had to rework the flat-knit pattern so that it would fit my larger size.  I'm sorry but you can't just add stitches to the size small and expect it to actually hold larger ta-tas up.  I re-wrote the pattern with some short rows but never had the time to knit it up.  (A year earlier I had knit the entire sized small bikini for my assistant at the daycare so I'd already made it once and understood the pattern.)  Anyway, I digress.  But one of the first patterns in the book looked to be a bra so I wanted to take some time to look through the pattern and see if Joan was able to come up with anything feasible for the larger sizes.  I'll give my opinion as soon as I get a chance to really peruse it.

PS:  Check back tomorrow for a big announcement :o)

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Smell Coffee!!

On my way out the door the other day there was a box for me down in the vestibule.  I opened it up to find:

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 002

A beautiful ball of yarn from my Magic Yarn Ball Swap

The group has be planning and hiding and wrapping for about 2 months.  The gist:  you hand wrap the skein into a ball, all the while hiding little (or not) treats inside.  Depending on the price of the yarn and goodies, some people got tons of little things, or just a few big things.

Here's what I sent out to dovely:

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Sent- 001- All the Goodies

Lots of little goodies

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Sent- 002- Wrapping Up

Wrapping it up

I of course didn't think of taking pictures of things before or during wrapping up.  But here's what I sent:  a group of stitch markers from my soon to be shop (each wrapped individually for more things to open), a Bridgewater candle, a Soap Rocks soap, a mini Camille Beckman lotion, needle connectors/tip protectors, row counter, jeweled notebook.  I think that was everything.  I was able to put extras in because I got a couple things at the card store (yay employee discount!).  

Back to my package.  Here's what BlueLatitude sent me:  

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 003- Fearless Fibers

The yarn is from Fearless Fibers in the colorway Feel the Love.  It's 80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon.

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 002

As soon as I opened the box I smelled it:  yummy coffee aroma wafted up at me.  Unfortunately, I had to wait until the next evening to unwrap the ball and find it.

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 004- Peekaboo

There's someone hiding in my yarn!

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 005- Rebekkah

As you can see, I started getting bored unwrapping the yarn so I had a little photoshoot with my sheep.

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 006- Goodies

Finally got it all unwrapped and balled up (more on that in a bit).  The coffee (smells delish) is Outpost Rost Coffee Organic Bay View Brew.

Yay for coffee and yay yay for it being organic!  Sweet :o).  My swapee is from Wisconsin and I guess cheese wasn't going to ship well in the yarn.  I like coffee more than I like cheese so it's all good with me.  The yarn is so so amazing feeling and the most perfect blend of reds.  I think Gillian (BlueLatitude) was hoping I'd knit some socks (and I did queue some from Ravelry) but I think this ball of stubborn wonderfulness wants to be the Land of Oz Shawl.  I had been so excited about making a purchase from Flocks of Yarn that I didn't take the time the check gauges and totally intended my Malabrigo Lace for that.  I'm not a shawl or lace knitter so I can't even explain what I was thinking for that.  I do have a project for the Malabrigo but my Oz Shawl has been waiting to be made.  I haven't decided yet though.  Any thoughts?

Back to the Fearless Fibers yarn...  What a bitch!  I officially don't like sock yarn.  Between this skein and the Knit One Crochet Too I used for Tijah's argyle hat I'm a little put off.  Maybe it's me.  Maybe it's the ball winder.  But I just could not get this stuff to stay on the damn winder!  It took me forever to get it wound and it's still not wound in as tight of a ball as I would like.  

Magic Yarn Ball Swap- Received- 007- Snuggling Up

There's my little sheep friend snuggling up in the loosely wound ball.

I actually think it's the ball winder.  I feel like the piece the yarn winds around is so thick that there's always such a big hole in the middle of my balls.  Guess ya just gotta make do with what ya got right?

Before today, I was going to use naming the little sheep as part of my birthday giveaway (hint hint- coming up so keep an eye out).  But I decided to name my little sheep friend Rebekkah.  I was listening to some Stitch It Podcast episodes (I've been listening from old to new marathon style) and Meghan kept saying the name Rebecca and it just stuck.  I like my spelling because it's traditional but with a kick (the extra "k").  I love this name.  So now I have a little sheep named Rebekkah.  Funny though, when I was trying to figure out if this was actually a spelling of the name I googled it and was sent here.  The name means "to bind."  Ha. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Driving Miss CRS

Have you ever been to New York?  I mean NYC of course (not upstate, not Long Island, and certainly not wannabe Jersey).  Have you been to the outer boroughs (BROOKLYN, Bronx, Queens, or the garbage Island)?  If you have, you know what it means to sit in traffic.

Now, I hear traffic is horrible around Los Angeles.  Never having been there, I honestly can't compare the two.  But let me tell you that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, like sitting in New York traffic.  Usually it's because of 1 of 2 reasons:  everything has to ooh and aah at someone on the side of the road (could be a 10 car accident or just someone changing a tire- doesn't matter you HAVE to slow down and look apparently) or just the massive amounts of cars trying to get into/out of the city during rush hour(s).  I think the longest I've ever sat still in traffic was about 3 hours on the Cross Bronx.  In a pickup truck that decided to start overheating.  What do you do when a car overheat?  Turn the heat on full blast.  Let's not forget to mention it was boiling hot on that June 18th.  Or maybe the 17th.  Either way, it was the day before my cousin's wedding that I was a bridesmaid in and had to get to Syracuse for (I missed the rehearsal because of this traffic...and this was just the beginning of the trip).

Usually when I have to work out on Long Island I'm heading out of the city during rush hour(s) while everyone else is heading in, so traffic really isn't bad for me.  But the other day I was heading home to Brooklyn during rush hour(s).  For some reason the same theory doesn't apply to the evening rush as it does to the morning.  It took me quite a bit of time to get home that day.  But if traffic is moving slow enough, I have things to keep me busy.

Back in 9th grade stuck on the Cross Bronx, all I could do was get a reverse truckers tan while listening to my favorite (then pop) radio station with my foot out the window.  Today, I have my knitting :o).

Yes, I knit while I drive.  I made extra sure to watch the speedometer while doing this the other day, just so I could tell you about it.  I never maxed 15 mph while knitting.  I was working on the Copenhagen Royal Shawl/Scarf (CRS) while sitting there.  I got some pictures to show the progress too!

Peek-a-boo Sunlight

I love this picture!  Try as I might, I could not replicate the sunlight effect, though the whole time I was driving the sun was in my eyes.  Killer.


Coming up on the Grand Central Parkway Exit (I was on the LIE) in Queens.  I tried to get some pics of the old World's Fair Grounds but they either came out blurry or a truck got in the way.  For those who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, the two towers with spaceships on top seen at the end of Men in Black


Don't you just love seeing all those red brake lights?  Yeah, me either.

city skyline

This is my favorite part of the drive.  It was just hitting dusk when I got this one.  Of course I didn't think to roll the window down for the picture until the traffic started moving again so I couldn't get a clear shot.  But driving at night, this view of Manhattan is breathtaking.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Goings Ons

Does that even make sense?  Right about now I don't care.  My brain is on a constant brain fart today.  Just too tired.  So please excuse the following run-on sentences, made up words, jibber jabber, nonsense that I'm spitting out:

Flocks of Yarn

Oh my, how I love coming home to yarn goodies.  Especially when I'm not expecting them to be there so soon!  I put in an order (finally) at Flocks of Yarn and was surprise when only a couple days later the box was in the vestibule!  Deirdre is awesome like that.  She's also doing a personal destashing right now so you should check out the yarn she's saying buh-bye to.  I'm eyeing that Ultra Alpaca for a laptop sock for myself (news of this to come soon).

But now on to the yarny goodness...

Flocks of Yarn order is here!

The whole shebang

lacy goodness

Colors:  Bobby Blue, Paris Night
*these are for a blog surprise coming up in the next few weeks ;o)

love these colors <3

Colors:  Blue Atoll, Dahlia
This was the pair of yarns that I could not for the life of me remember what I wanted them for.  Maybe a laptop sock, maybe some baby goodies since a friend just found out she's preggers :o)

technicolor sock yarn...oh yea :o)

Color:  Spectrum
This wonderfulness is going to be save from some Jaywalker Socks

yum yum

Color:  Tourmaline
Another one I wasn't sure what I bought it for but I think it was for a hat or scarf potentially.  It'll probably just be more baby knits (if it winds up being a girl).

lots of Eucalan

Small Bottles:  Natural, Lavender, Grapefruit
Samples:  Natural, Lavender, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus
The small bottles are for me (I already have a Eucalyptus large bottle) and the samples are for knit gifts, CFO's, and other random things (like the Magic Yarn Ball Swap)


Surprise!  Little extras that came with my package:  a sample Eucalan wash, business card with Kitchner stitch instructions on the back, a magnet, and my Fiber Friend (who has yet to be named...and I'm open to suggestions!).

Lastly, here's some yummy baked goods to share with you:

Aunt Mary's Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

The recipe is Aunt Mary's Banana Chocolate Chip Bread but I made mini muffins instead.  They only needed about 15 minutes in the oven (as compared to 60 minutes for the bread).  And they're smaller portion controlled.

Speaking of, 2 weeks ago I lost 2 pounds and this week no weight loss but I did go down a notch in my belt. Yay for Weight Watchers!

Also, Sweetie Pie Bakery is holding a giveaway in honor of Green Eggs and Ham!  Monday was Read Across America Day (first Monday in March) in honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday.  This was one of my favorite things to celebrate with my kids when I was at the daycare.  Sigh.

That's all for now kiddies!



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