Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FO: Cropped Cardigan


Okay, I cheated a leetle bit. It's a lot shorter, and the sleeves are shorter, and I did a garter stitch hem instead of a turned-up hem. But it's fine, because you know what? It's summer, I'm pregnant, and it was 94 degrees today. I was going to do it much longer, but... it's hot, and I got lazy. This was a quick knit though, all things considered.

This sweater was my first time doing an applied i-cord, and it was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. I think I was a little sloppy, but it wasn't bad for my first time.

For the record, Malabrigo Worsted is the most heavenly yarn ever - in skein form, and in knitted form. I'm glad I didn't use all of it for this sweater, because that means I get to use it for a different sweater (probably another mini-sweater) later on. It's gorgeously soft - I can't wait until I can get more of it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

FO: Liesl by Ysolda Teague

I started this one in early March, and even though I didn't finish it until today, this is actually a REALLY quick knit. (It's just that, as usual, I took big breaks in between to finish/start other things.)

It's double-stranded Malabrigo Silky Merino in Bobby Blue. Can I just say that Malabrigo might be my favorite yarn ever????? It's lovely to knit with and lovely to wear. I almost feel bad using it on a spring sweater because (obviously) you don't want a lot of material on your skin in hot weather, and Malabrigo is the sort of yarn you want on your skin as much as possible!

I decided to do cap sleeves with a picot bind-off. I had originally intended to make this a full-length sweater (like, down to my hips), but I thought about the above fact that I would be wearing this in warm weather, and also, it might look funny with my huge belly sticking out between the fabric. So I made it short. I used almost exactly 4 skeins. I had intended to do a picot bind-off on the bottom edge as well, but it wasn't long before I saw that I would not have enough yarn to make it all the way to the end of the sweater (and who wants to start a new skein of yarn just for the bind-off?), so I just did a regular knit bind-off, as loosely as I could to keep the wavy drape of the stitch pattern.

Overall, I'm REALLY pleased with this sweater and pattern, and will definitely make this again at some point. It's really pretty and really easy. Next time I might try a different version (long sleeves or something).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I have no more will to live!!!!!

I’m 16 weeks and I don’t want to leave my house anymore. Except to eat. I just want to lie down on the couch all day and nap and knit. My students make me crazy and give me headaches. I have no energy to stand up there and lecture anymore. I don’t want to do my laundry. I just want to watch baseball and knit things and wait for my 18-week ultrasound.

Why doesn’t the law give pregnant women an entire year off (paid would be nice)? I could really use that. Starting right now.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

FO: Forest & Frill

Took me long enough - Here is Tiny Owl Knits' Forest & Frill cardigan!

I used Knit Picks Decadence (now discontinued), which is alpaca, my favorite. Double-stranded for the "body," single-stranded for the crochet trim. Made some mods: CO 114 sts for the longer sleeves, knitted about 13 inches of the rectangle before I wanted to rip my eyes out with my cable needle, and then seamed along the sleeves rather the body - so really, it's more like a shrug than a cardigan. I did five rounds of the crochet lace trim around the body (and none for the sleeves), leaving it more open because I'm 15 weeks pregnant right now, and all parts of me will be getting bigger.

The yarn is VERY cozy and warm, perfect for a chilly spring or fall. And obviously very soft - I totally love this.

It shouldn't have taken me so long, considering how it took me about two weeks to get the first 10 inches done. Then it sat around for ages before I finally got to 13, and then it sat around for ages longer until I finally finished the crochet this morning. (This is like, a pattern with me lately. Everything sits around for about 3 times as long as it takes everyone else on Ravelry to finish it.) This was supposed to be a quick project, except that I forgot how cables make everything about 5x slower (for me, at least), and I was also kicking myself for casting on for such a wide rectangle. (But then that came in handy because it gave me an alternate way to seam it together, so, not bad.)

I'm fairly pleased! I still have over 3 skeins of this yarn left, so I need to find something else cozy to make with it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Makeup goddess? Then the gods must be crazy...

I don't consider myself a high-maintenance sort of person. The most I ever do with my hair is to straight-iron it, but most of the time, I comb it and pull it back - I don't even blowdry. My feet and hands are sorely neglected. I own lots of lotion, but it sits in my medicine cabinet, and sometimes I sniff them because they smell nice.

BUT... I do love makeup. I'm a makeup junkie. But not in a priss-and-primp sort of way - while I own concealer and foundation, I rarely touch them. I'm not interested in minimizing my pores. No, I love COLOR. Color, shimmer, glitter... I love it all. Maybe it's my one artistic outlet - I can't draw, paint, or sculpt, but I can work my eyeshadow brushes like nobody's business. (On myself, at least. I used to do other people's makeup for fun, but now, not so much.) Liquid liner? Check. Smoky eyes? Check. Tube of glitter? Check, check, double check.

I have major brand loyalty towards Urban Decay - they're the only brand that has ever really "spoken" to me. For one thing, their packaging is all purple, black, metallic... very little pink. (Too Faced has similar products, but everything is PINK!! Seriously!!) There are swirly designs, skulls, even a gun... they're never girly. They're all about beauty plus attitude. And I like to think that I am too. So I own mostly their stuff, a lot of it. I have a few things here and there from other brands (such as a Kat Von D palette... really, that shouldn't surprise you. I have SEVEN tattoos and counting), but mainly I stick to one, and it's because I know everything is quality.

So, after throwing everything in a drawer for the past however many months/years/etc., I finally had to get my stash organized because, well, it was driving me crazy. But I now have WAY more than my trusty old plastic Caboodles case could hold (it was purple and glittery!), and plus, I'm not sixteen anymore. (Though, really, I had UD when I was sixteen too - Radium liquid eyeliner and two face cases!) I finally decided to clean out my makeup drawer, getting rid of everything I have and never touch (to be given away... any takers? Let me know!), and to get one of those awesome TRAIN CASES I've been drooling over. Thus... I bought myself a Caboodles GODDESS case, and was able to organize my stash:

Yeah, the damn thing is so huge, I had to stand on a chair to be able to get the whole thing in frame. The top splits open, and three tacklebox-like trays extend from each side. The trays are pretty deep, as is the main box compartment, and the two sides of the top have loops to hold brushes. Goddess, indeed!

Here's the "wing" on the left. It's my eye tray. Starting from the left side, you have almost all the colors of Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliner except for a small handful, and their Grindhouse sharpener. I love these and use them pretty much every day. You can tell which ones I like best by how short they are. There's also a Cat Eye eyeliner from Pop Beauty - the slanted crayon makes it super easy to FLICK! the line at the corner of your eye. GENIUS! Tray 2 has liquid liners - I don't use these as often, but they are handy for dramatic effect. Tray 3 has the new UD cream shadows (I have Rehab, Mushroom, Asphalt, and Delinquent), some glitter eyeliner (the gold one is UD and the blue and green ones are Too Faced), some mascaras (including UD's electric blue mascara and a purple mini Bourjois one I got as a free sample), and a travel-sized UD Primer Potion that I got with my Book of Shadows (more on that later).

Here's the right "wing" of the train case. The topmost tray (on the right) has my glosses, of all different brands. The newest one in there is Nars Orgasm/Hustler duo. The middle tray has a couple more glosses (the one is wrapped up because it kind of leaks), two 24/7 lipliners (that I don't use, but keep in case I need them) and four UD lipsticks (Gash, Requiem, Wicked, and Wanted). I don't usually wear lip stuff because it comes right off when I'm eating (which is all the time), but I do really love the way it looks. Tray 3 has some of my smaller "face" items - three UD blushes (including Score, which is a dead ringer for Nars Orgasm), a couple highlighters from Benefit, and some concealer for underneath my eyes.

The center/main compartment, for my bigger items: palettes (Kat Von D in Beethoven, UD Deluxe Eyeshadow, and two super-old Hard Candy quads that I can't bear to get rid of); foundations/powder, UD Primer Potion in both regular and Sin, GOsmile lip balm, and some Visine, which is AWESOME for making eyeshadows into liquid liner (better staying power than when you use water).

Brushes... I have more than this, but these are the most often used.

That is what's in my train case, but these two items had to go in my drawer:

UD Book of Shadows - 8 bestseller colors, and 8 brand new ones that are not out yet. Plus two brushes and a mini Primer Potion. Glorious. The top flips open to reveal a mirror and some pretty pop-up decor. (Pretty, but COOL.)

Last but not least... dare I say it?... my pride and joy, my Urban Decay VAULT. No longer available, the vault is a box (the cover/top is the first picture in the post, with the swirly design I would love to have tattooed someday) made to hold sixteen UD shadows (not the deluxe ones), and yes, mine is full. I can't even name them all, but I've used every single one, some more than others. I had to be really choosey about which shadows to buy, and other than the Book and the cream shadows, I haven't purchased any since. And none of the colors in my vault are the same as the ones in the Book. So essentially, I have 32 eyeshadow colors in my drawer alone (not including the palettes in my train case).

So yes, I am a makeup junkie. I'm an Urban Decay junkie, to be more to the point. You're probably wondering how I could afford all this stuff? Well, number one, it's an addiction, and number two, I had lots of disposable income. That is no longer to be, since I'm now having a baby. BUT, unlike clothes, this makeup will last me through this baby and probably many other babies, should I choose to have them. Hey, at least I'm not buying cars or boats or musical instruments.

Is makeup superficial and frivolous? Maybe. Am I extremely materialistic? Very likely. But is makeup a great outlet for expressing yourself if you make it about expressing yourself, and not just about covering or correcting your flaws? YES! Like I said, this is my art medium. Makeup for me is not about self-esteem or attracting other people... it's about being who I am and having FUN with it. And at the end of the day, you can wash it all off and start over again tomorrow.

(Because sometimes, nothing feels better than a totally clean face.)

So, anyway... I'm all organized now. I just have to stay that way :)