Saturday, July 30, 2011

Knit skirt

This skirt was supposed to be the one that I found in the book Knitting it old school, full of great, tongue-in-cheek re-interpretations of old fashions. (Actually, the best thing in it was the crochet mini dress made out of multi-coloured granny squares, but I'm about 20 years too old and missing about 20 cm in leg length for that one!)

The original pattern was in pumpkin orange, with a big border of diamond shapes along the hem.
But it wasn't to be, because I ended up completely redesigning the thing to get it to fit me properly. Also, I had a hell of a time knitting those shapes without getting any puckering.
Here's a shot of my third and final attempt before giving up -
It was when I was reading Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting without tears (so apt!), that I realised what the problem was. The pattern had three different colours on the same row, with strands being carried across up to 11 stitches. My last attempt was using a stranded knitting/intarsia combination but it didn't work.
So instead, I picked a number of more traditional Fair Isle patterns to do instead - 
And here's a shot of the whole garment (pardon the weird colour effect - my iPhoto did it and I don't know how to undo it. So the above photo is a more accurate depiction of the colours.
It's a very respectable knee-length, which is another departure from the original. I might even wear it to work on Monday if it's cold enough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mug shots of the aforementioned new winter coat

 Here they are at last, photos of the coat which stole my heart and my wallet.

As you can see, the voluminousness of the body of the coat is rather awesome (as in, really big). Though that is nicely balanced by the narrow sleeves (which, strangely, are exactly the right length and size for my arms).
 And here is the back of the coat. The tag calls this coat a cape, and I guess it is - it's a cape with sleeves.

There's no way I would, on paper, wear a cape. But a swing coat  - which this is to my eyes -  I would wear.
Here's a shot of the lining. Can you see that the inside of this rather posh garment is covered in burlesque dancers?

True, it's not the coat that Gok Wan (or any other TV stylist) would have chosen for me me. But it's pretty special and keeps me cosy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

If colds could be exciting

I have the cold that TLM had last weekend, and it's a cold like no other I've ever had.
Like, for instance, the fact that my shoulders and knee joints hurt.
And my teeth hurt!
I got it on Wednesday and now, on Sunday, my teeth don't hurt any more so I can put off visiting the dentist for another few months (or years).

I'm glad that I took this week off so I could hang out with TLM during the second week of her school holidays. I'll be out of action for at least the next few days,  but it'll be nice not to have to stress about using up my sick leave when the real winter has only just set in.

Also I'm getting lots of knitting (and un-knitting) done during this time.

Thank goodness the boy is so good at looking after us!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My new winter coat

I know that, as a short and stockily built woman, the last thing I should be wearing is a massive swing jacket of thick, nubby wool which is topped off with a luxuriant faux-fur collar.

When I saw it hanging in the World shop, I loved the black and red wool fabric and oversized red and gold buttons - but the fur collar wasn't detachable and the cape-like silhouette was going to make me look like the dwarf in Don't Look Back (old movie starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, if you're under 35).

So I tried on a different coat, which was similarly floaty but too long and had giant heart-shaped pockets that didn't open at the top (they unzipped at the sides). And then, because I had nothing to lose I decided to try on the gorgeous red coat with the neck-shortening faux-fur collar and the widening cape shape.

World is not a shop I enter frequently, it being a designer shop where a skirt at 50% discount will still cost over $200 (though it will be beautiful and look like nothing else on the street). So I was unprepared for the sweetly attentive saleswoman, an older woman who knew how to talk me into buying it. She told me how much the original price was.

Suddenly the fur collar was not at all irritating, the voluminous folds "draped beautifully". I lusted after it.

Dear reader, I bought the coat.
I had to - it was, like, 60% off and a World garment.

Of course, by the time I had got it home and tried it on again, I didn't look quite as classy in it as I'd remembered.  But it is still a beautiful coat which looks really special and is wonderfully warm. I don't care that it's not completely flattering, because if I only ever wore what was flattering my wardrobe would be full of black scoopneck long-sleeve t-shirts, black tunic dresses, black tights, black shoes and a black princess-line coat (which, even though a common item, would be expensive because I'd have to have it altered to fit me). Actually, that does describe most of my wardrobe - except for the coat.

When I wear my new coat I am reminded of when I was a teenager accompanying my mother to a shop in town that specialised in real fur, leather and suede coats and jackets. We went more than once and at one point she probably had about four coats of different styles, from that one shop (she always managed to bargain the retailer down to get a good price). While most of her coats have been passed on to others, she still has one coat which gets lots of wear now that she's elderly and feels the cold.  I'm just glad no-one has tried to throw paint on her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011