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The Shawl from hell 10-20-16 Update


I think that I have lost count of how many times I have gotten so frustrated with this project because of miscounting stitches or inadvertently added them that I’ve been left with the only thing to do is rip out everything and start over from the beginning.  I think that this makes reboot number 9.

Wanting to truly wipe the slate clean, I started over with not only two different skeins of your, but a new set of knitting needles to wipe any bad psychic vibes that may have been imprinted on my bamboo ones that I have been using.  The new ones are part of a multi size interchangeable set from a company called Knit Picks. The needles are made from multi layer dyed rosewood. They’re very attractive in a quirky sort of way. I like them.

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Costume College 2017 — The Shawl from Hell

As part of my personal continuing education and need to keep my brain alive by learning new tricks, I’ve taken up knitting, and not just any knitting, hand-knitting lace.  Because I don’t have enough things to drive my insane.  Anyways, my neurologist signed off on the idea as being a good one and gave me her blessing to proceed.  And ultimate truth be told, I fell in love with all the knitty bits that Claire wore on Outlander and had to have them …and the only way to get them was knit them myself.  Fortunately, Lion Brand carries the official Outlander kits.

As my current skill level is slightly better than a novice, there is a whole lot that I simply do not know, thus making any project that’s beyond knitting the 4th doctor’s scarf is new and has a steep learning curve.  I’ve ripped it out at least 5 times now because it’s such a simple pattern, it’s easy to get confused.

mohair-shawlMy chosen project is a Lady’s Wrap circa 1961.  It’s to go with my lavender silk cocktail dress for the Friday evening cocktail party.  According to the lady from whom I acquired it from on Etsy: “This pattern is from Bear Brand and Fleisher Yarns Hand Knit Mohair Fashions Vol. 55, from 1961….”  I invite you to check out her Etsy shop: Vintage Knit Crochet.  There are lots of good things to recreate there.

The yarn in question is Patons Lace yarn and the color I’m using what they call “Plum Smoke.”  I got it at Joann’s, on sale, before I even knew what I wanted to make because I loved the soft heathery deep lavender color.  So when I decided what I was planning on making clothing wise, a wrap for a sleeveless lavender silk cocktail dress seemed natural.

I decided to take a break and write up a little something on this project before I go bonkers and rip it out yet another time.

 

 

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Costume College 2017 Project list …

One of the advantages of going to Costume College is getting to learn what the next year’s theme is going to be, and thus getting a metaphorical leg up on your fellow costumers — not that there are any prizes to won outside of bragging rights and exposure.  But it’s nice to be able to dress the party and not be rushed, which I’m going to be anyway because I’m on a D-I-E-T and planning on losing a half a dozen or more dress sizes between now and then …and I am so not going to make everything in a size 28-30 when I could very well be a size 18 by then, just saying.

The theme for next year is the 1960s, which is actually rather great as far as I’m considered.  Besides being a child of the ’60s, I am finding myself actually preferring the clothing convention of those two decades: conservative clothes with clean lines and ended with a little funky.  Basically, me in fashion.  So I decided I would make clothing that I could rotate into my normal day-to-day wardrobe like dresses, skirts, sweaters, pants, jackets and cute little blouses.  So I started trolling the interwebs for vintage patterns — those iconic styles from my childhood that we saw so exquisitely reproduced on Mad Men and lovingly watched reruns of Bewitched — but since they are going to be incorporated into my capsule wardrobe, I’ve got to really like them.

I have now acquired about a dozen or two patterns now and each delightful acquisition, with the exception of  two, when shown to my (semi-retired) MOD revivalist hubby what meant with “No, that’s too high fashion.”  You can well imagine the conversation that has followed….

Me:  What do you think of these? 

Him: They’re too high fashion.

Me: Did I at any time say that I was specifically doing MOD?  No. I said I was doing the ’60s.  And for that matter, I don’t think I was specific about what century either.  I could very well be doing 1560s, [insert dramatic pause] which gives me an idea…

I also made a list of the number of outfits I am going to need for the three-day event.  There’s the Thursday evening Welcome pool party reception, Friday classes, Friday evening cocktail party, Saturday Classes, Saturday night Gala and possibly Sunday breakfast, but only if it looks like I can jet out of Woodland Hills in time for church in Glendale.

  • Thursday Evening: I’m thinking something hippie chick. I’ve got some truly obnoxious green and blue paisley that will make a wicked swimsuit. Or possibly the pink and orangish swirl for a skirt and some type of floaty peasant type shirt.
  • Friday Classes: I’m leaning towards something sporty so I can move around.  I have some blue and gray paisley reproduction print from Liberty of London that I’ll be using for the shirt.  Haven’t decided if I’m going with sleeves or not.
  • Friday evening cocktail party:  This is the one outfit I’ve got locked down. I have lavender silk crepe di chine that I am going to hand-smock the yoke and bead.  (Think something that you would expect Samantha Stevens would wear to a corporate cocktail party hosted by the Tates.) And I’m knitting a mohair wrap to go with it.  Said wrap is already in production.
  • Saturday Classes: Again, like Friday classes, I’m leaning towards something sporty so I can move around.  To appease the gods of MOD-dom, I’ve decided to go a bit more MOD.  I’ll be hand-knitting a sweater.  It’s cute: it has a bow. I just need to decide what to pair with it: a skirt or the 1960’s equivalent of skinny jeans…. and research appropriate colors.
  • Saturday Gala: Because it’s my first love and truly my field of expertise, I’m going 16th century.  I haven’t decided with I’m going Tudor or Elizabethan or Venetian, but definitely 16th century.
  • Sunday morning: something that I can wear to church.  However, as I’m typing this blog post up, I’ve decided.  I scored some borderline hideous, reproduction blue-green and bone floral print cotton from Liberty of London and a semi-current Simplicity Patterns 1960s dress pattern release that I’m going to whip up.

Costume College 2017 won’t be until the end of July or the first part of August next year so I’ve got six to nine months to change my mind.  Let’s see if I do.  [Okay, make that let’s see how much I change my mind.] Blog posts to follow as each item progresses.