Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

For your Halloween viewing pleasure--a short serene video to help rid your psyche of little ghosts and goblins:

Hee Hee!

One really gets the full effect of Halloween when one works in an elementary school! As seen in some of the previous photos, I used to dress up, but I no longer do. This was the extent of my Halloween attire:

My favorite Halloween thing to wear is the necklace you see in the photo below:

The Halloween beads are lampworked glass and the others are Czech cut glass and Swarovsky crystal. I made the Halloween beads some years ago. Lampworking is when you work with glass rods over a torch flame. Those of you from Maryland may have seen this done in the glassblower's shop at Ocean City. Those little animals and figurines that are made there are not blown glass but rather they are lampworked glass. Here are a couple of photos of what the process looks like:

You see a metal rod with a coating of bead release and a glass rod. Both are held in the flame--the metal rod to keep it warm and the glass rod to melt it. When the glass rod begins to melt, it grabs the metal. You have to keep it moving constantly or gravity will cause the glass to drip off the rod. You can use this gravity to your advantage when trying to create unusual shapes. There are all kinds of things you can do to shape the beads as well. Once they are completed, they have to be put in a kiln and brought to 900 degrees then they are to cool slowly which takes the stress out of the glass. I really like trying to make face beads or other shapes. Here are some close ups of the Halloween beads:

I also made a couple of ghost beads which I chose not to put in this necklace.

Moving on to other FO's--
I present to you my finally finished Surplice Camisole from the book Knitting Lingerie Style:

The first photo matches the color best.
Here are the details:

Pattern: Surplice Camisole from Knitting Lingerie Style
Size: the smallest one
Yarn: Tahki Sierra (Silk, Linen, Nylon blend) 3+ skeins
Needles: KnitPicks Options size 6 and 7, 24 inch circulars
Modifications: Instead of knitting the front and back totally flat, I knit the bodice pieces flat, seamed the shoulders and side seams then picked up the lace stitches and knit them in the round.

I'm okay with this sweater, but I doubt I'll wear it much. One problem is that the armholes aren't deep enough. You can't see it in the above photos, but check this one:

Note the side with my arm down. You can see wrinkles on the side. They are are result of the armholes being too shallow. I made them a little larger when I blocked it, but other than that, there's not much I can do.

I'm surprised that it doesn't look too bad without a cami underneath. I have a nude colored bra on and that's it! I doubt I'll be making any more lace sweaters. It doesn't feel structured enough on my body. I like fitted tops and the lace doesn't hug enough, if that makes sense. I love so many of the summery sweaters that I see, but I really don't like wearing them. If it's hot outside, I'm not putting on a sweater--period! If I wear any summer sweaters, it will be layered over other tops. I think I will focus my attention on silk blends for the fall and merino blends which are ultimately my favorite things to knit!

I started swatching for the Silken Scabbard. I must say that the Silky Merino that I'm using is some kind of nice stuff!

I'll start the actual sweater tomorrow night. I'm going to have a strange morning tomorrow. I have to take Mikey to the vet for blood work. He has to be tested 6 - 8 hours after he gets his insulin shot and their last appointment on Saturday is at 1:00. That means I will get up at 6 a.m., feed the cats and give him his shot, then I will go right back to bed until around 10! I think his dose needs to be adjusted. He's been crying to be fed all the time so something just isn't right. Speaking of eating--Elvis has been a total pig lately! Elvis, you may remember, is our water turtle. Every so often, I'll treat him to some fish--usually buying about a dozen and a half feeder fish. Typically, he eats about 6 or 7 in the first couple of days, then he finishes off all the rest except one during the next week. The last one usually hangs around a couple of weeks. Twice in the last month, I bought him his 18 fish and they were gone within a day! Two days ago, after work, I got him 2 dozen fish and they were gone by the next morning! I don't know what's cranking up his appetite! Maybe it's a seasonal thing!

Tomorrow is the Mexican celebration of Las Dias de los Muertos!

Bushism of the day:
"There's a lot of blowhards in the political process, you know, a lot of hot-air artists, people who have got something fancy to say." --George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 17, 2007

Kitty Cam: From the archives--Greg doesn't like competing with the pumpkin for the job of Chief Halloween Decoration

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so many things to comment on/agree with!

    First, I am super impressed with your bead making and your necklace!! Is there anything you *don't* know how to do?

    Secondly, although I think Surplice Camisole looks nice on you (and I agree it looks nice without a cami too) I tried knitting this sweater and it didn't fit me well in the underarms either. I had thought the problem for me was my relatively broad upper back, but you don't seem to have that issue so I'm convinced it's the pattern.

    Thirdly, I am SO WITH YOU on the summery sweaters. I'm done. I have cotton in my stash still (blends like Pima Tencel, Premiere, and Cotton Fleece) but I will use it to make things with 3/4 or long sleeves that I can wear when it's cooler. I am just going to sew for my summertime wardrobe and continue to knit non-summer sweaters during that time.