Tattoo Tuesday

Because there is nothing like -45 degree weather to make you think of summer?


Tattoo Tuesday

I love getting mail.  And I love that I have to go to the post office to get my mail.  I like the anticipation and the at last feeling when an awaited something finally arrives, and I also like the surprises that sometimes come (but maybe not so much the bills that arrive all too often).  Also, living so very far from any decent shopping of any sort means that I rely quite a bit on the postal service to bring me things I might otherwise purchase in person.

I currently have a couple of subscriptions that deliver monthly goodness to me, and ensure a steady stream of mail-based happiness.  The newest one is a Tattly subscription of temporary tattoos.

I can't even remember now how I stumbled across Tattly and their subscriptions, but I'm glad I happened upon them when I did:  I hadn't realized when I placed my order that the subscription service was a limited time offer.  I have often thought of getting a real (really permanent) tattoo, but then often end up being glad that the desire passed without me actually acting on it.  I worry about ruining the lines of a formal dress (not that I wear formal dresses all that often, but I do like to keep it classy when I do), or having something become utterly revolting-looking as I age and become wrinkly and saggy (why make a bad situation worse?).  And too much changes all the time for me to settle on something--a design, a phrase--that would be lastingly meaningful.

But a temporary tattoo?  Well, I'd be willing to temporarily tattoo myself with pretty much anything.  I even think that these Ta-Ta-Toos are hilarious, although I do feel rather guilty that they amuse me.  Part of it is certainly that all the tattoos are simply photoshopped onto the same chest in all the product shots; I mean, the company couldn't find anyone with a remotely okay-looking rack to actually test-drive these in real life?  Anyway... my Tattly tattoos are much classier.

Last week, as soon as my shiny metal tin arrived in the mail, I slapped my favourite of the designs on my forearm.

I really like this pipe-smokin' bunny rabbit--so much so that I rather wish I had another one to wear again sometime.  I feel like the little guy lasted okay.  Here he is after one week on my arm:

Definitely mostly worn off.  I often push my shirtsleeves up, and unfortunately I aimed a little too high on my arm and managed to place the tattoo precisely where the cuff of my favourite (and most-often-worn) hoodie gets pushed up to.

I'm sort of rationing the tattoos--as much as I want to put them all on at once and look completely silly, I also want to drag out the fun--so I'm only putting on one per week.  Rather than burn through my favourites first thing, I decided this week to go for a still-acceptable-but-not-really-loved design, "You're Late."

This one was hard to put on by myself; I didn't manage to line it up on my wrist quite right, and the strap on the underside is a little smudged.  I won't mind, however, if this one doesn't last the week.  It'll be fun for a day or two, but then I'll be glad to go back to the most beautiful watch in the world.

Meat & Potatoes #63

Aired Sunday January 9, 2012

  1. Mothers of Invention--Trouble Comin' Every Day
  2. Dolly Parton--Jolene
  3. Maria McKee--Absolutely Barking Stars
  4. Iris Dement--Leaning on the Everlasting Arm
  5. Paul Simon--Papa Hobo
  6. Tim Buckley--Once I Was
  7. Stuart Murdoch--Another Saturday
  8. Ray Charles--You'll Never Walk Alone
  9. Eartha Kitt--Angelitos Negros
  10. Roberta Flack--I Told Jesus
  11. Dinah Washington & Brook Benton--Baby (You've Got What It Takes
  12. Stevie Wonder--Signed, Sealed, Delivered (DJ Smash Essential Funk Mix)
  13. Me'Shell Ndegeocello--If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)
  14. The Clovers--Love Potion Number 9
  15. The Emotions--Blind Alley
  16. Junior Walker & the All Stars--Shotgun
  17. Llyod Price--Stagger Lee
  18. TV on the Radio--Modern Romance
  19. Angus & Julia Stone--Paper Aeroplane
  20. Cat Power--Metal Heart
  21. Tune-Yards--Es-So
  22. Mirah & Thao--Rubies and Rocks
  23. Scissor Sisters--Invisible Light
  24. Chromeo--Don't Turn the Lights On
  25. Gonzales--Working Together
  26. Duck Sauce--Barbara Streisand
  27. Hall & Oates--You Make My Dreams
  28. Leo Sayer--You Make Me Feel Like Dancing
  29. Sanford & Townsend--Smoke from a Distant Fire
  30. Andy Kim--Rock Me Gently
  31. David Bowie--Magic Dance


Work in Progress: Khair-ish

The "something new" mentioned briefly at the end of my last post is a modified version of Khair.  For some reason--perhaps because of the way the scarf is arranged in the photographs in the pattern description--I thought that the pattern was asymmetrical, with a cable on only one side of the scarf.  However, the pattern as written is symmetrical, with a large panel of a repeating stitch in the middle, and a cable flanked by another pretty stitch on each edge of the scarf.

There's nothing wrong with the pattern as written, but when I found that my first attempt at an unmodified Khair was too tight on the suggested 4.0 mm needle, I decided to rip back, size up my needle to a 4.5 and switch things up to match the asymmetric scarf I had stuck in my head.

I'm now working three cables on one side, with the centre panel of stitching from the original pattern on the other side, making for a roughly 1/3 and 2/3 split.

It's not that I didn't like the pattern--I still think it's very pretty--but I do like it better this way.  Also, one of the stitches called for in the pattern involves purling three stitches together, and I wasn't a big fan working this on the back side, so I adapted the stitch to a k3tog thing to be worked from the front.  It's close enough to the right look, and sooooo much easier to knit.

Knitter in the dark?
The biggest challenge to this pattern has definitely been the yarn itself.  I love the Cascade 220 Sport--it isn't super-soft but it's appealingly springy and sturdy, and the stitch definition is good--but knitting with navy blue yarn in the darkest months of the year in a cabin that's generally ill-lit requires a little creativity.

I have been meaning to make a lampshade for this thing for ages, but mostly it just gets pulled out whenever I need extra illumination for animating or whatever.  I was too lazy to figure out how to hang it from the ceiling, so I slung it over the bookshelf instead.

It's being propped away from the wall with an old Dawson City Music Fest program, and held in place with a trashy romance novel I bought at the Salvation Army in Homer, AK (which is about all that book is good for).  Not exactly home decorating at its finest--and it's certainly not doing any favours to my art collection--but it is keeping me from going blind.


Finished: Autumn Leaves

I finally finished my Autumn Leaves sweater a few days ago.  I am really surprised that something yellow actually looks good on me.  I haven't worn anything yellow in years and years and years--entirely convinced that my complexion couldn't handle it--but I decided it give a shot because the Fug Girls seem to so often say that anyone can work a yellow with the right red lip.  Of course, this meant ignoring that I myself rarely wear much on my lips beyond lip balm...  Fortunately it looks alright even when all  I've done is rolled out of bed and into some clothes.

(Hideous curtain courtesy of Ben's apartment.)

I am reasonably happy with the finished product.  It's hardly the most flattering sweater I own--I've started to think of it as my Butterball sweater--although I think part of the problem is wearing a Stanny underneath.  A silky camisole would probably help the sweater drape more naturally, but... it's January in Dawson City, so a sweater that has 3/4 sleeves and is full of holes needs to be worn with caution.  And a touch of miner-from-the-creeks fashion is always appropriate in this town.

Anyway, Stanny or not, I probably could have knit the 38 1/4 size rather than the 43 1/4.  The Cascade 220 sport seemed to bloom more than I anticipated, and I think the style of sweater would generally be more flattering with negative ease.  Also, it ended up quite long from underarm to neck, which adds bulk to the lines.  I did add an extra pattern repeat to the body of the sweater as well as on the sleeves (below the join), and I do like the extra length.

I'm not 100% certain what to say about working with this pattern...  I actually found it quite hard to follow, and I'm a little surprised that everyone else on Ravelry seems to give the pattern such good reviews.  Part of me thinks that if I can't say anything nice then I shouldn't say anything at all, but then again--wouldn't some constructive criticism help other people interested in this pattern?  This post from Hungry Knitter is a good read!

I certainly don't want to dissuade anyone from purchasing this pattern and making this sweater.  I think the concept and design are beautiful and unique, and I am very glad to add this piece to my closet.  But...  I do have some comments.

The Sleeves
I think the sleeve instructions for the 43 1/4 size tell you to do too many increases.  You don't need to do ten paired increases to get from 5 repeats of the pattern with 3 purl stitches in between each leaf to the arrangement of stitches called for in the pattern (5 repeats of the leaves with 4 purl stitches in between, with 1 extra stitch on each side of the  stitch marker at the beginning of the row).  I chose to do just enough increases to end up with the called for arrangement of stitches rather than doing all those 10 increase rounds.  The sleeves are plenty roomy without the extra increases.

The Yoke Decreases
Everything went to hell after I attached the sleeves to the body.  Well, not so much straight to hell, but... I think the instructions weren't as clear as they could be, and there may even be an error in the pattern at this point (remember, I worked the 43 1/4 size; with other sizes it may be different).  Unfortunately I didn't keep notes as I was going along, but if I remember correctly the first two (maybe three?) decrease rounds worked out okay, but then after that what I had on my needles didn't match up with the pattern and if I had made a mistake somewhere, it was so far down the sweater that ripping back was not an option.

I ended up choosing to ignore the exact instructions in the pattern and proceed with what I understood.  Basically, to work the yoke decreases, you 'finish' a leaf and then on the next row, you purl together the one remaining leaf stitch with the purled stitches on either side to eliminate that "vine" of leaves.  I think it's a cool method, but would probably be easier to understand if the instructions described these decreases in a different manner, and perhaps included a photograph or two (there are plenty of included photographs but they are all show the whole sweater--no close-ups).  I knit the correct number of decreases on the correct rows, but maybe didn't finish off the right leaves?

The Neckline
One reason I chose to this pattern is because of the cool v-neck look on the sample sweater.  However, I don't think that the larger sizes have this neck line.  Mine is definitely round, and I notice that other examples on Ravelry have quite a round neckline as well.  Also, my neckline is quite wide compared to what I was expecting.

Oh wow... this ended up long.  I thought a lot about this pattern after I reached joining the sleeves.  I guess the short story would be proceed with caution, although like I said before I don't want to dissuade anyone from purchasing this pattern.  I do realize that I could fix the underarm bulk with some frogging and re-knitting, but it doesn't bother me so much to make all the extra work worth it.  I would rather move on to something new (I mean, I have already moved on to something new).

Meat & Potatoes #56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62

Okay... time to get caught up on all those radio show playlists in the laziest manner possible: with pictures of my radio notebook.  Apologies for the poor handwriting; click to make bigger.