Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Chronicles of failure

No, it's not my complete authorised autobiography. Just a piece of knitting.

I started a sweater in February. Big bulky sweater. It was winter, after all. I happily knitted and knitted and then I ran out of yarn. I saw it coming so I decided to save yarn by adding a bit of waist shaping, thus narrowing the garment at a certain point. Still I was worried that there might not be yarn enough so I located someone's skein of said yarn being offered for sale at a reasonable price. Meantime there was summer, other stuff to do than knit winter garments and a few days ago, I decided that I'd better get something done. I pulled the sweater out of the plastic bag where it was resting and because I wasn't absolutely sure about where the work stalled, I tried the half-sweater on. It felt oddly big, there was a big chunk missing in the front but I still could wrap it around like a cardigan. Then I started turning around in the mirror to find that the waist shaping is nice but in the area of my buttocks.

see the flare at the dress form's hips? That should have been the waist. Not pretty

I wanted to set up the whole thing on the dress form to see how it looks like with the newly added contrasting insert and although it's not finished yet, I was quite happy.

The sweater is friggin' big but most of it is already blocked so it shouldn't stretch anymore but for the front insert in green and yellow-green (that's why the front is crooked, blocked and unblocked bits of fabrics have met). It's only pinned together so that the edges of the fabric wouldn't roll apart. Also, it's heavily pinned on and around the mannequin. Further measuring showed that I made it way too wide. Maybe 15cm.

See? To make the sweater look halfway decent from the front, I had to fold the fabric over quite a bit. Admittedly, the mannequin is much smaller than me and I do it often but normally I only tuck the fabric in a bit, it's not folded twice.

Dear readers, the question you ask now, I believe, is: what the hell I was measuring. And what the hell I was thinking. Now, the answer is that I have no clue.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Shopping spree: random new stuff.

Today's primary mission was to check perfumeries and drugstores to get a few handfuls of blotters. Checking autumn releases would be an inevitable side effect, though. So, my impressions, with no particular order (as the blotters come up):

Prairie's Life Threads, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire: expensively and exquisitely boring.

L'Occitane's lavender cologne: Now that's interesting lavender, unlike another lavenders. And they have the essential oil. It's A. O. C. (1) and they had a little flyer with the picture and name of that lavender farmer but I forgot to take one.

Bleu de Chanel: erm, well.

Etro's Messe de Minuit: I can't still decide on this one. But I wanted to try Guerlain's Habit Rouge, which I did, and I had a blotter at hand while testing this one. And then I found out that Habit Rouge is exactly the piece of puzzle I miss in Messe. Should you please me, give me both at once.

Lalique's Encre Noire pour Elle: Encre Noire pour no-one was a hit and apparently someone decided that since it was already marketed to guys, it can't be claimed unisex so they made a ladies' version, which was specified as such. It's a waste of good alcohol, black glass and just about everything. Instead of a variation on that swampy vetiver (a friend of mine said once that wearing Encre Noire, he feels like a posh corpse. Yes, he's somewhat gothy type), it's an indefinable fruity watery something. I do bet that it sells well, that those ladies who are terribly scared that they may be perceived as weird for wearing men's scents, will be buying it and persuading themselves that it's almost like the good ole Encre Noire sans.

Guerlain's Habit Rouge: I love that one. But, the thing is that I was hanging around the store, sniffing the blotter, and an assistant asked if she may help me, I said Well, not really, I'm just checking what's new, she showed me something and I mentioned that I have this Habit Rouge here, isn't it prety, and she jumped up and said Ooooooops, madam! But it's for men!, to which I soothingly replied that indeed, and I'm well aware of it but that I like it quite a bit anyway. I got a look that said Warning, weird customer.

Gaultier's Le Mâle Terrible: fine with me. I've loved Le Mâle ever since it was launched and I'm still wearing it but it has a very strong chemical undertone which I do not mind at all but I don't always feel like wearing it. The terrible version is in fact much lighter, soapier, cleaner and without this chemical whatever-it-is so it would be an excellent complement. Now they need to make a version with extra cade and frankincense.

Lanvin's Marry me: Yawn.

Floris' White Rose: Here with it.

Masaki Matsushita's Fluo: I haven't smelled that much synthetic fruit since... since I had very non-organic hard candies that were free of natural colourants and flavourings. Not that bad as it may sound, in fact I wouldn't mind if I got this one for free, some days, I feel like I was 12. The bottle is horrid, though.

Masaki Matsushita's M;O°C: what the fuck this is for a name? Also, it smells of tap water and mint. Not that bad as the bottle might be hinting.

Masaki Matsushita's Aqua: Now that one is a pretty lemony scent. In a horrid bottle.

And at last, Estée Lauder's Sensuous Noir: for me, much better than the rather simple but nice Sensuous. The noir version (which lives in a blue bottle) is woodier and incensier (2). It would make a good trio with Habit Rouge and Messe de Minuit. Again, horrid bottle.

At the end, I discovered a discount corner and everything by Annayake was 70% off. It means that their cosmetics got to the rather expensive range, (the usual prices being damn fucking above the roof) and I got their Matsuri, of which I'll write some other day. No nail varnish today, after all, I have five bottles of turqouise nail paint already.

(1) Appellation d'origine controlé (pardon my French). In other words, it's known where exactly it comes from, unlike Made in EU, just somewhere there, and it may well mean that somewhere in the EU, someone mixed lavender oils from who knows where.

(2) See? I made a word.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Wool pig

The other day, namely Thursday, I dropped to my LYS (1). I needed some gadgets, striping yarn cheaper and possibly less wild than Noro and the owner is a friend so a chitchat is never out of question. I brought her some chocolate too.

She helped me to pick the yarn and I also asked whether she had cleaned up the leftovers closet because I love rummaging. She said Yes and lead me to the back room and showed me that I can pick anything from this - five or six huge crates full of random yarns, sorted vaguely by colour. I tried to be politely restrained but after a bit of urging, I grabbed everything that gave me an idea. Admittedly, sometimes the idea was only Ooh, shiny, but there's lots of ooh, shiny that would work well for baby stuff for my friend's girl and I quite like baby stuff because it goes fast and I can try new things. And, well, what sort of a knitter I would be if a ball of cashmere didn't make me to think what to make of it, coming up with at least five ideas.

Well, this.

Kindly overlook the dirty rug and random mess in my stash corner. One day I'll throw the rug away, promise. Also, note that now, the yarn is stored in a huge paper bag and soon it'll be processed to things. (2)

(1) Local Yarn Store
(2) definition of soon may vary.