Archive for February, 2009

I found a knitting shop, and through some luck the person there spoke English. She didn’t have the circular needle I was looking for but I did pick up some Mondial magazines. I’ve seen Italian knitting magazines before and was familiar with the crazy stuff contained therein. I passed on the current issue, for Summer, as I don’t need patterns for hand knit bikinis and so on. I picked up one from October 2006 which seemed to have a few things of interest to someone who is in need of scarves and hats most of the year. It also contained this gem:

Mondial knitting design, white vest

Semi-sheer panels with cable accent only vaguely pretending to hide the model’s lack of a bra. In angora. Huh?

Why, oh Why could I not have found the October issue with this far more reasonable lace jacket:

white lace jacket

There was a basket of old (like 1994 old) issues for cheap, but this and the summer issue were the current selection available.

I forgot to grab my book so I had nothing to do on the flight except knit. How terrible. Ok, I did a lot of sleeping as well. Eventually we end up on campus in Grignano, outside Trieste.

All these computer people I’m staying with, they know nothing of textiles. But finally I met the biologist (and quilter) who gave me a selection of fabric and knitting shops to try. I don’t know how much shopping I will do but it is nice to see what is around. Getting it all home could well be another issue.

I could go to lectures, but the lab is small and I don’t want to get in the way of the students. Besides, I know most of what they are learning anyway. So while DH teaches people from countries some Americans have never heard of how to build wireless communications networks, I get to entertain myself. A lot of that involves poking around shops and trying to not a) get lost or b) totally butcher the Italian language. I’ve done a bit of knitting and at some point I need to hem the coat that I’ve been wearing with an ugly line of machine basting at the bottom.

If you’d like to see more of the general adventures, you can find that on my other blog. If I score some cool textiles, I’ll tell you about it here. I also will try to get some pictures of the recent garments that were finished for the trip.

It’s my blog, I can say that.

So I have totally screwed up the dress I was making for the opera. With only a couple days before we leave. I had it all ready to hem and decided to take in the side seam a bit under the arms. Since it was cut from a pattern with sleeves, it really needed to be smaller in the bust for a slip dress. I pinned and stitched and trimmed the seams, and then discovered I had somehow managed to alter the wrong seam. The side front, which is most assuredly NOT where it needed to be taken in. Dress trashed.

I have some different black fabric and a suitable pattern already altered to fit. I just need to adjust the length appropriate for a cocktail dress. And line it because it’s sheer. It’s about another three hours of work, not including hand stitching the hem. I’d have to hand stitch it anyway, so I’ll have two weeks to do it while I’m in Italy. The opera isn’t until the trip home, when we are staying overnight in Munich.

And I still have other things to finish, like stitching the sleeve lining and hemming the coat. How irritating.

This scarf started sometime in 2006 when, sick of spinning nothing but samples for the COE, I started several bobbins of singles from some black merino lamb fleece I had. I still have most of those singles, but I was talked into sending some to the county fair. My previous attempt to do something with it didn’t turn out so well. I’ve been wanting something just big enough to tuck into my coat, so I started a small scarf and have been working on it mainly in meetings. As a result there are plenty of errors, which I’m ignoring.

merino scarf

The yarn is natural color, from a lamb fleece I got a good discount on because it was full of VM. Since I comb a lot of fleece, this didn’t bother me much. This is almost as dark as you get with natural color wool, I could have cut off the tips and it would be a little more but I didn’t want to lose the fiber length.

The pattern is my usual simplified feather and fan with a 12 stitch repeat. One thing I like about this pattern is it’s easy to remember and the small row repeat means I can knit until I run out of yarn. It’s a little over a meter in length and about 16 cm wide, small by scarf standards but just what I was after.

I’ve been working on a coat for the upcoming trip, because I desperately need one. It’s Polartec Wind Pro Weathershield, a very dense fleece. It’s tedious to work with thick fabric and this stuff won’t hold a press for anything. But it’s warm, we’ll see how it holds up in the rain. It has almost no stretch, particularly lengthwise, so I can mostly ignore that it’s a knit. Handy, since my lining is woven.

I have the body and sleeves done, ready to put together:

black coat body and sleeves

The lining is some discount waterproof breathable nylon, I’m using it wrong side out because it’s impossible to match a printed plaid design. It’s a lining, so what if it’s brown.

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