Archive for February, 2008

Buona Sera

February 29, 2008

This was my favorite thing to hear in Italy…the sing-songy and warm way in which it was said was so lovely to hear.
I just recently returned from a trip to Delhi, Rome and Venice.
I was in Delhi for my cousin’s wedding, which as I predicted was absolutely exhausting. From a combination of the jetlag, the traveling from the bride’s city to my cousin’s home city twice, and all of the many long ceremonies, I must have gotten 10 hours of sleep the entire week. No joke.

The real fun was when I met my man in Italy and traveled around Rome and Venice.
Rome may be my new favorite city. The architectural beauty was something I always heard about and after 5 years of high school Latin, the ancient city was something else that I knew was a draw.

But there were other things I found fantastic:

1. The urban form
I’m an urban planner and the fact that everyone drove smart cars or walked was so amazing to see. This was what I thought was great about Venice too–nothing motorized off the water. It was a complete pedestrian city.
I love that this was an actual street with it’s own name in Venice:

I have to say that I wasn’t completely enamored with Venice. I thought it was unbelievably beautiful, but it seemed like Disneyland…something that continues to run to feed tourists and has fallen victim to the more and more common urban transformation into a shopping mall. My perception softened a little on Friday: trash day, where small motor boats move through the canals picking up trash from actual households. It was nice to see a normal function of a real city in action and to see it in the truly unique Venetian fashion.

2. Attention to Detail
While Italy seems to be filled with gorgeous details like micro-mosaics (which are incredible), gilded ceilings, and massive sculptures, there were other little details I thought were so cool:

This isn’t the best picture, but in Rome (and possibly elsewhere in Italy) they actually take the time and resources to paint the building facade onto the scaffolding when a building is having work done…

My favorite detail was this:

The little girl on the sign has a bow in her hair. And look how happy they are!!  Yay, we crossing the street to go to school! Weeee!
I love Rome.

I’ll have more to come on this trip. Such as, in Venice, I happened upon a yarn store and bought some gorgeous cotton/silk/viscose Italian yarn for my dress version of Nora Gaughan’s Anais. I haven’t made enough progress to share yet though.

Check out my flickr page for more photos of my trip.


New Twinkle

February 7, 2008

Upon googling Twinkle’s Weekend Knits in an attempt to find images of the patterns before buying the book (which I don’t think I’ll be doing) I found this on Marie Claire. I think it’s from Wenlan Chia’s new spring collection, but I really wish it was in one of her pattern books. I love it and would make it in an instant if there were a pattern…unfortunately I don’t think I’m experienced enough to figure out the bottom edge or the top netting. And I can’t quite make out the bottom rows of pattern. Sad.

Actually now that I think of it my next project is a dress version of Nora Gaughan’s Anais, which has a netting on the top that is sort of similar to this. So maybe I can incorporate some elements of the Twinkle dress into the skirt–mainly the YOs I think and maybe the scallopy bottom edge if I can find out how to do it!

Finished! Twinkle Dress

February 2, 2008

I like it. I like it a lot.

This was really fun to knit. I had never done dropped stitches before and I think the effect is lovely. I also had never grafted, which was surprisingly easy thanks to this great tutorial.

But. I’m still considering redoing it, and this is where I need your help.
I’m thinking of redoing the cabled skirt part to be looser–so it fits when it’s worn the way it looks when it’s on the hanger.

I do like it the way it is and I’m a little afraid that making it loose will be like wearing a big fluffy sack.

Should I redo it? I think what I’m envisioning now is closer to the runway version, which another blog talked about. Initially I had decided to incorporate just a couple of elements from the runway version: to add more ribbing to make an almost empire waist instead of having all that cable business across my chest–which i think would’ve looked horrendous on me. So I added 10 rows of ribbing before joining the sleeves. I also added about 4 inches of length to the whole thing b/c I wanted it to hit right above the knees.

A couple of other notes:
the pattern says to cast on more stitches for the medium version than the small.
Obviously a typo, right? So I went with the smaller number of stitches.
It’s not a typo.
It makes for the right multiple of stitches when setting up the cables. Oops. It was easily fixable with mods that are not noticeable at all–I just casted off combinations of 3 and 4 stitches for the dropped stitch spaces instead of all them being 4 stitches wide.I also knit the sleeves in the round even though the pattern says explicitly not to join. The piece never blew up or anything so I think it’s ok. And yay for no bulky seaming.Overall, I have to say that I really like it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the color. It’s just gorgeous. The raglan sleeves make me look a little like a linebacker, but I’m really happy with the bust ribbing–I actually think it may be a little flattering!
I still think it makes me look like 20 pounds heavier than I am, but at least for this one it’s mostly in the shoulders. I can live with that.2/4: I forgot to add some useful information, so thanks to RunningKnitter’s comments:
I used the famous Twinkle Soft Chunky in Sapphire, which is my favorite color I’ve used so far. I think it took me 3 or 4 days…I think 4 total with one of those days for the sleeves. Either way it knits up incredible fast. For me it’s one of those things with Twinkle where right from when you cast on you can see that you’re almost done–so it’s hard to stop. I could just be crazy though!