Monday, November 27, 2006

Prego sweater

Guess what I finished over the holiday?
Momma Snug! No, not for me! For second sister in Wisconsin. Okay, so I sort of finished it. It is wearable, but as some of you may notice, it has become a short sleeved sweater. The original deadline for this project was the beginning of October. Then I started grad school and realized this expectation was pure folly. Undeterred, I set a new deadline of mid-November. Ha ha! I was purposefully ignoring the fact that the show I was working on opened at the same time. Silly Sarah. Enter the idea of making it a vest instead. There was one potential problem with that idea though. Without sleeves there would be nothing to stretch the ribbing out to the shoulder. It might draw up on itself. So I decided to do a little cap sleeve. I added the right and left twist cables to the sleeve edge to keep the design united. I used the same sleeve pattern, starting with a point just prior to the decreases for the armhole. I was worried that it wouldn't be cute with the short sleeves, but I like it. This way she can get a good two months of wear before the baby is due, and probably a couple of months after as well.
I love how long it is and how snug it fits the body! Second sister is taller than me but otherwise we have similar builds. I used Elann's Peruvian Wool and knit on US size 3 needles in order to get gauge. The pattern came from the Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits.

Second sister - I'll get it in the mail to you asap.

On the Christmas knitting front. I have finished my brother's hat and I'm about halfway through another hat. The second of Renee's socks is past the heel. I've started my mom's poncho and dad's scarf is 1/3 of the way done. I asked the first sister if she wanted a knit item as well. I'll talk about it when the yarn comes in.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

I am a survivor!

Howdy folks!

As you can tell I made it through the rest of a very tough build period. There was one all-nighter involved in making it to first dress a week ago and endless finishing work, but we made it. Once I have a picture of the entire costume I will include a picture here. I learned so much during this process but I have not had time to put my finger on all the particulars. Since it is a man's costume I have now had a lot of practice in some of the techniques I've been doing in tailoring and many that I will be getting into next semester when we build the suit coat.

In addition to my job as first hand to a draper, I was also building a felt hat in millinery class for another character. We were shown the costume designer's renderings and given a choice of projects. Naturally, I picked one that I knew would be a challenge for me. I only get three years to draw as much knowledge out of my professors and colleagues so I have made a pledge to pick hard projects. I also might be a little crazy. This hat entailed stretching a separate brim and crown, then sewing the two together. The wool felt does not hold the shape entirely on its own. The edge is wired and the entire thing "sized." Hat sizing is similar to shellac. This hat needed to be very stiff, so I soaked the sizing through by brushing it on until saturated.
WaLa! I am very pleased with the way it turned out. More importantly, the designer is happy with it and it looks great on stage.

To celebrate the opening of the play this past Friday I decided to take some downtime this weekend to recuperate. Yesterday I met up with the South Austin Knitting Group where I managed to finish my brother's hat (picture in the next post). I knit on and off the rest of the day until I went with a friend to see HOLES, the other production at UT right now (yes, the Louis Sachar book/movie is also available as a play). The grad student that designed the costume for it also went to the same undergrad as me, although not at the same time. She did a spectacular job! Today the same friend and I went to see the Austin Lyric Opera production of Madame Butterfly. Even though I've worked for the opera in the past I had only ever seen final dress rehearsals. It was nice to be in the audience and we had great seats (thank you James). Now it's laundry time and tomorrow it's back to the grind for a few days. Although I won't be with my family for the holiday I will be with friends. That Guy has to work :( I hope you and yours have a great Turkey Day!

To whom it may concern: thanks to That Guy we both now have working cell phones - my number is the same.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One sock finished!

I really enjoy knitting socks. Turning the heel always makes me feel smart. This sock is always being photographed by Mackie's Photo Booth feature, and the colors are way off. Although the colorway is a vibrant blend of blues and greens, it is not, as these pictures might imply, glowing in a radioactive manner. I shared it with one of my colleagues in the costume shop today and they commented that from a distance the way the colors patterned out reminded them of the earth - the green pools in such a way as to suggest continents adrift in the ocean.

Enough with the waxing poetic. Last week was a doozy and this week is shaping up to be the same way. We had a final fitting last Friday so it was push push push to get done in time. I worked for a 13.5 hour block of time on it Thursday, starting at 4pm after classes ended. You can do the math on that one to figure out what time I hit the hay. I have to trick myself into thinking of it as one long day with a nap in the middle of it in order to keep going. Needless to say, I slept for 12 hours the next night.

This week we are finishing the costume for first dress on Saturday. In addition to that I've got to finish my felt hat as it is also a costume piece for the show, pull another hat because I can't keep my mouth shut (I actually volunteered to pull it for my friend as she isn't in the millinery class, she will do all the trimming. Brilliant!) and finish up a boatload of writing. I'm actually writing this as a way to avoid the writing I should be doing for class. Sometimes I have to take little breaks in order to make room in my head for other ideas. Or so I tell myself...

It is looking as though I probably won't make it to the Kid and Ewe Fiber Festival in Boerne. I'm hoping that will change because really, are there any other fiber festivals in Texas? How can I continue to feel complete without going to one?

Note to family and friends: my cell phone is not working and I'm not sure when I'll have time to sort that out. You can reach me at the home phone or via email if necessary.

Wish me luck! Or at least the mental and physical stamina to get through it all!