Sunday, February 10, 2013

2 FOs; Ali sighting; Treat Yourself

First finished sweater (and handknit) of the new year:

Fiber #58 :: Andi
Pattern: Chuck
Yarn: Cascade 220, a shade my mom calls "more brown than yellow" in response to the "Asians shouldn't wear yellow!" that I keep throwing around.  I need more mustard in my life like I need more handknits, but hey, it's a gorgeous pattern and I love it.  (Color on the right is more true to life)
Mods: added an extra cable twist, lengthened pattern to hit at high hip, used 2*2 ribbing instead.

I took a hard look at my handknit sweaters and realized the ones I wear most often are long sleeved, unfussy pullovers, and in colors that match everything else in my wardrobe.  So I decided those were the types of sweaters I'd knit more of.

And a skirt to go with it.

Pattern: Simplicity 2451, again
Fabric: Liberty twill Mirabelle, plus leftover red piping
Mods: shortened at hip and skimmed some of the curve out of the hipline, added a Rayon bemberg lining.  This skirt was meant to be piped!

Also, for those of you dying for your Ali fix, rest assured, she's still alive and kicking.  Late in 2012 I asked if she would be willing to do a swap, a handknit hat in exchange for a couple Renfrews.  I think I came out ahead, check out the stripey beauty she made me!  (Erg, the hat is awaiting a second skein, via Ravelry, to be completed).  Ali and I wear roughly the same size, and sometimes when we grow out of enamorment with our own handmades, we'll do a swap.  We had a stripey exchange, one might say!

Over the holidays, my brother and I took a quick jaunt up to Portland for a couple days.  The city is on both of our "maybe, someday" lists and we thought it would be fun to treat ourselves to a bit of a relaxation.  We found a place to stay through Air BnB - which I highly recommend - and opted to use Portland's public transportation the entire trip - which I do not recommend, not in winter, at least.  There was a lot of waiting for buses in the rain.  However, if I had to do a lot of waiting for buses in the cold, cold rain, there is nobody I'd rather do it with!

We napped.  We cooked.  We spent a lot of time in cafes.  I knit and read and wrote and dreamed and journaled and people watched.  We stared off into space.  We took a ridiculous number of "use iPhone to take pictures of self" photographs that we then had way too much fun hipster-izing with Michael's phone's editing tools.

Michael really likes the show It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and during the trip he told me about one episode where the characters decide to treat themselves for the entire day.  I haven't seen the episode, but apparently it involves people running around in Batman costumes, increasingly ludicrous scenarios (as seems to be the show's mantra), and a whole lotta "TREAT YOURSELF."  So, that was the motto of our trip, too.

Jessica (in fabric store): Hm, that's kind of a lot of fabric.
Michael: Jessica?  TREAT YOURSELF.
Michael (reaches into wallet): Here, I'll treat you to this one.  *Hands me bill, pats topmost bolt.*

Michael: Fake Moleskine?  Real Moleskine?  I came here to buy the fake one.

Jessica: Should I get that flourless chocolate cookie the size of my head?
Jessica: You know what, I should really TREAT MYSELF.

So ... I treated myself this holiday season.

Some Liberty and Sewaholic patterns.  Will 2013 be the year I finally tackle pants?

Some Cake and organic jersey.  Trying not to go too crazy in the knits department, but it's so tempting ...

A yummy new pattern, and some stash yarn.  My latest attempt to control the yarn stash is this rule: for every project I take on with new yarn, I have to complete a project using stash yarn.  Now, some of the stash projects are hats, which is not as stash busting as, say, a sweater, but I will take all the help I can get.  Perhaps I should extend this rule to fabric, too.  Anyways, I used my Christmas money to splurge.  Usually I use my Christmas money to buy boring things like groceries and pay for electricity and such, but this year I figured, it's been a long year honey.  TREAT YOURSELF.

Since this is not exactly a sustainable trend (Christmas money comes but once a year!), I started thinking about the small ways I like to treat myself.  I find it hard to walk that line between frugality and, well, misery.  Sometimes I feel guilty that I am indulging too often in 'simple' pleasures of the non-free variety, but other times I remind myself that it's important to be nice to yourself.  Maybe it's just a question of degree.  Anyways, here are some of my little indulgences.  I figure it's never a bad thing to have a list like this to turn back to from time to time.

Naps. Better still, two in one day!

A skein or two of tasty yarn.

Fresh berries in summer. A basket of fresh figs in fall. Heavenly!

Sunday afternoon meals that take 2-3 hours to prepare. Even better is when I clear my plate for the evening as well, so that I'm not rushing around but can linger in the kitchen.

Decaf lattes. Don't laugh, I know that defeats the purpose of the espresso in the latte! I can't do caffeine, but every once in awhile I will hop into a coffee shop and ask for a decaf. It always makes me feel ridiculously indulgent to do this, probably because I take the opportunity to linger in the cafe, do some people watching, or pull out some knitting, my journal, or a book. Ah, unstructured personal time, what bliss.

Filling a large glass half full with ice, topping it off with a fizzy drink, squeezing in half a lemon, and climbing into the tub for a good soak.

What about you?  What are your small indulgences?  I figure it never hurts to have more ideas for this type of thing!


Roobeedoo said...

So much in one post! Where to begin? Fab sweater, fab skirt - I am about to try piping and it's all because of YOU! Fab treats! Ooh Liberty! Ooh sock yarn! Ooh - Ali! She's alive!!!
I like the stash philosophy of one out one in :)

Minnado said...

What a great post. Loving the mustard sweater and the liberty twill skirt is so sweet, great piping. :) I enjoyed your list of indulgences and treats. My small ways to treat myself? Reading library books when children are sleeping and I could/should be doing housework/laundry. The whole act of sewing my clothes is a big indulgence for me and reading blogs while baby naps. The occasional coffee when out is a big treat, brioche rolls with jam on. And the indulgence for me and the children together is to go out every few months for a cooked breakfast.
PS: i was looking at the tiramisu and am interested to see how you get on with it.
PS 2: Give my love to Ali!

Jodi Wade said...

Your brother sounds awesome! He buys you fabric!! It's Always Sunny is one of my fave shows. So hilarious. How have I not seen that episode. Must. find. it.
I treat myself with homemade iced coffees with lots of milk and sugar (I normally drink black sugar free coffee...). And Ritter Sport Peppermint Chocolate.

Sigrid said...

I love that skirt and also that your brother buys you treats. Indulgences? Loud, loud music in the car is my most favorite guilty pleasure. Reading time in the morning and expensive tea are two other things that make me feel happy.

Alessa said...

Ooh, lovely mustard cables, and yay for the skirt and indulgences! I've recently found out that a local fabric store carries Liberty fabrics and I've vowed to stay strong until I have at least busted a few more stash pieces...
Also: polka-dots! Tiramisu is on my to-sew-soon list, too. Also, is that a Zauberball? And what a lovely striped Renfrew. Say hi to Ali from me! :)
Sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your brother. That's a great pic of you two together!
Fav indulgences... having my first cup of coffee (Latte Macchiato, actually, as my parents gave me their old Aeroccino when they got a new one a couple months ago!) while still in bed. Buying a crazy colour of nail polish. Strawberries. Or blueberries. Figs are pretty damn awesome, too. Buying a new piece of fabric, even though I'm stashbusting (but it's a polka-dot knit, so that's ok). Going to the handmade flea market and picking out a new pair of earrings. Balcony-gardening. Having some wine with my dinner or *gasp* lunch.

ilovechocolates said...


Helen @ Blue Eyed Beauty Blog said...

Hi! I found your blog via Fashion Co-op! You have some fantastic refashoins!! Can't wait to read more! Following you via GFC.

Blue Eyed Beauty Blog