Month: March 2013

new york city.

Finally back from New York!  I say finally like my vacation was a bad thing, but it definitely wasn’t – I really needed a break to recharge so I could jump back into life and school with renewed vigor. (Right.)  And besides, New York was awesome!  It is nice to be home though, especially because I really felt like I had the crafting bug when I was away and that’s not an easy thing to remedy when I’m away from all my crafty stuff (except knitting, and I am currently having a “knitting and I are seeing other people” phase at the moment).  Anyway since this is predominantly a crafting blog I won’t spend too much time talking about my trip but since I am a huge nerd I cannot resist the urge to post my pictures of the Game of Thrones exhibition which is happening in New York right now (until 3 April! Gogogogogoooo).  The exhibit was SO COOL and full of props and models and storyboards and little interviews, as well as really cool game you could play involving bows and arrows and wildfire (thankfully only the virtual kind). AND I got to sit on the Iron Throne, which is probably the most exciting nerdy thing to ever happen to me.



i love the detailing on the neckline (sansa’s winterfell gown)




my personality as a monarch would be something along the lines of marcel the shell.

Now that I’m back, I have a week with a relatively lenient school schedule so I’ll be doing as much crafting as humanly possible (and then blogging about it!). Woo!


another wip wednesday

If my sweater progress looks nonexistent compared to my last WIP Wednesday post, then you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head.  I’ve done 8 more rows or something like that since I last posted (and in my opinion, when each row has some ridiculous number of stitches I don’t necessarily think it’s anything to sneeze at), so I’m kind of at a low functioning knitting state (because I’m on VACATION).  Some updates though!

Photo on 3-26-13 at 10.12 AM

my unchanged sweater with an exciting guest appearance – shelley!

FIRST!  I finally figured out where I screwed up. HAH.  Still not sure how I did it (and thank goodness I did it pretty much symmetrically), but I have finally identified the errors that the wheedly little voice in my subconscious knew I was making.  The best part is: I think I’m going to be able to fix them without ripping back to the beginning. Oh happy day.

I am doing way less knitting than anticipated for two reasons: I’m rereading A Storm of Swords in giddy preparation for the season 3 GoT premiere (be still my beating heart) and I’m also visiting New York and Boston for the week.  So far everything is very exciting and East-Coast like – mostly I’m just terrified of all the aggressive pedestrians in New York (normally I feel like I am a few standard deviations above average aggressiveness for Chicago, but everyone here is just as (if not more) assertive about walking places than I am).  Rather than this making me feel all “aw yiss these are my peeps,” it makes me feel more like “meep.”  REGARDLESS, I am super excited for all the city-exploring I have in store for myself – bagels, the Met, the NYC transit museum, a Game of Thrones exhibit, and the garment district (there exists a store called House of Spandex – I don’t even sew with spandex but this gem cannot escape unexplored).  Oh and a third reason for not knitting, but this one isn’t entirely unexpected: the renal exam.  I passed the kidneys, folks.  It was pretty painful – I have never had a kidney stone but if I was ever given the chance between redoing the renal exam and passing a kidney stone, I think I might take my chances with the stone.

wip wednesday

That’s a thing, right?  Well I’m doing it so it’s a thing for me.  The sweater is coming along nicely(?), I think.  I don’t have a lot done yet because I am slow as heck and this is without a doubt the biggest, most tightly knit thing I have ever made.

Photo on 3-18-13 at 12.58 AM

I feel very suspicious of this project – there is no way I’m not screwing up, but I honestly don’t know how to tell if I have screwed up because all of my errors seem to be symmetric.  So my plan is to just keep going until I finally realize the irreparable boo-boos I have committed and am forced to frog back to the second row.

Also, GAUGE – it sucks.  Confession: I’ve made it from August 2011 (when I started knitting) until now without ever having to use gauge for anything and now that I have done it, I can say that I heartily detest it. Whine whine whine. All kvetching aside, though – I am so excited with the magical-ness of the sweater, even if I am screwing up.  Cables and lace and whatnot are cool, but there’s something very interesting about creating functional shapes and directions and things like SHOULDERS with just loops of yarn.

I plan on bringing the project to New York with me, but honestly it will definitely take a backseat to rereading A Storm of Swords on the airplane, and doing fun things (eating! public transportation and public transportation museums! going to a Game of Thrones prop exhibit! FABRIC STORES!!!!!).  If you couldn’t tell I’m just a little excited for this.

time and relative DIY in space

Do I love Doctor Who?

Is the Pope Catholic? (I’m so timely.)  Like I’ve said before, my love for Doctor Who blossomed at the encouragement of one of my very dear friends, who used to be one of my roommates in undergrad.  When she came back to Chicago this fall for a visit, I immediately thought of a way to surprise her – a visit to the TARDIS.  Sadly I couldn’t summon Matt Smith (or better yet, David Tennant) to my apartment, so I did the next best thing – painted a big ol’ TARDIS and slapped it on my door.

Slide1(The first step of all of my craft projects is to find the most improbable and uncomfortable-looking contortion of my body parts that at first seems convenient but will ultimately result in me exploding a tube of paint all over the kitchen.)



it’s bigger on the inside.

starting to get fancy

I am not a fancy or a fashionable person.  Most of my clothes and accessories are from Target or Marshalls, and if something I wear looks nicer than that chances are very good that it either a) came from the thrift store or b) my boyfriend bought it counterfeit for like $20USD in China.

In spite of this I’ve begun occasionally perusing Net-a-Porter (don’t worry Mom, I’m not going to spend all my student loan money on a $3,000 leather bustier) for clothing inspiration – things that I can add onto or refashion to make a more interesting piece.  Sometimes it makes me feel sort of disgusted with myself and clothing in general (I can hear my dad’s voice echoing in my head, “more money than braaaaaaiiins”), but whatever.  I will never be able to (nor will I want to) buy most of this stuff, but I do think it is beautiful and it makes me feel inspired to make cool stuff.  Here’s some of what I have found so far!  If you couldn’t tell I am currently obsessed with beading details and I really want to try it out. Also, I think the time has come to try my hand at that salmon colored skirt (by the time has come I mean the time will come in like 2 weeks during a light week).  Hopefully this will go over well-ish. Meep.



Do you use Net-a-Porter to get inspired for sewing?  If not, what do you use?

once more unto the breach

Am I ripping off Star Trek or Shakespeare? Your choice, but either option is better than my last Eminem title.

ANYWAY. Unto what am I breaching?  Here’s your answer, in very much the “before” form:


That’s right. My very first sweater (Make it Red cardigan by Ann Weaver – go check out her work, she is a phenomenal knitwear designer and was super nice to me when I asked her a totally doofy question about knitting needles on Ravelry).  I bought the pattern quite a while ago as part of the Twentieth Century Graphic ebook (which has insanely gorgeous sweaters in it) on KnitPicks but I’ve been too afraid and too full of excuses to start my first sweater.  No more, friends – NO MORE.  I finally acquired the needles, finished the last bits of holiday knitting, cleansed my qi, and I’M READY – confusing-looking instructions and the ominous-sounding second sleeve syndrome be darned (knitting pun, har-har).  So stay tuned for my next sweater-knitting update, which will probably be titled something along the lines of “the agony and the ecstasy,” (again – I could be ripping off the novel, film, or Smokey Robinson song – the possibilities are endless) with an emphasis on the agony bit.  Here goes nothin’.

PS! While we’re on the subject of knitting – I LOVE RAVELRY it is so wonderful a la la la.  I’ve been lurking on it for about a year and a half just downloading patterns like it’s my job but now I’m trying to be more active in terms of posting my own projects as a reference to myself and to acknowledge the fact that I am maybe finally ready to kick it with other knitters.  So add me (u/n quienfuera)!  And teach me how to dougie/use this website! Yaaaay.

snap back to refashioning

Yes, that is an Eminem reference. Sorry, Eminem (confession time: I just recently (read: NOW) found out that Eminem’s real name is Marshall Mathers and not Thurgood Marshall.  I definitely knew Thurgood Marshall was the first African American justice of the Supreme Court, but for some reason I thought he and Eminem had the same name. Oh mylanta).

ANYWAY, let’s get down to business.  If you remember in my last refashioning post, I said that I would be trying another one of Trash to Couture’s awesome tutorials – the V-neck gathered cowl collar…thing.  Mine was made from just another set of $3 long-sleeved V neck tees from Target’s clearance aisle.  I should probably stop being so fidgety with my projects and start taking “before” photos before I mangle up the shirt.  I should also stop being so fidgety with my projects that I think about doing all the steps in between before I take like two hours to pin the chunk of fabric to the neckline “just to see how it will look.”  Sigh.  Anyway!  Here’s the not-so-before, the plain V-neck after I cut out the collar.


I had to cobble together the two halves of the other shirt to make the tube of fabric that became the cowl.  Also, I can’t believe I’m saying this (and I can’t believe I did this), but I hand-sewed the collar onto the shirt.  I know what you’re thinking – do I have a rare brain fungus whose first manifestation is to cause an irresistible desire to hand-sew? The answer, sadly, (because then I would have an excuse) is no. My sewing machine, bless its heart, hated this fabric and would absolutely not sew it for all of the cajoling and curse words in the world.  Such is the trickiness of sewing knits on a basic sewing machine, though.  In typical bull-headed fashion I was not to be deterred from the project and subjected myself to several hours (compared to what I thought was going to be like, fifteen minutes) of painstaking ugly hand-sewing. Sigh. I’m improving slightly, but this is definitely a project where I hope that no one ever looks at the seams.


This makes the second sewing project for March already completed!  Woohoo!  I’d like to do one more if possible (a bag/pouch of some sort, possibly for my knitting needles), but I’m not so sure about that.  I’ve got a lot of clinic days coming up (fun and valuable, but definitely lays waste to my crafting time) and then I’m going to NEW YORK (hi Shelley!) in two weeks.  Not to mention a sort-of-upcoming exam, just cause I gotta show the folks in charge I was capable of absorbing something during the renal unit (for all you folks at home, that was a kidney funny).