Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trying something different

But first, I finally finished my first kit from A Verb for Keeping Warm's (avfkw's) Pro-Verbial Club.  Sorry for the lazy non-modelled pic, but at least it's blocked.

Yarn: avfkw's Luster in A Whale's Migratory Tail - only 1 g leftover!
Pattern: Blue Whale by Stephen West - my first West pattern knit up.
needles: KP Harmony circs in size US 7
No mods, at least not intentionally.

When my yarn stash got a bit big, it seemed a natural progression for me to branch out into another craft that helps reduce the stash in a quicker manner than knitting.  Sometime last year, I got this Schacht Cricket Loom from Purlescence Yarns using a gc my DH gave me for the holidays.  As luck would have it Purlescence Yarns had a beginners/intro to rigid heddle loom class this past weekend that I could actually attend. I loved practicing weaving on the 3 rigid heddle looms Nathania set up plus one table harness loom, so before I lost all memory of all that know how shoved into my brain, I warped my own Cricket yesterday with some Knit Picks Swish Worsted stash yarn, not without some mistakes of course. 

If all goes well, I hope to purchase a 10-dent and/or 12-dent heddle so I can use up my multitude of thinner weight yarn, especially all my sock yarn stash for gift scarves.  Along the way, once I get comfortable, I may move up to a Schacht Flip loom so I can play with more textural work either with a second heddle or with pick up sticks.

So, what I'm about to try is a bit different for my blog, but not so different to my life pre-knitting. The caveat being is that my pics are probably crap, especially the ones I took of the eye makeup on my eyes, but at least they were taken next to a window in morning light without flash. There are definitely a lot of makeup/beauty blogs & YouTube videos that are much better at this than I am. 

There were 1-2 fun excited threads on Ravelry about a couple makeup brands having their powder products imprinted with knitted fabric.  For example, the Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear bronzer has a cable-y imprint pattern. But since I'm not much of a bronzer user, I tool a look at Revlon's latest incarnation of their CustomEyes eyeshadow & liner palettes which are embossed in a stockinette stitch pattern.  Being a makeup addict, I couldn't resist the lure of my two obsessions being combined into one small package.  Well, technically there are 6 packages of differing color combos for Revlon.  I picked two, the Sweet Innocence palette on top in the pic below & theNaturally Glamourous palette below that to play with. 

As with many makeup brands, especially in the drugtore variety, quality control can be hit and miss.  Sometimes the packaging is nicer than the application and wear as one of the palettes proved to be.  The first one I tried was the Sweet Innocence palette.  I used the 3 middle shades over Urban Decay's Primer Potion (UDPP) as my base,MAC's Bordeauxline eye pencil as liner & NARS mascara (because some makeup addicts like to know). My other caveat being is that I did my usual application for daytime/work wear.  The makeup artists and gurus that post really excellent makeup blog pics and youtube videos do pile the color on so they show up well onscreen.

The middle color worked well as a base shade as far as pigmentation is concerned but it's on the chalky side for my warm-toned skin.  The peachier color to the left was a bit sheer with not much color payoff.  The worst offender with the lack of color payoff so far is the warm plum shade which I tried to build up in my outer corners & as liner over the eye pencil. Also, the eyeshadow was pressed so hard that I couldn't get enough product on my makeup brush without having to apply much more than with say, NYX eyeshadows (to use another drugstore brand to compare). If I get around to it, I'll try the other two shades in the palette & give a verdict on their color payoff as well.

Next up I tried the Naturally Glamourous palette, again over UDPP & with MAC Stubborn Brown eye pencil.  This palette didn't have the overly hard-pressed problem the Sweet Innocence palette had.  It also didn't have the low pigmentation problem, so overall I was happier with it.  The only caveat is that all the colors in this palette have shimmer, unlike the Sweet Innocence palette.

So my overall verdict is that the palettes are okay, but choose one wisely. But as very makeup artists say, if the makeup doesn't work, it can always be washed off.   Just be sure to check the store's return policy on makeup if you're not happy & want to return it. Some drugstores that used to accept makeup returns, no longer do.

Other makeup deets for reference:
Foundation range: MAC NC35/37, NARS Santa Fe/Punjab, Stila E (variation due to season & makeup artist recommendation)
Equivalent powder range: NARS Beach, Stila medium
Anastasia brow powder in brunette - because Stila discontinued my favorite duo eyebrow powder duo (Boo!)

I'm not sure if this was a fun thing to do or not, but it was definitely different.  Next time, it'll back to the usual yarny craft stuff.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

May knits

After finishing my Northhampton Beat Socks designed by my friend the Knittinggolfer, I had the pleasure of test-knitting her latest shawlette pattern from yarn in my stash.  It's even pre-Ravelry yarn stash to boot!

Pattern: Marrowstone Shawl by Marcy Vandale
yarn: Yarn Pirate superwash sock yarn in Rain
needles: size 6 KP Harmony circs

 My STR sock knitting binge is not over, but I am done with my March Rockin' Sock Club pair.

Pattern: Intrepid Traveler by Gail Marracci who is also one of RSC's main test knitters.
yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Kool Aid Acid Test
needles: size 2.50 & 2.75 mm KP dpns & circs.
mod: Switched to the 2.50 mm needles for the heel flap and sole

I kept notes on when I switched from dpns to circs when I took the first sock on vacation, so I can repeat what I did on the second.  I got the pooling to match between socks, but my guess on the start of the colorway on the second sock looks like half a skein off. I've been affectionately called anal for trying to get the colorway to match on both socks, but I just consider it fun.
pattern: Twisted Rib Neckwarmer
yarn: The Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon (MCN) blend Aran weight in Teddy Bear
needle: size 9 KP Harmony circs
CO 200 sts like many other Plucky knitters & knit 'til the cowl was about 9" in "height" when worn.

So out of my WIP pile shared a couple posts ago, that leaves me with my Blue Whale kerchief and my Cosima WIP's to finish off.  The Blue Whale will be next to be finished, but I'm having lots of second-guessing and regrets on buying the pattern & the yarn for Cosima.  The project manager in me will probably push me to finish some point.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

STR Binge

After a long dry spell, I'm finally back to my usual Socks That Rock knitting.

Pattern: Northampton Beat Socks by a dear friend Knittinggolfer
yarn: STR lightweight in Seastone
needle: size US 1.5 KP nickel-plated dpns & size US 1 Signature Stiletto dpns
only mod: longer heel flap for my higher instep

Pattern: Sweet Home by the sweet Irishgirlieknits
yarn: STR lightweight in I Love What You're Wearing
needles: US 1.5 KP nickel-plated circs - I went on vacation with this project

March RSC kit
pattern: Intrepid Traveler by Gail Marracci
yarn: STR lightweight in Kool Aid Acid Test
needles: US size 2 & 1.5 KP dpns & circs

I started off the sock on dpn’s for the cuff & first 5 repeats of the leg. But in anticipation of traveling by plane for a visit to see  my family in HI, I switched to circs (KP Harmony). The switch was to reduce my klutzy likelihood of dropping a needle & losing it somewhere during my trip. The needle material switch was to keep gauge since while I am normally tighter on circs, I am looser on wood wrt metal.

As I was putting my circulars away until I needed them for the 2nd sock, I measured what I thought was my second 2.75 mm KP Harmony circ & found it to be a 2.50 mm circ. I checked all my other Harmony circs just in case I mis-filed it & didn’t find one. I wonder if KP’s manufacturer mis-labeled the circ or their tolerance was way off. If so that explains why I got the pooling in the leg when I switched from dpns to circs - inadvertently knitting the rest of the leg half on 2.50 mm & half on 2.75 mm.

I also finished Monkey1's blankie in Crystal Palace Mochi Plus.  I was short on the main color, but when we went to Purlescence to buy 2 more skeins, Monkey 1 opted for a contrasting solid border color instead of the matching pastel.  We're both happy with how it came it, so much so Monkey1 won't let me have it back to wash & block it yet. 

Pattern: Parquet Squares blanket
yarn: Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in Baby Face (main color) & Purple Rain (border)
needle: size 9 KP Harmony circs

Pattern: Jayne Cobb Hat - There are so many free ones I had to double-check which one I used
yarn: Cascade 128 Superwash in 3shades centered around the red
size: medium - I'm not sure if it's large enough so I may knit a second

This is a gift in reds instead of the original oranges, but I'm contemplating making a second with the colors in a different order and in the large size 'cause I'm unsure of this one.

And I'll leave off with a view on the Kaneohe side of the Ko'olau Range on Oahu from my trip.  It's a little less common to have a clear view as most of the time the rain clouds obscure the tops of the mountain range.  This is not your typical tourist view as it's mostly locals who see this when they visit their loved ones at one of the memorial parks in Kaneohe.