October 17, 2012

Furry Scarf in the Making

Guess what I have?

Faux fur from the remnants bin of Fabricland ($8.25) and crochet cotton from Salvation Army ($0.50) will become this:

For more info, check out:

When Yarn and Fur Combine


Further Notions on Furry Scarves

October 14, 2012

DIY Distraction: Further Notions On Furry Scarves

So, you want your own Danier-style furry scarf, but you don't crochet? No problem, if you knit!

Step 1: Choose a knitted lattice pattern.

Ribbon Scarf Pattern on The Shiz-Knit!

Lattice Pattern on Knit Wiki

Step 2: Choose a trim design!

A Scalloped Edging by Judy Gibson

You could use just the edge of a lace design.

Summer Fancy Work on Knitting-And

Scallops aren't strictly necessary. This is YOUR scarf, after all!

Mama's Lace Pattern on The Tattered Pickle

Step 3: Choose your trim! You could use the aforementioned fur, faux fur or feather trim. Or you could use something else entirely, like a bulky boucle:

Be Sweet Boucle Mohair Yarn on Jimmy Beans Wool

Or hand-dyed pencil roving:

Coral Reef by SpinKnitLove on Etsy

Ooooh, or even handspun super-bulky yarn!!!

HUGE 7oz skein Handspun Mohair by PheonixFarmFiber on Etsy

So many possibilities!!!

October 12, 2012

DIY Distraction: When Yarn and Fur Combine!

I receive the Elle Canada newsletter specifically to view their "TRENDS" slideshows. It's so much more convenient to click a link in my inbox than to hunt down the info myself. Every week, I have at least one slideshow to view, and one of this week's treats was The 10 Best Scarves for Fall.

Thank you, Elle Canada, for you have alerted me to the existence of this amazing scarf from Danier Leather:

As seen on Killer Kurves
URK. That's the image used by Elle Canada, which you'll notice is not the image on the Danier Leather website:

As seen on Danier Leather
While this beautiful scarf is a reasonable $79.00 CAD, I believe something has gone awry here. The Danier scarf is not the scarf being attributed to them by Elle Canada. The fur is sparser on the Danier scarf, and the scallops are different. This makes me wonder who really owns the Elle-featured scarf...


Crafty chicas everywhere rejoice, because YOU can own this scarf for far less than $79!!!

Step 1: Find a crochet lattice pattern. CHECK!

New York Noro Plaid on Make it Messy
Pamela's Lattice Prayer Shawl on Mariel's Magic
Step 2: Locate some pretty fan-based trim patterns. CHECK!

Crochet ARC LACE Edging #1 on Moira Crochets
Edging #3022 on MyPicot.com
Step 3: Buy some fur or faux fur or feather trim. TRIPLE CHECK!

Rabbit fur trim on eBay
Wrights Trim - 10 yard reel of 1" faux fur trim from Joann.com

Wrights Trim - 10 yard reel of feather boa trim from Joann.com

Potentially, this costs as little as $10 for 100g of fingering weight yarn and $15 for a reel of faux fur trim. And you'll have the satisfaction of making it to your exact specifications :D

October 2, 2012

Craftster: Portal to Knowledge (the tale of a sweater not yet made)

I am a woman with far too many hobbies. You name it, I've at the very least heard of it, read about it, or perhaps even tried it. Which is why Craftster is one of my favourite places on the internet. Being a crafting forum, just about conceivable hand-crafting activity is represented, from interior decorating to knocking off $$$$$$ clothing designs.

Today's topic: persistence in the quest for knowledge. Last August, I posted some amazing yarny goodies that I found to be beautiful and/or inspiring. Among them was this gem in the Etsy store "fuzzybazooke:"

DROOL! A seemingly simple raglan sweater with a cunning shaping device for the waistline. So elegant and pretty, this sweet top has remained in my yarny consciousness for over a year. I've been slowly increasing my knitting skills, but I could not for the life of me find a pattern for that strange braiding.

Wouldn't you know it, Craftster member elderflower has come to my rescue! She posted an absolutely gorgeous sweater made with hand-dyed, hand-balled bamboo yarn:

Not only does she have totally 1337 pattern making skillz, but she pointed me to the knitting website of my dreams! Knitting Fool doesn't just have three different pattern generators, but they also have a comprehensive visual stitch library! Now I have a customisable raglan pattern at my fingertips:

AND!!!! I finally found it!!! It's called Basket Cable!!!!


September 26, 2012

Confessions of an Unhealthy "Skinny" Woman

Every now and then, I'll go on a sociology/feminism/body-image-activism binge. I try not to do it too often, for the sole reason that I then become persnickety for weeks on end. The sheer scale of bigotry in modern North American society just boggles my mind, and discovering yet another way in which I've been socially programmed to participate in that bigotry just pisses me off more.

What can you tell from this picture of me?

The tiny percentage of the internet denizens who happen to read my blog are likely thinking I look pretty good. I'm "relatively" slim. My BMI, that insidious ratio of height and weight, is smack in the middle of "Normal" at 22 on the nose.

What you can't see is my health. My size, my figure, my height-to-weight ratio, are not an indicator of my wellness.

Last week, all the pieces of my ill-health puzzle finally came together, FOURTEEN years after the saga began. That's HALF MY LIFE spent living in constant pain and ill-health. I did a video conference with the doctor who manages health concerns for CMHA Temiskaming, and was it ever a doozy!

My legs hurt, ALL THE TIME. I take forever to fall asleep and don't sleep well because of the pain. Apparently, being calcium-deficient is a major cause of leg pain. So is being diabetic. *LIGHTBULB* I've been slightly insulin-resistant since puberty, and my leg pain started around the same age. I also hate dairy products, and my dislike and stomach-aches are consistent with being lactose intolerant. Oh, and I'm perpetually anemic (since puberty, again), despite the iron supplements I've been taking for 4 months now.

Oh, yeah, don't forget that being in constant pain has a negative impact on one's mental health. Just in case you didn't know that I'm a crazy person riddled with anxiety on a near-daily basis.

So THIS skinny gal is a verified mess of ill health who has been ordered to write a food diary. If I can't increase my calcium and iron intake just from changing my diet, I'll be eating calcium chews and doubling my iron dose. AND still keeping track of my diet to make sure I continue to keep my iron and calcium up and my sugars low.

*EDIT TO ADD* I've eaten healthy meals since childhood. Even when my family was horrendously impoverished, my parents would make sure my brother and I ate well. I cook almost every meal from scratch and have since living on my own 7 years ago. A well-balanced diet for the average person is not necessarily a well-balanced diet for EVERYONE. My deficiencies mean I am not processing those minerals properly and must over-compensate by eating more than the average requirement.

It's going to be months before I see results, but in the meantime, I'll continue to struggle through the pain and fatigue that make it difficult to hold down a job or even get out of bed. What makes the struggle that much harder is the lack of acceptance by the general populace, employer's in particular. No one seems to get that a young, slim, cheerful woman is actually hurting and tired EVERY DAY and is simply practiced at hiding that fact. The first time I let slip the facade of "everything is normal," I get incredulity that I can't work through "a little pain." Here's the thing: MY "normal" is like you having the flu, so if I say I'M IN FUCKING PAIN, you would probably go to the hospital.

Which is why I've been very forthright with my current employer and co-workers about my health challenges. I'm now working at a bingo hall, and I've freely discussed my leg cramps, anxiety, and dietary concerns in conversation. I'm not going to hide the fact that I'm not the average healthy young woman any more. This way, if I sit down in the middle of a shift because my legs are killing me,  everyone knows "Her legs must really hurt, she hardly ever sits down."

We can't all fight all discrimination all the time. There are precious few people who are capable of such, and I'm not one of them. But I CAN fight the discrimination that applies to me, on a case-by-case, day-by-day basis, so yeah, stuff sizism, stuff healthism, stuff ageism, STUFF NORMALISM.

I am me.


July 18, 2012

DIY Distraction: Awesome Yarn Things - Knitting Edition

If you knit, or like knitted stuff, you just might like this stuff!

I knit socks. Lately, I knit lots of socks. When I discovered Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel, I just about died!!! A triple-mitered heel that sits much more smoothly than a regular wrap and turn mitered heel, this heel design is the basis of her new eBook. You can also view her free video tutorial.

Do you love ombre/gradient fashions? Now you can knit up your own Chrysanthemum Hat with custom ombre-dyed yarn you can make at home! Xandy shows us her ball-in-KoolAid method.

Broomstick lace is so pretty, but crocheting it is such a pain in the wrists! Which is exactly why wrist-strain-prone Karlie Robinson developed a knitted version.

"Deadbeat" for Contributing Editor by Ben Morris, on Models.com
Paris street fashion on Real Men Cry
Isabel Marant's jumbo-knit sweaters have been on my to-do list for awhile! I love super-bulky sweaters, I love colourful stuff, and I can knit! But where do I get yarn this big?

Easy! You make yarn out of old t-shirts! If you want to dye your yarn, Dmariemart of Imagine Mechanix suggests dying the trimmed shirts before turning them into yarn.

Martin Margiela AW 2008 silk sleeve top on 1stdibs.com
And for the truly unconventional, thank you Mr. Margiela! Yet another WIN from your crazy, crazy mind! It's so tempting to go to Salvation Army on the next $5 bag day just to get a whole bunch of long sleeve shirts! A knock-off could conceivably be knitted from tubes of fabric, using up some of our copious stash fabrics, right?

FFR: March Outfit Backlog

March, alas, was the month I lost my job at the bar. So no more crazy shooter-girl outfits, just crazy-girl outfits :P

Vintage silk knit dress - XOXO
Vintage 1970s blouse with knife pleats and lace trim
Genuine 1920s sealskin medallion belt originally owned by my great-grandmother


Stupid-expensive blouse from a fashionable women's workwear store whose name I don't remember
Pre-loved leather vest
Double-layered recycled sari skirt from Nepal
Faux-amber bracelet, labradorite ring, labradorite pendant

Black cotton velvet 80s-90s-cusp blazer
Pre-loved black vinyl moto pants
Pre-loved black silk blouse
Floral brass cocktail ring, Me-Made clip-on collar chain


More velvet blazer action!
Pre-loved pink silk blouse
Pre-loved (80s?) tulip-print trousers
Floral silver cocktail ring, Me-Made floral collar chain


This is what I wore for the bar's Tropical Party!

Pre-loved Le Chateau faux-wrap dress
Pre-loved brass and bone bead necklace
Brass half-hoop earrings, brass ring, brass bangle
Teak wood bangle from Ardene
Pre-loved brass on wood bangle (which I've since broken, ARG)


 80s dolman sleeve tee with satin and sequin applique
Silver hoop earrings, silver and pink agate ring, silver fishes bangle
Pink resin bangle

July 17, 2012

FFR: February Outfit Backlog

Slick and Prim

Cotton crop-sleeve blazer - Cartise Sport - $80 at a boutique in Sudbury (~2003)
Black vinyl moto pant - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $5 bag day
Black silk blouse - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $3

Vintage "Victorian" stamped tin brooch with glass gems and chain (likely 40s) - thrifted ages ago
Basic face with "jade" Avon shadow


Victorian Sparkle

80s polyester "Victorian" dress w/ lace inset - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $5 bag day
Silver/black lurex tights - thrifted @ Value Village in Sudbury many moons ago

Basic face with "onyx" Avon shadow, "chili" Avon lipstick

Braided knot bun


Upside-Down Iris

Green silk Alfred Sung blouse - thrifted @ Salvation Army - $3
Danier Leather plum skirt - thrifted @ Encore Club in KL - $2

Matchy, matchy! Basic face with Ardene metallic shadow palette in lavender and turquoise, and gold liquid liner on the lower lashline


Tiny Shiny Bow Ties!

Black vinyl moto pant - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $5 bag day
80s polyester blouse w/ bow tie print - thrifted @ Encore Club in KL - $1

Feather charms necklace - Ardene - 3 for $10
Avon silver rose ring - bought by Mom

Basic face, "onyx" Avon shadow, Ardene spring 2012 tropical palette in silver


Silk Loves Velvet: Green Edition

Green silk blouse - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $3
Black cotton velvet blazer - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $4

Vintage "Victorian" stamped tin brooch with glass gems and chain (likely 40s) - thrifted ages ago
Basic face with "jade" Avon shadow


A Night Out or In?

Dynamite grey camisole - $$$$ way to much for a bloody camisole!
Black cotton velvet blazer - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $4

Glass crystal necklace - thrifted ages ago
50s rhinestone brooch - thrifted ages ago
Crystal earrings - gift from a friend
Basic face with "onyx" Avon shadow and Ardene tropical palette in violet


Pineapple Librarian

Yellow polyester blouse - thrifted @ Encore Club in KL - $1
Danier Leather plum skirt - thrifted @ Encore Club in KL - $2
Black cotton velvet blazer - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $4
Gold vinyl belt - thrifted @ Salvation Army in KL - $1

Goldtone articulating collar necklace - thrifted ages ago
Goldtone w/ rhinestones pineapple brooch-pendant (50s?)- thrifted ages ago
Basic face, Ardene tropical pallette in violet, gold liquid liner