Bustle Appropiate Petticoat and Traveling Bustle Complete

This week was all about getting the under garments for the Checked Wool Costume complete and ready for me to begin fitting the garments next week...and i did it!  I finished the petticoat that has the extra length for the bustle to be worn underneath as the over garments require a bustle.  I again used the Truly Victorian pattern for Victorian Petticoats #TV170 selecting view B (small bustle back, flat front).  For the outer fabric i found a plaid weave linen in unbleached cotton.  The entire petticoat is lined with a heavy unbleached muslin.  And again all clean finished seams.  It will be great to have a petticoat that works with a bustle!

Truly Victorian #TV170 Victorian Petticoat with bustle extra length | Front   Truly Victorian #TV170 Victorian Petticoat with bustle extra length | Side   Truly Victorian #TV170 Victorian Petticoat with bustle extra length | Back over traveling bustle 

Also i drafted a pattern for a "traveling bustle".  An under garment to help with the bustle effect on the back and be completely fold-able.  I did some rough math and then went for it.  I am very pleased with how the traveling bustle came out (Full instructions to follow in separate post).  The petticoat above is shown with the traveling bustle underneath.  It gave it a perfect 2 1/2" extra length in the back.  Some pretty pictures!

Traveling Bustle | Stiching together    Traveling Bustle |

Trains Traveling Bustle | Side View    Trains Traveling Bustle | Back View

Petticoat #2 Update!

Bustle Petticoat Pintuck Closeup
Progress has been made on the new petticoat (#2)!  Everything was cut out on Sunday, About 50% sewn yesterday with a bit of working from home to help, and this evening another 15% was completed.  If work would have released me at a reasonable time instead of nearly 12 hours after walking through the doors that morning i may have gotten through more...but who knows.  This one is moving much faster than the first one, but also i have been able dedicate large chunks of continuous time which super helps.  We are now down to:

1) Sewing the grograin ribbon along the front and side seams (This requires a Stone Mountain run to procure the correct color of thread tomorrow after work)
2) Shirring and attaching the ruffle along the sweep
3) Sewing the grograin ribbon along the Ruffle seam to clean finish
4) Pleating the Back Waist to Fit the Waistband
5) Sewing the Waistband to the garment
6) Crossing my fingers that i have enough left over ribbon to use for the tie at the waist
7) Starting the next project!!!

Next project is the "Traveling Bustle".  Here are some links to pictures.  There are patterns out there...but the sewn up versions look awful!  I am *so* capable of doing better...so i challenge me to do better.  The plan to complete this task is to draft a pattern and test it this weekend, hopefully it's close enough that i can cut and sew one up real quick afterwords and call it complete with the undergarments for the Checked Wool Costume this week.

Let the Costuming Countdown Begin!

So i have 8 1/2 weeks to complete all of my costume goodies for Steam-Con.  Ummm... Yes, i could you a very hard kick in the pants to get moving.  All of last week should have been spent sewing, but alas.  I decided it was much more enjoyable to read, take long baths, and go to the movies.  None of which have helped me prepare for the trip.  Tonight i finally found some motivation and got moving.  I cut out the petticoat for the Checked Wool Costume and should have no problem sewing it up over the next couple of days.  This week i need to complete the petticoat, traveling bustle, and begin working on the Checked Wool Costume if i'm going to get three outfits completed in less than 2 months.  Ahhh!!!

The petticoat will be a quick sew as this is #2.  I am using the same pattern, with an added scoop to the CB to accommodate a bustle, that was used for my first petticoat.  I found a super cute woven fabric the shade of un-dyed muslin with a plaid weave style running throughout the fabric and have cut out a heavy un-dyed muslin lining.  It will be a bit heavy, but super cute, and the weight will be necessary to stand up against the wool, heavy twill, and velveteen of the Check Wool Costume.  Also things are going tons faster since the purchase of my fantastic dress form.

Hunter Green Lacy Beginnings

So i have 3 complete Victorian costumes to finish in about two months ... so i started a new knitting project, the Hunter Lace Tank, to help keep me sane amongst all of the sewing madness that will be happening.  I have had the yarn, Tsuki in a hunter green, specifically for this project for about a year.  It was purchased way back when Artfibers had a store in the city (SF) and one could get lost in there playing with sample yarn and knitting swatches.  I had come across the pattern and thought " i totally need a lacy fitted tank top!"  Ummm...it was cute, but also going to be tons of work with the full square skirt, elastic thread, and a lacy front.  The lacy front kept me coming back, it's super cute.  Also i haven't explored the lace much so this project has been itching to get started for a while.

What it should like like when finished...

What it looks like now, post 2.5 days of a knitting weekend...
Hunter Green Lace Top | Beginnings

A Headband for all Time

Recycled Yarn Headband

I have a queue in Ravelry that every now again begs for attention. After two weeks of hiking and mostly reading (with a bit of sock knitting) I found my queue calling to me for a quick project. Nothing fancy, but something quick and easy and practical...a headband!!! I have tons of hair and love head bands so it's perfect. I pulled out the recycled cotton yarn that i used for the star stitch skirt last year and grabbed a pattern from the queue. After two days of tv/podcast knitting i was done!

It felt great to pull something out and finish it, quick and easy.  This was a great reminder that not all projects need to be giant epic projects that span decades of time and sanity.  More lite projects here and there to come.

Sunny Sock Sunset

The Sunny Socks are done!!! They were the fantastic trip knitting for the two weeks of camping and they were tons of fun. I love the colors. I am not a bright colors gal, but there is something about bright socks i adore. I had some cotton sock yarn and was itching to give it a try. The socks came out mostly ok. Since they are cotton there is not a lot of give. They aren't too big, but they do stand away from the ankle a bit. Also they have not been washed or blocked. I'm guessing if i treat them like socks, washer and dryer, they will shrink up to the perfect fit. I enjoyed the traveling eyelet pattern. It's nice to have something interesting on the sock but to not have to stare at a pattern all the time to get it. I will definitly do these again as there is no need for the instructions. The short row toe is easy and neat as well is the short row heel. Paired with the roaming eyelets my only complaint was not being able to knit both socks together on one circular needle at the same time. The only reason this doesn't work is because at the ankle you need to move stitch from one needle to another to keep the eyelet pattern seam less. I think the next pair may have a zigzag instead of a ring to the eyelet placement to allow for two at a time knitting.

Sunny Toe Up Socks | Feets  Sunny Toe Up Socks | Foot

Sunny Toe Up Socks | Short Row Heel  Sunny Toe Up Socks | Short Row Toe

Arches National Park = Hot and Sandy Trails

After the lush fields of plants in Zion we drove on Eastward through Bryce and onto Arches National Park.  Arches totally deserves it's name with beautiful natural arches everywhere and gorgeous desert terrain like petrified sand dunes.  We camped at the park camp grounds and found a fantastic spot to erect an amazing "Radiation Deflector" = a piece of fabric for shade ; )  This turned out to be a super must as the temperatures rose to nearly 100F at lunch time ... ouch!  There were massive sunburns earned along both of the longer trails we journeyed.

Negro Bill Trail | This trail is just off the highway and considered "highly shaded".  This translates to at mid day nearly 30% of the trail being shaded.  Given the other trails in the park this is tons of shade and most are full cover, but it still felt a little misleading.  The trail runs along a stream for about 2 miles going over rocks and crossings over the stream in multiple places.  The trail itself is well marked with signs and there is some over growth as we went rather late in the season.  The trail ends into a beautiful large arch and a small pool.  This was most non-existent as we were there in August, but there was plenty of stream to stop and soak the feets in.

Negro Bill Trail | The "Pool"  Negro Bill Trail | Pretty Christmas Colors Flower  Negro Bill Trail | Cubbies

Devils Canyon Trail | The trail head is just past the campgrounds inside the park.  The trail is considered the major trail in the park and is totally worth the just over 4 miles round trip.  All of the guide information will tell you to bring 2+ liters of water per person...you will want to do this.  The trail is very poorly marked in places and it is quite easy to get yourself set on a side journey.  The water is key to keep up your spirits and energy while you get through the minimal cover (7-10% morning and evening |  less than 2% midday) and if you need to go back and find the real trail.  Gorgeous arches at each of the off shoots and all are recommended.  The view from on top of the fins is amazing as you can see across the entire valley to the north; this is a different view from the south facing camp grounds and adds to the beauty of the valley.  The compass was *very* helpful for this one.

Devils Canyon Trail | Arch and the Moon  Devils Canyon Trail | Fins  Devils Canyon Trail | Jason looking for the trail

Vampires delaying my knitting!

Knitting was totally brought on the vacation...i swear!!!  The problem was that so was two large books that i wanted to tear through immediately.  I got a little sucked into the Stephanie Meyer Vampire Books.  A little sucked in equals the first two books (Twilight | New Moon) in one week prior to the trip and the last two books (Eclipse | Breaking Dawn) in 5 days.  Yep, the trip consisted of me somehow managing to read 1300 pages in 5 days, yea for someone else driving and motion sickness medication!  Now that i'm through them...i liked them!  Not my Anne Rice Vampires, these ones are sparkly cute vegetarians...but fun!  They were all quick reads and totally read like film.  Not heavy books, thus the "teen" section at the library.  I guess there is a 5th book | Breaking Dawn | with some nonsense surrounding it.  The letters and such seem a bit overly dramatic for someone posting a copy of the book early, considering how popula the series is, but i get the author is hurt by the whole thing.  Has anyone else read these or kept up with the drama over the 5th book?

Well the "Real" books in the series have all been read and book 4 even said The End so i have been able to rejoin the world of the knitting.  Toe up socks!  These are so quick and easy.  After only two daqys i have nearly a whole socks done and no crazy instructions were followed for turning the heel.  I think i still prefer the top down socks in final appearance and the working both from the very first stitch to the last.  One pretty Sunny Sock nearly complete ... his brother is on the way ;)

Beautiful Scenic Views brought to you by Zion National Park

Pictures from the Canyon Overlook Trail in Zion National Park | Fantastic short hike, 1 mile round trip, with only one weary bridge and lots of great views.  Not a bad way to start the nature part of the trip : )

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Sharky Time in Vegas

As a quick last thing to do in Vegas a visit to the Shark Reef in Mandalay Bay was decided upon.  I have been before, but it's still awesome to go to the only predator based aquarium in the US...rock out piranha's!!!


Mister Komodo Dragon taking in some sun bathing

Mister Komodo Dragon kickin it

Fishies i don't believe i've met before...so cute!!!

Harry Fishes

Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil know Costumes!!!

Part of the road trip was a required stop in Las Vegas.  This was not required for booze, gambling, or hookers.  This was put on the "i want it now" list because of a Cirque du Soleil show starring Criss Angel.  I had no idea who this guy was or even his stichk...but after seeing pictures of "victorian broken dolls" online i knew i had to go.  Tickets were pricey...but it's freakin Cirque du Soleil and a guy with a TV show who can apparently levitate.  After having seen the show i can honestly say it was more than worth it.  Georgeous costumes and fantastic Cirque du Soleil style dream sequences left nothing to be desired.  I sat on the edge of my seat the entire show having to remind myself to close my mouth and not oggle the costumes too much here and there.

"Criss Angel Believe"  The show began as appearing to be a standard Magic show.  Very quickly a twist is taken and the dreaming begins.  There is a fantastic Alice in Wonderland feel with all sort of different rabbits throughout the show as they are the "Magician's Best Friend".  The rabbits also help pull you down the rabbit hole into a world were Victorian dolls are broken and twisted, rabbits feed on human flesh, and disembodied animal heads doing acrobatics aren't so weird and they are fantastically entertaining.

If you are going through Vegas in the next six months or before the show closes it's a must see.  I managed to restrain myself and walk away with only a program to keep the memories alive (the soundtrack isn't going to be released until November!!!)...but if anyone has some free time when i get home it's worth a mighty long oggling session as there are corsets, stripper shoes, 10 foot train skirts, and Victorian evil rabbits ga-lore!!!

Adventures in the Mojave Airplane Graveyard

The fact that i didn't melt says a lot about my determination to see the awesome planes through the 100F degree heat.  It kinda hurts to look at the dirt and see all of the heat just sitting on top of it.  Next time this is totally a November trip, the desert is awesome at night in the winter.

The day began with a late arrival at the Mojave Airport & Space Center, late meaning about noon.  We followed the minimal instructions we could find online and headed for building number 58 under the tower.  Score!  Found a person who explained all, and were told that the guy who would take us on the van tour was just heading out for lunch and to come back at 1pm.  It couldn't sound better as i was expecting to roam around in the desert on foot for a few hours at mid day and pass out, the thought of an air conditioned van sounded like bliss.

To kill some time Denny's was sought out for a milkshake, my sweet tooth is unsatisfiable some times.  Yummy!  Then back to the tower for the awesome tour.

The tour was awesome!  We ventured back into the office under the tower for the van ride, after paying $10 total for the van ride that could accommodate 8 easily.  A couple of things learned from the tour
* Tour Guide for over 23 year = Javier = awesome!!!
* Van tours started in 1991 when they got tired of tourists trying to run out on the runway.
* Previously the tourists could only walk up to the runway and looked at the planes from a distance.
* Waterworld and Speed were filmed here
* A crazy old commercial came up about people right after smoking was banned inside planes... Javier told the tale of cute women sitting on the wings of a plane smoking while fake stewardess' served them to say it should be ok to smoke on a plane.

Awesome place...

Beginning of the Road/Camping trip and socks

Last night the Fall journey began.  The first leg of the trip is from the bay area down through the Mojave Desert with a peek in to the Airplane Graveyard and continuing onto Vegas for a few days.  So far so good!  I would of course would prefer a bit cooler weather than the heat that the inland areas are currently going through, but all in all it's not bad.  With the first section of the leg done i'm excited about the Airplane Graveyard in the morning.  It should be some awesome sightseeing and it would be great to get some photos of older planes.  Message me if ya want a postcard.

In the car, in the dark, i decided to cast on for a new pair of socks.  Ummm...i actually can't read or see in the dark...especially enough to start toe-up socks, a project i have never done or read the instructions for before.  Hehehehe...  I'm sure some of the passer-bys in their cars got a good giggle out of watching me trying to hold up my knitting and instructions into the headlights shinning behind me.  Once the hotel was reached i pulled out the socks and gave the instructions a good going through and so far today i have gotten through nearly the first toe!

I am using a cotton yarn i picked up at Color: A Fiber Festival a little while ago.  It's a gorgeous yellow green...my Sunny Socks : )

(This post brought to you by free internet from the Desert Inn Hotel...yea for unsecured wireless!!!)

Hat's be Done!

Two, yes two, count 'em TWO hats were finished over the weekend. One was gifted to my brother not 10 minutes after the plane landed in Oakland. The other was put in the mail yesterday from a request of a friend. I had nearly forgotten just how beautiful the Noro Silk Garden truly is and it's so amazingly soft yet earthy with the high silk/merino blend. Such fantastic stuff to work with. Pictures will follow once said friend gets said hat...no cheating on the surprises ;)