On The Needles

I feel like I've really been cranking out the handknits lately, and when I stopped to count them up it turns out the knits really have been piling up! Here's a glimpse of a few of them:

First up are two pair of fingerless mittens I worked up for a new pattern of mine, called Huckleberry Mitts. This pattern just came out last week and is also part of my Ravelry group's current knitalong, so if this pattern is speaking to you, come on over and join us and enter to win a yarny prize!

Blue pair features Lorna's Laces Solemate

Red pair features Alisha Goes Around Panoply of Peacocks

I've done quite a bit of non-work knitting lately, too...

I ran across a new children's pattern, Edith, that's a basic tee with super ruffly sleeves, and I loved it so much I bought the pattern (about $4.00) and immediately cast on! This is the 3-6 month size in Phildar Strike. I can't say enough good things about this pattern! It's sized for newborns through 24 months, but of course you could have even more size variation by changing weight of yarn. I made this one just to make it, and have decided to send it to Jenny of Stash and Burn fame for her new wee one. I just need to find the perfect buttons first!

Next up is another baby knit, this time created for my sweet friend Lisbeth's baby, Poppy. This pattern is called Bitty Bump and costs $5.00. The pattern is sized for newborn through 4T, so loads of size options. This is one of my go-to baby knits, as it's a great match for novelty yarns (I admit it - I love novelty yarns!) and it works up in about 3 hours due to the ginormous needle size. For this version, I used a strand of Crystal Palace Bamboozle held together with a strand of Made in America Florafil Super Soft Cotton. So soft and thick and squishy and cool! I added a dark grey grosgrain ribbon for some contrast; the Florafil is a great cotton boucle that's bound with a dark grey nylon thread, and I thought it made that really pop.

I managed to knit up another Surplus Stripes cowl, this time in monochromatic shades of blue. This was completed in just a few hours last Saturday, and I decided to donate it to the box my LYS is getting together to send to the local women's shelter. Apparently most of the women at the shelter do not have cars (presumably because they had to flee the place where the car was) and are having to use public transportation to get to work, etc., which means a lot of walking out in the cold. I hope that this will help keep someone's neck warm and spirits up!

Also donated to the same box is this cute little helix-striped hat worked up in worsted weight scraps. The pink is Berroco Vintage, the green is Spud & Chloe Sweater, and the yellow is a bit of Red Heart Super Saver left over from my latest Gryffindor scarf. Surprisingly, these yarns look well together, and I was pleased with the result. I added a feather hair clip that I made myself for a bit of flair.

Still on the needles is a Cadence, from Knitty Deep Fall 2010. I've loved this sweater ever since it was first published! The aforementioned Lisbeth happened to gift me a sweater's worth of the very yarn called for in the pattern, and in a color I just love! So I had to make this happen. It's something I've sort of squeezed in an hour or two on, in between other things; at this point I have only the sleeves left. Unfortunately, I have just two and a half balls of yarn left to knit two long sleeves out of, so I'm going to have to find someone to buy a couple of extra skeins off of. If you happen to have any Elsebeth Lavold Silky Flamme in Brandy, dye lot 45321, please give me a shoutout, won't you? I'd appreciate it! This has been modified from the original pattern (which I usually do not do when working from others' patterns), and I'll be posting more about that a bit later on. I'm excited to get it finished and start wearing it!

That's it for now; the next thing going on my needles is my showpiece for Anzula Luxury Yarns, which will be on display during the February TNNA in Long Beach. What's been on your needles lately?

Hunter Hammersen giveaway update! I never heard from schwip, so I'm drawing a new winner for Rabble Rousers, and it's Kenyetta! Congrats, girl! Give me a shoutout at Sarah AT sexyknitter.com or over on Ravelry as TheSexyKnitter, and let me know your mailing address! If I don't hear from you by  December 14, I'll have to pick another winner. :)


Film Costuming for the Oscars 001: The Artist

I'm basically obsessed with film costumes. I cannot go to the pictures any more without becoming so distracted by what the characters are wearing that I forget to pay attention to the story (no, really!). Keeping track of the actual movie becomes exponentially harder for me in any film that features hand knits (almost every movie now), high-end fashions (think, Sex & The City), or couture work (frequently seen in sci-fi films and period pieces). My love for this type of clothing manifests itself in my own work through pieces like Lady Sybil and my Sexy Jumpsuit.

 Lady Sybil, inspired by Downton Abbey

Sexy Jumpsuit, created for Vogue's Magic of Mohair contest

Next year, I plan to do more work like this, with the intention of moving into full-time couture work sometime in the next couple of years. It's long been a dream of mine to be able to work in film costuming, and even though that dream is somewhat of a long shot, I thought I would start by educating myself about the costumes Hollywood loves. Enter this new blog series, which I'm going to title "Film Costuming for the Oscars". See, I've decided to make it my goal to watch every movie nominated for an Academy Award in Best Costuming in the last ten years. I thought I would go in reverse chronological order, which means that up first is 2011's Academy Award Winner for Best Costuming (along with a whole bunch of other things, including Best Picture), The Artist. If you have Netflix, it's currently available to watch that way, at least for now. While I don't intend this column to be a movie review, I will say that I found this movie fairly interesting, from an artistic point of view. Filming a silent movie in black and white (okay, it was actually filmed in color and then translated into black & white later on) in the 21st century? That takes gumption.

Okay, on to the good stuff!


Film: The Artist

Costume Director: Mark Bridges.

Of Note:
  • This film was costumed in just eight weeks - fairly typical timing for a Hollywood production.
  • Many of Peppy's costumes were newly sewn from vintage dresses used as patterns.
  • George's costumes were a mix of newly made and altered, existing suits.
  • Extras were clothed in authentic vintage pieces that contained wear or damage typically found in antique garments.
  • The coat that Peppy dances with in George's dressing room was altered for the scene; a large gusset was added under the arm to accommodate for Peppy's movements.
  • Although the final film was black and white, some of the costumes were made in colors because of the variation of greyscale on screen.
  • LeLuxe Clothing, which provided a few of Peppy's costumes for this film, will also be providing some costumes for the upcoming The Great Gatsby (and if that film doesn't take the Oscar for Best Costuming next year, I'll eat one of Peppy's hats).

Additional reading: From Sketch to Still: Lush Costumes and Art-Deco Set of The Artist (Vanity Fair); Interview with Mark Bridges (Clothes on Film); Movies: The 20's Roaring Again (LA Times)

Favorites From the Film:

This appears to be silk chiffon (my alltime favorite). It is simplicity in itself, but I love the shape and movement of it!
 This piece was purchased from an online retailer (which means you can buy your own) and modified by Mark for the film. I love the idea of modifying existing garments, and have been doing a lot of that myself this year.

 This was onscreen for mere seconds, but was too fantastic not to mention. Look at that SKIRT! Look at the BEADING!


 The millinery in this film was incredible. I felt like I was pausing the screen every 3 minutes to stare at another gorgeous hat!

This coat caught my eye. The detail on the back is particularly creative!

It's worth mentioning that the men's costumes in this film were just as outstanding as the women's, and there were a LOT of men to costume.

Another great headpiece! Also, I'm thinking of cutting my hair like this.

Looking for the winners of Hunter Hammersen's giveaway? Random.org tells me that the winner of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet is IrishSapphire, and the winner of Rabble Rousers is schwip! Congrats, you two! You have until December 8th to email me (sarah AT sexyknitter.com) or send me a Ravelry message (TheSexyKnitter) to claim your prize. If I haven't heard from you by then, I'll have to draw a new winner!

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