Last week was just insane. Let's just say I racked up a lot of billable hours in my car, and my reimbursement check for this month will be sizeable. I was extremely disturbed to discover that it is now over thirty dollars to fill the tank of my little Nissan Sentra. Thirty-four, ninety-four, to be exact. Two weeks ago, it was a mere $21.00. It had already shot up to $29 before recent current events shook the nation. Gas stations here in my little corner were selling out of gas, as the realization of our reliance on Louisiana oil sunk in. Before I go on, my thoughts go out to all who are regrouping after Katrina. So many others have said more eloquently than I am able to, what needs to be said.
By the time Friday came around, I was more than ready for a break, especially since next week promises to be much of the same. Lucky for me, when I called into the office Friday afternoon just before 1 PM, I was instructed to go home, since they were closing at 3 anyway. I willingly acquiesced and went home to veg on my couch, immersing myself in old West Wing tapes, pretending that I really lived in a world where Jeb Bartlet was president (my hobby of late). I waited for B. to get out of work so I could legitimately consume alcohol. It was much needed, and thus I don't mind being here in the office on this Labor Day just plowing through these piles.
Friday was a lovely night of liquor, laughs and lively banter followed by an extremely indulgent and luxuriously lazy Saturday. I didn't wake up till about 11 and didn't actually get out of bed till well after noon. Can't remember the last time I slept in that late. Proceeded to laze around for the rest of the day until about 4 when I got my butt into gear to run some errands. I stopped by the local wine shop to pick up something for Sunday dinner at K.'s. I love this little place -- it's just the right size to be intimate, with a sizeable collection and a knowledgeable staff. And, they have tastings on Saturdays too! Big plus.
I made my selection and inquired of the delightful proprietress if I could have a gift bag. Alas, she was out. Under normal circumstances, I would have just found a drug store or something on my way home, but she had to go and cheerfully say that she was sure I would come up with something, saying, "You look crafty."
What does that mean, exactly? Was it the jeans paired with the non-descript, aging, GAP t-shirt? The damp hair? The glasses encasing my red, itchy eyes? Though I'm certain she meant it only for the sake of conversation, it was just an odd thing for her to say. So there it was. The Dare. To be crafty.
To which, I had to respond! I could quickly knit or crochet up a simple drawstring pouch in no time, but that didn't suit me. I contemplated various cozy patterns which I'd never really given much thought to before (to be honest, I rather thought them a bit silly). The result, after casting on:
And a view of the back shows the striping more clearly:
In honor of Ms. Wine Shop Proprietress, I christen thee, Dare, the Wine Corset.
It's actually much more snug (snugger? my grammar escapes me) than I had envisioned in my mind's eye, in which it was more "pouch-y". Hence, it's baptismal name; but I'm pretty pleased with the end result. In my head, it had more ease, but, well, I sort of forgot about ease in doing my measurements (DUH), and I hadn't properly taken into account the yarn's bulk.
I used the remainder of the Noro Lotus, and after several hours of frogging, re-knitting, re-frogging and re-knitting to get the decreasing shaping right, it was done. The body is knitted flat, with eyelets along the side edges. The base is double-crocheted in the round. Notwithstanding that I haven't a clue how to knit a circle, and wasn't about to learn, I find crochet to be much more satisfying when it comes to flat shaping. It was then attached to the cast-on edge in a round of single crochet.
I utilized the eyelets to avoid having to seam this up. I laced a crocheted chain through the eyelets, corset style, or if you prefer, shoe-lace style, and tied wooden beads to the ends. The base is a bit wonky as I was slightly off in my circumference measurements, but oh well. If I do this again, I may use single crochet instead of double crochet on the base, as I'd probably have better control over the measurements. It wasn't going to make or break this, and the weight of the bottle fixes that problem more or less. Aside from the grief in figuring out how to proportionately decrease, this was a great lesson in shaping, and talk about a stashbuster. Contrasting yarn or ribbon, or some other material could be used to highlight the laced up "seam."
I also knew that Dare wouldn't have been wasted on K., as she's the appreciative type when it comes to handmade stuffs. It's nice to have someone who'll indulge me and stroke my ego! Dinner was excellent. K.'s hubby turns out to be quite handy in the kitchen* and I benefitted from a most delicious meal and an all over great time. I should mention that K. makes a delightful chocolate-raspberry martini.
*The chef, in addition to his culinary prowess also maintains a rather amusing blog, here.
SP5 is done, and it's time for the reveal. Sadly, I'm waiting for UPS to deliver my final package to my spoilee, Korin at KnittingZen ... who will discover, hopefully sooner, rather than later, who I am! As a note to self, that's the last time I go with any vendor using Brown! It's FedEx or the good ol' USPS for me.
Alrite. Off to earn my keep.