Howdy, doody – the Girlfriend Tank is finished.

 

Maizy likes it, which is good enough for me.

Super simple to make.  I like the way the striping came out, even though I flew by the seat of my pants with it, alternating colors along the way, gradually working toward a higher white-to-blue ratio closer to the top (excluding the straps).

PatternShort Snort Girlfriend Tank, by Wendy Bernard at Knit and Tonic (available free here)

Yarn:  Louisa Harding Coquette (blue, 2 skeins) and white acrylic baby-weight of unknown manufacturer from the stash

Time to complete:  about a week

Suggested alterations:  add a couple of decreases in each of the four rows coming up to the underarm area (prior to the 6-stitch bind-offs) to create a bit of a tighter fit and prevent accidental boob exposure

 

It's a high-fashion item

It's a high-fashion item

Upon being presented with this garment, Maizy asked, “What’s this thing?” in reference to the silver ring on the front bodice. 

I explained that this was a high-fashion item that would make her shirt more special. 

Later that day, she followed up with several other questions about high fashion, which I answered confidently, if not in a laughably unqualified manner. 

 

 

A nice air-conditioned stripe, if you will.

Once the tank was blocked, the two different yarn types flowed together much more smoothly, as one might expect.  The few rows of solid blue that I’d done at the bottom came out just as I’d hoped; a bit breezy and airy looking, owing to the use of the lighterweight Coquette on its own. 

 

 

Initially I made the straps plenty long, so that I could just shorten them to fit once Maizy could try it on.  The problem, as I had figured might arise, was a bit of unwanted boobage on display with the straps anything less than as short as they could be and still fit over her head. 

Hot off the needles, unblocked, plenty of strap length

Hot off the needles, unblocked, plenty of strap length

Fully blocked

Fully blocked, shorter straps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I shortened the straps to this short-as-can-be length and it looks much better, but any sudden movements and she’ll be flashing the general public.  Not that public toddler-boobage is the world’s biggest crime, but since she usually does wear a shirt when she’s out on the town…Sissy B may add a small dart tack  (½-inch or so) under each armpit to keep things contained.

All in all, it’s a cute little project that I hope will be a bit of bling for the wardrobe, even over a turtleneck on snow days.

I think she looks fabulous in it, but I’ve got major auntie bias.

 

I did embark on one other wee project recently, inspired by my sister’s a) craftiness and b) environmentally-friendly choices.  Months ago we made a trip to Jo-Ann’s during which we picked up some fabric for making cloth napkins.  She of course forged ahead with the project, churning out a number of cutie designs that have since replaced her paper napkin supply (she’s also gotten rid of paper towel – even with two little ones – using washcloths and towels to clean up all spills).  I on the other hand made no such progress.

Spurred on by the chance to use my mom’s feisty Bernina (Sissy B now keeps the legendary sewing machine at her place), I got down to it in making a few cloth napkins of my own.  That said, sis did end up doing most of the sewing while I was blocking my knitting.  But I did some of it.  And cut out the pieces and pressed the seams.  Not that there’s much of a pattern to these puppies, but we did follow Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing pattern, because we could, and because we like Amy and her phenomenal blog.

I dig these.  Not only are they pretty, but I can do my part by decreasing the unneeded consumption of paper products in our household.  The Napkins That Saved The World.

 

OK, one parting funny before I sign off.

As part of Maizy’s b-day, her parents got her a Barbie Rock Star Guitar

Absolutely hilarious. 

It comes with a headet mike (think Britney) that really works, real strings to strum, and a number of really-not-that-annoying music tracks, which you can speed up or slow down to meet the mood. 

The frontrunner of the available songs it plays is “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (Sissy B said that once she heard that, the guitar was immediately added to the shopping cart).  Maizy was very serious about her newly unveiled instrument, and she serenaded us with a full concert of her best material, complete with professional-looking shimmying, hopping, and facial expressions.  I think my favorite was the swaying – “Guys, I’m going to do a slow one now.”

Anyway, had to share.  Her leader-of-the-band rocker chick impersonation will forever be linked in my mind with the sparkly Girlfriend Tank that she sported around for us the weekend she turned three.  Happy Birthday, Maiz.

I spend a lot of time on planes due to travel for work, but rarely am I overcome by the hustle-bustle of airport-hopping to the extent that I dread the need to strap myself into that seat.  I like a nice long plane journey.  There’s something about being trapped in that steel cylinder that makes me happy, and I’m pretty sure it’s to do with the fact that I can knit the entire time without interruption if I so choose.  Where else do you get that kind of sure-thing knit time?

Normally I stealthily avoid chatters on planes.  I prefer the window seat (so I don’t have to get up for someone else to go to the bathroom), and I try to board early, toss my carry-on overhead, buckle up, and whip out the knitting.  Wielding the knitting is very effective.  No offense to the fellow passengers that may end up seated in my vicinity, but I do try to avoid eye contact so I can stay focused on my happy place, the busy needles frolicking in front of me. 

Flight attendants like to ask what I’m knitting, and although it rips me from my revelry to answer the question, I can’t help myself from offering up my growing labor of love for a little touchy-feely.  It’s surprising how often the flight attendant will mention that someone else is knitting back in row 35, a blanket or baby booties or whatever.  Makes me want to raise up my needles in solidarity – you go, sister – before digging back in.  I’m hoping desparately that they don’t start letting us all use phones and the internet on planes…my excuse to knit will be harder to justify if I actually have work to do during that sacred time.

All that to say – we’re going to Phoenix for the weekend, where friends and family will bring on the good times.  Before the airport spits us out into the sauna this evening, it’s so comforting to know that I’ll have quality time with my Periwinkle honey – it’s been a while after a crazy couple of knit-less weeks, and frankly I can’t freakin’ wait.

Since, in my inability to churn out new rows to show off this week I have nothing new to show you, I thought I’d show off a couple of things my sister impressed me with during my last visit (which required a plane ride, which yielded much fun with the aforementioned honey).  For her birthday this year I sent her Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, since she is an avid reader of Amy’s craft blog, angrychicken.  In past months she’s raved about Lotta Jansdotter’s Simple Sewing (and with good reason! if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out), so I went for the variation on a theme.

Hello, inspirational!  From Bend the Rules Sewing, Sis made the cutest little things – I went all squealy when I saw them.  The first item is a little pouch-wallet.  Very simple, yet surprsingly I-want-one with her funky choice of fabric.  She finds deals on swatches of fabric here and there and is a very patient shopper of Jo-Ann’s remnants and clearances (unlike me; I have very little ability to resist yummy things when I see them, and it’s very hard for me to peruse fabrics and yarns without buying something that is ridiculously NOT on sale).  Her one splurge was the button, which I love.

The second pattern is a cute little purse – again simple yet endearing.  She found 50-cent pillowcases at a second-hand shop (again I give her kudos for digging up the deals) and used two swatches for this.  The pre-loved cotton made the end result soft and familiar-feeling. 

I like the way one strap is longer than the other so that you can pull the long loop through the short one for a simple closure.  It’s not very big – 5″ x 7″, maybe, although obviously easy to size up – but it seems the perfect little accessory for a stroll on a sunny spring morning when you don’t want to heave the whole enchilada of your leather purse out with you. Tuck a $10er and your lip gloss in your little bag and meander down to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, dangling your creation from your fingers, stopping for a yummy latte to enjoy along the way.  I want one!  She’s making a few more for a charity craft sale that she and a few other ladies are putting together, which I think is quite a cool thing.

Lordy, look at the time.  Gotta pack so I can catch my knitting-enabling machine.