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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knit Lolita Cardigan, 1 Peggy Sue

I love the lolita cardigan, its a great accessory. I just don't want to pay 100USD+ for the stuff in the stores, for various reasons. I have been brainstorming cardigan ideas using cardis in stores and in the lolita bibles.

 I am still not done knitting up the lolita cutsew I had been brainstorming earlier. It is coming along nicely, unfortunately it is at home so I can't show examples.

I don't have a lot of fine yarn, like dk, sport, or fingering, to create a lolita cardigan. I also don't have the patience. Therefore, I like taking patterns from ravelry and adapting them to be lolita.

This cardigan is perfect for lolita, especially casual. I draw inspiration from this blogger here. . She made an amazing pink cardi that looks very vintage with her 1950's dress. The 1950's aesthetic is very close to lolita, and in fact is cited often as one of the founding styles of lolita.

Nevermind all the theory. It is a very cute cardigan, and I happen to have dk weight yarn from a failed crochet pullover. I forget if it is Caron Spa or Caron Country. I've lost the labels for the yarn. The problem is, Caron Spa is 158 yards, and Country is 231 yards. That's a big difference as I usually purchase cheaper yarn. I don't have that much money.

The cardigan is called Peggy Sue. If you have a Ravelry, check it out here. I just wish I could get my hair in the 1950's style. Maybe there are antique photos of african american ladies of that period, might give me clues.

I have these great vintage buttons from the thrift store that I really want to use for something like this. Other people have used pearl shank buttons. So cute! There aren't pearl buttons in the button tin I purchased though.

I am almost done with the March Cardigan by Berrocco. Great, because winter is getting close to over. Booooo... I just need to seam, wash and block it. Not even sure how to do that, but... eh.

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Dress Commentary

New BBTSSB dresses in online-store!
Stands for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, a japanese lolita brand. They have a store in San Francisco that I really want to go to and browse in.

Its very cute and classic, even though I'm not a Shiro lolita, or a sweet lolita. I might have said before that I'm a classic lolita. It looks like a toned down sweet lolita dress. They also have off white, pink, navy, black and white, and pure black.

Yes, its a nice dress, but the reason I posted about this is that the sizing is reasonable! This dress could be a lower sized plus size dress, as the size is:


The dress looks a little short. Its wider around than it is long. I have a problem with that. I wish lolita brands in general would have more "long" or "tall" sizes. Over 40" in length, because not everyone is 5' even. So 36 inches is 1 yard, which is 3 feet. So 2 feet (24 inches) of you isn't being covered if you're 5'. That might be ok, might come up to your knees or slightly above. If you're 5'8", for example, you're 68". 68 - 35 = 32". Almost 3 feet of you isn't being covered. That means mid thigh is uncovered.

Love Ring Present Box
Ugh, the name is a little rough. =.= I dislike how lolita clothes and other items have Japanese-english names that don't quite make sense in translation. It feels tacky, it sounds tacky and broken english-japanese-ish. Kinda like they're trying to be  'kawaii-otaku'. ITAIII! T_T

The sizing here isn't exactly plus size.

People wonder why others make replicas of dresses. Much of the world isn't one size fits all. The dresses and clothing that comes in stores is. Incidently, you cannot copyright an idea in US copyright law. . The US government holds that a piece of clothing cannot be copyrighted. If a design is copyrighted, because it has a specific use, the article of clothing can be modified significantly to create a different article of clothing. The popular myth amongst lolitas that one can copyright a dress is preposterous.
If dresses were copyrighted, there wouldn't be derivatives of the wrap dress. Or, designers would be paying royalties to the original wrap dress creator.

I don't know Japanese copyright law. I might look into it.

Another question is does a dress from a brand have a specific utility? Utility as in the difference between a generic shoe and those shoes where each of your toes is hugged, and supposedly you're able to run better.

I have lots of ideas about lolita fashion. I need to organize my thoughts about it into a researched discourse.
For one, I would expand the sizing.
I believe also that there are many different patterns and styles that can be experimented with.
I want to see more patterns being created and given out, and in multiple sizes. I think that companies won't do that, because they know that they are in a cultural niche, and they want to control the style and flow of money in the community.
There is a great deal of lolita dependence on brand clothing.

I feel like I want to write a book about this, nonfiction. That would require research, however.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I've never cosplayed before but I've always wanted to.

Cosplaying is about emulating a character you love, and being them for a brief amount of time.
I just had the great idea of cosplaying a Kyoshi warrior from Avatar the last airbender.

I feel as long as you're a good cosplayer and not a creepy person, you're never too old to cosplay. 

Here's a list of characters I want to eventually cosplay in my life.

Ryoko - Tenchi Muyo
Motoko Kusanagi (the major) - Ghost in the Shell
Shiva - Final Fantasy 8
Yuna - Final Fantasy 10
Dr Girlfriend - The Venture Brothers

So far, that's the list. I will keep adding to it as time goes on.

This will require much sewing and knitting! Horray!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Simple Charity Adult Mitten pattern

Simple Charity Adult Mitten pattern

Because I couldn't find exactly what I wanted without customizing heavily, I decided to make my own worsted weight mitten pattern. I've searched Ravelry for simple charity mittens in a basic style. I like the thumb gusset  coming out of the side of the mitten, but couldn't find mittens for my exact specifications. Thus, these mittens were created.

Red heart worsted/aran weight yarn, size 7 dpns, sewing needle, stitch markers. Scrap yarn or stitch holder.
optional: size 5 dpns, or circular needles.

For adult woman size L or adult man's size S/M

CO 36 stitches. Distribute your stitches how you want, they are easily rearranged later. I usually do 12/12/12.  If you want a design for the top you can do 20/8/8 or some variation.
Do a 2x2 rib with either size 7 needles or size 5 needles. Or, do a 1x1 rib. Do this for 2 inches or till desired length for cuff. For me, beginning of round is shown by the tail of the yarn.

Knit one row plain.
Increase for  wrist by doing so: *K6, m1* till end of row. 6 stitches increased.

Knit plain for 2 inches. You may start designs here.

At beginning of round, m1, m1, place marker. You have 4 stitches for the start of your thumb gusset. Knit one round plain.
Repeat these last two rows until you have 13 stitches between your beginning of round and that marker. Place those 13 stitches on a stitch holder or scrap yarn, and continue knitting in the round. Pull yarn tight to close up the hole when you come to the thumb gusset in subsequent rounds. The hole should close on its own.

If you haven't placed designs and you want to, now is a good time to place designs.
My design was 2 red stripes, separated by black. How I did it: my colors were black (mc) and red (cc). I continued in black for  3 more rows. Then I did 3 rows red. Then another 3 rows black. Then another 3 rows red. Then I cut red and went back to black. There will be a bit of 'stripe jogging', so I placed the jogging stripes at the beginning of round, where my thumb hole resides. It is not quite noticeable.

Continue knitting for 4 more inches. This is usually where the pinky finger ends.

Begin decreases to close the mitten.
*K8, k2tog* till the end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*K7, k2tog* till end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*K6, k2tog* till end of row.
Knit one round plain.

Continue in this manner, until you finish row *k2, k2tog*.
After that row, just k2tog. You should  be left with 6 stitches. Cut yarn and leave a tail 12 inches or longer. Weave through remaining stitches and tie off.

Pick up the stitches left earlier. You should have 13. Pick one up where the hole is, and then you should have a total of 14 stitches.
Knit in the round, tightening  where the hole is. Knit for 2.5 inches. Begin decreases.
*k1, k2tog* till the end of row.
Knit one round plain.
*k2tog* till the end of row.
Leave a tail of 8 inches, draw through remaining stitches and tie off.

At this point, I crocheted around the cuff with my contrasting color. I crocheted 32 stitches evenly around the opening, to tighten the cuff. This is optional.

Make second mitten in this manner, reversing the top hand pattern, by distributing stitches like so: 8/8/20, where 20 is where you put the design.