WIP Wednesday: Christmas Knitting

I’m in the thick of Christmas knitting this week. The last grab bag I got from Wollmeise had a skein of yarn in Ravens colors, and I knew I had to use it to knit something for my nephew, who is a huge fan. I’m tinkering with the numbers on Podster Gloves to make them fit a 10-year-old’s hands. If I get too close on time, I might have to leave the convertible part off or give him one finished mitt to make sure it fits before I finish the other one.

I was looking for a hat pattern that would work with the color patterning in the yarn, and someone on Ravelry suggested Rayonnante sur le Tapis Rouge. It turns out that the designer was looking for knitters to test the English translation of the pattern. Perfect! You knit the brim sideways first, then pick up stitches along the edge to knit the crown. The brim doesn’t look like much so far, but it will look better once I graft the ends and pick up for the crown. And block it–blocking works wonders.

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The dark colors are actually purple and black. I need to work on taking better in-progress pictures, but it’s hard to get decent shots when it gets dark so early. I’m usually at the mercy of the lighting in my kitchen.

The hat for my cousin’s son is on hold since the projects for my nephew are due first. BUT…I found out at Thanksgiving that we’ll be celebrating Christmas with that part of the family on the 27th, so I don’t have as much time as I thought. Time for me to get off the computer and get knitting!

At Last, the Downton Abbey Post, Part 2

Ready for more beautiful dresses?  Here are more of the costumes from Downton Abbey on exhibit at Winterthur in Wilmington, Delaware.

Some of the dresses used vintage materials, like on the bodice of the infamous harem pants Sybil wore.

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Rose’s whole dress is vintage and has quite a story.

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The beading on the front of this dress was so heavy and Michelle Dockery, the actress who plays Mary, is so tiny that she could barely stand up straight!

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These are just some dresses I liked. It almost seems like a waste to spend so much time on details that viewers won’t even notice, but the Downton Abbey people feel that wearing authentic costumes helps the actors do a better job of portraying the characters.

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The people at Winterthur told us that this is the only place the exhibit will be shown in the US. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan in the mid-Atlantic area, I recommend making the trip. The costumes will be there until January 4, the day before Season 5 starts. You can, and should, get your tickets ahead of time here so you don’t have to worry about it being sold out.

Before we left Winterthur, we took a look at the exhibit of soup tureens, which was sponsored by, you guessed it, Campbell’s soup. Yes, you heard right: soup tureens. Stay tuned!

At Last, the Downton Abbey Post, Part 1

In September, I went with my mom and aunt to Winterthur to see the exhibit of Downton Abbey costumes. We spent a couple hours wandering through the exhibit, admiring the beautiful costumes and reading about Winterthur in the same period. There were costumes for everyone from the staff

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to the Crawley sisters

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to the Dowager Countess.

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The detail on the clothes was amazing! This is Edith’s wedding gown. Just look at the beading on the train.

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Mrs. Levinson’s dress had even more exquisite beadwork.

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There are a lot of images in this post, so I’m going to continue it tomorrow. See you then!