Saturday, April 14, 2007

One cool promdress, seven weekly givaways and an amazing amount of yarn!

Try humming that to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

This twisted jingle is just one example of what a busy, busy week of knitting and spring break will do to a mom. Some people get to relax on their break - I was about to cut it short in order to get my normal life back.

I'll start with the yarn. On Friday, I volunteered to sort and price yarn for the Textile Center of Minnesota's annual Garage Sale. I never saw so much yarn in my life. We had tables of unfinished objects (complete with needles and patterns), bags of wool for spinning, boxes of weaver's warp (? - could have been weft, I don't know), and a couple of tables FULL of boxes of prebagged yarn. Usually, bout $2-$7 worth in each gallon ziplock - sometimes more if the yarn was still in its bag form from the yarn shop. You know, ten balls of Blankety Blank's finest wool in their shop bag. Plus the baskets and boxes of skeins of yarn underneath the table. I've seen less wool in a yarn store.

The crazy thing is, I stopped in today at the sale, paid my $1 admission fee and there was almost no yarn left. I found only one UFO bag and it was an acrylic baby sweater. In the end, I bought one lone $3 bag of various green half-skeins, no labels or anything, to make mini Christmas stocking ornaments. Where did all that wool go?? There was a line halfway around the block for the bag sale, which was about to start, and they were eager to get to the rest of those tables of fabric, knickknacks, patterns and unidentified fiber tools. Hmm - scary.

Knitting-wise, I was trying to finish up the baby sweater I'm making because I needed it for today's baby shower. If I had only one more knitting day in this week - I could have done it. As it is, I am binding off the hem and finishing up the arms. Photos to appear later this week.

The one cool promdress is courtesy of one of my daughter's friends, Ariel P.

Miss P. entered a prom dress design contest for the Mall of America on the spur of the moment after spending a lot of time looking for a suitable dress for her own spring formal. Her school is fairly strict about modest dresses - nothing Amish but nothing strapless, either - and she was having a hard time finding something she liked that wasn't sparkly or pink or orange. "Those must be the hot colors this year, " Ariel said, "but they weren't for me."

When she saw the contest written up in the newspaper, she decided to give it some thought. Now, Ariel mentioned this is where her math homework came in handy. It turns out she had several designs already doodled - she meant designed - in the margins of her math notebook. After a little studying for calculus, she found the perfect drawing in her notes.

She spent a few hours working out the details and sketched it out over her lunchhours. Despite all that hard work, she decided to enter her drawing at the last minute. According to Ariel, it was really a matter of thought. "I really knew what I would want in a dress and even what the colors were," she said.

Now, however, out of the field of over 200 designs, she is one of six finalists and one of two students in the contest. The winner gets her dress made by Mary L. Couture at Bloomingdale's for Prom 2008.

Since she became one of the finalists, Ariel's already busy days (she's a good student, organized a Latin Club, rows for the Saint Paul Juniors Rowing Team and is learning the bagpipe) includes her first really big sewing project. She has to produce a size 6 model of the dress for display at the Mall of America. As of right now, she says, she's doomed to spend more of her time ironing than sewing.

Front and back views of Ariel's dress.

Can she pull it off? Well, it's really a matter of public opion. A la "American Idol," Ariel's chance at fame involves readers stepping up and voting for her dress at :

The Mall of America Prom Dress Design Contest.

You can vote more than once but only once a day. And you check on how her dress is doing in the contest.

As for her own Spring Formal, Ariel is planning on wearing another dress, made with her mom and using pattern she bought at JoAnn Fabrics. A simple purple -pink fabric. And no glitter!

(Those giveaways? The Saturday Seven? It's amazing what you can find when you work your way down to the bottom of the ironing pile. Out the door -

two tablecloths, one old polo shirt, three skirts and a pair of jeans.)

And a partridge in a pear tree.

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