Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Summer in September

tomatoes from a friend's garden
 + string cheese coins
 + salt & freshly ground black pepper 
+ homemade salad dressing
= summer

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A photo from a friend,
three yards of cotton jersey beckoning to become something,
 and a snippet of a poem that kept echoing in my head
have somehow become the beginnings of a dress.

Lo! the most excellent sun, so calm and haughty;
The violet and purple morn, with just-felt breezes;
The gentle, soft-born, measureless light;
The miracle, spreading, bathing all—the fulfill’d noon;
The coming eve, delicious—the welcome night, and the stars,
Over my cities shining all, enveloping man and land.
-Walt Whitman
"When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd" 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yarn Along: Gothic Romance

When Northanger Abbey arrived from Netflix, I watched it immediately.  Pete came in just as it was ending and, once the credits rolled, said, "That was nice.  Now let's start at the beginning."  This is why I love him.
All the mentions of the scandalous novel The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliff made me curious.  I decided to give it a try and downloaded the free Librivox audiobook.
But what to knit during this bleak tale?  
A purpley-black stocking cap, obviously. It is just tragic enough.
I'm running out of yarn though...

Stripes it is, then!

Join our Yarn Along at small things!


After I made Juliana an Alabama Studio Style dress, I was hooked.  Yet it seemed like every time it occurred to me to share my latest versions with you, they were in the hamper because I wear them nearly every week.
 This one is a by-the-book tank dress in red cotton jersey.  While I'm really proud of it, I've found it's not as versatile as I thought it would be.  You see, I live down the road from a monastery.  Whenever I wear my red dress, there will most likely be a monk somewhere in the vicinity.  That means I usually toss on a sweater to cover up all my hard work.
I was so inspired by Anna of Pleasant View Schoolhouse's adjustments to the pattern.  (See them here and here.)  She raised the neckline, lowered the hem, and added sleeves!  It blew my mind.  She just used the sleeve pattern from a different dress and simply tacked them on to her dress.  I started hunting for a pattern for anything with sleeves meant for cotton jersey.  Once I found it, I set to work.
 This is the dress I made for myself out of the purple jersey PB brought me when she came to visit.  We cut our purple dresses out together, and I lengthened mine by four inches, cut the neckline an inch higher, and borrowed some of her scraps to make my sleeves.  (Since then, I've learned to economize whilst cutting...)
So there you go!  It feels good to be the boss of my sewing!

Monday, September 12, 2011

 I suddenly had a hankering for Maeve Binchy's slice-of-Irish-life novels, so I checked these two out of the library and immersed myself in Dublin.

They were lovely and absorbing, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to read next. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yarn Along: Guernsey

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows inspired my knitting this week.  This book is entirely composed of letters between a writer named Juliet and the people of Guernsey, a small island off the coast of England that the Germans occupied during WWII.  The book club they formed during the war gave them the strength to get through it.
This video of one of the authors, Annie Barrows, is a great introduction to the novel.
As for the knitting, I decided to begin a guernsey (or gansey) sweater for Pete.  These sweaters originated in the very island the book describes.  These garments were ideal for the fishermen of Guernsey because wool naturally repells the sea spray and keeps the wearer warm even when wet.  Many have elaborate cable patterns that are passed down from generation to generation.  I chose to make a plain stockinette sweater because of Pete's preference for simpler clothing.
My beginning here is an Elizabeth Zimmermann-esque swatch cap.  I've always slogged through swatches, but knowing that this will be a functional piece has kept me going.

Join our Yarn Along at small things!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011