Wednesday, May 31, 2006
She removes the pages, leaving the front cover, back cover and spine. This serves as the framework of the purse. A coordinated lining, closure, and funky handles are the finishing touches. Voila! Cute and unique--what a cool idea!
She also sells The Naughty Bits, small pins made from phrases cut out of trashy novels. Hilarious! I bought one saying "inexplicably entranced", but many were a good bit naughtier. I'm now wishing I had bought several to wear together, and I may yet.
We had fun talking to Caitlin. I told her I have a journal made from a vintage book and she said, "Me too!" and whipped out her own journal from Ex Libris Anonymous.
A book-lover who finds a way to turn it all into art--my kind of lady.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
The only official-type DC tourist thing we did was to visit the Renwick Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian complex. It's situated directly across the street from the White House, and was featuring an exhibit on Grant Wood, which was full of unexpected irony. Mr. Wood was a sly fellow.
We had hoped to get into the Capitol with a Peace Corps friend of Caroline's who works there, but there had been an "incident" that day and the place was in total lockdown. Just our luck. Maybe next time.
We spent a day walking the Eastern Market area of the city. There was a great flea market, with gorgeous Asian jewelry, African artifacts, antiques, and other curiosities. I could have spent some very serious money if I hadn't been limited by what would fit in a carry-on. We also spent retail therapy time in Georgetown. But what I enjoy most is eating and on trips I try to make a point to eat ethnic and as varied as possible. Lucky for me, Caroline is securely on the same wavelength. I think we did pretty well--We hit Burmese, Japanese, Mexican, Salvadorian, and Lebanese restaurants. All were fabulous.
I had hoped to visit Stitch DC. But, drat, it was Memorial Day and the Georgetown location had a polite sign in the window announcing that they were closed for the holiday. Stitch DC is definitely on the list for the next trip out there.
Arrrrgh. I have more pictures to include but Blogger is being balky.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Plus the colors were so yummy and lustrous,they kept me going.
The reason why I better include the knitting content today is that I am now a fully-vested (heh) member of the Knitting Bloggers' Webring. And that took some time. The graphic has been down there on the right for awhile, but today it's official.
I'm leaving tomorrow for a long weekend with my daughter in Washington, D.C. I hope to really see the city this time, explore some neighborhoods, try out some cool restaurants, do some shopping (she promises a yarn shop or two) and in general, get to be a part of her world for a few days. I'm missing a quilt retreat in Mineral Point this weekend but given the choice, it's no contest at all.
Back next week!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Last summer we were adopted by a pair of sandhill cranes. They would arrive every morning and nose around the yard till early evening. Then, with a lot of flapping and honking, they'd leave, to return again the next morning. They showed up nearly every day from mid-July to mid-September. We set out pie pans full of cracked corn, and eventually lured them right up close to the house to partake. All the better to see them. And all the better to see US--they would actually sidle up and look in the windows if the corn dish was empty. There was a bit of a sense of entitlement by summer's end...
All winter we wondered if they'd be back this year. Well, this morning, they have returned in all their raucousness. They stayed just a little while before flapping away amid a lot of honking. I ran out with a big pan of corn, hoping it will be another Summer of the Cranes.
In sock news, there is flapping and honking on the Jaywalker front also. I discovered an error--a HOLE--about an inch back. Slacker than I am, I was figuring on how to disguise it when I realized that I was off track in at least two other ways. There was nothing to be done but take out the needles and rip. Two hours later, with my head pounding and with my mental state in tatters, I had the stitches back on the needles. I think I'm on track once again.
Things happen for a reason: there will be no lack of knitting to do on my trip this weekend.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I seem to be the only in the house who likes it anyway. All the more for me!
Tonight, I blanched and packaged nearly four pounds for freezing and much more is yet to come.
For the most part, my garden is a sad and pathetically neglected patch, but at this time of year, I could almost consider myself a gardener.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
I wish I could say the concept of the iPod refection photo is original but there is a Flickr group for this, with far cooler things reflected in iPods than my humble knitting project sitting on a table in Wisconsin.
And I've turned the heel on the first Jaywalker. I'm amazed how quickly this sock goes, considering I spent--what?--FIVE MONTHS--on the Trekking ones. I'm doing some real travel in the coming week and maybe will get the pair finished in the forseeable future. This is warp speed for me.
Of course, it can be pointed out that NO sewing is getting done, but I have an excuse. I had some eye surgery a couple weeks back, and the vision is not quite up to the demands of applique, which is where I am with the Ephemera quilt. Hoping to get back to that once I have new glasses, maybe in June.
My FrontPage/Photoshop class was great. Now I just have to carve out some slivers of time to actually use what I've learned. And that's how this stuff gets done, at least at our library. A major overhaul of the library website is overdue, but that will be a big job, accomplished in tiny bits, over some months.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
One woman there was rolling her eyes at the great distance she had driven--twenty five miles. I clocked my mileage on the way back--just about an even forty miles. So that's eighty miles on the day. Lots of NPR time. Lots of gas.
I have to attend an all-day web design class tomorrow. That should be great, and I'm looking forward to it in a big way. But still, more regular work gets left to pile up.
But it's fiber content that makes the world go around, isn't it? I've been working on the Jaywalker--it does make up quickly. But there have been screwups along the way. Last night I nearly threw in the towel and ripped out the whole thing to start fresh. But amazingly enough, I found the error of my ways and got back on track. One thing I've learned about knitting is that the un-knitting is often nearly as instructive as the actual progress on a project. And that was the case here.
And it's not just the lighting here--there is a swath of a pastel pink that runs through this sock. Working with this type of yarn IS embracing the serendipity.
The sun is out, the sky is blue... It's looking to be a day to quote Beatle songs. I'm off for my morning walk.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
With an entire day to be spent indoors, I decided to be saintly and do some cleaning and organizing. At 5 in the afternoon, I hadn't gotten any further than our bedroom and bath. It may not seem like much progress, but jeez, it took a whole day--I must have accomplished something. Please tell me I accomplished something...
All that was left in the evening was a little time to Jaywalk, and a little time spent starting Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. This book was highly recommended to me by one of our most interesting library patrons. When she recommends a book, I take note.
Happy Mother's Day to all of us fortunate enough to be moms.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
The yarn is Lorna's Laces, color called Somerset. I think this one was purchased at The Sow's Ear in Verona. Actually I remember it well--that was the day no one was supposed to let me buy any more sock yarn. Yeah, well you know how that one goes...
We'll see how this works out. Looks like the colors are wanting to spiral around the sock. And with as many Readers' Galleries of Jaywalkers that I've looked at, I don't know if I've ever seen any others with that innovation. This could be a marvelous twist, parden the pun, or it could be a big roadsign saying, STOP!! We'll see.
Looks like it will move along fairly speedily. For me. I don't know about some of these people who whip out a pair in a weekend. They must either put in a lot of couch time or else they're making them on size 6 needles. Look for these to complete for me by about September or so.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
After being gone for several days, I had a fair amount of loose ends to deal with, but I had to drop everything and drive to Waukesha at mid-day for a meeting on proposed major changes to our Interlibrary Loan set-up. I've been to some presentations on this project before and like what I'm seeing but have absolutely no part in the decision-making process. I just wish the decision makers would get on with it, but things like this move slowly. Large amounts of money are involved, as well as county government, whose wheels don't turn in a speedy manner. Part of the state is using our present system and part is using the new, and it makes for a good deal of cumbersome-ness for the faceless drones like me.
Back at our library after the meeting, I was eager and prepared to dig in, and then all our power went out. It was a dark and murky day, and the decision was made to kick out all the patrons and close because we couldn't see to do anything. Talk about loose ends hanging! This upcoming should be an interesting day.
The power outage was major, including my neighborhood. No power = no operating garage door opener. Very glad I finally have started carrying a house key. Otherwise I would have been doing the old break-in routine with a credit card. That's a skill I perfected when the kids were little and my son learned how to run home ahead of everyone else and lock us out.
Speaking of loose ends, thank god I do have one aspect of my life where loose ends can be tidied up neatly, the way loose ends ought to be tidied up....with a needle. Or maybe a crochet hook.
Ta Da! I have yet another finished project to show off. A pair of socks! I know the Knitting Curmudgeon describes knitting socks as "kleenex", as in fast and easily disposed-of projects, but I'm not quite that speedy. This pair has been underway since last fall's WLA conference in La Crosse. The pattern is Ann Norling's Basic Adult Socks. The yarn is Trekking XXL, 75% wool, 25% nylon, in color 100, purchased in La Crosse, at Linda Sherony's shop.
These socks are fraternal twins. My other striped sock projects have behaved nicely, and I've been able to catch a repeat so that the socks appear identical. When no repeat had shown up after the first sock was completed, I had no choice but to plunge into the second sock and let the chips fall where they may. One sock is brighter but perhaps that's sometimes the case with siblings?
And is it the sign of an ordered mind or a disordered one that I have a label from the yarn in the pile of flotsam on my desk??
Monday, May 08, 2006
This has been an absolutely stellar day to be off work and to have access to TCM on TV. I've been able to spend the bulk of the day sewing and wallowing in classic Hollywood. This morning TCM ran a documentary on pre-code Hollywood called "Complicated Women". I'd seen this one before but it definitely merited another viewing. This was followed by a documentary on Rita Hayworth, then one on Louise Brooks, then Clara Bow, and finally they turned up the real-life melodrama to the max with an hour on Lana Turner. Stellar is the word for it all, n'est pas?
The film on Louise Brooks was especially interesting--I hadn't known much about the details of her life beyond her fabulous hairdo, which would look edgy and stylish even today. She was another of the emancipated women of early Hollywood who eventually Paid and Paid Dearly for her choices. Very tragic but fun for wallowing. I think Hollywood of the twenties and thirties was WAAAAY more interesting than the Hollywood of today, but that's just my opinion.
OK--here comes the fiber content. Happy-happy!
Back in my days at the quilt-shop-and-Bernina-dealer-which-will-remain-nameless, I had the great good sense to purchase a pattern that over the years has been my best sewing friend ever. It's a tiered skirt pattern that was half-heartedly marketed by Bernina about a decade ago.
The illustration has absolutely no cachet or glamour whatsoever. These illustrations weren't even vaguely fashionable-looking in the mid-nineties either, when I bought the pattern. In fact, it's almost like they were trying to convince you NOT to buy it. It looks like something that would yield the look of "loving hands at home", as my favorite boss from my Display years used to put it. The sewer had to make use of all readily available imagination.
But take it from me, it's a GREAT pattern.
It would be absolutely no fun at all to make without a serger, involving as it does yards and yards and YARDS of gathering. But a serger with differential feed makes short work of it all, and it's even shorter work with a gathering attachment for the serger, which allows you to gather one edge of fabric and sew it to another piece of fabric which is not gathered. All in one operation.
My searches don't turn up any evidence that the pattern is still in print, which certainly shows poorer business acumen than I would have expected of Bernina. I have a lot of respect for Bernina, but they may have missed the boat on this one. And with all the tiered skirts showing up at stratospheric price points this spring?? I hope the pattern designers, Laurie Pat McWilliams and Chris James, know what a gem this is. And even more important, I hope they own the rights to it. But I bet they don't.
Anyway, last fall during Wildcat Week, I found a couple coordinating batik prints at Heartstrings Quilts and Fabrics in Eagle River, Wisconsin, and those fabrics have been earmarked for one of these skirts since the day I bought them.
Today was the day, and this great skirt represents ONE AFTERNOON'S work. Love it!
I now own EIGHT of these skirts. They work out especially nicely in a fabric with a bit of weight--two of mine are made of crinkled rayon which swings and moves with grace and an appealing swisssssh. But the real beauty part is that each succeeding tier is gathered onto the tier above, meaning that the tier at the top is not terribly full. For those of us with ample hips, all that lovely fullness is swinging at the bottom, and isn't adding anything to hipline girth.There is absolutely everything to love about all this. And the icing on the cake is that.....drum roll here..... it's a finished project.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I've reached the halfway point on the Kimono shawl. Love the drape and softness of the fabric. A good evening's knitting has been done while watching a Bette Davis documentary on TCM. Of course the lumps and bumps will disappear with blocking, but I like the depth and loft of this wool in the lace pattern.
I'll be offline for a few days while I tend to some personal matters. Back next week. With luck, there'll be progress on the fiber front to report.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Every year the state sends us a CD filled with themed images to use in our summer reading program materials. Tons of images; it's great. Don't know if it's a glitchy disc or what, but I'm having issues with Publisher just closing down on me when I insert images or try to save. A great deal of wheel spinning is going on and it's very frustrating. Our Children's Services person is wanting the brochures to hand out at an event this coming weekend and she's starting to breathe down my neck.
Today I'm going to start it all from scratch, with no images, and see if I can just get the darn thing together. I may end up having to work on it at home to get it finished this week. And that cuts further into my playtime...
Monday, May 01, 2006
I attended a small women's college in Milwaukee. It was 700 miles from where I grew up in Pennsylvania and when I arrived, it was the first time in my life I had ever been truly alone and on my own. Lucky for me--in my first days there I connected with a group of friends who've been one of the real bedrock constants of my life ever since.
Most of the group live nearby enough to meet for dinner occasionally, and we have done some travelling together. When these reunions come up, we all meet, do the required events at the school and then haul oursleves out of Dodge as quickly as possible, adjourn to some convivial place, and spend the rest of the weekend celebrating ourselves. That was pretty much the pattern of our college years too.
And so this weekend I did a bit of this:
And a WHOLE lot of this:
The upper photo has me with St. Aloyse Hessburg, SSND, longtime chair of the Fashion Design department at the college. She and I spent a LOT of quality time together way back when. Yes, there was a time when I planned to turn the world of fashion on its ear. I eventually left those dreams behind, although I can drape a pattern or draft one, hand overcast seam allowances, and insert underarm gussets with the best of them. Thanks to Sr. Aloyse, there is NOTHING in sewing that intimidates me.
The lower photo shows the general merriment level of the rest of the weekend, once we left the official part of the reunion.
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.