Monday, August 25, 2008

the Fiber Revival and cutworms

Gorgeous weather followed by this summer's hallmark, a thunderstorm, did not ruin the festivities at the Fiber Revival last weekend. There were encampments of spinners and pods of knitters. Why are spinners so sociable? Where there is one, there is always many spinners. I don't spin (how many hobbies can one person have?), but I'm envious of their flocking instincts.


The lace workshop with Alison Green Will, that I took at the Revival, was fabulous. I feel like I should seek out more classes with her. She teaches at A Loom With a View in Newburyport, which will be my next yarny jaunt. I very proudly managed to squeeze out a little triangle of lace during the class, and am left wondering what the rate of blindness is for laceworkers.

There was an amusingly pushy turkey strutting his stuff at the Fiber Revial. I had to take my lunch elsewhere in fear of being continually ruffled at.


Cutworms have been eating our tomato plants. They are horrible, disgusting, giant (4 inches in length), fleshy caterpillars who could eat an entire tomato plant in a day or two. This adds insult to injury in a year that has been very bad for the tomatoes in our driveway garden. The kids fed the vile creatures to the ants.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Camping in the rain

The conditions could not have been worse, it poured and poured. If it wasn't for our little camp stove and bug shelter our trip would have been sunk. The kids didn't notice how dreadful it was because roasted marshallows obliterate all other thoughts. Pillsbury State Park was lovely though, remote, beautiful, and empty. During a short hike we found 93 salamanders.

camping mosaic

Below is one of the five rainless minutes. I've started working on Drops Pleated jacket which I'm modifying to look more like Hanne Falkenberg's Mermaid. My yarn, Decadent Fibers Marshmallow in Sorbet colorway, is a bit thicker so this may be a fool's mission.


On the way home we stopped at The Fiber Studio. Boy Thing made a beeline for a loom as usual. What a lovely shop, I wish I could go there every day and breathe in yarny goodness.


The kids both picked up Prym knitting dollies and yarn at The Fiber Studio. When an 8 year-old and a 5 year-old can both master the same craft and the car is quiet, it's a good thing.


Friday, August 8, 2008

how cool is this dress?

Punk chic, devil-may-care, and just freaking gorgeous. This dress is by Rodarte and the page is from the Fashion Rocks supplement to the Fall 08 Architectural Digest.


Here is a detail. I love the colors, stripes, dropped stitches that form the vertical stripes on the skirt, the loose knitting, the improvisational distressed feel, and well... just everything. Would I look silly wearing it? Probably.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

bessie has a new top

Bessie seems to keep acquiring new summer tops, even though there is a whiff of autumn in the air. This one is a knockoff of a commercial garment that I love. I traced it off onto some muslin and used a nice batik fabric that I had to stitch it up. The fascination is that it is such a simple garment, no facings, buttons, or zippers. This one is meant to be a prototype, but I like it just as it is.


There is one fancy little detail to belie this top's simplicity, French seams. French seams are just the bomb in how clean they look, and it was actually easier than using the serger to do them. This works best on straight seams on lightweight fabrics. To do French seams, assuming that you have the standard 5/8" seam allowance: place the wrong sides of the garment together and stitch a 3/8" seam. Trim close to the stitching and turn the garment so that the right sides are together, press at the seam. Stitch a 1/4" away from the pressed egde, which will magically conceal all the raw edges and be oh so lovely.


Seashells collected on a vacation to Edisto Beach, SC and string from the hardware store, gather the neckline. The neckline and the armholes are finished with bias binding.


I framed and hung three watercolors that I did two years ago. Hopefully they will do what good postcards do and jog my memory, reminding me of the smell of the juniper bushes in the crisping sun on the Aegean coast of Turkey.


Below is my stash from the TKGA show in Manchester, NH where I spent the day with a friend in a delightful yarn haze. A couple of random balls of Noro, Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One, Norah Gaughan Woodland Gothic Vol.3 (I want to make Eastlake), Fanning the Flame Mittens pattern, stainless steel on a cone from Habu, and 2 skeins of off-white Jojoland cashmere to knit the Russian Lace Scarf in the Piecework purchased from Galina Khmeleva herself (designer of the scarf).