We have scraped 100 years of wallpaper from the bedroom walls and found the plaster beneath pink and a little vulnerable. I've been feeling very Jude the Obscure about the walls. Remember when he gets to Oxford and wanders around pressing himself against the stone walls? I took a break from scrubbing the paste and filth off to remove the door hardware and simmer it in a baking soda solution - instant transformation! They only needed a little salt and vinnegar, not too much, I don't want them to look new!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Posted by Mrs. Lear at 9:54 AM
Monday, May 16, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
For those interested, Denyse Schmidt's pattern is in her book Denyse Schmidt Quilts. I used her suggested fabric color palette and chose worsted weight yarn from Harrisville Designs. I blew up her template to 10" and used it for my blocks. They are knit point to point just like the ones from the Community Afghan in Handknit Holidays. I threw in short rows where needed. The Harrisville yarn blocks beautifully which is wonderful since my blocks are all wonky and different sizes.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This is my next blanket project - a knitted version of Denyse Schmidt's Any Way You Slice It quilt. I am obsessed with this pattern. I am putting together a cafe curtain in this design using muslin and linen in creams and whites. I am thinking of doing one out of paper to cover the transom in the kitchen now that the morning sun is so bright at breakfast.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Counting Pane by Wooly Thoughts just needs two borders and it's done but it has already gotten a lot of use. We've had a lot of discussions about the patterns that are visible when integers are represented by color. We used the colors of the Montessori bead chains so red, the color of ones is dominant and contrasts with green, the color of twos.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Have you seen National Geographic's article on the camera obscura photography of Abelardo Morell? They posted directions on their site and so I taped some black plastic bags over my window and punched a small hole through them - what do you know? - my neighbor's home is reflected onto the opposite wall! This is very addictive. I've been contemplating making some quilted shades for our south-facing windows to keep the Summer heat out. Imagine if I make one for the bathroom window, and I include a 1cm wide grommet in the center. The trees outside will be reflected onto the shower wall! And the back bedroom! Our garden will be reflected against the closet doors!
Are you curious? Go see Morell's photos!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Desperate for some evening entertainment, I've been watching 1930s movies - for the clothes, the banter, the cars, the nightclubs, the crowd scenes of hundreds of hats and heels and suits and gowns driving big steel cars and ordering drinks for the table.
Posted by Mrs. Lear at 9:39 PM
Monday, March 7, 2011
Old picnic tins are great for organizing large blanket projects like our current "Counting Pane" from Wooly Thoughts. Inside we have yarn and three sets of needles. On the lid we keep scissors and darning needles and a picture of the blanket. We are using the same colors as the Montessori bead chains.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
I made this second Birch mitten more like the original in the picture. I love the woven single strand of white all up the cuff to mimick the trunks of birch trees. Next time I'm going to continue the weaving to the end of the cuff. I am eager to block these and embroider the bark with black yarn.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I took that medium-sized metal pitcher for frothing milk that used to sit on the espresso machine and I filled it with chunks of beeswax and set it in a simmering pan of water. While the wax melted I cut some wicks and stuck them in the bottom of some votives, a small pot and a cookie cutter on a piece of foil. I poured the wax in and steadied the wicks with toothpicks. Fifteen minutes, 6 candles! I need to read about candle-making. Any suggestions?
Monday, February 14, 2011
I'm mixing up some Valentines gifts here in the kitchen today - brewing some hair rinse and sewing some herbal sachets from leftover muslin. I may even serve hot chocolate this afternoon with heart-shaped marshmallows. I just saw the recipe on Martha's site requiring only a marshmallow and a cookie cutter!
Posted by Mrs. Lear at 1:20 PM
Friday, February 11, 2011
I have finished one Devon sock from Cookie A's Sock Innovation. I'm using Socrates which is an alpaca sock yarn. I'm looking for a great sock yarn - sproingy, wool with a little nylon, nice solids or semi-solids, a lot of yardage. I am thinking again of dyeing some of my own using those fancy food coloring gels.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Belinda over at True Brit Knits recently put her pattern for these Charleston cushions up for sale. The green and pink version in the back there has me hooked. The originals are knit in sock yarn, but I am thinking of using a heavier weight and using some chenille for the pink bits.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I made the Totoro mittens in good old Cascade 220 for a quick worsted weight mitten needed for a snow trip. After reading Anna Zilboorg's introduction to Magnificent Mittens I became addicted to the idea of lining mittens in angora.
"Since you're putting so much labor and love into them anyway, and they'll be so beautiful, you might as well use the best lining material. This is either angora or alpaca or even kid mohair...All these are worked up loosely, so the lining doesn't take forever to do...With time the lining felts into the mitten a bit making them virtually waterproof and windproof."
Something happens inside your head when you puick up a wool mitten and then slip your hand inside and feel angora on the inside. I do not know the scientific term but it feels like ahhhhh.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
"I soon lost interest in following the strict geometrical patterns of traditional Latvian etnographic designs and wanted to make something more complicated and original. When knitting those traditional designs I was only moving my fingers. I couldn't knit myself into them."
Posted by Mrs. Lear at 12:38 PM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I meant to take a beautiful close up of these white chocolate rice crispie treats, but I only managed to snap a shot of this little pinch of a piece. This is David Lebovitz's famous white chocolate and candied peanut rice krispie recipe. He managed to take a wonderful photograph before they were gobbled up. I was brave and managed to make my own candied peanuts as well! No pots or utensils were harmed in this process!
Friday, November 12, 2010
This photo of a Brunello Cucinelli beaded knitted capelet from today's Financial Times has me thinking I need to knit something similar. I have been working through my stash, my pottery, my books, my clothes - a long drawn out clean out. I will root through the remains this weekend.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
This Fall I am thin-skinned. I strive to be 'even-tempered, prudent and resolute' and so I am reading Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf with Tolkien's essays. The introduction alone is wonderful. I am also paging through my old favorites in the housekeeping and parenting category, but I am haunted by images of swimming in chainmail and magic swords that are powerless against monsters, and Grendel's patchwork pouch of dragonskin. Perhaps you have some interesting leftover skeins of metallic this and that that could be swatched up into all the stitch patterns resembling scales? Then you could wear your pouch 'intracately strung and hung at the ready' for marauding farmers' markets!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This page of wire carry-alls from a recent Real Simple got me thinking about knitting string bags with wire! I have been seeing a version in my head that looks like tinsel and shredded pink tissue. I'm sure there are multiple possibilities over at Habu.