Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dress up

On Halloween the two best houses to visit in our neighborhood were the real haunted house up the street and Mrs. Cushing's house two doors down. Mrs. Cushing set her diningroom table with candles and silver platters of full size candy bars and a guest book that everyone signed.

I think her house is the only home where I've signed a guest book. Mostly you see them in politicians' offices, fancy shops, and funeral homes. My Mom inherited the book before Mrs. Cushing passed away, and now children can look up the names of their parents in its pages. If you're on Plant Avenue tonight, stop by.

Rach, we look like bag ladies but Kate has a cone hat! Somebody get Mom to recall the theme here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Robin and curry

The eggplant could have used a LOT more garlic. Tonight we're trying chicken curry. I want to scan this little bird and make an iron-on for a quilt patch. I want to embroider a little rhyme around him. He would also look good on a tee-shirt.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Persephone Fiannually

My Persephone arrived today! And inside, there's a plug for Yarnstorm's new book - which is nice, because I think it was Yarnstorm through Kay who got me hooked on this publisher and all their books. There's news that there will be a movie version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day starring Frances McDormand!

But here's the thing: you don't even have to like to read to enjoy Persephone, because the art - the endpapers, the illustrations, the bookmarks, are all so incredible! See the lady above knitting on "The Felixstowe to Ipswich Couch"? See that lady to the left? I bet I could copy her because her nose is not that defined!

The woman in the portrait to the right is wearing a blouse that looks suspiciously like my Nani Iro fabric! A shawl color would drape nicely out of that double-gauze and I could cover my lack of ability to make button holes with a double placket thingy!

There's a picture of Virginia Woolf's bedroom, and a swatch of Duncan Grant's fabric that Laura Ashley re-did a long time ago. It goes on and on. Almost as good as an issue of World of Interiors.

Eggplant, it's what's for dinner

Well crockpot cookers, I'm throwing some eggplant and olive oil and garlic in the pot. It's slow-cooked eggplant and slow-knitted Damask.

Those slippers Cristina made for Kay have me paging through my Denyse Schmidt book (have you see the photos of her house over at Design*Sponge?) and all I can think is: heating pad covers and oven mitts!

Extravagant gift idea: Crockpot filled with spice grinder, whole spices, The Gourmet Slow Cooker, and two Denyse Schmidt oven mitts.

The retro version would include old copies of Good Housekeeping magazines with crockpot recipes and a tulle apron with plastic pointsettas glued to it. I have that magazine somewhere and I swear there's a picture of a raw steak on the cover.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Synchronized sewing

We've got both the machines going today. There's a crew on the floor beside us painting a silver jet. It's the weekend before Halloween, but I'm not sewing a costume. I'm catching up on those Nani Iro bedspreads. Wouldn't some quilted Nani Iro be wonderful for robes? Reversible Nani Iro smoking jackets? kimonos?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hunters' Moon

Around the time of the full moon, I open the doors of my armoire wide and let the bright moonlight shine on all my projects. It's a nice time to put away those things that aren't working and pull out some swatches that deserve a chance.

I'm also still thinking about the knitted rugby sweaters in Sheeps in Wolves Clothing and the beautiful robes by Lucinda Guy. I'm going to throw both ideas into the runcible bin with Finding Neverland and Nanny McPhee and see what happens.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Damask steeks

I've finally knit 8.5 inches and cut open the arm steeks. My gauge is so tight. I need to add 2 inches below each arm. That's not quite enough to keep the pattern continuous. Maybe I'll add more stitches and drop down a needle size. I have to think about how I'll finagle this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Winter issues

This is a mint birthday cake covered with turtles and graham cracker sand. It's a nice reminder to treat all projects as though you were 5.

My knitting has been "wearing grouchy pants" as they say around here. Nothing is working out well.

Have you looked over the new Vogue Knitting? I liked Meg Swansen's article on guernsey knitting, but I didn't see anything I'd like to knit. I peeked over at the coming issue of Interweave Knits and felt the same.

This late October warm weather has me thinking the house needs a makeover before we settle in to Fall. I've got this crazy DIY chip on my shoulder.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Olive pit bowls and a slow cooker

I am busy perfecting olive pit bowls and reading The Gourmet Slow Cooker. I want to be one of those people who has an incredible meal waiting for them in the slow cooker! Right now I am making rice pudding. Tomorrow? applesauce! I'm working my way up to chicken curry. By then I should be able to manage some large shallow bowls to serve it in.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Get out the folding chairs

Just yesterday I was wishing we had more chairs, and this morning on the way to get pastry we spied an estate sale sign! What treasures!

I had just paid for a Pith helmet when I saw this chair folded up in the basement, but I was $10 short. I asked the lady to hold it while I ran through the house calling, "Mom, Mom! lend me 10 bucks!"

Then I folded it up and carried it home. What a day!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Holiday Knits Gansey

I've been taking out the Fall sweaters and making plans to lengthen them for another year of wear. This is the gansey from Holiday Knits with a little modification in the shoulders. I love this color of Silky Wool.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Damask and Aunt Beast

I took Damask off the needles to see where my gauge went. We are planning i-cord tentacles for Aunt Beast from Madeleine L'Engle's Wrinkle in Time. Of course, silky i-cord leads me to thoughts of eye pillows and tiny gray Aunt Beasts. It would be more perfect if she were incredibly large and could actually hold you in two of her four arms - but a little bit scary waiting for you on the couch!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Renaissance apartment courtyards

The camera's on a business trip, so I've dug out this photo of a Renaissance apartment building courtyard which we ducked in to see in Vienna this summer. It's raining here today. I like to imagine Vienna in the rain on a day like this.

Beautiful restored yellow stucco and stone pillars are a nice idea for Brandon Mably's St. Mark's sweater pattern. I was thinking of dusty pastel pinks, but yellow stucco and stone would be good too.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Charleston firescreen or Parrot in the City

I've been reading Kaffe Fassett's new book and the pictures of Charleston reminded me I have this mini firescreen all ready to become part of a pillow or book cover. There is a picture of the original in Melinda Coss's book Bloomsbury Needlepoint. It's an odd piece. My children think it is a parrot in the city.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cat Bordhi socks

I knit these baby socks last March at Cat Bordhi's workshop based on her new sock book: New Pathways for Sock Knitters. It's hard to see the detail on this red yarn in the photograph; they are lovely.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Under the housetop

I knit this version of Sue Willie Seltzer's Housetop - nine-block Half-Log Cabin variation from The Quilts of Gee's Bend a while ago. I was inspired by Kay's knitted quilt.

We have been using it this week in the afternoons because it's been so chilly. It's so nice laying across a bed, spread on the floor, folded into a single mitered square on a chair.

It is missing one turquoise square - my way of keeping it "unfinished" so I don't have to mail it off to my sister. I may knit one more miter and attach it to the back of the middle square bottom row so that the whole thing can be folded into a pillow case.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One-armed shrug

Listening to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe readers today I finished one arm of the Hempathy shrug, but I am still thinking of Frog and Toad knitting. I cannot find any Toad silk.

I have also been thinking that the heating pad would benefit from a Brandon Mably Doge's Palace cover from Knitting Color. I would make it dark and raining like that scene in The Historian where Dracula eavesdrops from a nearby cafe table.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Damask and pottery

Last week I glazed these two unclaimed bowls from the summer semester. I had nothing of my own ready for glazing. I wasn't even really interested in glazing, I just dunked them a few times and put them on the shelf! But I love them! I'm sure I'll never be able to duplicate this; it only happens when you're not looking and don't care. The Damask pattern is coming along slowly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Toad eye mask

World of Knitted Toys does not have the toad pattern I'm looking for. He must be just like Toad, but knit from something silky and filled with flaxseed and lavender like Kim Hamlin's eye mask in Handknit Holidays. He will have i-cord legs and embroidered eyes.

Wouldn't it look funny to see someone resting with Toad in his swimsuit across their face? I would also like a cat knit from merino that hangs around your shoulders with a flaxseed pillow insert you can warm.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rugby Cats

"It wasn't like their game of rugby but the cats thought it was more fun. The wolves did not like it at all."

Sheep in Wolves Clothing by Satoshi Kitamura
The Damask Flowers continue, but the cats' rugby shirts have me thinking of little knitted sweaters perhaps with one mis-matched stripe like this guy's at the Sartorialist.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Damask Flower vest

Tired of rassling with the bulky yarn, I've casted on some felted tweed and silky wool for Kaffe's Damask Flower pattern. I see in his new book he does a giganto version as a wrap.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Anne Boleyn discontinued

The shoulders and arms were beginning to look more like Henry VIII than Anne Boleyn and you know how that ended. This sweater is a lot like pottery class - it just keeps flying off the wheel. I patiently gather up my wool/clay and start again! It has occurred to me that sweaters like bowls are more trouble than nice flat blankets and tiles.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

First Wednesday Homesick Drill

At noon they tested the emergency sirens and like every month, it reminds me of the tornado sirens in St. Louis. This month is the tenth anniversary of the City Museum. Pictured above is a portion of the outdoor playground. Hey Eleni, they're putting a vintage clothing store on the fourth floor! The best part is the Enchanted Caves, beautiful by candlelight.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A maze for small cars

This is a wonderful knitted blanket from Wooly Thoughts' pattern booklet Maisie's Mazes. Being made of hearty Rowan Harris Tweed and Yorkshire Tweed 4ply, it is a sturdy play mat and quiet time cozy; although, it has seen a lot more driving than napping. I love this small blanket laying out on the floor or folded up on a chair - it is beautiful in action and at rest.

Monday, October 1, 2007

This just in

My friend Penelope just let me know Lion Brand Yarn has published a pattern called Cable Luxe Tunic which is very similar to our well-loved Pringle. It's made with Wool-ease which is a much lighter yarn than the chunky you see in magazine photos of the original Pringle. I think this is much more "wearable" with the large cable sitting a little higher around the shoulders.

World of Interiors review

My favorite knitting, painting, quilting, potting magazine rolled into one - the October issue of The World of Interiors is out.

For knitting - this fishy fabric on the left called "En Rangs Serres" by Nobilis has struck me as a wonderful sweater idea for my little chum - a semi-solid black background with blue and silvery white intarsia sardines? whales? swimming round and round.

I don't know whether to Fair Isle knit these next two around a vest or hand stamp some fabric: Peter Fasano's chunky "Martini"and Galbraith & Paul's kiwi "Mountains" fabrics.

In painting - This rainy backdrop painted by Annie Millar has struck me as the perfect wall mural for a long hallway on the North side of the house.

And for the ceramicist - tiles by the artist Guidette Carbonell based on her daughters' bird drawings decorate her bathroom in Beauce.

Anne Boleyn inching along