Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banana Upside Down Cake

I've taken banana bread just about as far as it can go with David Lebovitz's Banana Upside Down Cake. It's wonderful.

I've been thinking about old Victorian homes that come with linen closets and butler's pantries and broom closets. There have been several great articles in Martha on making your own hidden storage - a craft space from two bookcases and an office in an armoire. I like this "origami living" style.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I am frogging my unworn sweaters. It is easier to imagine new projects for old yarn when it is in skeins. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Linen leaf

This leaf is knit in Louet's worsted weight linen. I'm really over knitting leaves now. I am feeling quite smug reknitting schlumpy projects. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Felted leaf

This is the leaf pattern in wool leftover from the rug project. It came out of the washer a little ruffly, and then I ironed it flat. With some fiddling I think I could felt it into a dish for keys or a place for scissors and needles and button stuff - can you see that?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Central Park Hoodie again

I wore my Central Park Hoodie twice and then lost it in the hallway because it is too schlumpy. The wool is Rowan's Scottish Tweed in indigo and it is beautiful, too beautiful to be lost in the hallway. I have unravelled the buttons bands and the hood and taken it apart. I think I can get away with simply re-knitting the back slightly smaller and then putting it all back together. No un-wearable sweaters and no un-usable stash!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Truffle Hunter

There is a page in The Truffle Hunter where a domesticated pig discovers a cave filled with paintings of her ancestors on the walls. I'm going to use the pig and warthog patterns from Knitted Toys to make some of the characters. I would love to wrap it in brown paper covered in pastel cave paintings.

I've been thinking a lot about last weekend's New York Times article on happiness. Even more interesting was the FT's article about the French commission re-evaluating what data determine their GDP. I keep hearing a quote from the commission head Professor Stiglitz, "What we measure affects what we do." 

That quote would make a great gift - engraved on a big metal tape measure or painted on a tiny sewing tape measure. It would make a wonderful Arts and Crafts mantel motto - a still life of old rulers and yard sticks and a huge wooden compass thingy and a clock would be so beautiful with the quote carved in wood or painted on tile - what (and how) we measure affects what we do!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nigel Cabourn

There was an article in the NYTimes Magazine on Nigel Cabourn. A lot of people know the menswear designer for his 2003 collection when he recreated some of the clothing worn on Sir Edmund Hillary's Everest expedition. One piece is based on a photo of an explorer wearing his sweater inside-out and backwards. I like this year's collection based on a 1924 expedition. The original clothing, pictured in photo, was a mixture of military and hiking pieces. Cabourn's web site is beautiful with special collections and inspiration photos. I was thinking of Teva Durham's vest and how that would look in a tweedy yarn with a funky wool lining. Give me microfiber with a good dose of tweed!

Monday, September 14, 2009


New York reader Hyacinth has asked for bookmark ideas: "Sometimes, when I can't find one, I just crochet about forty or fifty stitches and call it a bookmark. But headed to The Strand tomorrow and know I won't come home with less than an armload. Any ideas?"
As soon as you mentioned crochet, I thought of the bibelot Cristina made last year, pictured above. She adds mini granny squares and beads to her crochet chain. There is also ribbon embroidered or written on with Sharpie, leather scraps cut into rectangles and decorated with little hole punches, dried flowers encased in organza. In the two dimensional realm, my favorite bookmarks are photos and postcards that usually sit in drawers or envelopes marked scrapbook. If it's a flimsy sort of ticket stub, bus transfer, deli number thing, why not laminate it at a kinkos place or stick it between two sheets of clear contact paper, or iron it between two pieces of wax paper - leaves are nice this way. I like old newspaper clippings preserved this way. Let me know what you come up with.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Eunice socks

This is the Eunice sock from Cookie A's Sock Innovation. Dream in Color's Smooshy yarn is my favorite right now for socks. I love this time of year. I make all kinds of plans for Christmas knitting about now.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cotton Leaf Rag

I've been very happy knitting these dish rags in all colors of green and a few demure ombre colorways. I knit one in wool and felted it. Knit it in linen or hemp and call it a washcloth. I typed up a pattern for these. It's all done with short rows. If you're not familiar with this technique, you'll need to look it up or sit down with someone who can show it to you. You'll quickly see that it's just a starting point. You can alter the leaf shape with your own decreases and increases. To download the pattern, click on the Cotton Leaf Rag link in the upper right hand corner of the blog here under Patterns.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Design as Art

I am very excited about the mobiles in Bruno Munari's Design as Art

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cuts of Cloth

Welcome to September. Have you bought your pencils and notebooks? This year I'm ordering leads for all my vintage mechanical pencils and using sketch books. I'm also going to wear artsy ensembles inspired by this book. Cuts of Cloth by Ann Wiseman is a collection of simple and ancient ideas for making your own clothes.

Why not crochet a simple silk "yoke" and sew yourself a Cleopatra gown?