Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Luxury brand rice crispie treats

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

Beaded knitted capelet

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

Fish sweaters

Mr. Lear saw this little exhibit in the Southwest Airline terminal at LAX. The theme was non-functional clothing. In addition to the bog large fish, there were little minnows that had sweaters too.

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

Red shrug

This is the "silk" shrug from Erika Knight's Classic knit in Quince and Co.'s chicadee. I should make a bunch of these and some with long sleeves.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wire bags

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.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Parsley Snap Pea leaves

Nothing gets watered in our yard. The only thing that made it through the Summer was a recycle container on the back step filled with potting soil and a basil plant and some mint - I emptied the tea kettle into it whenever I thought of it. So I am planning a kitchen doorstep garden and trying out Quince and Co.'s Puffin yarn on large needles in the Cotton Leaf Rag pattern.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Old gold socks and "A Reverence for Wood"

This is Cookie A's Angee pattern from "Sock Innovation." I love this old gold color which I think is from Black Bunny Fibers. On Phila*craft's advice, I am reading Eric Sloane's "A Reverence for Wood" - old barns, eel traps, barrels and canoes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last days of summer

This wonderful raspberry souffle is really a neck warmer using Quince and Co.'s Osprey yarn. The pattern is from Reversible Knitting. I have finally settled into the new school year and need to take pictures of all my Summer knitting!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yarn bomb in my neighborhood

We were very excited to see a yarn bombing right here in our neighborhood! The Berkeleyside blog did a post here:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hands on with a hand axe

Late on a Friday we discovered the British Museum was celebrating the Italian Renaissance. Besides falconry, sword fighting and dancing, they had a table where you could hold a 350,000 year old hand axe. My hand fit perfectly! Have you been listening to the British Museum's 100 objects podcasts?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tea granita

A glass of tea granita with a chilled spoon really hits the spot when it's 105! I was inspired by the granita recipes in Jamie Oliver's British magazine. I steeped some tea in a sugar syrup for about four minutes and then froze it. When you need a treat, scratch the ice with a fork until you have a nice cup of tea. The magazine also had an ad for Aztec Duel, "the new garden game phenomenon for 2010," which makes our plain old ladder golf game sound so exotic!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tarkhan linen dress

This is the 5000 year old linen dress from the Petrie Museum. I would like to sew my own version as a tunic, maybe in that deep green from the Tube tile photo with light turquoise beads.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tube tile

This forest green and light turquoise tile is from the Green Park tube station. After cases and cases of Egyptian beads at the Petrie Museum I think I have been brainwashed to covet all kinds of dark green and turquoise color combinations.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The fountains of Lego

I love this outdoor fountain made of yellow legos. Legoland's miniature Europe has so many beautiful buildings, but I really love the boats and fountains. Throughout the park there were beautiful Lego doves tucked into eaves and trees. I think our garden at home will benefit from a Lego fountain and dove!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paint your kitchen on fire

I've thought about putting a mosaic above my stove or maybe a mirror. but now that I've seen this kitchen display in the Museum of London, I'm planning a soot and flame mural.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Handmade Modern" inspiration

This book is a mini introduction to many modern designers and contains DIY projects inspired by their styles. The bedside table with the stained cork board top would make a lovely table anywhere, especially if you painted a design on the cork! I like the idea of finding a table top and adding modern legs.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer cups

My small handle-less cups have dropped their T Brown coats and transformed themselves with green glazes for Summer drinks and wines. I'm enjoying the carving and need to explore other tools.

Hyacinth! You commented about a hanging garden in your city window and I must direct you to the Window Farms site. Please get going on some plant hangers for your plastic bottles. Don't be shy of hemp and beads! Try thin, deep red or deep pink hemp, turquoise. Add a little hand-bent copper wire and some tiny pulleys. This is going to look fantastic in your pre-war 6 foot narrow windows.

Do you happen to have any of those little garden lights that look like dragonflies? A small string of Pmas lights in an empty glass jar hanging somewhere in the midst of this would be good, some holes poked into the lid and the slightest wiff of pickle juice.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Irene Feesey

The April issue of The World of Interiors has a wonderful article by Ruth Guilding on Irene Feesey. Antony Crolla's photographs show the artist's needlepoint, embroidery, paper mache bowls and lovely handmade cards. I love that songbird cushion behind her in the photo. I think it would make a great ipad cover.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Audrey

I've knitted another Audrey cardigan and I'm planning another. I'd like to use two strands of Haiku or Kidsilk Haze next time. I think I will keep knitting this pattern over and over. Wouldn't it be nice as a sleeveless pullover in something silky with cotton?

Monday, April 19, 2010

20 innings of chair weaving

Well it didn't take 20 innings of the Cardinals' game, only 3 or 4 tries to get the chair sorted out. I ended up sewing my denim strips together into one long strip. This chair needs a cushion. I may cut up another pair of old jeans and weave a cushion top.

I'm about to finish another Audrey cardigan in Scottish Tweed. Next, I'll cast on Uhura in SWTC's Terra. I'd like to knit Audrey in some kind of cottony blend for Summer. What Summer yarns do you like in 24s/4" gauge?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The batter is in the shadows

"The batter is in the shadows and the pitcher is in the sun." I'm listening to Game 3 of the 1968 World Series while weaving a new chair seat. At last weekend's Alabama Chanin workshop, Butch Anthony gave a little demonstration on weaving ties into a chair seat. We have no ties, but these strips of old blue jeans are working fine. If there isn't a game on the radio near you while weaving or weeding or mopping, I highly recommend listening to a 'vintage' game here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alabama Chanin

I have fallen off the blogging wagon into a prickly sewing patch - can't even remember my flickr password. Saturday I walked down to the Edible Schoolyard for the Alabama Chanin Workshop. You've probably seen the books - Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style - but have you clicked through the couture photos on their site? I began a little pieced tank top in reverse applique for the young Miss Lear.

These books and patterns change the way you think of applique. You begin using the word as a verb. I am annoyed when people use 'impact' as a verb. It sounds rough and careless to run around impacting things with bulletpoints. But now 'applique' is sounding just as reckless. If you're not going to wear that, I'd like to applique it...applique over that stuff...I should just applique that thing.

Embroidery is also sounding slightly destructive. It appears like propaganda overnight - clean laundry is not just mended but a-mended with a vine and a little house. All the market bags are open targets. I am armed with milliners, sharps and betweens and I find clean and simple tedious.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Simple Flowers" by Constance Spry

While cleaning the hallway I found the umbrella stand. I bought some lilac stems this morning and snipped some things from the yard and now I have my very own arrangement a la "Simple Flowers". I love the photos in this book and the simple advice. The chapter on containers is good too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Desk by the window

Vanessa Bell's "Interior with Housemaid" painted in 1939 inspires me to push all the tables and desks to the windows - and where there's no sense of privacy, place large painted screens.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Style Inspiration

This photo sums up all the elements I want to pour into our home: bookshelves, plants, and workspace. This room was photographed by Jason Schmidt for the New York Times Magazine, April 11, 1999. The caption explains the room belongs to George and Effie Soter and was used in the movie "You've Got Mail" as Jean Stapleton's apartment. I've added my inspiration pictures to a flickr set here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Apartment Therapy's Spring Cure

Apartment Therapy's Spring Cure begins today and I am signed on! This is the diningroom "before" picture and there's my yarn stash in the foreground - not much left really. I'm knitting another Audrey sweater between bouts of mopping and sorting.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Golden Gate Gardening

This year I am embracing the cool fogginess of my backyard. I just got my copy of Pam Peirce's Golden Gate Gardening. We're lucky to have some fruit trees and some herbs that have gone native in back; I keep a pot of mint on the front porch. But this Spring I would like to put in a few more things. I want to grow some viney things.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Planting time

I am starting some seeds from last summer's farmers' market - French cantaloupe, a bright yellow melon, and some sweet peppers on the windowsill. I moved my yarn armoire into the kitchen to be a pantry. This has left my stash sitting around the diningroom suddenly homeless and vulnerable.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Jane Birkin's sweater

I love Jane Birkin's sweater in this Financial Times photo - the neckline, three-quarter sleeves, the ribbing - the color.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DSQed from Olympic knitting

About three little girl hockey player commercials into the pre-opening ceremonies show I DSQed myself from my UFO knitting project by starting a brand new scarf. Life is short. This will be a stripey scarf reverso style.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic knitting

It's not a bad idea to talk yourself into spending two weeks every two years finishing up projects. I'm pulling everything out and getting ready for the opening ceremony!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Socrates' Personal Footprints

This is another shot at a pair of socks knit from the alpaca blend yarn Socrates (first pair felted, second pair lost half the yarn). I'm using Cat Bordhi's Personal Footprints scheme. All my projects right now are simple small things that fit in my raincoat pocket. I'm saving my energy for the olympics!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Last Dickens

This book was a good time. I had to google all the publishers in the story - those Harper Brothers! I'm so excited about nineteenth century magazines. Don't you love magazines? I want to make a magazine - mostly I want to make the ads and write the "in the news" bits! The Christmas issue of Tiknor and Fields's Every Saturday features "No Thoroughfare" a story by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. I'm also going to keep a diary this year and write to my future self.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Classic Knits

Erika Knight's Classic Knits was at Half Price Books this week. I feel like knitting this cardigan in every shade of Alchemy's Haiku.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wool binge

Sometimes I go on a Noro binge and I want to knit everything with self-striping yarn. Recently I've been on a Jamieson's binge. Every pattern I see I think, wouldn't that be lovely in a shetland jumper weight? A Jamieson's binge can be quite economical. An Alchemy haiku binge would not be.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"I mend people's clothes for free on the street"

Serge Debrebant's piece on Michel Swaine in the FT last Saturday caught my eye. It begins, "I've always liked clothes that had a life before me." Swaine has a sewing cart with an umbrella, a neon sign that reads sew, and a treadle sewing machine in San Francisco's Tenderloin.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Haiku Portrait Scarf

I'm so happy with the maroon and the orange versions, I've cast on a green. With my addi lace needles, this makes quick, waiting-at-the-DMV knitting!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Haiku portrait scarf

I've really fallen out of the habit of blogging my projects. I've given up waiting for a sunny moment to photograph my Veronik Avery Portrait Scarf. My first version is in 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze - sometimes I wear it tucked into my coat, but mostly I wear it like a cowl. This mini version uses just one ball of Haiku and I wear it constantly. I have some more Haiku in my stash - all destined for mini portrait cowls. I'm wondering if I can wear two at a time?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Short order naan

I'm back on the 5 minute bread bandwagon with a tupperware of light whole wheat dough in the fridge. I followed the directions in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day for making naan to go with my chicken curry. I poured a little vegetable oil in a cast iron frying pan, tossed in a flattened disc of dough and covered it with a cookie sheet. It took 7-8 minutes. I should look up pita bread next.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Semi-solid sock waves

This bandless ball of yarn is a little more than a semi-solid blue. I love it in this feather and fan stitch. I've been paging through Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn and finding patterns for stashed sock yarn. 

Friday, January 8, 2010

Candied orange peel

This is a spoonful of orange syrup - it tasted like heaven. The smell of simmering orange peels filled the house with an incredible smell while I did some kitchen chores, read the paper. I had 5 degrees to go on the candy thermometer when I left the kitchen.

When I smelled the burning orange peel I knew my giant cough drop was done. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Audrey in Shetland

I'm slowly coming out of my Christmas cookie coma. A few weeks ago I finished the Audrey in Unst sweater from Twist Collective. I made it a little small, so I'm going to add some hooks and eyes to the front bands. I ordered this Jamieson shetland from Schoolhouse Press (179 colors). They also carry Jamison & Smith shetland - that's hundreds of heathered colors to choose from. I love this sweater.