Marching through time

By now, Daylight Savings Time has ended and most clocks in the U.S. have fallen back an hour. I hate DST, but I won't argue with an "extra" hour today.

I'm starting a new Mystery Knit-Along that will have clues released on six Mondays in a row, beginning tomorrow, Nov. 2nd.

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The thing that really got me interested, though, is that it's not only a knit-along, it's a WALK-ALONG, too! My fitness & activity levels have never been all that great, and they've been total crap the past several months, so I'm hoping this will be a little bit of a jump start to moving more.

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It's not going to be easy... November in Wisconsin never is! But a very timely NaBloPoMo will help keep me accountable. There's a Ravelry group, as well, and even though I'm still not a big fan of forums, I'll for sure check in there once in a while.

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I wound up some Make.Do Realize Sport that I dyed with indigo over the summer. Needles are ready.

There's still time to join in!!


Slow Fashion Week 5: Known

favorite sustainable resources / “local” / traceable fabric and yarn origins / traceable garment origins / reference books, films, videos

This is where my eyes glaze over.

My favorite sustainable resource is Alabama Chanin. It's the only one I actually know about first-hand, and I know it by accident -- because it's a big part of who they are, and because they told me -- not because I looked it up.

  • Sustainable
  • Local
  • Traceable
  • Origins

Of course I care, but I don't always have the time or inclination to do the research, find a comparable alternative that meets all the "requirements."

We could be talking about food.

Sometimes I have the time and budget to shop, compare, and prepare a wonderful meal with locally grown, pastured, grass-fed whatever, and sometimes a Big Mac will do.

Sometimes I have the time and budget to shop, compare, and sew or knit a beautiful garment with organic cotton or wool, and sometimes a trip to Target will do.

I have become much more aware of all of this in recent years and I know that I'm better. I haven't had a Big Mac in years. And I'm much more particular about what I buy at Target (in all departments).

Because of the many Slow Fashion October conversations, my awareness continues to grow and I will continue to learn. I'm interested. Karen has a great round-up post today with lots of links that I am making my way through.

* * * * *

But here's the bottom line for me and what I love about making things.

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Junah is wearing a Wonderful Wallaby that I originally knit for my nephew Mack in 2007 and that was also worn by Addison. It certainly has enough "life" for many more! Nothing beats quality materials (Mission Falls 1824 Cotton... I miss you!) and love!

See you Sunday for NaBloPoMo kick off! Are you ready??


Day Off: My To-Do List

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I loved Mary's suggestion for the "mundane" and have also seen "lists" as a suggestion for blog posts. Well, here we have my mundane day-off to-do list!! Let's call it a NaBloPoMo warm up.

  1. Chiropractor - 9:30 a.m.
  2. Boots
  3. Books
  4. Oil change - 11:30 a.m.
  5. Sales tax
  6. End of month (start)
  7. Quarterly reports
  8. Call the IRS
  9. Pack up and mail the Traveling Scarf
  10. Kelly - wedding photography info
  11. Take measurements
  12. Make kombucha
  13. And a bunch of other stuff

I hated taking my boots back to the cobbler shop! The new pull-tab on the left boot broke again the second time I pulled it on... I never even tried the right boot (and that's the one that I really need it for). They're going to sink the pulls deeper, stitch them more, and also stretch the instep of the boot a bit. Finger's crossed! I pick them up again in a week.

I loaded up several boxes of books and sent them to Half-Price Books with Kate today. They're mostly my mom's books and it's only the beginning...

The IRS. I wish I didn't ever have to call them, and I put it off this time for a couple of weeks already... It all has to do with Ali changing her business from a Sole Proprietorship to an LLC and a snafu of paperwork complicated by her also getting married and changing her name, and all within a month in May-June 2013 but not realized until the end of the year. Yes, 2013. I do believe (as I am fervently knocking on wood) that this is the last little piece and that nothing having to do with that changeover is left unresolved. That said, I have had nothing but pleasantness and helpfulness (special training?) from everyone I've spoken with at the IRS. I'm thinking that it's four or five or six different people, now, and *I* wasn't always as cool and collected. Ahem. Anyway, it's probably a much better experience when I call them than if it were the other way around.

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The Traveling Scarf arrived in my mailbox in July and I knit quite fervently for a while and then I stalled. Well, I knit a few more rows this morning while I bought postage online and arranged for package pick up, and it'll be in the hands of USPS tomorrow morning! There's one more stop before it heads home to Kim.

I came across the Options KAL the other day and that striped version reminded me that I really want to knit another Fib -- longer, with shaping, and V-neck. Also, I've yet to use CustomFit to make a sweater! So, measuring.

Kombucha making starts tonight!


Ten on Tuesday: Blog Blog Blog

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Tips/Ideas/Topics for Daily Blogging in November

aka National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo!

I can't not do it, having done it every year since 2009. I am not and have never been much of a planner when it comes to blogging... I almost always blog by the seat of my pants! That said, I usually keep some ideas in mind for NaBloPoMo! 

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1.  Daylight Savings Time! DST ends on November 1st this year... maybe there are some thoughts to share about that.

2.  Photos! A good photo is sometimes all that's needed (though I am certainly guilty of posting a not-so-good photo at crunch time). "Saturday Sky" and NaBloPoMo are a match made in heaven.

3.  My Birthday! Lucky for me, my birthday is in November and that's always good for a post or two.

4.  Weekending! A few photos along with some words on a Monday morning to share weekend doings -- there are five Mondays in November.

5.  Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving -- planning, prep, cooking, decorating, celebrating -- can be good for a few (or more) posts.

6.  Holidays! Fast on the heels of Thanksgiving, there's planning, prep & decorating to do!

7.  Knitting! Most of us are knitters, so there may be a recent FO to share, some holiday knitting, a WIP that's seeing some action.

8.  Ten on Tuesday! Also perfect for NaBloPoMo! 4 Tuesdays + 5 Mondays + 4 Saturdays = 13 fairly stress-free days of blogging.

9.  Throwback Thursday! Add 4 Thursdays and over half the month is taken care of!

10.  Don't Stress. I try not to agonize over NaBloPoMo. Not every post is going to be stellar (guaranteed). I don't have to write a daily dissertation (I don't even have to write). And I try to be flexible (which is easy to do when the planning is loose to begin with) and open to whatever comes along!

So, are you ready? Are you in??


Slow Fashion Week 4: Worn

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Marjorie, my mother, on her wedding day -- June 26, 1958

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Alison, my daughter, on her wedding day, June 15, 2013

* * * * *

heirlooms / second-hand / mending / caring for things / laundering for longevity / design for longevity

Somehow, against all odds, my mother's wedding dress survived 55 years (far longer than the marriage, which only lasted 12) to be worn again by my daughter when she got married a little over two years ago.

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My Aunt Carol was maid of honor and her dress was the same as Mom's with the exception of the sash, which was light blue instead of white.

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The veil did not survive to be worn again, nor did those lovely gauntlets (or my aunt's dress)!

The dress was never "preserved" or even particularly cared for over the years. My sisters and I used it for dress up, as did my daughters; and I had it displayed (collecting dust) on a wicker dress form in my bedroom for several years.

It was in dire need of cleaning, as well as some repairs! It was just about three years ago that I put out a call to friends for a recommendation on cleaning and altering, and we ended up at Art Imig's in Sheboygan. Mom came along on that trip, and maybe the second; after that she was too sick or tired or stressed out from radiation and/or chemo.

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The first step was to clean it, which was wonderfully accomplished by soaking it in OxiClean.

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Then we discussed alterations. My mother had previously done some night-before-the-wedding sleeve alterations of her own -- removing a bit of gathering on the sleeve cap so it wasn't puffy anymore but instead laid flat. That alteration also inhibited range of motion, so the entire sleeve area was a big stress point and very much in need of repair. There were some other small tears in the skirt that need to be repaired, as well, but nothing too serious.

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The tailor was able to "steal" small bits of fabric from here and there to repair and reinforce the sleeves, and she replaced all the stays and the crinoline. The satin sash and bow had to be re-used because there was absolutely no new "white" satin that matched!

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My mom had received some good news about her response to treatment just the day before the wedding, hence the "thumbs up!"

I think nearly all the topics have been covered with just this dress! The dress is hanging (covered) in my work room. We had talked about some repurposing options, but have decided to keep it... there are others in Ali's generation that may still wish to use it, and maybe even in the next. It would be nice if it was still an option for them, anyway.


Slow Fashion Week 3: Loved

At first glance, this week's theme for Slow Fashion October seemed like a no-brainer. Haha. Yeah.

proudest accomplishment / most loved item / most frequently worn item / thing you saved up for / investment pieces / thing you worked a long time on / oldest thing that’s still in rotation

 

Proudest accomplishment(s): Girl's Dress, St. Brigid, Williamsro, Fibonacci, Parcheesi, Polka-Dot, Hootie, Catamount

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Girl's Dress, pattern from Woman's World magazine; ca. 1983, using the most inexpensive yarn I could find at the variety store. (What's "gauge"?) It never fit anyone, but I learned more from it than almost anything else I ever knit! It was my "REVELATION" project!

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Alice Starmore's St. Brigid; knit Sept. 2004-Feb. 2005;
at West Kilbride, North Ayrshire, Scotland, 2011.

It was my "Rhinebeck Sweater" in 2005.

I don't actually wear it much anymore and have thoughts of turning it into something else.

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Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Williamsro, 2006 Knitting Olympics (US Cable Team)

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Fib. What's a woman to do with leftovers -- 7 different colors of the same yarn?

My "Rhinebeck Sweater," 2006.

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Hootie - Concert T turned Corset, Alabama Chanin style

Most loved item: It's like picking a most loved child... but I'm going to say Parcheesi.

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 Janine Bajus' Parcheesi; Apr-Nov 2010, knit with everything;
I use it both as a blanket and as a shawl/wrap

Most frequently worn item: Polka-dot (I love that shirt).

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 Two-Week Tee Transformation

Thing you are saving up for: An Alabama Chanin Workshop - learning is good.

Investment pieces: Almost all of the items marked "Eileen Fisher." A fair number of them have been acquired second-hand for a relative pittance, bringing the average price of the pieces I own quite reasonable.

Thing you worked a long time on: Catamount? St. Brigid? Parcheesi?

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Catamountan Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic Dress

Oldest thing that's still in rotation: I think it's probably the autumnal Vogue cover sweater that my sister Sharon knit in the early 1990s. It's huge and dense and I wear it more as a jacket in the fall. (A decent photo of that is on my list of things to do.)

* * * * *

Timehop tells me that two years ago today is when I first fell into the Alabama Chanin rabbit hole, having finally been lured in by an adorable onesie and blanket kit... as luck would have it, just a couple of months before I'd become a grandmother!

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Have a great weekend y'all!


Ten on Tuesday: An October Weekend

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Did On the Weekend

1. Slept In. I had an early morning message from Ali on Saturday: No market! She is busy forwards and backwards and combined with a few other things happening in her world, it just wasn't going to happen. So I went back to bed! I didn't really sleep much more, but it sure felt cozy under the covers.

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2. Watched the sun rise.

3. Cleaned out the garage. Overtaken by art displays and indigo dyeing apparatus, my car hasn't seen the inside of the garage since spring! I hate to mention it, but snow is on the way! We still have to move the indigo vat before there's room for the car (maybe tomorrow).

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4. Did some thinning/cleaning out at Mom's. I decided to be productive with my "extra" time on Saturday. There's still plenty of extraneous stuff at Mom's that she loved and tended, but to which my stepdad doesn't really have an attachment. The Royals, for one thing. Have a thing for The Royals? Mom did! I thought I'd give it a couple of hours... five hours later... (so.much.stuff).

5. Marveled at some of the things I found. A few tugs at the heart.

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6. Watched Junah for a while. (Impossible to photograph that boy lately!) He's wearing his Great Uncle Mike's sweater, which I found in a drawer at Mom's. I had possession of it for a while when my girls were little, and I'm pretty sure that Annie had same when my nephews were younger. It's probably a size 5-6 (the sleeves are rolled twice in these photos). The tag is gone, so I have no idea of manufacturer, origin, or content. It's almost 50 years old, though, so most likely U.S.-made and not likely wool. Heh. The buttons were nabbed from one of my dad's old Air Force uniforms. #slowfashionoctober #handmedowns

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7. Watched the sun set.

8. Watched the sun rise again. Kate, Ali and I were on the road by 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, bound for Reedsville, WI...

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9. We went to Fermentation Fest! Ali & I took a class: Kombucha 101 presented by Vanessa + Alla, founders of NessAlla Kombucha in Madison. We both bought starter kits; everything is there: a 1-gallon jar, oolong tea, organic sugar, a (genius) laminated recipe/instruction card, a cotton square & rubber band to tightly cover, and a SCOBY! Kombucha will be happening!

Fermentation Fest, an initiative of The Wormfarm Institute, is FAB! It's been on my radar for a year or two. My sister Karen went last year and took a class or two; this year, I think she took four or five! In fact, she was so busy that we didn't even have a chance to meet up. (We'll see each other again soon!) This was my first year and that was my only class... definitely not the last.

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10. Farm/Art DTour. Katie took in part of the tour while Ali & I were in class, and we drove through the rest afterwards. Incredible. Obviously, one of my favorite installations was Monday is Wash Day by Brenda Baker. I wish I'd taken more/better photos of that. AMAZED!


Slow Fashion Week 2: Small

Listen: Slow Fashion Shows Consumers What It's Made Of  on NPR

handmade / living with less / quality over quantity / capsule wardrobe / indie fashion / small-batch makers / sustainability

Handmade: Since knitting has been my main "making" activity over the past couple of decades, and because I'm rather selfish with my limited knitting time, I have a few sweaters and a pretty good number of shawls among my handmades. I've knit a reasonable amount of tiny things, too, for my nephews and my grandchildren. I've been given a few pairs of handknit socks, but can't think of any other articles of clothing in my wardrobe made by another's hand.

Living with Less: I am a KonMari believer! I have done some magical tidying, and there is still quite a bit to do. As important as the tidying/clean-out, I've found that I am acquiring less than ever. Recreational shopping is a thing of the past!

Quality over quantity: Preaching to the choir. I learned this at an early age. As a single mother of five and a full-time nursing student who received assistance and food stamps, my mother still bought quality clothing for herself and for us. We had fewer pieces of clothing than most of our peers, and my sisters and I had more than one fight (per week) over underwear and socks, but it was good quality clothing and it lasted -- often to be shared and/or handed down, but just as often to be loved and worn to tatters.

Capsule wardrobe: I have briefly thought about making an effort at this. Truthfully, though, my closet/clothing storage space is so tiny that it naturally keeps the size of my wardrobe small and manageable.

Indie fashion/Small-batch makers: I guess most of my forays into indie fashion have been supporting indie pattern makers. My budget just doesn't allow for clothing made by anyone's hands but my own!

Sustainability: This is where my eyes always begin to glaze over. Whether we're talking food, yarn, clothing, or whatever. I know it's important and one of the big reasons why #slowfashionoctober is even a thing. I try to buy responsibly, reasonably, with an awareness of origin... whaa, whaa, whaa. I try not to feel guilty/bad about not being MORE aware/caring/passionate/responsible. I'm in with those who do what they can.

Slowfashionoctober

Tuesday:

  • My favorite handmade (and also mended) shirt, sewn in and inspired by the Alabama Chanin  style, and made from a men's thrifted overstock/new 4X t-shirt.
  • A Talbots cardigan, which I've had for a few years, purchased at a thrift store.
  • The Eileen Fisher organic cotton cropped pants that became such a part of my uniform over the past few months that I bought a second pair; I am seeking styling tips to keep wearing them in cooler weather.
  • My beloved and years-old Wolky sandals that were just picked up from the shoe/leather repair shop, having had new leather insoles cut and applied for $25.

Slow Fashion Week 1: You (and Me)

I'm off to a tardy start in Karen Templer's "Slow Fashion October"... but it's a start!

First let’s introduce ourselves: Where are you at with all this / What first got you interested in Slow Fashion / What are your skills / What do you hope to get out of Slow Fashion October / What are your personal goals for the month / Do you have a special project you plan to tackle this month?

The most important people in my life are family and almost all of them -- to some degree -- are/were also makers.

  • Textiles, fiber and reed
  • Rocks, gems and metal
  • Wood, clay, and glass
  • Paper, graphite and paint
  • Seeds, dirt and water

Resulting goods (and motivation) range from utilitarian to decorative, executed by novice makers to highly skilled artists... but there's always been making and doing.

My mother taught me to knit when I was six. I knit on and off in high school and as a young adult in the world (I found knitting needles, yarn, and a slightly challenging pattern to be a great antidote to loneliness), but it's been in the last 15 years or so that I became a truly avid knitter. Thankfully, about 10 years ago, knitting blogs were a Really Big Thing and I became part of that community where people actually thought about knitting and thoughtfully wrote about knitting, yarn, tools, technique (and life), and I learned so much.

Dresses

Dresses sewn by Mom (including her own).

Though my mother was an excellent sewist, she was also a very busy single mother & student, and I didn't learn to sew (more than a button) until I took Home Ec. in high school! My stepmother actually owned a fabric & craft store when she met my dad, and I made a couple of skirts under her tutelage -- but mostly I knit angora hats and made macrame plant hangers for her to sell at the store; she gave me the sturdy used Husqvarna sewing machine that I've used for the past 35-40 years.

I've written a little about sewing and fashion -- and slow fashion -- and quality last April. I am not a crusader, but I am aware and quietly help to make others aware.

Mostly, I just do. I make and do because that's what I've always done -- it's one of the ways I know I'm alive! The day I stop making and doing, I'll be dead.

I became interested in/aware of slow fashion when I began learning about Natalie Chanin and her company, Alabama Chanin in 2012. One of the things I admire about Alabama Chanin is the open source concept. Because as much as I'd like to own, wear, and love a $4,000 handmade dress, it is just never going to happen; but there are resources and tools available for me to make one myself.

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Or something.

Anyway, I'm participating in Slow Fashion October because I love seeing what others are doing. Just as I learned so much about knitting from the knit-blog community, I am inspired and in awe of what's happening in the larger "maker" community. And I will learn things.

Mending

I actually have a couple of goals for the month. One of them is to mend an already mended tunic. Shown above is a visible (embellished!) repair made a few months ago near the hem. Now, there are two small holes in the tummy region. I do not want to give up this garment just yet!! So I need to figure out a way... and am open to suggestions!


Weekending

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Opening weekend for Fox Valley Found + Collected at Standard Projects in nearby Hortonville. There's a lot happening there! (Kate's been doing a series about The Residents at Standard Projects at Young Space.)

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A rare find at any local farmer market: artichokes! Our season isn't usually long enough. These were tiny, and also delicious.

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Harvest Festival at Grignon Mansion. House tours, good food and beverages, pie eating contests, a pumpkin patch, pumpkin decorating and carving, face painting, blacksmithing and spinning demonstrations, live music, and more! It was chilly (October!) -- we served up every last drop of hot cocoa -- but not so cold that it kept people away. In fact, it was quite well attended for a first-ever event.

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It's an amazing little house & property. Once upon a time, before soccer took over, this was the site of an annual Civil War Encampment. We attended it once before it ended, watching the cavalry thunder over that hill. Kate was probably 8 or 9, and was quite impressed (traumatized?) by the realistic acting of a wounded soldier about to have a leg amputated...

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Built in 1837, the house was brought back from the brink some years ago and beautifully restored.


Right now - September slipped away, so October it is!

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Humored by... that kid! He started pressing the button and...

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This is a small sampling of my current gallery!

Anticipating... the end of Farmers Market season. It's been a great season, and we've been *so* lucky with the weather! While there are technically three weeks remaining, due to other engagements we've only the Oct. 10th market left on our calendar. This Saturday, we'll instead be helping all afternoon with refreshments at the Harvest Festival at Grignon Mansion! The "mansion in the woods" is a real gem.

I'll be happy to have my Saturdays back!

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Enjoying... cooler, drier weather and changing leaves and gorgeous skies. We've had an incredibly temperate late summer/early fall. I'm still wearing sandals!

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Hoping... the trend continues.

Knitting... Dimorphous Mittens and Scoreboard. I've just ordered a couple of skeins of back-up yarn for my Prickly Poppy -- something I've been pondering for a while now -- prompted to action by the news that The Village Knitter is looking for a buyer (or will eventually close). That sweater's time out is just about over.

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Learning... a little about soccer! I spent a glorious day soaking up the sun and watching my nephews play. I missed seeing Mack score a goal because I was taking video of the clouds (as did his mother because nature called!), but I did catch his even better assist (according to his dad) later in the game!

Needing... to get on with some cleaning and organizing, but not doing that until it's too cold to go outside anymore!

Planning... a spring vacation -- maybe by train, maybe to Texas!

Reading... A Woman's Way West. It's not an incredibly well-written book, but it's entertaining and gives a pretty good a glimpse (with lots of photos!) into Doris Huffine's life (1901-1990) in the Montana wilderness. I love stories of women pioneers, and was given this book after the girls had gone on their June 2013 camping trip to Glacier National Park (where Doris began working in the '20s).

Sewing... a simple and "quick" boatneck top that's taking forever! I made a little progress yesterday... maybe I'll finish by the weekend.

Watching... reality shows about singing and dancing. There are some other things recorded/-ing but I haven't begun watching yet.

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Remembering... waking up from Tuesday's nap.

Wishing... I was on the road back to Black Mountain with Kate! She left today for a weekend conference and I can't wait to hear all about it.


Market days & other days

Last Saturday was the annual "Fall Fest" edition of our local Farmers Market!

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It was chilly in the morning, thus Ali's sweater sleeves pulled down almost gauntlet-style while heating milk for a cup of hot cocoa.

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The sun came on strong as the morning progressed, though, and the hot drinks gave way to iced lattes and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

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I had some of my creative work on display at market for the first time all year, including some of the fruit of this summer's indigo labor play.

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I also brought home my first bouquet from our market neighbors' booth. I love all the flowers and admire all the bouquets, but the fall combos are the ones that grab me most.

I'd taken a few extra days off of work late last week. Home alone, I had some fun puttering and doing things on my own schedule...

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I worked on my Scoreboard KAL cowl.

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I cut out the pieces for another sleeveless boatneck top, similar to this one but without the embellishment, and with a slightly different shape. I am sensing a pattern where immediately after finishing an intense sewing project, I need a QUICK slow-fashion fix! Or a simple project, anyway, even if I may not quickly finish.

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I made things blue! Over-dying a few previously dyed hanks, refreshing some of my stepdad's jeans (a couple pair yet retained for some mending), and playing around with some sock blanks! I'm looking forward to swatching/making something with those.

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But first, apparently, a new pair of Mim's Dimorphous Mittens por moi -- and a more portable project. I made a pair five years ago, ended up giving them away, and I miss them!! The yarn on the right is Hello Yarn Fiber Club Light As Feathers spun by my friend Ann; that will be the outer mitten. The inner mitten will be made from some Dream In Color Everlasting yarn (old version) that I picked up last winter at Susan's Fiber Shop. I've already half an outer mitt on the needles -- and knitting 2-row stripes from both ends of the yarn cake... we'll see how that works out. I'm pretty confident that I'll have enough of this to also make a pair of fingerless mitts.

Happy weekend, y'all.


Alabama Chanin Wrap Skirt

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I finally finished my "muslin" of the Alabama Chanin Wrap Skirt! I used three thrifted t-shirts for the main skirt pieces (one black and two mismatched-but-close green), stenciled the fabric using my airbrush and compressor set-up for the first time, and used a variety of techniques to finish.

A skirt is a tricky garment for me to wear, and I'd make mods* next time, but I was comfortable enough to wear it out to lunch yesterday!

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Alabama Chanin Wrap Skirt

  • (1) Black T-shirt
  • (2) Green T-shirts (mismatched but close in color)
  • Angie's Fall stencil, gray fabric paint (I mixed the color)
  • Button Craft Thread - double strand of Black throughout
  • Running stitch for construction & embellishment
  • Back Panel: Black outer layer, Green inner layer; large motifs stitched, no cutting, knots inside
  • Inner Front Panel: Green for both layers (same t-shirt); large & medium motifs inked & stitched inside, large motifs cut, knots outside
  • Outer Front Panel: Black outer layer, Green inner layer; large motifs stitched & cut, knots inside
  • All seams inside felled
  • Waistband and ties using Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey fabric - Blue Slate
  • Unfinished hem

*Because of my body shape, and this is whether or not I'm packing 30 extra pounds -- it's just structure/posture -- I would make an adjustment to the front (shorten) or to the back (lengthen), and probably play around with the darts a little. Some people make a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) when they sew... mine would be a Full Belly Adjustment. Haha.

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In other news, the image above was included with permission in a recent Alabama Chanin Journal post about The School of Making (#theschoolofmaking)! I am rubbing Instagram shoulders with some very fine company there. Check it out... it's an inspiring community.


Ten on Tuesday: EAT

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Foods I Am Looking Forward to Eating Now That Fall Is (almost) Here.

1. Chili. All Day! With Fritos and Football.

2. Soup. Nothing says "warm me up" like a bowl of soup!

3. A Roast. Any kind. With carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.

4. Lasagna. It's always been my go-to in any season, but particularly as it gets cooler outside. And made with some Roasted Tomato Sauce? Divine.

5. BBQ Ribs. KC&T just began selling my favorite BBQ sauce, Howling Wolf! (And will soon feature the Cranberry Orange sauce on a panini.)

6. Apples. Worth the wait.

7. Roasted Veggies. Any and all!

8. Cranberries. In bread (sparingly). In sauce. I love their tartness!

9. Zucchini Bread. Also sparingly, but it seems every year I somehow have one (large) zucchini that I just don't know what to do with except make bread!

10. Pumpkin Pie. This is the realm of my husband. He *loves* pie... pumpkin and apple, in particular, so this is definitely pie season around here. I can protest 'til the cows come home... there will be pie.

* * * * *

Wisconsin Weather (Fall)

3 Days ago I posted: "I am having warm thoughts about my furnace." It was mid-60s in my house. In spring that feels amazing, in fall... not so much.

Today I posted: "It was a little warm at work today. We had the door open and a fan going but, really, it was warm enough for A/C. We just couldn't do it! It felt as though we'd have been closing the door right in summer's face... (sad face)."

For the record, it's 7 p.m. and still 83F outside.

Tomorrow (day off) is supposed to be much like today. (Yay!)


Randomly on a Friday

Hi there.

I've been SEWING.

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Out on the pergola amid the overgrown tomatoes!

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Out on the pergola with a visit from the inspector.
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The end is drawing near! The waistband is completely attached now and I'm working on just a bit more embellishment on the inside front, then closures! I "tried it on" the other day and am pretty happy with it... my "muslin" heh! 

I've also added to the fabric stash for future projects. I'm so ticked with this 2XL t-shirt that I found on clearance at Macy's. It will become a romper for Junah to wear next summer!

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Toad!

I haven't been KNITTING, but I've been making plans... and I will be knitting on Sunday for sure!

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ScoreboardGo Pack Go!

I've been COOKING.

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That is the incredibly delicious Leek, Olive & Potato Pie from a favorite cookbook The Olive and The Caper! We have not yet been steered wrong by this wonderful and informative book, and it might be time to attempt some of the more adventurous/exotic dishes!

And I've enjoyed HANGING OUT with my family.

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My husband and my sister... we had a nice cookout and meal together at Joe's last weekend.

When it hasn't raining or hot & humid, it's been really nice outside, so I've been enjoying the great outdoors.

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Farmer market morning.

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Another lovely pergola afternoon.

There's been time with KIDDOS!

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Aw... not one but TWO stubbed toes!

And there's been some TIME FOR ME.

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Before.

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After. Trimmed, thinned & curled! Kate, my stylist, asked me if I thought my hair was getting curlier... and YES! I do! There's a very straight layer on top but underneath, especially in back, it's incredibly wavy... which makes me wonder what would happen with a short style! It could happen!!

And I've been an ARMCHAIR TRAVELER.

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Kate's on a westerly road trip... through areas that don't always have cell service... but when she does have service, I'm enjoying following along!

* * * * *

9/11. I'll never forget.


Busy week

The boss is on vacation and I'm working everyday this week... long days. They can leave me tapped out. I managed to stop at the store on the way home last night and then cook a pretty stellar dinner (if I may so so), though I used an amazing number of dishes/tools/utensils to make it. Luckily, Rusty is quite willing to clean up the kitchen... especially when dinner is so yummy! We don't mind eating sometimes on a more European clock, either, so that helps. I can settle in and decompress for a bit and then take my time cooking. We've been doing that more and more, and I really like it.

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I've been working on my skirt... the slow fashion is going even slower this week! But I've made progress even since I took these photos on Sunday. I've gone as far as I'm going to go on the outer front (black over green)... and I *love* it!

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I'm trying a new (to me) technique on the inner front, and inking in addition to stitching. A few motifs will be inked only, some not at all, and much of it will never be exposed so I'm not spending time on that part.

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At first I wasn't going to cut this piece, either, but I have... some, not all of the inked & stitched motifs... and I *love* it, too! (Pardon the terrible lighting.)

Let's see... what else has been happening?

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Oh, hey, it's Maddy in her new (used) JEEP Wrangler! I drove over on Saturday morning to help her with the purchase... and then teach her how to drive a stick shift in :20 before she had to get ready for work. Let's just say that it's about a million times better to learn a manual transmission in a JEEP than, say (ahem), a SAAB. She loves it... truly a match made in heaven.

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This guy spent a couple of hours at our house on Tuesday night. Is there a single photo here that's in focus??? He doesn't sit still for a second, and he's F-A-S-T! And so incredibly cute, though I might be somewhat biased.

One of his favorite things is going in and out the back door, the knobs and latches more easily reached and manipulated than some others. Ali, Rod & Junah left on Tuesday night to head home and a minute later, there's the undeniable sound of Junah at the door. He wasn't ready yet! He hadn't played with his caterpillar gear puzzle yet (apparently)!! He needed an extra :05 and then he was ready. So funny.

I am looking forward to the long weekend. How about you??


Sew, the weekend

All of my knitting was in the dog house over the weekend. I may have been suffering a post-project slump after a) "Catamount," my Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic, and b) those busy and productive few days off with the boys.

A slump is the perfect time for hexagons, and that's exactly what happened on Saturday morning at the farmer market.

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Later on Saturday, I actually made an attempt at laying out and assembling a strip quilt that I've had cut for ages. That ended up in the dog house, too! I think I'm forcing it and need to do some editing (I think there's more than one quilt happening there).

Needing some craftual satisfaction, I turned to my potato chip project du jour, a romper for Junah! I'd recently picked up a Green Bay Packers t-shirt at the thrift store (new, with tags) for just that purpose, following the same method as for Baby Captain America!

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Drawing lines.

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Three hours later, I'd finished everything but snaps, and added those on Sunday morning. I was able to get all but the front facing from one t-shirt (size XXL, I believe). There's still plenty of room for a diaper butt, but I left off the snaps at the crotch this time.

Sunday was the first day in a while that I didn't have to be somewhere or take care of someone, and it seemed like a good day to play around finally try airbrushing. It was windy outside, so made part of the garage floor my work space (the part that isn't taken over by the indigo operation, art gallery displays, and bicycles) (also known as where I normally park my car but haven't in months) (and all that stuff will relocate by the time the snow flies!).

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I chose two old mismatched green t-shirts and one new black one to provide the fabric for my "muslin" of the Wrap Skirt and to test the airbrush/compressor set up.

I mixed paint, fitted everything together with our little air compressor, laid out some old towel-rags on the garage floor, and had at it. I painted one piece at a time, the stencil being large enough to cover each piece without having to reposition. Some time ago, I'd purchased the large all-over mylar stencil in the Angie's Fall design -- it's one of my favorites, and I'm not sick of it yet!

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Inside front, Back, Outside front

All the while I was thinking that it would be really great to learn the finer points of stenciling (from start to finish) and, thanks to my $5 for Florence campaign, that might will happen someday.

The design is a little soft in the middle of the back piece (where the stencil was not adhered to the fabric very well), and it was while spraying the outside front piece that I was running out of paint, so it's splotchy in places and sparse in others.

I had barely enough paint, having first mixed my color concoction (a little black, a little white, a little silver) in a small 2-oz. jar. Turns out that the mouth of that jar is too small for the airbrush fitting, so had to dump it all into a 4-oz. jar and there was a fair bit of waste.

Clean up was interesting...

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That's the towel upon which I did the first scrubbing of paint off the stencil. I win for fanciest rag bag contents! I finished cleaning up in the bathtub and "sticking it" on the tile wall. Clean up sure takes a while.

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I've already begun stitching. I'm not sure how far I'll go with that... it would be nice to have a wearable piece, even just for running around, but it is just a "muslin" and my time might be better spent. We'll see. I'm content for now.

Thoughts & things: I made a slight cutting mistake on the inside front piece (it should have been mirrored with the outside front, and was not). I might try a button (something other than a tie) on the inside. One of the old green shirts is so soft and worn that it feels like velvet against my skin (it also has a few holes - the straight pins show where not to cut!).


My Indigo Boys

My nephews arrived last Tuesday after soccer practice, and I delivered them back to their dad on Thursday at soccer practice. In between, we dyed in indigo, I taught them how to knit, we went to the local children's museum & out to lunch with Ali & Junah, they had an art lesson with Uncle Rusty, they did a little coloring, played games on their iPads ('til batteries ran out and we didn't have a means to recharge), they had soccer practice on Wednesday, we watched a couple of movies, and we explored in & around the house (like, where's the door to get outside from the basement?).

Whew!

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So intent! We used string, rubber bands, and binder clips (oopsie, some of them leave rust marks!). They each made a shirt for themselves and for their mom & dad. There was an extra shirt in their size, so I did that one, and I had a bunch of onesies that I folded and tied, plus we threw in that other pair of Rusty's shorts to "refresh."

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I did buy longer gloves for this session! I figured that one hand out of four isn't too bad when we're talking 8- and 10-year-olds... that was one filled up glove!

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During...

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After! So much fun.

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At the museum... Junie is always moving!!

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Some work on perspective (including amazing floating chair) and space (asteroid, comet, sun, earth).

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They wanted to know about drawing faces, too, and Rusty gave them a great little lesson. Mack's a quick study!

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The boys were also interested in an old typewriter that Rusty had in his studio. They finally convinced him to put some paper in it, and this is what they came up with. That sums it all up quite nicely and we're all looking forward to doing it again!

P.S. Next time, they want to learn to sew!!


The Indigo Boys (preview)

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These were among the photos I posted on Wednesday morning when the boys and I made it out to the garage to start dipping our tied and bound garments into the indigo vat.

About an hour later, their big brother Sam posted a comment that included a link to a Guide to Child Labor Laws in Wisconsin! Haha.

I don't know why I chose those photos... that last one cracks me up even more after Sam's comment! In truth, they did do most of the "work," but only because they wanted to... and that allowed me to take photos!

The reality was more like this:

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GOOFBALLS w/ATTITUDE!!

(Yes, they did wear pristine, white aprons...)

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Boy, did we have fun!

It was our first-ever "Aunt Camp," and they want to come back... and stay longer! And my sister messaged me last night to say that they can't stop talking about it.

That makes me so happy. More to come... we were busy!!


Right Now - August

Anticipating... Three days with nephews in the house next week! There will be knitting, dyeing, drawing, and swimming... for starters.

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Eating... Grilled Skewered Chicken Thighs with Tzatziki, Salt-roasted Beets with Pistachio Vinaigrette (and Goat Cheese) a la The Purple Pig (some of our favorite things on their menu); Souvlaki (because we'd already made Tzatziki); and Kolokithokeftedes are on the menu!

Enjoying... The occasional Caprese Salad with tomatoes and basil from our little patio/pergola garden. Those tomatoes are SO good!

Inspired by... (apparently, at the moment) Mediterranean cuisine!

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Knitting... I have finally finished the Back and have moved on to Left Front of my Prickly Poppy Cardi!

Listening... I'm really digging Junah babbles (when I can).

Planning... (trying to decide on) my next Alabama Chanin project: a dress (or two or three), a vest, a cardi, a skirt? All are under consideration. I also have a couple of rompers for Junah in mind.

Reading... Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline, for book club. I just finished The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. I certainly don't churn through books, so we won't even talk about BINGO.

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Remembering... Team SOS and their second-to-last 9th place finish four years ago at the Fit City Triathlon! By contrast, this has been a very inactive summer, but certainly not an idle summer! (I have recently resumed planking... it's something.)

Sewing... the long-term joint quilt project with Ali (again). Thankfully, there are only a few short steps to go before it's all pieced together and we send it off to be quilted. Hallelujah! (Also, the self-imposed order to not start anything new until this thing is finished will be moooooot.)

Splurging... I am tempted to splurge on the new Alabama Chanin DIY Makeshift Design Tote Kit. But what I really really want is to go to Florence! That's a whole 'nother level of splurge, though, and even though there's a Classic Weekend Workshop on my birthday this year, I just can't go to that level of indulgence (even for my birthday). However, instead of wishing & whining (even if it's only to myself), I've decided to start saving $5* for Florence. I won't be going for my birthday, because it isn't going to happen that fast, but maybe in a year or two!

Watching... Justified. We've made it to S5. So hooked.

*I have utilized this $5 savings plan before, usually when there's a fun little trip coming up and I think I might want some extra cash. Ali & Rod basically paid for midwifery services that way. Maddy recently bought a new computer with her $5 savings! It's pretty painless and it sure adds up... 5, 10, 15, 20 (I've always loved counting by 5s).


Ten on Tuesday: Country mouse

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love About Visiting The Country*

1. Barns and barn cats.

Tractor and barn

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Barn

Near Grantsburg, Wisconsin

***

2. Chickens.

Chickens

West Kilbride, Scotland

***

3. Country paths.

Country paths

Isle of Anglesey, Wales

***

4. Cows... or coos.

Cows

West Kilbride, Scotland

***

5. Hay fields... especially when dotted with round bales.

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Near Marshfield, Wisconsin

***

6. Lambs.

Lambs again
Lambs again

Bryn Celli Du - Isle of Anglesey, Wales

***

7. Mossy stone walls.

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United Kingdom

***

8. Fields of pumpkins.

Pumpkins

Near Berkeley, California

***

9. Sheep.

Sheep

Near Valders, Wisconsin

***

10. Fields of sunflowers.

Sunflowers

Northeast Wisconsin

***

*Featuring "the country" from both USA and UK!


Weekending: Music & Art

The third Mile of Music festival, aka Mile 3, was the happening thing around here over the weekend, with around 700 performances by 200+ original musical acts from Thursday to Sunday.

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I attended the performance of Son Little on Thursday evening, already very familiar with his music thanks to Kate... I've been listening for quite a while now! You may have read/heard about his music in The New Yorker or on NPR. It was a great show and I'm so glad I went! (And wore my new dress).

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Saturday morning was a farmer market morning, as usual, and the highlight of every market morning is a visit from Junah! Not only did he dump out all three snack containers, he took great pleasure in walking over it... the sound and sensation!

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Later on Saturday, we made our way down to The Alley Project (that link will take you to Kate's YoungSpace blog with lots of behind-the-scenes/before-after photos, etc.). We participated in a Drawing Rally -- I volunteered and Rusty made art!

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Artists made as many pieces as they wanted in their time period to help raise funds for community arts initiatives.

Some very talented artists participated:

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And some enthusiastic community members also took part!

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It was a blast and the place was hoppin'!

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Alabama Chanin Tunic: Catamount

I travel on occasion, and when I do I like to fly. One of the things I like most about flying is viewing the landscape below, which is why I always choose a window seat (and sometimes arrive at my destination with a sore neck). Wisconsin, and much of the USA, divides land using the geometric Public Land Survey System and I am endlessly entertained by the patterns and design of our land, both natural and man-made.

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Somewhere between Wisconsin and Mexico, February 2015.

The aerial view of Wisconsin in the warm months can be stunning, reminiscent of a giant quilt -- with every shade of green you can imagine, sometimes striped or blocked with brown or yellow, full of texture, contrast, and pattern. It gives me a thrill every time I see it. In autumn, add the reds, golds, and oranges of turning leaves. In winter... not quite as thrilling. There is still geometry, texture, interest, and it can be quite tranquil and lovely; it can also be bleak, raw, and desolate (not to mention cold).

I often view the landscape below me and think about it in terms of textiles: how could a particular design be used in quilting, knitting, or lately sewing (mainly surface design/embroidery).

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My main inspiration came from Snow Drawings at Catamount Lake, Colorado, 2013

When I decided to make an Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic/Dress using the lovely gift of organic cotton jersey from Margene a couple of months ago, I knew I wanted something special to honor the gift. I'm not sure when I first saw Sonja Hinrichsen's snow drawings -- sometime in the past year, a photo or article shared via social media, no doubt; I was immediately struck by her work, and I swear to god, the choir began to sing! The concept of her snow drawings blows my mind, and even after some intimacy with her work, I continue to be utterly amazed... the vision, the design, the execution, the perfection.

Mosaic1My  normal mode of operation is to dive right in, but I did do some testing to figure out some particulars.

The first step was to choose the particular areas/motifs I wanted to document on the fabric and then manipulate the images to correct the angle (so that circles were circular instead of elliptical).

Mosaic2Wow, that stuff really works!

Chosen design motifs were printed on an adhesive-backed wash-away fabric stabilizer (such as Sulky or Pellon), then cut out and arranged on the fabric. I was interested in a deep design at the hem... at first, I was going to do the entire dress, but quickly decided to do only the front.

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Some of the motifs are very labyrinth-like, peaceful and meditative, contrasting with the high-energy, whimsy, and unabashed fun of other parts -- and I felt all of those things while stitching, but mostly excitement! It was so much fun to do and I looked forward to sewing time everyday!

A million progress/process photos were taken along the way.

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The dress was assembled after embroidery was complete. (Construction details below.) I modified the neckline a bit, then bound my first V-neck. The Wonder Clips are amazing, of course, for holding things without piercing the fabric, but it occurred to me that basting the neckline might even be better. I had recollection of the neck gaping a bit on Maddy's Hootie shirt and it occurred to me that there would be a better chance at correcting that if I basted first; it would also eliminate weight from the clips that might stretch the fabric a bit more than I'd like while sewing up. I did, in fact, make an adjustment at the back neck before finishing, and the basting lines made perfect guidelines for sewing the beaded binding.

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Front and back - finished!

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That's my name in Morse Code beaded into the hem on one side; the year is beaded on the other side.

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I finished the dress on Sunday, and decided on Tuesday that I wanted a Bolero to go with it. I really want to make a gray & red version to go with the dress, but some "quick" slow fashion was called for, as I wanted to wear it on Thursday evening. I made a single-layer cap-sleeve version using a thrifted men's XL t-shirt. The fabric is off-white, I used Slate thread, binding the neck edge with parallel stitch and finishing the sleeves with a random ruffle -- a nod to and coordinating with the tunic, but no beads.

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Alabama Chanin A-line Dress: CATAMOUNT

  • Alabama Chanin 100% organic cotton jersey fabric - Blue Slate
  • Button craft thread - double strand of Black for construction, single strand of Slate for embroidery & beading
  • Backstitch embroidery
  • All knots inside
  • All seams inside felled
  • Customized length to between tunic & dress length (hits just above the knee)
  • Customized neckline to make slightly deeper V
  • Parallel binding stitch at armholes
  • Beaded parallel binding stitch at neckline
  • Beaded random ruffle at hemline
  • Seed beads: clear and red
  • Bugle beads: dark gray, satin gray, and red
  • Chop beads: dark gray and red
  • Sequins: silver and dark gray

I've shared my project with Sonja Hinrichsen, whose work inspired the embellishment, and I'm happy to report that she loves it!

There are a few more photos (if you can believe it) in a Flickr Collection/Alabama Chanin A-line Tunic: Catamount.


Ten on Tuesday: City mouse

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Love About Visiting The City

1. Restaurants.

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We discovered it in 2012 and now, a trip to Chicago doesn't seem complete without a stop at The Purple Pig.

2. Shopping

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...or maybe just window shopping!

3. Architecture

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4. Sometimes a movie or film that won't ever make it to our neck of the woods.

5. Sites.

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Cloud Gate and Millennium Park.

6. Events.

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7. Friends!

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Visiting another city, such as Grand Rapids, New York, Salt Lake City, or Berkeley, sometimes means meeting up with a friend or three!

8. Museums

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The boys and Sue at The Field Museum, Chicago.

9. Gawking... um, I mean PEOPLE WATCHING! Haha. There's no better place for it.

10. Options for getting around -- train, subway, on foot.

 


Indigo shorts

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Ann & her family stopped by on Friday night, the first leg of their trip to Madison for a wedding on Saturday. Ann & Brian made dinner while I helped the boys prep some shirts for the indigo vat!

They're going to be staying with me for a few days in mid-August, and they each have a few more shirts with which to experiment.

We let the shirts sit overnight after their dip; I snapped and sent some photos on Saturday so they could see the results.

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Mack put rubber bands at the sleeves, then sort of bunched up and folded the body, securing with another rubber band... and I think he tucked a clothespin under the band at the last minute. It wasn't very secure, but I think there's some recognizable clothespin action on the right sleeve.

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I helped Addy secure rubber bands on the body and each sleeve... I *love* the tiny little circle motif on the left sleeve.

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Annie banded up a shirt, too. She used a lot of rubber bands and made the back different from the front (alas, not shown...).

I refreshed the vat a bit after they left, and after the farmers market (and my nap) on Saturday, I threw a few more things into the pot.

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Shirts, shorts, and even a pair of my stepdad's jeans on the line after dyeing on Friday-Saturday. The jeans turned out pretty good, and he gave me several more pair to "refresh." I think I'll be doing that this week on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

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We'd prepped a shirt for my BIL on Friday but no one did anything with it, so I bunched and banded it into sections and dipped it on Saturday. I dipped the bottoms sections one or two more times than the top.

Edited to add:

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Until I perused my closet this morning, I forgot about this J.Jill top that I over-dyed in the indigo vat! I bought it 5 years ago when Sharon & I went to Las Vegas. It was light gray; I wore it and I liked it, and tired of it. Lately, it's been in and out of the donation bag countless times; now it has new life!

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I also revived a very old pair of Rusty's shorts. It's actually one of two pair. I forgot about the second, but that's okay because I can show "before" photos.

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I don't know... 10 years old? At least six...

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Here's the color under the pocket flap... obviously the entire garment was once that color. The dark teal spots are telltale signs that these were worn while painting our house.

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One quick dip and they're good for another 10, at least!! Haha.

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The end.

 


In the 1940s...

In the 1940s (the World War II years) the demand for butter tubs and cheese boxes kept the Blum factories very busy. It took a long time before wages went up, but as foreman, Lester had to put in a lot of extra hours, many unpaid. However, his dad compensated him in other ways. A couple of times when I went to make a payment at the lumber company or on the doctor bill at the clinic, I found that big-hearted Grandpa John had paid in full! Very timely!

How did we make some extra money to keep growing (our home) and "growing" (our family)?

Lester often thought he'd rather be a farmer! I couldn't blame him, after starting as a teenager in that noisy, saw-dusty factory. But I had experienced, and knew the hardships and labors of that early farm life too well to let him make that mistake.

Making use of our extra acre gave him a taste of it, small scale! He had it plowed and planted potatoes. After lots of work weeding, hoeing, and digging he had very good potatoes, and they sold for 25 cents a bushel!

The next attempt at farming: we fenced that acre in and bought a cow. After all, we were using a lot of milk. We also made our own butter. The boys enjoyed cranking the churn and the buttermilk was wonderful for baking. When there was a surplus of milk, we let it sour to the curd stage and made our own delicious cottage cheese.

Next, "Farmer Lester" bought a pregnant pig, and it was a special family moment watching the birth of the piglets. They were raised to a marketable age, and then finally the mother pig supplied us with many good meals. We had the hams and bacon smoked and I canned some. Remember, there were no freezers then. I made lard and the surplus lard went into a batch of laundry soap from a recipe our mothers used.

Each year we bought 100 baby chicks for the boys to raise. This provided many good meals and a steady supply of eggs. There was always a market for the surplus fryers and eggs.

excerpted from my grandmother's 2001 memoir, "A Look Back"
Lester was my grandfather; John, his dad, my great granddad


Ten on Tuesday: Blueberries

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Things To Do with Blueberries

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1. Pick them.

2. Eat them right off the bush.

3. Eat them right out of the bucket.

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4. Eat them right out of the box.

5. Eat them by the handful.

6. Eat them from a bowl with a little bit of cream.

7. Add them to a bowl of cereal.

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8. Add them to a fruit salad.

9. Make blueberry muffins.

10. Make blueberry pancakes.

I *love* blueberries! You???
 

Weekending: Late edition

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Oh, well, HI THERE!

I finished the embellishment of my Alabama Chanin A-line Dress on Friday night! I'd already seamed up the back a while ago, and couldn't resist Wonder Clipping the other three seams so I could try it on (shown above and below, inside-out).

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Pleased as punch.

In case it's hard to tell, I am very happy!! I can't wait to wear this dress!!

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As of last night, all the seams are sewn and felled; edges await finishing (neckline, armholes, hem).

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Busy boy.

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Peek-a-BOO!

It was a regular market morning on Saturday, with the addition of an early  morning helper!

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Intrigued by Walter - the spaniel that lives across the street.

I watched Junah later on Saturday, too, while Ali helped Rusty set up his booth for the 55th Art at the Park in Appleton. Kate helped him tear down last night. Both girls made nostalgic posts on Facebook, recalling the innumerable art fairs to which they've accompanied him over the years. It was always a pretty big thrill -- various Chicago-land shows, that long show in Ann Arbor, etc.

Rusty had a follow-up appointment with his regular doc this morning. He's generally feeling better, though plagued by one or two areas that have been feeling worse; he checked out OK, with a prescription refill, and just needs to be patient while all those strained muscles and ligaments heal!