Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reverse Knitting

I think I told you before that DD and I were learning to reverse knit. Now that she's gone back to school, I sit up evenings and diligently work to finish this scarf we started (the pattern is in Debbie Stoller's book "Son of Stitch 'n B****"). The directions in the book are very clear and I love the way the two colors alternate on each side of the knitting. The two layers of knitting also make a very warm scarf; DH has admired it several times, so if I ever finish this one I might have to make another one in more subdued colors for him. The pattern calls for 23 repeats of a 14-row design; I have finished seven so far, so we'll see if DD gets to wear it this winter or not. In the meantime my bulky sweater project sits in the corner mocking me, so I have my hands full of knitting.

I've also become quite a fan of a blog called "Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing" ( Gertie is working her way through the Vogue Sewing Book and the results are gorgeous, plus she refers to other sewing blogs she likes, which led me this morning to "The Two Windmills" (, which made me really want to sew a new skirt! Perhaps by now you are thinking that I should stop blog reading and start actually making a skirt, or finishing my sweater, or doing something concrete and practical, and you are right, except for one thing.

Our museum ( On Friday we learned how to carefully clean and wrap antique textiles to preserve them for posterity. We have a huge collection of clothing and other textiles, many of them donated years ago (the first box was wrapped in newspaper dated September 1957, just as an example) that we are trying to get identified, documented, and properly stored in anticipation of a really stunning exhibit this spring. Unwrapping those newspaper parcels is like Christmas. Such wonderful things. Two 1850's dresses, so tiny that we'll have to make special mannequins to display them on. A brown velvet capelet, trimmed in lace and tied with ribbons, right out of an illustration for "Little Women". An old fox fur with the head still on (this one made us a little queasy). I go to sleep dreaming about these clothes. And it's not just clothing--I unwrapped a parcel labeled "quilt blocks" and found this sampler embroidered by a 13-year-old girl named Zilpha Colby in 1834. Small wonder I can't concentrate on my needlework, not to mention sweep my kitchen floor.


  1. Oh, what an accomplishment! I have a sister that did that and it was challenging! very nice! :)

  2. stories are soooo interesting! Sounds like you are volunteer at the Museum? I have seen some old dresses at the Cincinnati Museum and you are right, those ladies were tiny! They were smaller people and they didn't eat hormone food like we do, and they also drew in their waists with corsets. I remember when I use to wear a girdle almost everyday with garder hose! I don't think I've worn a pair of hose for years and years!!! The thought almost panics me now! LOL

    I live outside Dayton Ohio, and I'd love to come see the museum displays this spring if I know about it. I'll try to watch the website for postings.