Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wiley House Heritage Arts Show Features My Original Work!

I'm excited to have two of my original creations, a knit top and matching scarf, featured this coming month in a Heritage Arts show at the Wiley House, 14th and J Streets in Bedford, Indiana.  I made the top and scarf with two balls of Warbler Boucle, a 100% cotton yarn by Robin Edmundson of Solsberry, Indiana ( For the lace stitch, I used a scarf pattern by Vedis Jonsdottir on page 112 of the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting. I pretty much stuck to the pattern for the scarf, but got more creative for the top, adding two balls of old crochet thread that I dyed with Rit Dye to achieve the dark blue of the yoke, which I knitted in a simple stockinette stitch edged in garter stitch. I had never dyed thread before, and I was really pleased with how easy it was and how well it turned out. I see a lot more thread-dyeing in my future.

The jeans were decorated by DD and her friends in Rouen, France, to commemorate the year she spent there on the Rotary Youth Exchange program in 2008-2009. These jeans remind me of the senior cords created by Indiana high school students in the past. I think they look great with the top and scarf.

The pink bra under the lace top might be a little much! It was either that or a boring beige camisole. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stash bustin'

One of my frugal, de-cluttering objectives this summer has been to finish projects and try to sew up my fabric stash. The red skirt turned out really well; I must have had this cotton/Lycra twill fabric for at least ten years, but it sewed up quickly and fits great. Total cost (in 2012 terms): about $3 for the elastic and hem tape. The blue-on-blue African fabric I bought four years ago in the Congo. Since I didn't have my sewing machine with me, and I was tired of all the clothes in my suitcase, I hired an African lady to sew me up an outfit, but it was a disaster. I paid her, anyway, but couldn't wear it. This year I took it completely apart, every seam, and managed to salvage enough for a skirt, not a great return considering I had bought six yards, but better than nothing. Total cost, not including the fabric I bought four years ago: $0. Everything came out of my stash. I also made a pair of shorts in a wild striped stretch twill that I'm not showing here ($0), and recovered a chair for DD's new apartment. I wanted to recover the chair in African fabric I had taking up space in the women's jail, but DH insisted on buying new velour. It's very pretty, and he paid the $100+ for the fabric, thread and new zippers, but it kind of defeated the purpose I had setting out, which was to reduce my fabric stash and avoid spending any money. Men!

Our little town of Bedford, Indiana has gotten much more interesting recently. There are three new restaurants, a coffee shop, and a used bookstore, all within a block of the courthouse square (i.e., a couple of blocks from our house). I'm especially fond of the bookstore, where you can trade in your used books for store credit and buy more. The Wiley Art Center has a new exhibit every month, and of course, thanks to the great team there, the Lawrence County Museum is a wonderful place to visit. We've had a busy summer at the museum, but today I could have slept at the front desk and no one would have seen me.

DS is a senior in high school this year (can you believe it?) and we've hit the road a few times this summer for university visits. I'm particularly fond of the University of Chicago, mostly because it gave me an excuse to visit one of my favorite cities. DD has been off in Montana for a six-week geology field camp. It's been a challenge but she stuck it out and will be back next week.

We are in the middle of a terrible drought here in southern Indiana. The cornfields are a tragedy. My heart goes out to the farmers and to all the people who will be hungry this winter when the law of supply and demand pushes prices up. It's funny how we all react now when rain is in the forecast or clouds appear overhead--eyes watch the sky hopefully, every greeting includes, "Looks like we might get some rain!" and on the rare occasion that rain does fall, people come out on their porches to watch. We have learned to appreciate the blessing of rain.