June 9, 2006
Hiya! Can’t believe we’ll see each other this weekend. To those in the Indianapolis area, come say hi on Saturday afternoon at Mass. Ave. Knit Shop, 3 p.m., bring your knitting. We’re in town for TNNA (which spell-check always wants to change to TUNA). So yeah, a mega yarn-crawl is what we’re talking about. It is a blessing that all sales are strictly to the trade. But a girl can whine for samples, can’t she?
It’s been a busy, somewhat melancholy time here at Casa Bigbonegal. We’re packing up the whole apartment so that we can move to another apartment for 6 months so that we can get it Fixed Up. We are on a mission to restore ‘circa 1929’ atmosphere to a place that at one point was ‘updated’ to ‘circa 1979’. (We’re not just talking track lights. Track lights are a given. We’re talking PLASTIC track lights. Corian in the living room? Right here, people. We’ve got a ‘distressed’ chandelier that–I kid you not–I spotted the twin of, in a Mexican restaurant in California. A chain restaurant. I wept into my margarita.)
For me and the stash, moving out would be challenging enough. But the apartment we’re moving to is a world-class challenge all by itself. It is the home of my late mother-in-law, who lived in it for over 50 years, collecting beautiful things with an eclectic eye that was astonishing for her times, or for any times. There is no realization of mortality that is quite as striking as the feeling that dawns as you carefully sort through another woman’s belongings. ‘Oh this is cute!’ ‘Oh this is funny” ‘Oh, how pretty!’ –This is what you say to yourself all day long, as you try to figure out where it all should go. You think about your own cute, funny, pretty possessions, and how you’d like the chance to edit them yourself before you say goodbye.
If you want a precise count of how many florist’s containers you will amass if you save every one you get, for 50 years, call me and I’ll give you the current numbers (caveat: count is, as yet, incomplete). I’m begging you Ann–recycle those florist’s containers NOW. Move that straight to the top of your to-do list. It has gotten to the point that when anybody holds up an item and asks, ‘What is this?’, I say ‘Florist’s container.’
Speaking of Cute, Funny, Pretty Things
I finished my quilt top. This is my template-free, restrained-taste-free version of Denyse Schmidt’s fabulous What a Bunch of Squares. I think if I was ordered to make the same quilt over and over, and it was this one, I could live with that. I’ve been researching handquilting and machine quilting services, and our quilting readers have been so helpful.
But in the past few days I’ve had Yet Another Idea. In Gwen Marston’s wonderful little book Liberated String Quilts, she mentions the concept of the Summer Spread. The Summer Spread is a quilt top that has a backing but no batting. The 2 layers are stabilized by light quilting, by hand or machine, or tying.
This idea appeals to me because (a) I can do it myself, for free, and not wait for the thing to come back from being Sent Out; and (b) the theme of this quilt is summer. Many of the fabrics are Heather Ross Munki Munki prints with aquatic, summery childhood themes (the backing fabric is Pool Party). A light spread solves the problem of bed-sized quilts being so heavy that you have to wrestle with them every time you make the bed (which, you know, could almost be a DAILY thing if you’re serious about it) . Anyhoo, I’m still thinking. I don’t want to ruin my pretty green top, but I don’t want to treat it like it’s the be-all and end-all of quilts, either. It’s my First Quilt. I want to get it on a bed, and move on.
For the knitters, here is the current status of the knitted version of What a Bunch of Squares. The knitted version is every bit as much fun to make as the fabric version. Apply the same attitude of just playing with materials to get the effect you want. Simple, satisfying, portable knitting.
Here’s a treat: home-bleached denim swatches, fresh from Belinda’s kitchen. They are silky-soft, thanks to the healing properties of the waters of East London. I am eager to rip and re-knit the yarn, but the question is, into WHAT?
When it comes to splashing Clorox around in the sink, Belinda has no rivals. I would back her against all comers. But for dyeing with real indigo using traditional Japanese methods, take a look at Rowland and Chinami Ricketts. (Yes, I did almost lose my mind looking at this stuff. Thanks to Kansas City reader/pal Tracy for passing it on.) And they’re in Tennessee! Go visit, willya? Take them a casserole!
Happy weekend everybody,