Monday, May 11, 2015

Slices of Life

Last week was absolute shit, both at work and at home.  My left shin is a bloody mess due to anxiety-provoked psoriasis scratching. Whatever. The whole point of life is to suffer, right?  I usually find comfort in books, but last week I was reading The Yellow Admiral by Patrick O'Brian.  This is one of the last of his stellar Jack Aubrey/Stephen Maturin series and the first of these books to be disappointing.  Now I am reading The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats, which is good, but not a comfort read.

Jon and I often do something celebratory on Friday nights, but this week I went on a tidying spree and tossed out a huge pile of papers and old magazines and catalogs and gathered a bag of items to take to the Salvation Army.  A cathartic clean is a good way to end a difficult week.

Saturday, after the gym, and in a more cheerful frame of mind, I rode my bike to the farmer's market, ostensibly to buy local strawberries, but also to visit Jon and friends at the Mad Hatter booth.  I spotted one of Charlottesville's iconic local residents, dressed in leather lederhosen, pull out an inch-thick stack of two dollar bills to pay for his purchases at one of the farm stands.

I spent a good chunk of the weekend learning to sew knit fabric.  I had a huge piece of stretch knit that I got for free and Grace asked me to make her a maxi skirt.  I wasn't sure about sewing knits without a serger.  I've had bad luck in the past, and my sewing machine manual wasn't very helpful, but it does make a sort of tiny, tight zigzag stitch that made a nice, secure, un-puckery seam.  I used a jersey needle.  The skirt itself isn't perfect, but just knowing that I can sew on knit fabric gives me so many more sewing options.  I wear a lot of knits and there are so many nice patterns for knits, particularly among indie pattern designers.  I felt a bit limited, sticking to woven fabric.



I didn't have a pattern, but used this tutorial. I would never have purchased this fabric.  It's thin and skimpy, and I'm not sure what it's intended for.  An online fabric shop sent it to me by mistake and let me keep it even after I notified them of the error.

I found some great library books with projects suitable for leftover yarn and fabric scraps.  I finished this wool gauntlet, and I think I have just enough yarn left to complete its mate. I can't even remember what I made with this yarn originally.

There's supposed to be a little strap across the wrist,
with leather buttons, which I'll knit if I have enough yarn.


I also watched An Education, (for the second time) which is a great movie.  Set in 1961,  it's about an Oxford-hopeful English schoolgirl who is introduced to a glamorous lifestyle after randomly meeting a charming and worldly man.  It stars Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard and the cast includes some of my favorites: Dominic Cooper, Olivia Williams, Alfred Molina, Rosamund Pike, and Emma Thompson. Highly recommended.  Have you seen it?

Oh, and I won the Gordy's Pickle Jar giveaway from Relay Foods!  A free jar of Gordy's Cajun okra, hot chili spears, and bloody Mary mix are coming my way.  A nice Mothers' Day surprise, and, I hope, an omen of a better week to come.

10 comments:

  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE An Education! But Emma Thompson was in it? Why don't I remember that?

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    1. Emma Thompson is the school headmistress. A small role, but she's glorious in it.

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  2. Sewing knit is HARD. I've been doing some reading on it and am considering trying it again, just for kicks. That skirt is totally adorable and exactly the sort of thing I want to sew.

    The sight of the ionic resident in his lederhosen is enough to make one's day cheery.

    We introduced Edie to The Blues Brothers this weekend.

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    1. The Blues Brothers! I don't think I've introduced my kids to that one yet.

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  3. This comment is totally related to nothing in your post! But as a Cville resident, have you ever been to Basic Necessities in Nellysford for dinner? If so, how was it?

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    1. No, I've never been there, so I can't offer an opinion. Nelson county is an interesting place though, so I bet it's worth checking out.

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  4. I haven't seen that movie but will keep it in mind. For comfort reading, I suggest Anthony Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire 6 novels. The first is The Warden. He creates a charming world of 1850s England.

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    1. Ha, you're preaching to the choir! I love Anthony Trollope. I haven't read the whole Barsetshire series yet, though. I think I stopped at Framely Parsonage. I added the others to my classics project list, so I'll be reading them soon. Trollope is a great comfort read.

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  5. I gave up sewing when my wardrobe started to contain only knits but that maxi skirt looks really nice. I think the Age of Polyester blends is coming to an end -- everything in the stores seems to be rayon/modal, which drapes really well.

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  6. How has that movie flown below my radar? Thanks for the tip!
    I'm glad to read you have some goodness to offset the hellish parts of your week. I'm all about a good cathartic clean.
    NICE job on the skirt--it's very cute. I always figured jersey cotton would be a bear to sew together, but it is such a wearable fabric that it would be useful to know HOW to do it.

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