Friday, September 28, 2018
This is why I love the internet. Awhile ago my sis wanted to know what to do about covering the window in her front door, because every time somebody came up onto her porch, the dogs jumped up and ripped off the curtain she had hanging there. Not quite ready to just paint the damn glass black and be done with it, she asked what I thought she should do. I suggested cutting a piece of cheapo lace curtain from the thrift store to the exact size of the glass and gluing it there. It seemed like it wouldn’t be permanent or irreversible, and that it would let in light while preserving privacy, and that it would also look pretty. “Actually,” I told her, “Ima do that myself, because it happens to be a great idea.” My own front door window has been naked and bugging me ever since we painted the entire house last winter, and in general I really hate to cover up windows, but I also hate to be visible in my nightie, so I put “Cheapo lace curtain” on my thrift store shopping list and let it sit there for a long time while I got on with other things. Last weekend, I found one at Goodwill for two bucks and decided it was time to make this project happen. It occurred to me: what kind of glue? I remembered how I once used spray adhesive for some paper project on the unprotected surface of my kitchen table and how the gluey overspray marks from that little brainstorm are still in evidence to this day, and I also thought about how the same kinds of marks, left from using Mod Podge for a different project, on a completely different table, are also still there, ten years later. It seemed like the lace curtain might have been the easy part. Finally, I remembered how every single thing you’ve ever thought of doing has already been done before and how someone will have surely documented the process—so I googled “glueing lace to a window” and found it. (I also remembered seeing that article before, which is undoubtedly where I got the idea in the first place.) I enlisted Doc to help me try to cut a piece of lace, which is wobbly at best, into a neat square to the exact measurements of the window glass, and then I mixed up a gloppy bowlful of cornstarch and water and glued it up there. It could not have been easier, you guys. It looked sort of opaque while it was wet, and I made a big mess on the floor and on the dog while I was painting it on, but now that it’s dry all the way, it does just what I thought it would do—it lets in the light, but keeps me from feeling like I’m on television. Naturally, I kept going and glued more lace to a bunch more windows. It looks so good, so light and neat, and just what I wanted. Now my neighbor can take out his trash without fear of seeing more of me than he wants to. A win for everyone!
Tuesday, September 18, 2018
I’m so happy festival season is here. Doc and I went down to Hemlock on Saturday for the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival, and I swear I could hardly sleep the night before. I woke up really early. I was a kid at Christmas. I feel so understood at a fiber festival. If you say “Threipmuir” or “Hebridean” or “nostepinne”, you get smiles and knowing nods. There is such a sense of community there. People admire what you’re wearing, even if it’s just a Johnny Cash t-shirt from Target. I want a fiber festival every single weekend all year, and I will be putting all my less-important organs for sale on Craigslist in order to fund the ensuing purchases. And Doc, who wore his kilt and looked fierce, as usual, and who carried my new fleece [it’s a Shetland! It’s gray! I don’t need any more fleeces, but I can’t help it!] on his back looking again like a creepy Santa, did not complain one breath about the heat, nor about the powerful sheepy smell coming from his cargo, nor about anything else, either. He’s the very best fiber festival companion, and actually in all other things, too. Up next is Rhinebeck, and my sweater for that (Next Year In Lerwick by Tori Seierstad) is clipping along at a terrific rate, what with me being obsessed by it and everything. Just as I’m sick of a motif, it’s time for a the breather of a couple plain rows and a color change, which just keeps me going. I’m a little scared of all that colorwork on the sleeves, but it isn’t time to worry about those yet. The body is coming out a bit long (row gauge is such a jerk) but I think I can live with it.
I bought my annual sweater’s quantity from the amazing Jill Draper, who never fails to remember me from last year and to make me feel like we’re friends. She is kindly and warm, and the yarn is pretty perfect. If you ever have a chance to use Jill’s yarn, you should do so without delay, but if you can buy it directly from her at a festival, you’ll have such a lovely interaction with her, and all that joy and good cheer will go right into your project.
She let me try on her sample for September House, a stranded colorwork yoke pullover designed by Kirsten Kapur, which is what I’ll be working on next. It was a very cozy 82 degrees F, which didn’t keep me from loving that sweater, nor the yarn its made with. Get on my needles, JDMS Valkill!
I have a finished sweater here. Sitting in front of me as I type this. All its ends are woven in, and it is blocked and dry, and it is pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be, except:
Monday, September 10, 2018
And just like that, fall is here. I’m feeling quite prepared this year, and am ready to do my best to love it, and if I can’t quite love it, to at least appreciate it. I made an apple crisp (worth it already) and am wearing my Aamu turtleneck today for the first time, reveling in its wooly-ness. It is pouring and gray outside, and I’m feeling very cozy, tucked indoors with the catdog and the warm fire.
We walked yesterday to the pond, and the sky, all churned up, looked full of doom and solid with rain. This little pond and the meadow beside it, hidden in the orchard, pleases me in all seasons, and it looked still and serene on an early autumn day. When I was growing up and reading Anne of Green Gables over and over again, I wished so hard for a place like that, a friendly and secret oasis in the woods where I could lie belly first on a rock and hang over the water, watching frogs paddle around in the cattails. It sometimes is a muddy hike out to the pond, and sometimes the pond is frozen over and desolate, and sometimes there is a distant snowmobile or tractor or siren that shatters the stillness, but I am still very thankful for it. Even in the darkest part of the year, the pond is there, alive underneath the ice.
Of course I’m always preparing for cold weather in at least one way—I am always knitting. This week, during a trip home to visit my lovely mama, I finished the last sleeve of my Ola Yoke and spread it out to block on her floor. I tried it on several times while it was still damp and just could hardly wait to sew in the ends and wear it. Friends, the satisfaction levels on this finished sweater are pretty high. I wanted to knit this design ever since I first saw it, but I was looking for a more muted palette, and I felt miserably unqualified to choose one. I sort of thought it would have to wait until some future day when I could travel to Shetland, stand in front of the Great Wall of color at Jamieson and Smith and beg Ella herself to help me pick out colors, but then Ella saved me several thousand dollars by releasing a hat pattern with a motif similar to the Ola and in the most perfect palette of browns and dusky lilacs and muted periwinkles. One of these colors is called “Leprechaun Tears”. Seriously, it isn’t possible to love that any more than I do. So I bought both patterns and kind of mushed them together, and then knit this sweater on US 2 needles, which, in case you didn’t know, is very small. It was an epic knit, and I loved every stitch, and the finished garment feels so very worthy somehow. This is a sweater for a lifetime, and then some. It will be with me forever, I think.