Monday, March 26, 2007

michigan thrifting

Sometimes the secret to surviving a long road trip is finding a small town junk shop. We drove to and from Chicago this past week and stopped in Galesburg, Michigan on our way back. Jay has a knack for spotting signs for such obscure places, and with the 25 degree weather we really needed to get out of the car. The shop was a gem; we spent over an hour discovering treasures and if we didn't have to get back to pick up Sadie we would have stayed all afternoon. The doll's highchair is already Sadie's favourite. She has sat every creature in its' steel seat and served them juice. As for me, I simply indulged in little treats: the tiniest pearl buttons, an old baby portrait, a baby's diary from 1905 and a little something I'm going to pass along to a far away and dearly missed friend. The wool is a mismatched element because it is new and hails from Chicago, but it's such a great colour and the shop was so fantastic that I wanted to include it. If you're ever in Chicago, Nina is a shop worth visiting. The Red Balloon was pretty sweet too, but I'll save my Chicago review for next time.
(There is a reason to my separating posts though - up until Galesburg I had mostly been shopping in retail stores as any new city compels me to do. However, it was so refreshing to go thrifting and rediscover items long loved by other people. I have a love/hate relationship with shopping and consumerism - who doesn't? - but it seems I almost forgot who I was until we walked into this shop. It was like breathing fresh air, regardless of dust content.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

finished, part two

I can hardly believe it, but I finished a sweater! A real, adult sized sweater that I can actually wear. This is when knitting is totally cool, and I think Ragdoll would agree. The pattern is my favourite style - raglan sleeves with rolled edges. Already I have more Cascade in the wings (the fuschia/pink blend...why not be more daring?) to make the exact sweater once more. Before that though, I think my little girl should get a sweater of her own, and after this huge endeavour a toddler sized version should take no time!
The details are: Fleece Artist Kidsilk Raglan Pattern, Cascade 220 Heathered (instead of the Kidsilk) on 5mm circular bamboo needles. Only modification was to make the neck longer and narrower so that it was more of a turtleneck style.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Finally, a finished piece. This is my donation to the Muse07 silent art auction (frankly, I need deadlines to get me working). I struggled with knowing when to stop, but now that the binding is sewn and the piece is set in a frame I'm starting to believe that it reached its' proper ending. Jay finds that the piece makes him quite sad; part of me meant that I'm sure, but there is much more behind this story, and I hope the simple choice of materials adds warmth to that emotional expression. I have been working on cross-stitch samplers for a while (with only glimpses left here) so it is really rewarding to add this new element to my staples of embroidery and hand stitching. Actually, this is really the first piece of mine that doesn't rely on photography as the figural element, though that is partly why it felt unfinished for so long. With Sadie in my life and working space at a minimum (both physically and mentally) the intimate and immediate nature of fabric and thread just works best. Hopefully the things I'm trying to say can be captured in such limited materials.
And now to start sleeve number two of my sweater. Knitting class is tomorrow and I really need a respite from thinking. Oh, and if you're in Toronto, Haley is having a big sale this weekend at Knitomatic. Bank account be warned.