About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tweed Inspiration

I snapped these photos of the tweed jacket that one of my co-workers was wearing on Thursday.

If you read the buttons carefully, you will know where she purchased it. The first thing that I noticed was the fabric, and then how beautifully it fit her.

She pointed out that the reason she had bought it, was because of the buttons. I did the same sort of thing myself, on a rayon challis blouse I made in the late 1980’s: pullover and dolman-sleeved and cut on the cross-grain. The pattern was of narrow irregular stripes that came and went, as if someone had painted them on the diagonal while hanging one-handed from a stepladder.

I did a flat-fell seam for the shoulders and then stitched something like three dozen buttons from the neckline over the shoulders and down to the wrists, all spaced an inch or so apart, and each picking up a color in the fabric. I think there were five or seven distinct button types, all about a centimeter in diameter but different shapes and colors, repeating in a regular pattern. If I were making that blouse again, I would use one-offs. But you couldn’t get enough different buttons as readily then as you can now.

To go back to my co-worker’s buttons, notice how each is stitched in a different color. And then look at the buttonholes themselves. You would have to be very, very good at making buttonholes, not to botch this by using contrasting threads as they have.

It would never, ever have occurred to me to stitch buttonholes in random threads. I don’t remember the name of my home ec teacher in eighth grade, but she well-nigh beat into us the importance of matching thread to fabric. And as Ricky Nelson sang, “I learned my lesson well”.

But maybe it’s time to rethink that. Because I love seeing and making and wearing beautiful clothing, and I’d rather not “drive a truck”.

I am still enjoying my water aerobics class. Like the teachers, like the classmates, like the fact that I have lost 8.75 inches in six weeks, 5.5 pounds when I weighed earlier this month, and basically half a dress size. Without dieting. Although I do find myself reaching for the carrots instead of the double-chocolate muffin, most days. But basically I am eating what I want, when I want it, and savoring it thoroughly. Tonight after class I will grab the half-price burger at Sonic with water and no fries; at the moment I am just finishing up an English muffin with a prudent amount of real butter.

I am aiming for a nice session on the recumbent bike this morning, just me and the Stripedy Stocking. I have about 15 more increases to go before I start with the eternal ribbing. Which translates into almost four more inches on size 00 needles, so it will take awhile. This sock does seem to be going faster than the first one, maybe because I now have a map?

I also knit the better part of a pattern repeat on Middlest’s sock yesterday. The yarn is soft and pretty *and* I still prefer knitting with 100% natural fibers; Pace is 25% polyamide. I am looking forward to more knitting today, but this pattern requires more thinking than is possible [for me, at least] while cycling.

When I finished class last night, I was so full of energy. If there had been a smoke-free dancing venue at hand, I would have gone dancing for an hour or two. It amazes me to realize that in a few months, if I wanted to go dancing every night and could find enough non-dive-y places to do so, I could.

Time to throw my swimsuit and towel into my bag, pack lunch, decide what to wear, sluice off and go. The YMCA opens in half an hour. And there is a Pink Lady apple calling my name...

1 comment:

fiberjoy said...

Different buttons and different threads! Thinking outside the box. The concept seems funky but it totally works on that well designed jacket. I wish sewing machines didn't like to battle with me.

Good news on your swimming efforts! Keep it up. Ymm, Pink Ladys