1. National Geographic says its coverage has been racist. Good for them.
2. From a Lenny Letter a couple weeks ago: The Healing Power of Rage Cleaning.
Do you have a down-puffer coat with makeup on the collar that makes you feel like garbage and curse the six months of winter in the terrible place you’ve chosen to live? Have you taken it to the cleaners and received it back again with the same smears in place? All hope is not lost… With a bowl of hot water handy, squeeze a gentle dish soap onto an old toothbrush and scrub the oily spots on the front and back of the collar, using just enough water to create suds. Wash the coat on delicate, and put it in the dryer with three tennis balls until it is absolutely dry. This might take a few cycles. Tennis balls in the dryer are really loud, so it’s the perfect time to scream into the void until you pass out.
For today, when the rain just turned to snow, a delightful find from EvenCleveland: A new take on Vivaldi’s “Spring” by Max Richter, set to springtime time lapse:
Spring is coming, dammit.
I’ve been knitting away on a Cline sweater since about January, but since it’s black and is knit in pieces I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures. Here’s way back when I was doing a gauge swatch:
Remember how when I was planning my last cardigan that I announced I hated seaming and would only knit sleeveless, top-down sweaters I could try on as I went? Yeah, this isn’t that.
Historically, I haven’t gotten a good finish on a seamed sweater, but everyone raves about this pattern’s instructions (and so far, so good). I’m also about 10 years older and wiser than the last time I tired a seamed sweater, so maybe I can follow instructions a little better, too.
Bad News Good News
I was at a camp in the country,
you were home in the city,
and bad news had come to you.
You texted me as I sat
with others around a campfire.
It had been a test you and I
hadn’t taken seriously,
hadn’t worried about.
You texted the bad news word
cancer. I read it in that circle
around the fire. There was
singing and laughter to my right and left
and there was that word on the screen.
I tried to text back but,
as often happened in that county,
my reply would not send, so I went to higher ground.
I stood on a hill above the river and sent you
the most beautiful words I could manage,
put them together, each following each. Under
Ursa Major, Polaris, Cassiopeia, a space station flashing,
I said what had been said
many times, important times, foolish times:
those words soft-bodied humans say when the news is bad.
The I love you we wrap around our
need and hurl at the cosmos: Take this, you heartless
nothing and everything, take this.
I chose words to fling into the dark toward you
while the gray-robed coyote came out of hiding
and the badger wandered the unlit hill
and the lark rested herself in tall grasses;
I sent the most necessary syllables
we have, after all this time the ones we want to hear:
I said Home, I said Love, I said Tomorrow.
(Keep my mom and my family in your thoughts, if you have some good vibes to spare. Posts may be a little lighter going forward but I’ll still be here.)
Internet, it’s only March and I’m wanting to stray from my 2018 Make Nine plans. I saw this fabric during a random search that led me to Stitches Seattle, and I fell hard:
It is…Japanese/Hawaiian print double gauze with…pirate ships full of fabric loot? Eee! I am picturing a lengthened Tamarack Jacket–maybe constructed to be fully reversible?
However, not only would I have to buy the fabric, I’d have to re-buy the jacket pattern so I could cut a larger size, and I just made a statement quilted jacket. Also, it’s going to warm up in the next six weeks.
I’ve been trying to talk myself out of this for a over a month now. But that priiiiiint……
The snow day meant I could finish up my third project in the 2018 Make Nine: the Wiksten Oversized Kimono Jacket.
I had some doubts about the pattern–back in 2009 I found Jenny Gordy’s blog, right when she was launching the Wiksten pattern line, and I fangirled hard. I made the Wiksten tank and the Tova top a couple times each but I just…didn’t love them. I had a hell of a time getting the tank not to gape; the tunic always flapped open and never seemed to hang right.
I don’t know if I’ve gotten better at fitting and constructing or if the Wiksten brand has, but I LOVE the fit on this jacket. This is a case when I’m really glad I listened to all the hype on Instagram: It is perfectly slouchy but doesn’t fall off your shoulders; it is dramatically long but doesn’t swallow you up. (I made an XS with a swayback adjustment and a forward shoulder adjustment; I am 5’7″.)
The pattern itself is a free PDF download, but you have to buy Making magazine to get the instructions. I’ll be honest: I had the pattern downloaded and ready to go and thought, “I can wing it without $20 instructions,” but then my better nature prevailed. I got the magazine with part of a gift card to my local yarn store, and I’m glad I did: the construction makes it fully reversible, without bagging a lining. Clever!
About that fully reversible: I knew I wanted the exterior to be golden tan, like the famous Elizabeth Suzann jackets (I even curved the pocket top on mine because I am a copycat). I got some Kaufman Essex linen-cotton in “Leather” from Fancy Tiger for the exterior, but it was a hair too light for the linen I’d picked up for the lining. So I switched to some IKEA heavy cotton/linen I’d had in my stash for a while.
(Yes, I made Doc take pictures on our snow day. Complete with outfit changes. He’s a good man, that Doc.)
We got a foot of snow overnight Saturday. We usually visit Doc’s family on Sunday but they were out of town–so we didn’t drive anywhere, not even to the canyon where it was sure to be amateur hour on snowshoes. We shoveled out, read the newspaper, did some sewing, and walked over to the grocery store for store bought cookies. Thrills!!
1. I’d been saving this NY Times interactive piece about “The Art of the Dinner Party,” forgot about it, and then just found it again. The opening essay by Gabrielle Hamilton, talking about dinner parties of her youth, is perfection:
…Over the next five years I persisted in spending my school money on brisket and whole sea bass and bone-in fresh ham, and my weekends sketching table arrangements, clomping through fields collecting grasses and branches to be laid artfully down the centers of tables for dinner parties at which, unfailingly, three people I invited and accounted for said they would come and then didn’t. Or someone I did invite showed up, late, with three people I didn’t invite.
…But there were always, also, a couple of guests who knew exactly what to do. Who never arrived too early but allowed you a 10-minute breather just past the hour they were expected. Who never just plopped their paper cone of bodega flowers on the kitchen prep table in the middle of your work but instinctively scanned the cabinets for a vase and arranged the gerbera daisies then and there. They found the trash and put the wrapping in it, leaving your counters clean and your nascent friendship secured for eternity.
2. Advice from Lisa Congden: