Bags, purses, sacks, I just can’t have enough of them. Most of them are full of yarns, incomplete projects, patterns, and books. This one looks a lot like the crocheted market bag I posted a while back, only this is knitted. I like to crochet, but LOVE to knit. Anyway, here’s the latest great bag pattern I’ve found.
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It’s been quite some time since I posted any new patterns, and today, I found two, both crochet. This lovely topper is by Vickie Howell for Bernat, which just released a new yarn, called Cotton-ish. It has the delicacy of a fine cotton, but is made using a size F(US) hook, and requires 5-8 balls, depending upon garment size. The pattern can be found here. You may have to sign in (registration’s free) to gain access.
From Red Heart Yarn, a preview of coming attractions. The third heir to the thrown, following Daddy William and Grandpa Charles, both of whom by now probably think the queen is immortal! I see they all have the Windsor nose….
Remember playing “Old Maid” as a kid? Who ever got stuck with the old maid card was the loser and received a lot of taunting. The proper term for old maid is spinster, which means a woman beyond the usual marriageable age who is still single.
But what does the “spin” in that word refer to? Since at least the 14th century, any person who did wool or flax spinning was called a spinster, gender, age, and status notwithstanding. As late as the first half of the 20th century, it was considered inappropriate for any woman to live alone. In many families, an unmarried female relative, be she cousin, aunt, or sister, would be taken in, and to “earn her keep”, was often assigned the task of spinning. So how did it become a rather demeaning term? Through common usage, it’s believed.
Some famous spinsters from history:
Jane Austen * * Louisa May Alcott * * Emily Bronte * * Helen Keller * * Greta Garbo * * Florence Nightingale * * Queen Elizabeth I * * Diane Keaton * * Oprah Winfrey * * Condoleeza Rice
Hardly a boring, sexless bunch!
Add your favorite spinster!
Inspired by visits to New York’s Cloisters museum, when I came across a copy of Candace Bahouth’s Medieval Needlepoint pattern book, I had to buy it. Now out of print, this fantastic resource can be purchased used at online booksellers’ websites. Pictured here is my first finished project, a magical, stately unicorn, who is now gracing a velveteen pillow in my home. It was a joy to stitch and makes me smile each time I see it.
The Cloisters has a series of world famous unicorn tapestries in a specially designed, oval room at the museum. Well worth visiting, it’s an enchanting place if you enjoy medieval art and life.
Anyone who grew up in the 1950′s remembers Annette Funicello, the most popular of the Mouseketeers on the original Mickey Mouse Club, which ran from 1955-59. Here she is, apparently on the set, busily getting started on a new knitting project. Annette grew up to star in a series of beach movies with Frankie Avalon, but after she married, did only occasional acting. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987, she became a spokesperson for treatment and research, and was widely respected for the courage and dignity with which she coped with her own disease. Annette died today, April 8, 2013, from complications of MS. When I was in third grade, I wanted to be Annette. May she rest in peace.
This dye substance is not a plant, but it would have been available in one form or other to many colonial home dyers. Known as “Copper Penny Blue”, this is a dye that does not need a separate mordant or even heat. The recipe is simple but it does take from 2-4 weeks for the process to complete itself. Fill a gallon jar to about three inches from the top with non-sudsing ammonia and put in: either 2 cups of pennies, OR a length of copper pipe OR a coil of copper wire. Screw the lid on tightly. Let this mixture sit for a week and watch it become a beautiful blue. At this point remove the copper , with rubber gloves, and put in the pre-wetted fleece to soak; varying the time gives different color effects. It is also possible to do this with white vinegar instead of ammonia. Some recipes say to add a few teaspoons of salt to fix the color.
I’ve used this method several times with different results. One was a pale aqua, and the others various shades of icy green. I think it might be more reliable to use wire or pipe as the amount of copper in pennies these days is so small. Dyeing times, once the dye is made, have ranged from 1 day to 3 weeks of soaking the wool fiber. If you leave the jar in the sun it speeds the process somewhat. I would NOT try heating the mixture on a stove or fire, however.