i know, it probably feels like i ditched you midstream last week—ack, sorry. we feel compelled this summer to take advantage of sunny days whenever we can get them and this weekend we had a wealth of fine, fine weather. while i still spent time on knitting each day, i ran out of time to write about it (as well as other happenings around me).
which is not to say that i stopped taking photos—oh no. in fact, by last night when i sat down to make sense of all the blog material from the previous four days, i had over seventy photos to work with for this post.
hehe, no i won’t bore you with all of them at once; i think i’ll break them up over a few days so we can enjoy them.
well, as you can see, progress on my summery hemp top has moved right along. on wednesday morning i completed the neck finish and added some trim to one armhole. having accomplished side seams as well, i could now try it on. which made me decide that the armhole trim should be a bit more substantial, though i had to put it aside until evening to complete.
with daylight on my side, i did take time to begin the process of choosing buttons. i discovered way too many options in my button boxes—everything from ceramic to shell to vintage plastic, even.
many of these looked great but were too large or too heavy for the fabric.
i found two options in glass that i loved above all others—one of course from moving mud
these are left over from a set i used on my brown india print henley and they go perfectly with the hemp yarn too.
i also unearthed a one-off set in vintage glass that i purchased at a verb for keeping warm, when i taught there a couple of years ago; these were even more promising, with their rounded shape that picks up and diffuses light so beautifully. there is a little world contained inside each one! the gray-green color is also the perfect tone against the fabric; one material feels like sea water and the other like sand.
without a doubt, these were the two finalists. and for me—since i had a choice—one was just a little more right than the other.
it’s funny how that little bit of roundness makes such a difference—they look like drops of foam plopped down by the surf.
ok, i’ll stop waxing poetic about buttons now . . .
that night i fixed the armhole trim and the next morning i steamed the seams and added my buttons
the knitter may pleat up the fabric to any desired effect, or eliminate the short rows in favor of a flat front. personally i like the added dimension that the pleats give to the otherwise very plain front.
after applying the buttons, i decided to give the pleats a little steaming to help them stay in place. it probably wasn’t necessary, but until the top is washed and the fabric allowed to relax, they want to be a little springy.
i’m not pressing the iron onto the fabric at all here—just shooting steam over the pleats. i have to say that this worked well—the top went through the first photo shoot (on and off, on and off) without budging a bit. i know the fabric will soften and relax quite a bit when washed and the steaming probably won’t be necessary, but good to know that such a small investment of time worked so well.
it feels absolutely delicious on! i love the curves hem, too—it adds just that little something to the shape to set it apart.
i hope you can get an idea from the photo how soft and cool the fabric feels—it’s just lovely. i can wait to wear this garment more.
my next step will be to take off the armhole trim and add the sleeves that i have prepared, so we can see photograph looks.
no need to convince me that it should be sleeveless; i plan to have this top both ways, haha. but i know that the season for sleeveless things is very short here so i definitely want one that i can wear in cooler temps. in fact, i’m already scheming on how i’d work out a long-sleeved version—something that will take me well into the fall and early winter. i think this yarn would actually make a wonderful button down shirt . . .
once i can evaluate both versions, i’ll make any necessary adjustments and write up the pattern—probably in the next few days. we want this pattern to be ready when the yarn arrives for the rollout next month.
speaking of new yarn by the way, we’ve restocked our chebris merino/mohair yarns and now have some lace, sport, and worsted weight selections in dragee, charbon, truffe, crème, and a new shade, frappé—shown above—which feels as yummy as it looks!
once i had a chance to look up from my work on the hemp top, i realized that the rain we had all week did much to move things along out in the garden.
along with the lilies, our hydrangeas are all in full flower, even the red one, which for the first time has multiple blooms.
when bret saw me photographing flowers for the blog, he invited me to cross the street to take a look at HIS hydrangea.
holy cow—no contest, his are bigger. we were laughing about this one, it is bigger than a large cantaloupe. and it’s not an anomaly—take a look at his other ones
i am such an amateur.
i knew you would want to know what he’s been feeding them, so i asked; he gave them rhododendron food. i have a full garden report from our yard to share, but i’ll do that in my next post.
on saturday i got up early to run, because helena invited me to go up to the cleveland flea with her and we wanted to leave by ten. neither of us had ever been, but the website intrigued us into an excursion. thankfully, the day was perfect—warm but not too hot and sunny—a welcome break from a week of rain.
the flea market is spread out over a vast parking lot that served several huge industrial buildings at some time. the buildings are now repurposed (go cleveland!) into loft spaces for a variety of small and medium sized businesses.
the flea happens once each month and involved hundreds of vendors and makers, including a wide range of worthy food offerings.
we found plenty of good vintage clothing, household goods, memorabilia, and even taxidermy (well, it wouldn’t be a flea market with that). i like how it appears that this guy is talking to those bucks, haha.
helena found a cute dress and bought a beautiful set of brand new, hand-embroidered italian table linens, still tagged; i thought they appeared to have been produced soon after WWII. the linen was soft, in a beautiful oyster shade and the embroidery was light taupe in an abstract design, kind of deco-ish.
our favorite vendor was alec, of fourth coast design co., who makes gorgeous hand-hewn wood items for the home from reclaimed wood—mostly trees that are felled by storms or removed from cleveland streets by the city. SO cool! and he was so nice.
after lunch we headed to the museum of contemporary art, which is right around the corner from little italy. we walked to and fro, browsed the museum exhibits in between. by then it was 5 pm, so we headed home, a little sun drunk. what a fun day! we will definitely plan some more outings together . . . we’re thinking pittsburgh next time.
back at home i had a quick nap and then headed out with david for our evening bike ride. we’ve been trying to go as often as possible, before the summer completely escapes up. it flies by so quickly; the days are already getting shorter (i know, curse me for saying it). it takes a couple of hours to fit it in, but a healthy life is worth it.
we were in for the evening and launched hungrily into a supper of tuna sandwiches and salad. everything tastes better after a long bike ride, mmm.
while david did the dishes, i cleaned up my flea market finds. one i am keeping secret because i might give it as a gift (yes barb, for kim). the other has me so charmed i don’t think i can give it up—kim would love this one too, but i’m keeping it. my four dollar present to me.
it’s a beautiful little hand carved box shaped like a dutch shoe (or maybe flemish, anyone know?), with a sunflower embossed lid. the carving is so rich and has such depth. i gave the wood a gentle cleaning and then rubbed it all over with wood beams, which gave it a wonderful scent of lemon and lavender as well.
the inside shows the marks of the carver’s tools; unfortunately it is not signed.
the inside hinge wasn’t level and was throwing the lid off kilter, so i made a tiny shim from a flat toothpick, which worked perfectly to balance it. now it goes up and down without hitting off-center.
one of the reasons i’m keeping it is that it goes so well with the little hamsa hand box that kim acquired for me many years ago on one of her exotic trips. now they will sit together on the table next to my knitting chair.
the hamsa box holds my stitch markers handy and the shoe box is the perfect size to hold my cable needles. love.