19 February 2007

It's all just peachy

Back in September I wrote about a Rowan swatch and how it reminded me of a forever ago flea market find from New Orleans.

So what a shock, when, on the eve of Mardi Gras, just as I’m working through a design that is way more girly than my usual efforts, I find that very garment sitting in the back of the strange fibre section of the STASH room (aka studio).

Sad to say that the sleeve is literally in tatters and that 20 some years on the garment looks a but more flea market than find but it brings back good memories and reinforces some of the ultra feminine inspirations that have been calling out for a design whirl.

While it is a bit unlikely that I'll spend much of this year's limited design time playing with the original Rowan discontinued stuff that brought this little blast from my post to mind, here's a look see of the swatch and the dressing gown together.

The topic of alternate fibres and such recently came up on one of the lists where I lurk and since that one of the places where I tend to play, I not only delurked but was also inspired to search the strange stash section of the studio and do a bit of swatching since I found that, as much as I had worked with it, I really didn’t know the answer to the question of whether pine paper yarn softens up over time.

So here’s a 20 stitch swatch I’ve torqued a bit (to show why I love this stuff for sculptural purposes) that I plan to torture with repeated laundering and such to get an answer to that question.

I’ve used lots, given away lots and unless there’s a secret cache hiding with the Noro Ganpi Abaka in colour 102 that I could have sworn I had more of, I may actually finally need some more of this stuff. Good thing that a road trip to SWest is in my near future. Meanwhile, here’s hoping that a slightly different colour way of the Noro will be a reasonable substitute for one of my favourite Ralph’s checkers’ chequebook cover.

Last Tuesday, while still in recent recovery mode from the cold/bug/crud, I took a mini walkabout and stopped in at one of my fave thrifts and found some just peachy glove dryers in an original wonderfully cheesy plastic container.

The fine gold script assures me that these Glove Dryers by Handiform are recommended by leading glove manufacturers. There were 3 in the box which seems a bit odd. Maybe originally there were two boxes of two and one dryer went off on its own.

Something about the hand feel of the unblocked pine paper lazy lace project and the glove dryers reminded me of some other long ago memories of exploring my grandmother’s glove and scarf drawer. That drawer, with its silk scarves and ultra feminine gloves (lots of lace) and the scent of lavender totally fascinated me. I’m seeing paper lace gloves in my future.

Also at the thrift were these hand dandy handles in search of a bag. I'm not sure whether these will be a knit project or not but for less than two dollars they were so coming home with me.
I'm just finishing off the short row shaping of the 3rd sleeve for the pentagon sleeve project and I've been winding yarn for a couple of variations on the theme.

On Sunday and again today, I tested my idea that the sleeve worked well for a wide range of sizes. Today's volunteer/victim admits to being a US women's size 22
or 2x and amazingly enough the same sleeve that fits me also fits her with only some minor adjustments. As it sits, at that size and above, there isn't a real option to choose a 3/4 length sleeve without a major custom rework of the pattern and the central design motif sits lower on the arm to account for the larger upper arm diameter required.

I hope to have this puppy done in time to at least sashay a bit round Santa Clara this weekend.


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