OK. Whinge over. Moving right along.
|Pink water lilies - VanDusen Gardens|
Let us talk of other things like, say, the two sewing books I got in the post yesterday. The first one is Alabama Chanin Sewing Patterns:
It includes a CD with all of the patterns from all three of Natalie Chanin's books (including this one) in a larger range of sizes. Yay! The book discusses how to fit your body and several different ways to modify the styles as well as showing many examples on different body types. I've been wanting to make a Chanin-esque tunic/dress for quite some time and this may just be the inspiration I need to get going on it.
The slightly sad thing is the book was damaged in the mail. Ouch! I'm not going to bother returning it though. It's still perfectly readable and I did check that the CD remained intact.
The cover is rather dated-looking, I guess to follow the design of the other books in this series. (And is that Pattern Review's Deepika I spy?) However the interior is full of photos, tips and info from many well-known sewists including Marcy Tilton. The inspiration patterns even include many of the ones I already own! (Whether or not I've sewn them yet is another question.) It's going to be an excellent addition to my sewing library and a good reference for my Craftsy class with the Tilton sisters. I sew a lot of knits, probably at least 2/3 of my output, and they are always my go-to everyday garments. Can't wait to read both of these new books cover to cover!
What else? The weather has been really warm and sunny, for us anyway. My basil has done the best ever for me in its planter box on the upper deck. It was getting so tall and luscious that I had to harvest a bunch to dry for later. I always hang drying herbs on my cupboard doors in the kitchen:
The rest of the garden is growing pretty quickly. I'm still picking lots of "greens and reds" though these cool weather things are starting to bolt in earnest in the heat. We're getting raspberries and peas. Little cabbage heads are forming but I've mostly only been getting male flowers on the squashes yet. I try to help them along with my handy paintbrush when a female flower opens. Floral artificial insemination. Heh.
In knitting news I'm working alternately on the collar and the sleeves of my Alpaca Tweed Cardi. The sleeves are knit separately, partially flat and partially in the round, and then stitched into the armholes. In the heat of the afternoon it's nice not to have a heap of very warm alpaca in your lap, let me tell you! The collar is knit onto the body of the sweater using short rows. Instead of following the instructions to pick up stitches as you go, I picked them all up first. Much easier and I was able to make sure I had the right amount of stitches evenly picked up over the collar area. The only other difference was that I needed to wrap and turn on each short row (not specified in the instructions) or there were holes. But since the wraps don't show I don't need to pick them up on the return. It's kind of nice to have enough experience now to be the boss of my knitting! Saves a lot of grief getting stuck when things don't work out or aren't clear in the pattern.
I'll leave you with a couple of fun photos from last week. We took Thom's mom out to lunch at the Shaughnessy Restaurant at VanDusen Gardens and then went for a slow stroll around part of the garden. This poor beast is the Minotaur and the Blue Hare by artist/sculptor Sophie Ryder. He seems to have lost his blue hare somehow. I was trying to console him: