Sheared Bliss

I’m too sexy for my bonnet . . .
August 31, 2010, 9:27 pm
Filed under: History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , ,

In addition to gardening, I’ve also been museum-ing this summer.  Usually things slow down at the museum over the summer because everyone is so busy working in the gardens.  However, PioneerJ is a brave soul and decided to put together a fashion show this summer as well.  The program showcased primarily women’s fashions of the 1860s and 1890s.  PioneerJ narrated, medical commentary was provided by Dr. CodeMonkey (yes, the Victorians had very definite medical ideas about fashion), and museum staff and volunteers modeled.  I modeled the 1890s bathing costume that I posted earlier this summer as well as this 1860s wedding gown and spoon bonnet.

There were a number of really impressive outfits, including PioneerJ in her silk and PioneerC in the bumblebee dress (which we revamped as a wrapper to be more historically accurate).

J is going to kill me for posting this picture, but it’s the best one I’ve got because she kept making funny faces – I think CodeMonkey was saying silly things and making her laugh.

On the bumblebee dress, we swapped out the black, stand-up, grosgrain collar for a white, cotton collar, replaced the black undersleeves with white, and had C wear it unbuttoned from the waist down so that her lace trimmed white petticoat would show.  Click here if you’re a big dork like me and would like to see the discussion that lead to the alterations we made.

The real star of the show though was this little pumpkin here.

To see pictures of the whole show, go to the Littleton Museum Fashion Show set on my Flickr account.


Hole in my head
August 25, 2010, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Fiber Arts, Knitting, Weaving, WiP Wednesday | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I need a new hobby like I need a hole in my head.  Good thing this isn’t a new hobby then – just an extension of my existing ones.  I got a loom!

Isn’t it pretty?  I wasn’t exactly looking for a loom, but someone made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  I only know the basics so far, but I’ve already managed to get it warped and produce some fairly respectable fabric.  Here’s my current weaving WiP with my current knitting WiP.

Um, yeah.  “Hello, my name is ShearedBliss and I have a problem with red twill . . .”  Totally unintentional, but kind of funny when I realized I was making almost exactly the same fabric in two different ways.  The weaving is hemp and the knitting is wool.  The knitting stretches, of course, while the weaving doesn’t, and it takes about half an hour to complete one pattern repeat on the knitting while I can do a pattern repeat on the weaving in about five minutes.  It’s an interesting exercise in compare and contrast.

FO Friday

Hey, remember the stripey, amorphous blob I was knitting a while ago?  It’s done!

What?  It still doesn’t look like anything?  Oh yeah, let me fix that.

Ta-da!  It’s a baby sweater!

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Baby Surprise Jacket

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in 880 and 905

I used up the entire skein of the purple with just enough left over for seaming.  There’s just about enough of the green left over for a baby hat.

Needles: US 8 circular

Modifications: Not too much really.  I did the stripes by changing colors every other row.  I did a wider stripe of the purple at both the cast on edge (6 rows, I think) and the cast off edge (8, maybe).  After it was finished, I picked up stitches along each cuff and knit some additional length (16-ish rows) on each sleeve because I’ve heard that the sleeves can get a little short before the rest of the sweater is outgrown.  I also did a little single crochet edging in purple around the neck so that it would match the rest of the edges.

This was an entertaining knit.  The totally bizarre construction added interest while the fact that it’s done in garter stitch made it easy enough to be fairly portable.

How Does Your Garden Grow?
August 13, 2010, 11:17 pm
Filed under: Garden, Home | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In addition to the landscaping in the front yard, I’ve also been doing some vegetable gardening in the back yard.  With as busy as I’ve been this summer, it’s been a pretty laissez-faire sort of garden.  The peas didn’t appreciate this much and shriveled up and died without ever doing much, but everything else seems to be holding its own pretty well.

There are five pie pumpkin vines.

Um, please ignore the weeds (laissez-faire, remember?) and the random artificial flower landscaping in the neighbor’s yard.  Yeah, about those . . . what can I say, I’m sure she likes her fake flowers better than my weeds, but I like my weeds better than her fake flowers.

Little pumpkins are starting to appear on most of the vines.

There are also four heirloom tomatoes – yellow pear, purple Cherokee, Siberian red, and ace.

They’re all doing well and have flowers and green tomatoes so far, but the only one with any ripe tomatoes is the yellow pear.

The darn thing is such an overachiever – it got so big that it fell over, taking the entire tomato cage with it during a storm this past week.  I ended up having to stake and tie it to get it upright again and then do some extreme pruning to keep it that way.  There are still a lot of green tomatoes on it though so hopefully there will be a good crop.  The three I’ve eaten so far were delicious and I’m looking forward to more.

Oh yeah, and sunflowers, because they make me smile.

WiP Wednesday (Observed)

Ok, so I know I didn’t post yesterday, but that’s because I was busy working on a WiP – in public even!

That’s NurseK turning a short row heel and me giving pointers of varying degrees of helpfulness (“Yeah, put the yarn in back now.  No, wait, that’s not right, I mean in front.  Yeah, yarn in front . . .”) while knitting something stripey.  Where in public, you ask?  At the lovely Red Rocks Amphitheater!

NurseK and I packed a picnic dinner (and our knitting) and went to see a concert and a movie under the stars (more like under the clouds which was kind of a bummer because it should have been a great night to see the Perseids).  It was still a beautiful night though, the Beatles cover band was pretty good, Across the Universe was entertaining, and I really can’t think of a more beautiful venue for a movie.

Signs it might be time to reorganize your closet:
August 7, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: Family & Friends, Home, Randomness | Tags: , ,

Your bags keep ending up on the same shelf as your cat.

Yeah, not exactly sure how she got up there.  Must have jumped from the top of the bookcase, but that’s a pretty big jump for her.  She may not do it again any time soon either because shortly after I took this picture she fell off the shelf taking everything else on it with her.  Graceful.

Extreme Gardening
August 5, 2010, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Family & Friends, Garden, Home | Tags: , , , ,

With added walls!  Now sinkhole free!  But we’ll get to that in a bit.

So back at the end of June, MommaBliss came to visit.  Being the good, dutiful daughter that I am, I didn’t want her to get bored.  I figured a week of hard physical labor would be just the thing to keep her entertained.  Um, no, actually what happened was that I mentioned that we could maybe work on sewing some curtains or making plans for a garden I wanted to put in.  Mom’s eyes lit up at the word “garden” and the next thing we knew we were at the nursery with a cart full of plants.

Remember the giant pit of doom in my front yard last fall?

Well, after the sewer was fixed they filled in the hole, but it’s pretty much looked like this ever since:

Nice, huh?  You know, if you like bare dirt mixed with a heavy dose of pea gravel, bordered by randomly placed irises and roses, loomed over by a really funky looking juniper, and accented by some lovely thistles.  Yeah, the neighbors love us.  Luckily, MommaBliss had A Plan – and it only took the two of us plus MommaCodeMonkey a week to implement it!

First we had to clear the garden:

Then we dug up grass, moved dirt, measured, and built a wall:

And another wall, and laid some pavers:

Then we put in plants and an irrigation line:

Then then stupid thing developed a giant sink hole and caved in:

Then we said some bad words, pulled the plants out, filled the hole in with a bunch more dirt, sand, and gravel, replanted the plants, relaid the irrigation line, mulched everything and – ta-da! – we have actual landscaping.

Now, if everyone would just focus on this nice little garden and ignore the rest of my yard, I’d really appreciate it.

PS: Many many thanks to MommaBliss for her plant smarts and MommaCodeMonkey for her wall building smarts.  I couldn’t have done it without you two!