Showing posts from August, 2019

Wearing our Hearts on our Sleeves

After simultaneous but unrelated medical emergencies for two of our cats, Cardigan and Smog, I badgered Robb into taking our third cat Sleeves to the vet for a routine checkup.  Something was awry in his blood-work, so the vets ordered a kitty EKG.  Goodness only knows how the vets attach the electrical sensors to a cat's body to get the readings. Thankfully, Sleeves was just fine, and there is nothing wrong with his heart. My heart may be a different matter.  For the last week I've been experiencing constant annoying chest pains.  I finally decided to contact my doctor on Friday, and WHOOOO BOY did they take this seriously. I got my own EKG in my doctor's office and was sent across the street to the emergency department of the hospital.  I've spent my share of time languishing in the waiting areas of hospital emergency rooms, and so I was glad that I'd packed my knitting.  I figured I'd be sitting around for hours and hours. I was actually

The Lake Tahoe Gatsby Festival

Really, what's more delightful than playing dress-up with like-minded weirdos? The lake and sky look like a painted backdrop in this photo, don't they?  It was far too cold to swim in this snow-fed lake.  I'm not sure the antique swimsuits would appreciate the wetting, either.  If you're at all into vintage clothes, you'll know Debbie (on the far right) from her website, Vintage Dancer .  When I met Debbie last year at this event, I could not stop myself from acting like a total fan-girl.  I may have said something stupid like "You have caused me to buy so many shoes." And speaking of shoes, it's totally normal for two people to pack six pairs of shoes and a half-dozen antique champagne glasses for a weekend getaway, right? Another shoe-themed photo.  The crew from American Duchess .  I have so much respect for this company, who make superb historically-styled footwear.  Click here for American Duchess shoes , and here f

Making My Own Vintage Clothes

In the last few years, Robb and I have been going to more and more events where we can wear vintage clothes.  I've been buying vintage frocks since I was in high school, but even then I really could not afford to buy wearable clothes from the 1920s. I've been challenging myself to improve my sewing skills by sewing garments from vintage patterns.  My most recent project was a 1920s frock, sewn from an original pattern. From what I understand about the history of sewing patterns, McCall was the first company to have printed pattern pieces -- and they guarded their patent on this fiercely.  Other companies sold tissue paper patterns with a coded system of perforated holes.   I was surprised to see photographic instructions on a pattern from the 1920s.  Usually, these patterns come with beautiful, if perplexing, technical drawings explaining the various steps of the project. In this instance the instructions were printed on the pa

"...that knits up the raveled sleeve of care"

Despite spending a huge amount of time and money with our wonderful vet, we were not able to reverse Cardigan's kidney failure.  We brought him home for a few last days and then engaged the services of a mobile euthanasia service.  This was both wonderful and heartbreaking. I spent the next few days working on a very meticulous sewing project, to distract myself from my sadness.  If I focused on matching up stripes, I wouldn't have to think about how much I missed my sweet little cat. Normally I sew like a sedated sloth, but this one -- which I sewed from a 1940s pattern -- came together very quickly.   Few things make my brain happier than nicely matched patterns.  I really needed this.  (And no, the tops and the skirt are not meant to line up.) I still need to find someone to help me mark my hem. There's something about making things that really helps heal grief  As the sage of knitting, Elizabeth Zimmermann famousl