Monday, July 18, 2011

all in the family

way back when, my mom and i collaborated on a quilt. it was one of the first that she'd ever made, and my first attempt as well. since then, she's barely let her sewing machine cool down! her skills, which were never anything to sneeze at, have just sharpened like a hot needle. her piecing is super precise and her binding is just beautiful.

since that first faltering attempt, she's gone on to make many a magical quilt. like everything made by hand, they carry a bit of the maker along with them. and all of the quilts that my mom has had hands on are happy, comforting and warm...just like her.

her most recent really is a gem. she embroidered each panel by hand! then pieced the panels together perfectly. it was hand quilted by another woman, who also did an excellent job, and then returned to my mom for her to apply the binding. the finished product is a family heirloom, the kind of thing that should be passed down the generations with loving words about its creator.

way to sew mom!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


love is like a never-ending melody
poets have compared it to a symphony
a symphony conducted by the lighting of the moon
but our song of love is slightly out of tune

- from desafinado, by antonio carlos jobim

in the world of this chickadee, music and knitting are very often linked together. patterns will bring songs to mind and those songs are sung or hummed or played or thought of in time to the rhythm of the needles. sometimes musical moods contribute to color combination. in this case, they helped select the name of the next pair of socks.

skew, a sock pattern by lana holden, immediately had me singing desafinado. the song's title means "slightly out of tune" in portuguese. and these socks are slightly off center too. starting at the toe and working their way up on a slant, their construction is a total surprise. every aspect of this sock was something new...from the cast-on, to the kitchenered heel, to the short row spiral of the stocking.

the yarn lent itself rather well to the climbing corkscrew. it was something from the stash, cherrytree hill supersock select, a low micron merino which means that it is softer than the usual sock yarn but still superwash.

if you were around when these were on the needles, apologies for my own more than slightly out of tune rendition of the classic bossa nova. here's a marvelous rendition, by the brazilian master joão gilberto: