17 September 2006

In Which This Author Meets a Real Author

Today didn't get particularly productive until late. It started out with a trip over the bridge into Portsmouth with my friend & knit sib Kit to meet up with fellow knit sib, Melissa. Melissa is a sci-fi author, and I just happened to pick up two of her novels at a used book place last Tuesday when I was picking up a book on meditation for one of the two meditation groups I'm going to start attending (I actually did attend the Thursday evening one this week. Somehow you never realize how hard it is to count to ten).

I've known Melissa from the glb-knit listserv for a while now, but despite living across the bridge from each other, this was the first time we had met in person. We had planned a coffee/knitting get-together back in the spring which didn't happen, but this time there was something of an ulterior motive. The reason our planned meeting didn't take place before was that Melissa's partner, Lisa, died after a long struggle with cancer. So a group of us from the listserv knit squares for a "blanket of love". It took a while for all the squares to be assembled, during which time Melissa had to undergo surgery, but the blanket arrived here Friday and we all serendipitously had our Saturday free.

The three of us had a really nice time chatting and knitting. I worked on an infant sweater I'm making for Dulaan with my most recent Black Bunny purchase, Kit worked on the Irish Hiking Scarf David commissioned her to knit up in a tweed alpaca/merino yarn he designed for his friend Jennifer (I helped come up with color names, and we'll be selling it at Rhinebeck), and Melissa finished up a sock then moved on to a t-shirt she's working on. It made for a really enjoyable afternoon, and I'm hoping we can make it a more regular occurrence.

Coming back across the bridge afterwards, we were passed by a car sporting a campaign bumper sticker for Sister Sue's husband, Phil, who is up for re-election this fall. I live in a different district, but it was exciting to see someone displaying their support and I hope he wins.

The Big Project

A month or so ago, I got 4 yards of a dark grey wool twill with plans to try to turn it into a contemporary kilt (mostly because that much tartan cloth would cost me $200-300, but there ya go). David is away at a trade show in Syracuse for a few days, so I figured it was a good opportunity to haul it out and see what I could get done for starters.

Kilts are generally made from double width (60") cloth, so the first order of business was to cut the proper length (23" of usable cloth for me) from each side, then seam the two lengths together to get an 8 yard length of cloth.


That was the easy part.

Fine tartan cloths generally have a usable selvedge that doesn't require trimming. This is likely part of the reason they're so astronomically expensive. My cloth, however, was not woven with this in mind, so the selvedges definitely needed to come off. To make the task a little easier (8 yards, remember?) and help prevent fraying at the same time, I decided to do a 2-thread overlock with the serger I got on sale a couple years ago and hadn't had a chance to use. It turned out quite nicely. I considered using the black thread I have on it, but I thought it might use too much up and just used the white that's on the machine currently.


Then I had to pin and iron the hem along the entire 8 yards.


After which I had to switch back to the regular sewing machine and sew the hem. Did I mention it's 8 yards long?


Folks, this is what 8 yards of cloth looks like:


Most of this is going to be in pleats across my tuchus. With some luck, I may manage to finish it in time to wear at Rhinebeck. If I do, however, you will not hear me ask if it makes my ass look big. I think I already know the answer.*

*That said, I have lost 14# since I started dieting 6 weeks ago, so hopefully it won't look as big as it might have.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on the 14 pounds! That's good progress for six weeks.

I think the "blanket of love" idea is great. Sometimes when friends of mine have been going through rough times, I make them blankets and tell them they're to use them as form of hug from me. People seem to like that.

Looking forward to pics of the kilt...

Susan said...

Oh my gosh! A bumper sticker sighting! And it wasn't even mine or Phil's! :) You have no idea how exciting that is to me.

Thanks for noticing.

Oh, and best of luck with the kilt. I'm sure it will be absolutely smashing!

Chris said...

Congrats on the weight loss!

And you know Melissa Scott? How cool - I loved Trouble and Her Friends... I'm sorry to hear that she lost her partner.

FiberQat said...

Ah but we like a bit of tuchus, laddie!