Month of May Stitched in Memory- Guest Blog

These photos are from May 1987, taken in Kentucky.  Sent by my good friend Joanne. We were so much younger then, we’re older than that now……

And a tribute to Phyllis George who passed May 14th.

Joanne, Phyllis, Ruth

Ruth – you and I reconnected as Army wives in Fort Knox, KY in 1986 after we both moved there from Germany, where we first met.  You taught me the art of smocking and we spent a lot of time together stitching beautiful outfits for our little girls.  Then we decided to make it a “cottage industry” and created our business Handsmocked in Kentucky.  We took special orders and sold our work in the  Kentucky Arts Council In Louisville … where we attracted the attention of Phyllis George (then wife of the Governor of Kentucky!) .

We had such fun and dreams with our little business, and then all of a sudden we were invited to Phyllis George’s home as a vendor for her Kentucky Derby celebration which featured Kentucky based artists!  What an adventure ….
33 years later I still have a lot of memories and a wardrobe of smocked dresses to hand down to some special little girl.  
My memory of Phyllis George was a gracious, giving woman who cared deeply about Kentucky artisans.   (And she wrote us a check for a handsmocked dress for her daughter.)

Joanne was able to go into her boxes of photos which are all labeled and put her hands on these photos.

Joanne even put her hands on our little brochure.  Her sister did the artwork.

Our daughters Laura and Anna at a tea party, sporting our smocking. This photo is in Germany where both girls were born.

Crystal Necklace Cleaning

When I wore this 3 strand crystal necklace to my son’s wedding in 2002, my Aunt Rhea sat right behind me. She leaned forward over the back of the pew and said, ”Oh you’re wearing your Grandmother’s necklace.” Now I’d always thought of it as my mother’s necklace when it came to me in 2000 when my mother passed.

Today I found it in my dresser and thought I’d like to clean the crystals and wear it this coming Saturday to the National Kidney Gala fundraiser to which Steve and I are invited.  Spiff up a plain dress for sure.

I wish I knew more about the necklace but there is no one to ask.

A search found a simple method of a few drops of dish soap and some alcohol in lukewarm water, a cool rinse and then gently dry with a handkerchief so no bits of fiber from a towel.


Holiday Sweaters at the Grocery Store?

Saw this display at the Giant Eagle in the Waterworks. Right near the refrigerator cases of juice and milk. If you were invited to a Holiday (Ugly?) Sweater Party, I guess you could pick one up along with your food.

In the Grocery Store

McWalker Yarns Sweater Party NaKniSweMo 2019

Saturday afternoon the November sweater knitters gathered in Millvale Pennsylvania.  McWalker Yarns was the place to celebrate participation in the National Knit a Sweater in a Month Challenge.  50,000 Stitches, cast on just after midnight on November first.   The sweater was to be completed (ends woven in and blocked) by midnight November 30th.

If you follow me on IG you know my sweater was 24 hours and 15 minutes over the cut off.

Here is Clarissa,  the Grand Prize Winner of NaKniSweMo 2019 holding her prizes- a generous gift card to McWalker Yarns to buy yarn for the NEXT sweater and a very cool magnet/bottle opener.

 Trove by designer Emma Durcher.  Yarn is BC Garn Semilla Melange Sport Weight

Detail below of Trove.  PomPom Magazine Autumn 2019

Jes sporting her very fine knitting SC1 by Allison Brookbanks design  Yarn Neighborhood Fiber Co Loft

 

Robin designed her sweater.  The design name is Hauplande  Yarn Loch Lomond by BC Garn worsted weight.  I think she has 150,000 stitches in her design. WOW!

IMG_2041
Hauplande designed by Robin

 

Jes photographed me wearing The Purl Code Sweater Designer Isabell Kraemer. Yarn- Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn DK weight in Rhubarb colorway,  Using the Morse Code Alphabet provided in the pattern there are phrases, words, place names, favorite movies and books, song lyrics and people I love,  knit right into the sweater.


Christine is holding a gift bag with the sweater she crocheted as a surprise gift.

Her sweater (which she translated into Crochet from Knitting) will be added after the holiday season.  Christine brought cheese ball and crackers and spinach dip to round out the party fare.  McWalker Yarns Shop owner Amy McCall baked a delicious and moist chocolate cake with sweater decoration.

 

Below see Shop Owner, Hostess, Sponsor and Chief of Inspiration for the NaKniSweMo 2019 Challenge, Amy McCall.  Making the Local Yarn Store a welcoming community for all.

 

Spruce Point Pullover designer Amy Herzog               Baa Ram Ewe Winterburn yarn

 

Feistywoman Knit Hanefjed Sweater  click for details 

BC Garn Loch Lomond Bio GOTS certified  and Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

 

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/feistywoman/hanefjed-womens-version

 

Celtic Culture in Ligonier Pennsylvania

Celtic Culture was founded in 2004 with the mission of bringing a wide range of style forward products from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. The company was founded by Andrew Carr who has traveled extensively in Ireland and the British Isles and has always had a love for all things Celtic. ” from their Website 

Just about fifty miles from downtown Pittsburgh, you can find all things Celtic.

Celtic Culture Shop is a gorgeous gem right on East Main Street in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.

We saw sweaters, cloaks, wool caps, jewelry, crystal, greeting cards, home decor items, preserves, candies, chocolate, sweets and even Marmite.

It would be a pretty time to drive out to the Laurel Highlands and check out the Celtic treasures, do a little holiday shopping.

Andrew Carr
Celtic Culture

 

The photos were taken in the summer on the day of the Yarn Crawl- August 2019, but just recovered this first day of November, 2019.  Thanks for your patience, Andrew.

D’Anjou Pear Galette

Dessert at the Cafe at the Frick. See those slices of fresh pear? The flaky crust galette was warmed and topped with a scoop of ricotta gelato. That’s a golden drizzle of bourbon caramel and a shake of cinnamon you see finishing the presentation. Oh and a pansy with a few blueberries for garnish. Mmmmmm.It was a perfect fall dessert.

Before lunch, my friend V and I had seen the exhibit of Katherine Hepburn Dressed for Stage and Screen showing her Costume and Fashion Collection. On view until January 12th. This winter we’ll watch a few of the old movies featured to see her wearing the costumes on screen. Here’s an article link https://www.post-gazette.com/life/fashion/2019/10/17/The-Frick-Pittsburgh-Katharine-Hepburn-Dressed-for-Stage-Screen/stories/201910170010in the Post-Gazette by Sarah Bauknecht about the exhibition

from The Philadelphia Story

   From The Little Minister 

Katherine Hepburn had a 20 inch waist.

Dovecote in Aspinwall on Brilliant Avenue

Dovecote, a vintage boutique in Aspinwall Pennsylvania, located on Brilliant Avenue.  What a great address.  Brilliant!

My friend Vincie and I were shoe shopping at Soothe the Sole  on Brilliant Avenue and Holly (at the shoe store)  suggested we check out Dovecote right across the street.

Here’s what we discovered –

Mr. Rogers

The boutique is definitely eclectic and affordably priced. Scroll down for more details.  There are vintage items, consignment items, handcrafts, antiques, jewelry, home decor and holiday fun. Sports team theme including black and gold potholders and darling onesies with hand sewn embellishment, adorable ruffles.

The felted Mr. Rogers created by Artist Christine caught my eye, and the Pennsylvania ceramic platter would be cool to serve from at a dinner party.

from their website

from Dovecote Aspinwall  click for virtual store tour
“If your style is eclectic with a vintage vibe, this is the place for you! We offer a wide variety of vintage & antique home decor items, as well as new & vintage clothing & accessories. From tables and lamps, paintings, and dishes; to jewelry, shoes, candles imported from Spain, gifts, vintage-inspired greeting cards, and more, there is something for everyone in our cozy store. We carry Lindsay Phillips’ line of shoes & sandals (SwitchFlops), as well as Naked Bee’s organic skin care creams & lotions. Need to make space in your closet or sell your unused home accessories? We offer resale and consignment options. Visit our vintage boutique, and then follow us on Facebook for frequent updates!”
A place to take things when you need to downsize! Good to know.

Late Night Window Shopping on Bleecker Street

Last night my sister and I were walking around the neighborhood and window shopping at Naadam Ultra Thin on Bleecker Street. Cashmere and silk store. “Responsibly Sourced Sustainable Mongolian Cashmere Clothing” – The sign says soft, soft, soft world.

Can you find the two of us with the goat’s reflection? And the goat is not a taxidermy specimen but a large replica, like a giant stuffed toy.

Spring Hats Evoke Another Era to Me

When I was visiting the family in Ohio for an extended stay, one of the last days I was there we went to Von Maur, a lovely department store in Columbus at the Polaris Mall.

Maura and I saw all the elegant Spring/Easter hats on display.  She tried on a gray one that matched her Ohio State Swim shirt.  A gracious salesperson asked if we needed any help and of course, we did not. But she didn’t seem worried about trying on a hat.

(*see Men’s Hat Posts below the photos)

Growing up, almost all women in church wore hats.

.The Kentucky Derby, the first Saturday in May, is a place to wear a fashionable hat. Or a Derby party as you watch the race on TV.  You see Royal Wedding attendees sporting stylish hats.  I wish I’d looked inside the hats to see where they are made. Do you own a hat and on what occasion do you wear it?

Putting on a hat can change your whole persona, help you feel dressed to the nine.  The epitome of dressing up in style.

“To the nine” is an English idiom meaning “to perfection” or “to the highest degree” or to dress “buoyantly and high class”. In modern English usage, the phrase most commonly appears as “dressed to the nine” or “dressed up to the nine”.

 

*  And not to leave the men out of the hat post.

I posted Meyer the Hatter in New Orleans in 2009 

and the Bleecker Street Hat Shop in NYC post in 2012

 

I Learned to Sew in the ‘60s with Simplicity Patterns

Saw this Simplicity Patterns display at the local JoAnn store.

Immediate recognition of “the look” and then some nostalgia surfaces.

I took Home Economics at Morris Plains Borough School in the mid 60’s.

Mrs. Phelan was our teacher.
I remember one project being given a B instead of an A because I didn’t take care of all the loose ends of thread inside my blue and red polka dot dress.

Mortifying. I think of her when I weave in loose ends of yarn or tie knots in threads and trim them oh, so neatly.

We made an apron, a skirt, a blouse, shorts, a dress and the other half year we cooked and baked. I graduated to Vogue Patterns eventually but I think all of my early basic efforts were Simplicity.