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I’m Making The Clovelly

It’s a knitted three piece ensemble published by Minerva Yarns in Volume 30 from 1933. It is made of boucle yarn and officially has a blouse, jacket, and skirt. However the instructions also call for making a belt and elsewhere in the volume it uses the same yarn to make a hat. I’m hoping that in about three years when I’m nearing the finish line I’ll have enough yarn to do the hat. In theory, I’ve nearly an ounce more yarn than I need, but the hat calls for two…

I’m not a fast knitter, and at eight stitches to an inch this is not a quick knit. Also, knitting is my side, side, hobby, I do it when I have a project, but I haven’t really sought out either materials or patterns.

“Recently” however I have been dipping my toe into the online knitting sphere and being inspired to want a project. In January 2022 I did my chunkiest project and in December I did my most challenging. In November a “friend” introduced me to the Antique Pattern Library and I was inspired!

So I began to look at yarns and compare them to the required yarns. Some how in my wild searches I found three ebay sellars who all had the same vintage yarn, it is in two different colors, and worse still, one of them is in two dye lots. Between them was just over the required amount of yarn and it is one hundred percent wool, (synthetics give me the willies).

Let me think about it…

Okay, Okay. It’s stuck in my brain, let’s spend over one hundred dollars on wool, stitch markers, and knitting needles. It’s taken me two months to finish the back of the blouse, and sure, some of that was learning the pattern, but this will take me a while.


I Bought A Tent

A “Big” Canvas One

I’d been thinking about making a shed for a workshop for a long time. There were just two small problems.

  1. We want to move and it is permanent.
  2. It’s a lot of long hard work

So I turned my attention to tents. A big sturdy one should serve the same purpose whilst being mobile. The one I eventually decided on had a floor and the poles. It arrived in late September ’22 and we nearly immediately put it up so that R and his family could sleep in it*.

Then it was a mere matter of furnishing it. I started with just one section of flooring, the chair, desk, and sewing machine. I also brought out a few things for storing.

As it got colder I decided I wanted a heat source in it and in early December I bought wood stove. It arrived shortly before the cold snap of that month so it was an immediate blessing.

Finally when R and family recently visited I brought out a light. And that is how it is now, perfectly serviceable. I would some day love to have a few custom bits of furniture made for it, but I’m hoping to have other plans this year.

*So it also serves as our guest room/house. I didn’t think to take pictures of it in guest configuration, but there is a clip of it here.

If You Think You Want To Wear Skirts

So an online acquaintance asked for advice on starting to wear skirts and dresses. I had some thoughts, so I shared them, then I thought this should be a blog post so the whole world can learn my thoughts. I hit the copy and expand button (I wish) and got this blog post.

Spend a lot of time figuring out what you like:

  • Do you like a firm, fitted feel, fitted, but elastic, or not fitted at all?
  • Will it being too long bother you, too wide, too narrow?
  • What sort of life do you live, do you live in a small cluttered house, go out often into the cold, do heavy labor?

These will help narrow down your choices, if you decide to wear skirts and dresses. I wear them 95% of the time.

I’ve heard it said that you should buy quality skirts, and I mostly agree, but don’t spend more than you can afford if you are just getting started. A lovely customized skirt is nonsense if you decide you can’t stand it.

Skirts take practice, but I’ve found that they eventually became an extension of my body. I know where my skirt is and if it’s going to get caught and how to move to avoid it getting caught. (sometimes I fail at that, but I also fail at not burning myself while cooking so) That being said I’ve worn skirts pretty much exclusively since I was young.

You can do anything in a skirt, (as long as the rules allow, some events call for things like jeans because they know they are tough, relatively modest, easy to move in, and won’t get caught) it just may be a bit more of a bother, especially if you’re not used to wearing skirts.

Skirts open you up to receiving compliments, having opportunities to talk about God, and having people come up and attempt to start a friendship, because you too are wearing a skirt.

Custom Designed Skirt Iteration

My second iteration of the black dress was a neat skirt and so we will from now on refer to it as a skirt. Making the dress skirt length was easy and so was adding a waistband, but then it was time to talk closures. The original dress was a pull on dress so it had none and I didn’t want to mess with cutting/seam-ripping a spot for a zipper. The skirt was still completely wide enough to pull on, so I suppose most people would go “ELASTIC”, but I hate elastic is skirts. (I’m an extremely fussy person when it come to how my clothes fit and what they are made of)

So the easy route was out. Phooey. Now what? Thread loops and buttons! I tried the skirt on inside out and backwards and made a box pleat on the waistband that made it fit me. This was marked with pins and I could take it off and attach my buttons and thread loops with confidence. On the inside I used a couple of medium size white buttons as they will never be seen and I’ve several hundred of the things and for the outside I was able to use one of my single pretty buttons. And my skirt was wearable.

It was still missing pockets however and that would never do! At this point the skirt was looking a little Victorian/Edwardian/Steampunk-esque and I wanted the pockets to reflect that. Something pouchy, strappy, and cool. Pretty early on I decided on a double side pouch with straps running through it that could be worn up like an overall bib, or down like a purse tied to your belt. And it required zippers so that you could switch between the two configurations without you items falling out. This was a pain to do. I’m not one hundred percent sure there wasn’t an easier way to do it, but I shan’t be experimenting with it again any time soon.

Anyhow it turned out brilliantly and the skirt was fully wearable in iteration two.

A Dress For My Photographer

So my photographer is my sister (except on occasions where it’s myself) and I’ve made it my goal to make all of my sisters, whether blood or law, dresses out of matching fabric. (as I was given about a cubic yard of some blue and white striped denim)

Each sister gets to choose their own dress design and I make it work. My goal is to have six more of these done by the middle of Dec 2022 and it’s Nov 28 as I write it and I’ve started on one. Send encouragement.

I managed to talk M into taking inspiration from three different dresses. One for the straps, a second for the skirt, and a third for the pockets. It was really quite interesting to put together. 

There are a few details that I’m less than pleased about, but when I made this I was recovering from a fever and wasn’t at my full brain power so I try to give myself grace on the matter.