Knitters, quilters, hookers, and other hand-workers of all sorts and skill levels–come gather in the bucolic setting of Dandelion Spring and Straw Farm in Newcastle, Maine. Join us for an afternoon of companionship, laughter, and progress on all your UFO’s surrounded by the fields, animals, busy farmers, and an abundant farm stand. While this is not a class, I’m happy to answer questions to the best of my ability—dabbler as I am in many things… And truly the best thing about a bee is the community and shared creativity. It is a time to be inspired by and to both learn from and teach each other.
Nothing makes me prouder than overhearing other women in fabric and yarn shops commenting on how well behaved my husband is. My guy takes all things in stride. We enter said establishment, he reaches for my mittens/coat/bag, and scopes out the Man Seat. He sits. He waits. And waits. When I cast a worrying eye in his direction, he assures me he’s good. When I excitedly point something out to him from across the shop, he gently taps his chest. His heart is all aflutter, too. We recently reenacted this well rehearsed routine while on one truly amazing trip. Paris. Entree des Fournisseurs. And when you get to number 8 rue de Francs Bourgeois, the gentleman in the perfume store will kindly interrupt your butchered but earnest attempt at French with his beautiful English to tell you that the shoppe is just around the corner in the courtyard. Confusion resolved. Let the shopping begin. Cue the lovingly patient husband.
EdF is a small but but charming boutique of yarns, trims, ribbons, fabric, buttons, haberdashery, and all things true to a fabric lover’s heart. The quality of the ribbons and trim, in particular, just sent me into ecstasies of design imagination. I simply could not resist selecting a sampling of my favorites to return to my studio with. Even the magnificent 13 euro/meter lace and ribbon edging made the cut, though just one meter of it.
The store fixtures are just as inviting as the merchandise. There are worn and patinaed wooden antiques—cutting tables, display cases. The wrought iron ribbon displays made me envious. The antique armoires are brimming with felts the colors of confections. And then there are the oh so tempting samples of finished pieces demonstrating the design acuity of knitwear and fashion pattern designers I’ve never heard of, but can’t wait to research and study.
My time there, though not rushed, was far too brief. It was a Pandora’s box that now open cannot be closed again. I know what is out there. It’s the best I’ve seen so far in my endless search for beautiful fabrics and trim. I spent my time there, made my modest purchases, collected my sweet husband and treated him with a stop at the patisserie. While he tucked into his Gourmandise (and me my croissant), I began scheming for my next trip to Paris to continue the discovery of all its textile wares.
Craigslist: Love. It. How was the grammar there? Never mind.
Flea market junkies, bargain hunters, cheapskates–ahem, Frugal Yankees—that we are, CL is a haven. We’ve found sofas and antiques and cars, but it is also just the ripest picking ground for fiber lovers. I’ve bought and sold yarn, found rug hooking tools and supplies, and discovered vintage books of technique and design to die for. And my latest discovery?? Vintage Indonesian batik sarongs. Gorgeous. The design wheels are turning… What to do? What to do?
I can vividly tell you what book I was listening to while I worked, what the weather was, and what home improvement project I was avidly avoiding—
That is the question I threw out to the FB gang the other night. Sometimes I think topstitching adds a nice professional finish, but other times I think it just makes the thing look cheap. The project that had thrown me into such philosophical woes was my Petite Reversible Market Tote. Would it be more polished with the right color stitching neatly wending its way about the edges or would the whole thing just get fussy? In the end, I decided on a compromise. Neat rows of stitching on the top handle reinforcement areas and let the rest of the bag stand on its own. I’ve just listed it here and here, if you’d like to take a peek.