His and Hers Vests

We are both in serious need of some new clothes.  I made  a vest for Ug , then I made another one.  He likes this one better than the first one.  The first one was “too fancy”.  I think the first one looks really nice on him, but this one really is more his style.

That looks like a stain on it already, but it is just a few drops of water from my hands.

This was two jackets blended together.  The majority of this one is a faux-fur lined light weight leather jacket.  The shoulders and sleeves were too tight, but the jacket was kind of nice, and really warm.  The other jacket was one that I have used parts of for other projects.  It was a nice wool jacket.  The colors go together beautifully.  He really likes this one better.  It looks good with a nice shirt and I think will be warm this fall with a long sleeved pull over shirt.

Then I wanted one of my own, but a bit girlier.  I started with the same method I used for the other two–cut off the sleeves from a wool men’s jacket, then use them to fill in the gaps on the sides. (Really, if any of these jackets fit either one of us, I would not be cutting them up.  They are made of nice wool and I do hate to cut them, but its what we have and might as well be put to use.)  But it did not look finished and professional like I was hoping for.  And too manly still.  As I was wondering what I would use to trim the edges of the arm holes, I spied a basket of silk ties that I have been holding on to for some time now.  I keep trying to throw them out, but just can’t.  Maybe this was why.  I realized that I did not need the wool for inserts in the sides of the vest, but that the ties would be perfect.  I used two ties for this vest.  The wide part at the bottom, then the skinnier part up and around the arm hole and overlaps slightly under the arm.  Just long enough to go all the way around.

I liked the look of the silver buttons better, so I took off the black plastic ones that it came with and swapped them out for something a bit more stylish.

Since women gap where men do not, I added another button higher up the lapel.  This also changes the look and line of the vest a bit.

 

Check out what everyone else is working on at:

http://tamisamis.blogspot.com/

http://www.naturalsuburbia.com/

http://wonderwhyalpacafarm.blogspot.com/

Have a fibery Friday everyone!

The Fair Series: The Market Place

At this fair there is a HUGE market place.  Craftspeople from all over Maine, and I suppose from further afield as well, come to sell their beautiful crafts.  My photos are primarily of textile crafts (of course) but you could choose from a wide variety of items:  honey, soaps, teas, breads and grains milled here in Maine, jewelry, pottery, yarn and spinning fiber, wooden things–spoons, cutting boards, snowshoes, walking sticks.  There was cider, fruits and vegetables in the farmers market, hen houses, hobbit holes, t-shirts, scythes, seeds………I can’t remember everything.  Amazing to look at.  Inspiring for ideas, as well as awe inspiring for all of the work and talent that go into making these wares.  Peoples passions and efforts poured into unique and beautiful items that you could take with you as a remembrance of your trip to the fair.

The Fair Series: Plant Dyed Yarns

This was a talk that I missed, and sadly so, but everything was still set up so that you could see what was done.  There is a fire pit or fire-box with a grate set over the fire to hold the cans with the dye liquid.  A bit of wood off to the side.  Being a Mainer however, I would never even consider using fire wood for a project like this.  This is something you would use sticks and downed limbs from around your yard or in the woods for.  Definitely not something as nice (and labor intensive) as firewood.  There is also a rack for drying the dyed yarns.

Sometimes I forget that equipment does not have to be anything fancy or even anything purchased.  My own dyeing equipment consists of an old enameled pot with lid (enameled because it is non-reactive with the acid in the dye bath), a salad spinner for extracting water from the wool, and an old window screen or two that either span the bath tub or are set up outside to take advantage of the wind.  But this set up makes my simple set up look positively modern and ritzy.  Everything here does the same job as anything you can buy or find at the dump or a lawn sale.

I am really sorry to have missed this presentation.  There would have been discussion around how long to soak barks and vegetation to extract the dyes, how long to soak the yarns in that liquid and what to use for mordants for each type of plant or bark.  I will have to work on this myself now.  With the aid of books and the internet, I should be able to learn this myself.

Something that I love that they have here at the fair grounds in and among their vegetable gardens is that they make dye gardens.  There are patches of garden growing with different dye plants, and each is labeled and separated by color.  There is a red garden, a yellow garden, etc.  I would love to have this at my home.  Instead of flower gardening for beauty only, I can imagine having a garden that is made up of all dye plants.  Definitely something to think about.

 

Marija sent me a book about natural dye plants that I am really excited to learn from.  Yesterday on our bike ride I collected some lichen (with the help of my book) and am hoping to get started with the natural dyeing with that.

The Fair Series: Lincoln Locks

Since back here I have been trying to figure out what to do with Lincoln Locks that I dyed.  They take color beautifully, and all of their luster shows through the dye.  I have been a bit apprehensive about spinning with them, as I was not sure whether I should spin directly from the locks, or card them (but then all of their beautiful curl disappears), or just what to do with them.

The answer was, of course, at The Fair.  Here they have been spun into art yarn.  Their curls have been allowed to hang free.  I asked one of the fiber speakers about them as well.  I explained that I am not much of an art yarn fan–it is so pretty but I wouldn’t know what to do with it.  She said she thought the Lincoln Locks spun into art yarn, then the yarn used as trim for mittens or a scarf or something like that would be nice.  Now I can see exactly that in my own mind and cannot wait to spin some of this.

Another booth had this beautiful felted piece:

The Fair Series: From Parking Lot to Fair Grounds

Getting from the parking lots to the fair grounds is a bit of an adventure in itself.  If you do not get to The Fair by 9 am, the closest (and walk-able) parking lot is quickly filled.  Once this first lot is filled, you are directed further down the road to a series of fields.  These become parking lots for the weekend.  Unless you are young and fit and don’t mind a pretty long hike before you even get to the fair, there are tractors pulling wagons to get the rest of us there.  It can be a bumpy ride.

A Second Look at THE FAIR

We are just back from The Fair.  I am really tired.  My face is sun burnt.  My feet hurt.  Well, they hurt now that I can feel them again.  I’m hungry.  I have a lot of unpacking to do.  My head hurts.  I really miss my dog who is still at the baby sitter and will get picked up in the morning.  My house is a mess and so is the van.  And I am perfectly happy.  I love this fair.  I will write more about it this week, but for now, some pictures.

I saw and learned so much in our time at The Fair, and yet I did not see even half of what I wanted to.  I will write more about what I did see, but for now, some supper, jammies, and bed.  It was a good weekend.