Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Happy Easter To You

April 8, 1909
 The Manse, Youngstown, NY

Dear Dorothy: - Many thanks for the photo card that came a long time ago.
  With best wishes to you all from the Geddes Family 
+ love from Ernestine

Wishing you a happy and blessed Easter and many enjoyable springtime projects.

NOTE: as best I can find here is a recent photo of The Manse
605 Center Street. Built in 1870 by William Parkinson to be used as a manse for the First Presbyterian Church. It was once surrounded by large elm trees until the 1950s blight. It is a private residence today. A porch was added in 2005.

The Manse was actually in nearby Lewiston, NY

The April 24, 1909 issue of The Youngstown Times  has this one brief sentence:
The Ladies Aid society of the Presbyterian church met Wednesday afternoon with Mrs. D. M. Geddes at the manse.

a bit more about Ernestine in this July 31, 1909 issue (toward the end) and closer to the top are notes about the text for morning and evening service.  Interesting to look back at 1909.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WWI Knitting

So much happens that I would like to share and talk about but never seem able to get (or take!) the time to sit down and compose a post. 

I wouldn't  have made the effort  this time except I enjoyed learning about this project so much that I didn't want you to miss it. 

Perhaps you already read the Knitsofacto blog  or already check in on life on the Orkney Islands at this Northern Lace blog.

If so you already know of the WW1 centenary film that tells a true story of the home front as told through the stories of those men who are remembered on the Thimbleby war memorial in England.
I won't post any more photos here as you can see so many great one at the blogs linked above.
Volunteer knitters were recruited to hand knit period costumes and some wonderful creations have already been completed.  There is a blog, Orkney to Omaha, where all volunteer contributors are posting.   Be sure to check in there as well.
What a wonderful project!  So glad to learn about it.
When you go home, tell them of us and say
For their tomorrow, we gave our today.
                             credited to John Maxwell Edmonds

Monday, December 30, 2013


Why look what is holding the place for the peach that drops at midnight New Year's Eve! 
I may have to drive down to see that.
Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kind Remembrances

I finally got the chance to walk across and look for a vintage Christmas postcard.  I didn't have long and I chose this one quickly mainly because I loved the design
and it included a New Year's wish as well. 
Only later, at  home, did I read it more closely and discover it was from England.  Both Darlington from where it was sent and Newbiggin, Middleton in Teesdale are in County Durham in England.
The year sent is none too clear, but I thought it was 1925.  Christmas that year was on Friday and the card is postmarked on the 23rd. 
I had a lovely time just Googling around trying to learn more about the time, place, and that stamp.  That face on the stamp is George V, not the downey head, but a later issue after 1912 (again, I think).  Finding the link to the stamp made me question the date since it seems that postcard postage increased to a full penny in 1918.  So could it be 1915?
Reading further I thought it might be 1915 as this site says that WWI shut down German printing presses and postcards that show "Printed in Germany" are before 1915. 
Regardless, the wish remains the same. 
Just like E. Redfearn, I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year. 
Happy Stringplay, too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yarn Bombing

Hello, all.  It is only 71 degrees today!!  Bliss.  I am so ready to welcome fall.  I say this even knowing how many leaves I'll have to rake.  Lovely cool weather is so wonderful.

Today I took a long route to the post office and took my camera so I could take a photo of the yarn bombing at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art.  The museum is closed until later this month when it reopens with a new exhibit.  This yarn bombing was done in connection with a previous exhibit of fiber arts presented in conjunction with the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild. 

Honestly I can't say that I am a big fan of  yarn bombing.  Although certainly eye catching, I cannot imagine that this ever entices those not already involved in knitting or crocheting to take up the art.  I could be wrong. 

Regardless it was a treat to be out and about in such nice weather.  There were many smiles on the folks I passed.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hog Heaven

The 20th Anniversary issue of Piecework magazine was in  my mailbox this week.  A whole issue devoted to bags.  BAGS!  Well I could hardly get into the house fast enough.  It is no secret around here that I love Piecework and that I love bags.   I could hardly contain myself. 

This issue is loaded with projects; bags to knit, to crochet, to bead crochet, to embroider, to embellish. 

It is like they created it just for me.  Although possibly there are other bag lovers out there.  If you are one then, like I always say, RUN right out and get this issue.  You're gonna love it, too.

Here's a link to the Editor's Letter (and you can see one view of the gorgeous embroidered one there).

My current little tatted bag is stalled for the moment, but this has made me want to get back to it asap.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Nov 21 - 1911
Dear Cousin May
I suppose you wonder why you did not get cards from us
But I forgot all about it till it was too late
But they say better late than never 
So we hope you had a Happy Birthday

[I'm not sure of the signature.  Perhaps it is Lettie & Lew Walter??]

Walked across the square yesterday and found this lovely postcard.  No stamp and no apparent postmark.  Was it included in a package perhaps?  What this scan doesn't show too clearly is that the stripes behind the rose are metallic and a chevron design.  Quite lovely.

Mary, hope it is a happy one for you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Field Trip!

Last week I went on a field trip.  Everyone at the office was given a free day off anytime during July with the stipulation that we do something special.  Wasn't that nice!

My first couple of ideas didn't pan out and it is just as well that they did not because I ended up having such a wonderful time. 

I took myself downtown to The High Museum to see 35 masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age including Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Oh, my!  What a treat!  I bought a Dutch Lunch ticket which was admission + lunch and just wandered around leisurely.  I don't always do leisurely so this made it extra special.  I lingered over breakfast, casually drove down, and took my time at the exhibits. 

I loved seeing these large portraits, marriage portraits by Frans Hals depicting Jacob Olycan and his wife Aletta Hanemans.  Look at all that lace! Imagine being able to paint that.  Or being able to capture the black on black brocade of his jacket.  The details in these were absolutely amazing.

This is View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds (ca 1670-1675).  Again, amazing detail but from such a long distance.  I learned from this that the linen industry was important to the city's economy and the linen was laid out in the sun to bleach all around the edges of the city, a process that took several months.  I had been so intent on looking at the clouds and the church in the distance that I hadn't even noticed the linen until I read the notes.       

Such a wonderful trip.  I really should get out more often. : )

Monday, July 1, 2013

Marrakesh reticule

I bought new string.  Couldn't help myself.  Besides string is relatively cheap and keeps me entertained for hours. 
[I'm using LizBeth thread; size 20, in 671-Christmas Red and 694-Autumn Orange-Med]

I have had an idea to use this tatting pattern for some time.  My copy is from The Complete Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont but you can view whole ebook thanks to Project Gutenberg here.  Isn't that great!  What a fabulous free resource.  There are even direct links to various sections of this lenghty book.  If you'd like to look at the pattern I selected, scroll done to the Tatting section and click on the link for "Patterns of Scallops and Medallions". 

I had an idea to use this for another tatted reticule.  You can see from that bit at the bottom of the above  photo that I had a bit of a setback but things are going more smoothly now. 

Last summer when I suspended blogging for a bit I was right in the middle of the first tatted reticule.  I did finish it:
It was a very enjoyable project.  Tatting is much more summer-friendly than knitting with wool.  Alas.

Currently my idea for this new bag is to do just a deep edging and then, using the same string (not sure which color yet) to knit a bag and affix the edging at the top.   For my bag last summer I knitted just a shallow bottom which I attached to the bottom tatted edging.  For this one the idea is to have the entire bag in stockinette with a deep edging overlay.

Friday, May 3, 2013


Here is you a Friday time waster - 360 rare vintage photos taken at beaches.
I happened upon this when I looked in to to check the day's forecast.  It is to be low 60s May!  JOY.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wee bonnets

Are you watching "Call The Midwife" on PBS?  It is sadness and happiness all wrapped up together over there.  Also a fair bit of knitting. 

I loved when back in Season 1 Sister Monica Joan was making a little stuffed doll and reassured Chummy that she would be fashioning it a beret. 

The photo above is from Season 2; episode 5 and there are all  manner of wee knits there.  If this gives you the hankering to stitch up a quick bonnet, here's a link to many free patterns on Ravelry.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Joy Attend You

Apr. 9, 1909
Dear Belle:
We were all glad to have a letter from you.
I think Mamma will be writing before long.  She has been about down with the grip but is feeling about as usual now and Lulie is taking her turn at it.  I have 30 little chickens out for Easter.  We had our potatoes planted yesterday.
With best Easter wishes

Loved this one!  I couldn't decide, though, how it should viewed.  The flowers and eggs looked odd to me if over on their side.   Easter was April 11 in 1909. 
What did Easter look like in 1909?  Here's a group photo posted on Flickr.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I've Got Peace Like A River

Spring is here.  Actually it arrived a couple of days ago - according to the calendar.  And it is easy enough to believe with absolutely EVERYthing budded and bloomed even if the thermometer hovers around 40+ in the daytime and dips lower at night.  I do not mind an extension of cooler temperatures.  I'm sure we'll have plenty enough heat later on.

Even with this cool spell I hardly need wool gloves but that's what I'm knitting and Boy Oh Boyardee have these ever been FUN so far.  I have had an unexpected free day to be home and have just enjoyed the relaxation of getting this project started. 

I ordered a couple of colors of Quince & Co. yarn.  Finch in two colors - Crow and Frost.  We have had both around the cul-de-sac these past few days. 

100% American wool : 100% Enjoyment

I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river,
I've got peace like a river in my soul.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

more little Xs

With embroidery of the blue Simpler Sampler complete, I went right on to another project.  I cannot find a photo of the finished design to show you, but it is a Mary Beale design entitled "Glory of the Lord" and actually requires more than one color!  Consequently it is going much slower and is a bit less entertaining that the fun blue one.  Still the colors are soft and nice and I expect it will be just fine.  Again I'm sticking to basic little Xs and  no specialty stitches. 
Already I've messed up.  Sigh.  The intent was to put that geometric border in first as it would serve as a great guideline for stitch placement for the rest of the floral design.  I got over half done when I discovered I was using a lighter shade than intended.  Well!  That took the shine off.  Now my plan is to do all of the interior and decide how it looks.  It may be just fine.  If  not, I can always pull that out and restitch (although that sure doesn't sound like fun!).
Speaking of samplers and embroidery, do you read the Blue Garter blog?  She has a wonderful post on such a special piece of stitching that she inherited.  How I would love to see that in person as well as all the other goodies she mentions.  What a treasure
I also got a chuckle reading Juju Vail's discovery in an old sampler.  Inspiration is everywhere.
And  now, here are two totally UNrelated things:
#1 - an update on the tulip tree
in spite of the crazy back and forth warm and cold weather we've been having, the tulip tree has bloomed and was not severly affected by the couple of times that the temperatures neared or reached freezing.   This tree is near the post office and I always root for it to make it as it is truly lovely when all bloomed out.
#2 - Paper Lace!
Wow!  This artist is talented! 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Resting Place - for pins

So have you watched all the episodes of season 3 of "Downton Abbey" yet? 
I sometimes felt like the tug of war was with my emotions.  A lot happened in season 3, huh?!
I have to say that the plot lines often take second place in my interest to the all the wonderful costumes and lush set props.  Oh, my.  It didn't hurt either that the final episode took place in Scotland and, in addition to the magnificent scenery, we got kilts and tartans and some fair isle.
While searching around looking at images of costumes, I ran across a free pattern for cross stitch and made myself a pin pillow.  Considering all that took place this season, I stitched mine all in black and added a few jet beads to the tassels on the corner. 
Would you like to stitch one of your own?  Pattern is found here.
And if, like me, you enjoyed all those beautiful dresses, see more from the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art here.*  My favorite may be this one but then I haven't had time to look at all 8,229 of them!

*found this link over at Mason-Dixon Knitting