Herculaneum pillars

In an effort not to come across as bragging, I’ve failed to even mention an amazing family holiday in Naples last month. Better late than never.

It was wonderful to spend a week exploring a beautiful but gritty city (but not in the way London is, with more history and noise and round-the-clock street life), enjoying an espresso and fogliatella pastry for breakfast and pizza for lunch and dinner, and taking the train further out to the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It was an odd sensation to wonder around the streets of these two frozen Roman cities, stepping from ancient cobble to ancient cobble, passing food stalls with their terracotta pots set into marble counters and occasionally wandering through a doorway into a villa or public baths. It felt like the locals had all just gone on holiday somewhere.

Here’s a picture of a courtyard in one of the grand villas of Herculaneum, the pillars of which struck me as good for a striped knitting pattern. I still find graph paper and felt pens the easiest and most satisfying way of designing patterns.pillar2

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vesuOn the train back from Pompeii, Sayed and I listened to PJ Harvey’s ‘This is Love’ on headphones, restraining ourselves from leaping around the carriage and nearly imploding in the process as we passed Vesuvius, which I was convinced was about to erupt. If any song could make a volcano erupt, it would be this one.

Shirtwaister

The shirtwaister dress so far – no sleeves or buttons yet, but still with seams thanks to double stitching and Aunty Penny’s ‘fray checker’ (thanks Aunty Penny).dancedress11

I’m so happy with it, I did a little dance.

RKpYWF on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Back in London

No posts recently, sorry! My main excuse is that I’m just back from a week teaching art and art history in Ukraine. It was a very exciting visit and I’m looking forward to returning next month and exploring the city of Donetsk with my camera. Unfortunately, my current camera battery lasts about ten minutes tops, so no pictures from this visit.

After a couple of frenzied months, knitting has slowed down a little lately. My green swiggle jumper and I aren’t talking right now. Although we’re completely and utterly made for each other there are still some serious relationship issues. After some denial on my part, I’ve come to realise that we need to take a couple of steps back – namely reknitting the armhole edges of the front.

Tomorrow renegotiations begin.

shirtwaister shirtwaister3

In the meantime, I’ve rekindled love for my sewing machine. Some beautiful blue stripey silk found in a fabric shop in Glasgow last month is gradually coming together into a shirtwaister dress. It’s working out nicely despite the fabric (and, incidentally, my mind) unravelling faster than you can say ‘seam allowance’.shirtwaister2