Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

The latest Blythe swap theme was Blythe is a Bookworm. What a perfect theme for me! I had a lot in common with my partner, also a librarian, and also a fan of Harry Potter and lots of other reading things. Here’s a peek at what I sent:

I made some dresses and a sweater for Kate’s Blythes:

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

Doesn’t this sweater seem like something Molly Weasley would wear? #goals

Gryffindor Long Cable Cardigan for Blythe

And I made the tiniest cross stitch ever, on 28 count fabric.

Tiny cross stitch pillow

Amiibo figure for scale (figure is 2″ high).

Tiny cross stitch pillow

I’m still shaking my head at my hubris taking on a project on this tiny scale. I now own a magnifier, though, so that should be useful for future miniature crafts. And I’m so pleased with how it turned out, so it was super worth it.

AND, here’s what I received!

Blythe is a Bookworm Swap - goodies recieved from Kate

Thanks so much, Kate! This was such a fun swap!

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Book review: Novel Interiors

Novel Interiors

If you’re looking for literature- or interior-design-related eye candy, this book fits the bill. It’s divided into sections inspired by different styles/periods of literature, and the interior design that goes with each style is evocative of the feelings that style elicits. It’s not strictly one era or another in terms of design, and some of the styles combine a variety of authors and times to create the sense of the world of a particular genre. This sounds like a haphazard mish-mash, but it seems carefully thought out and actually works really well for me. A lot of what we love about a book is that feeling we get reading it and the accompanying desire to live in or visit the world it portrays. This is an extension of that, exploring how we could make our surroundings feel like living inside our favorite books.

The first section, entitled Shall I Put the Kettle On?, gives us the feeling of being in a Jane Austen or George Eliot novel. It’s a romantic, cheerful, slightly disordered but extremely charming celebration of domesticity and the comforts of a cozy home. Can you tell that this appeals greatly to me? If you were to give me a room that was a faithful recreation of this time period, it would undoubtedly be too fussy for my taste, but here the rooms pictured are somehow not so – the clutter is contained and there’s not too much chintz. The gardens are also completely my taste – cozy and crowded and full of little mysteries to discover. I also dig the Emily Bronte/Anne of Green Gables section, “Living Au Naturel.” Lots of exposed wood in rich tones, a very appealing minimalism, and simple ways of extending the garden inside the home. There are also sections inspired by (among others) Evelyn Waugh (“Remembrance of Things Past”), The Great Gatsby (Oh, the Glamour of It All”), Isak Dinesen (“Anything Goes”), and Oscar Wilde (“Sometimes a Fantasy”), all of which are lovely but just don’t suit my tastes as closely.

That’s the fun of this book: most readers are likely to find at least one of the styles a good fit and to find a little inspiration in all of them. Even if you’re not looking for home decor ideas, it’s fun to look at all the details in each room and appreciate the little touches the designer put into them. The rooms are beautifully shot and there’s a nice mix of wide and close-up photographs. For someone like me, who is dreaming about her next home and the ways in which it can be personalized with things old and new, this is a perfect tool for feeding those fantasies.

Full disclosure: reviewed from a complimentary copy provided by Blogging for Books.

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Austen Traveling Mitts

More stash-busting Harry Potter knitting! Except this time it’s Jane Austen knitting. This month’s theme in the Huffletainment thread (Hufflepuff entertainment) is Austen, so I chose these romantic-y fingerless mitts as a tie-in for my Muggle Studies project. The assignment is to craft something that would help a Muggle stay warm while traveling, and these seemed appropriate for the romantic heroine of an Austen novel.

Austen Traveling Mitts

While I was working on these, I dove into the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a re-imagining of Pride and Prejudice as a vlog. It’s been years (decades, probably) since I read it, but I’ve seen several movie versions and I remember the basic gist. I may re-read it sometime soon now that I’m immersed in the story.

Austen Traveling Mitts

So these mitts turned out okay, but just okay. I’m quite pleased with the look of the colorway- I like the way it knit up with one color bleeding into the next, and I like the fact that each mitt is different color-wise. However, the fiber content of this yarn is mostly acrylic, and it just doesn’t have the give and take that wool does (as called for in the original pattern). The thumb is also a bit small for me, and only half because of the bind-off. I would make the thumb larger the next time, by at least a few stitches. The ruffle also didn’t turn out very ruffle-y in this yarn.

Austen Traveling Mitts

Still, a fun project that I enjoyed working on. If anyone would like these, comment away!

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AUSTENtatious Crochet

AUSTENtatious Crochet I don’t really crochet (I can do an edge here or there, but that’s about it), but this book is so lovely! Since Downton Abbey has renewed my interest in historical fiction, I was drawn to admire all the delicate, romantic creations included here. Austen fans, don’t miss this one! My post at CPL has more about this book.

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Happy Halloween!

As usual, we dressed up for Halloween today at the library. I decided to be Little Miss Muffet, because I like to do storybook characters and I found a neat spiderweb fabric at Joann when I was figuring out what to be. I also decided that LMM lived in Jane Austen’s time, and that she saw the error of her ways and recognized the merits of the spider.

MsMuffitAnne

I created a representation of a tuffet and put a bowl and spoon for curds and whey on it.

Ms Muffit & Friend

Karl helped me by sewing the spider onto my shoulder before I left for work this morning. Other than the spider (and the bowl and spoon), I made everything in the costume. I thought it might be difficult but creating the bonnet was easier than I expected. I looked at some images of regency era bonnets and then made it up as I went along. I used cardboard to make the back, which I then covered in fabric, and I created the brim from a place mat. A little sewing with a carpet needle and some hot glue gun action later, I had a bonnet!

I do have to say that this costume was much more comfortable than some others I’ve worn, which was nice for wearing all work day. Most people seemed to get it right off the bat, too, so I only had to explain it to a few. All in all, a successful halloween!

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