If I had to pick a song to describe the last few days, it would probably be the Gilligan Island theme song:
Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip…
(For those too young to remember Gilligan’s Island, it was a hilarious comedy about seven people stranded on a desert island after a three-hour boating tour went horribly wrong. One of my favorite shows when I was a kid – right after Hogan’s Heroes – the sheer joy of the show was watching the bumbling and yet endearing incompetence of the characters as they came up with one ingenious/stupid idea after another for getting themselves off the island.)
Anyway, I’ve felt just like Gilligan for the last two days – earnest, sincerely trying, but totally unable to get things right. I’ve been experimenting with katazome on warps, except using Jacquard clear water-based resist instead of katazome paste, and using dye instead of pigment. Unfortunately, the resist didn’t resist the dye effectively, so of course all the colors overran each other. Instead of a lovely pattern of black and white, with red, orange, and yellow splashes of color, I have a mottled black warp with red and yellow blotches. This is irretrievable. The only thing I can think to do is to cut off that section and start over. (Fortunately, there are thirteen more yards of warp on the loom.)
I have also been trying to get the bound buttonholes into the Celtic Braid Coat. I spent this afternoon tearing my hair out, sewing and ripping and re-sewing, and have two bound buttonholes that, if you squint, might pass muster. However, they don’t match each other – one is long and skinny and the other is short and fat. This after four hours of work! I am thinking I may go with Janet’s suggestion from a few blog posts ago, and try a few samples of reverse bound buttonholes. It couldn’t possibly be any worse than my current work.
(The problem, incidentally, doesn’t seem to be complete incompetence on my part. I managed to create perfectly passable bound buttonholes in muslin. The trouble is that the fabric is thick and the diamond-shaped leather patch adds even more bulk, making it very difficult to handle.)
So anyway, after realizing that the second bound buttonhole wasn’t even, even after four hours of fiddling, I did the only possible thing: get up and go shopping! I had been planning to make fruitcake next weekend, but given my utter incompetence at everything else, thought it might be good to do at least one thing all weekend that would be fun and easy.
So Mike and I went shopping for all kinds of goodies, and I came home and made this:
What’s in there? Oh, all sorts of goodies – chopped dates, candied ginger, dried apricots, dried pineapple, home-candied sour cherries and sweet cherries, dried figs, and the crowning glory – five kinds of home-candied citrus peels. This year’s selection is bergamot, Meyer lemon, citron, Rangpur lime, and Seville orange. I adore candied citrus peels, especially the more exotic and aromatic types – and make two or three batches a year of whatever exotics I can get my hands on. Then I hoard the resulting jars of candied peels until either fruitcake or chocolate season arrives.)
So far I’ve only cut things up, and of course nibbled on the bits and pieces – sugar therapy! Tomorrow I will mix up the batter and bake it – it’s too late to bake it tonight, since the cakes take about two and a half hours to bake. But I’m really looking forward to the wonderful smells that tomorrow will bring!
Tomorrow is also a dye day – some friends are coming over to play with tie-dye! I’ve dyed most of my essential items, but have lots of T-shirts (not to mention that bathrobe!) to play with. I think it’ll be loads of fun! Can’t wait to get back into the dyepots. I’m tempted to make some katazome paste, too.