Monday, August 1, 2016

Progress on the gray skirt

Hello, everyone.

First off, a small mention of what has been consuming our evening time lately: the Great Courses DVD's on the Middle Ages. We have finished the High Middle Ages course (teacher: Philip Daileader) and we're working our way through the Late Middle Ages course.

This time period overlaps the Renaissance CD course we were listening to in the car on our recent trip to Illinois and Tennessee. Oddly enough, there was basically no mention of the Black Death in the Renaissance CD's. (Maybe we didn't get far enough before we got home? But the course included a fairly large chunk about the life of Petrarch...who lived through the first, devastating wave of the pandemic...and somehow didn't mention its impact at all. Odd.) This course includes a quote from Petrarch on the effect of the plague on the people. And follows up with another quote from a less "literary" author that said something similar: that it was devastating.

We also watched a mid-1950's movie, A Man Called Peter, which was a good movie. I was inspired to look up the Rev. Peter Marshall on the internet and discovered that he died quite young: 46! But he certainly did a lot in his few years.

Now for the skirt bulletin.

Pin-basted lining skirt. 
The lining skirt is almost done: it needs to be hand-basted before going into the machine, and it needs a hem, and then it needs to wait until the face fabric layer catches up to it. (The gathering stitches are placed in the face fabric--two rows, so it should be more stable than the lining's single row--but it hasn't been pin basted into place yet. And I haven't dug out the zipper for the garment from the stash of zippers. At least, I hope there is a suitable zipper in that container!)

I have learned in this project that the variable presser foot pressure on my new sewing machine is a wonderful thing. Getting a smooth row of stitching was impossible at first: tried holding fabric firm. No dice. Tried changing thread. No dice. Tried changing to a brand-new needle. No dice. Tightened the presser foot pressure: success! So it pays to keep trying things until the right one is found when a project is going wonky.

I have also started making another rosary, for a hand occupation while listening to the DVD course on the television. It's aqua with 22 gauge black wire. (Did I spell that right? Dunno.) The Our Father beads are 8?mm. aqua perles and the Hail Mary beads are 4 or 5 mm. glass that looks like it was made in India. This way a person can use the strand in the dark or with their eyes closed. I have always thought that it is important that in that long loop of at least 53 beads a person should be able to have an approximate idea of where she is. In case she has fallen asleep in the middle! Picture of the rosary will come later, probably when it's finished.