First, my newest CW purchase--an original 1860s parasol, to be cleaned and re-covered. The inner workings are brass, with a bone handle and a black glass bead at the end. What I truly love about it is that the fabric is not embellished in any way. It's a simple, crisp linen. It's always been a perpetual struggle for me to glop on the Victorian embellishments, and finding this simple parasol just made my day.
On Monday, I went to visit my friend Pat who had recently returned from England. On her trip, she bought a number of original items: pincushions, laces, collars, petticoats, baby clothes, and this gorgeous miser's purse. We looked at it under a magnifying glass and it's definitely knitted, on what must have been 00000000000 needles. The entire thing is 12" long, but the thread is the thickness of a human hair. There are some interesting construction details. The piece was knitted in the flat in two separate pieces, each about 8" long. One edge on each piece was folded back about 2 inches and hemmed down, then the two pieces were joined at the folds. The rounded ends are lined with a polished cotton, probably to support the weight of coins. In addition, the two rings are entirely different; she and I suspect that allowed the owner to know at a glance which side had gold and which side had silver coins. I can't really see the point of the center seam--given the scale of the silk and the needles, why would anyone want to knit an extra 4" that would never be seen?
Pat also gave me this sweet coin purse, perhaps from later in the nineteenth century, but I'll need to research more. It's crocheted in silk and designed to hang from the belt. All those strings have a sort of miser's purse effect, as they go through the flap and block off the opening to the coin purse, making it much easier to put coins in than take them out.
She's also putting on several sanitary fair events in the coming months and years, and I'll be helping. I'm back to being excited about them again.
We had a lovely visit. There was even iced lemonade with mint leaves and violets floating in an etched crystal pitcher.
- Miller's 5-grain bread from Companion Bakery,
- pancake mix,
- maple syrup,
- 1 lb. of coffee,
- a dozen eggs,
- an herb bouquet,
- ground pork from Hinkebein Hills Farm, and
- Match meat substitute.
This weekend, LB also managed to sweet talk us into this slab o'bacon from a Wisconsin farmer. This sow belly is a truly beautiful thing. It's going to be a bacon week.
I go back and forth on whether we should be paying this much for food--totally no value judgement on what other people pay for food, and I really love the whole support-your-local-farmer angle. My reaction is totally about our budget restrictions. What you see above is $50 worth of food. Still, I know that coffee sells for $13/lb, and store-brand eggs right now are $2.79.
In order not to waste any, here's the meal plan for the next week or so:
- This morning: bacon and oeufs a la coque w/ toast batons and fresh-squeezed blood orange juice. That, btw, is just a fancy way of saying soft boiled eggs w/ toast sticks. To make the toast sticks, butter 4 slices of bread, sprinkle w/ kosher salt, transfer to a cookie sheet and cut into 1/2" sticks. Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes.
- Buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup and bacon
- Bacon and asparagus with lemon sabayon served with garlic bread
- Pearl balls (dim sum) and salad with asian dressing
- Pasta with tomato, bacon, and onion; steamed zucchini; garlic bread
- Maple- ginger-glazed chicken with rice and green beans
- Leftovers with smoked gouda bacon beer bread
- Skillet spaghetti with the "Match meat," salad with homemade Italian dressing, garlic bread
- definitely a quiche
- probably more leftovers
- perhaps a Moravian sugar cake if I'm feeling ambitious
Finally, today I got the last of the yarn I need for my Mardi Gras stole: Plymouth Loopy and Tulle in the Tumbleweed colorway, and Habu Kasrui and Paper Moire. The possibilities are percolating.