she was basting the skirt together,
contemplating waistband options,
casting on another wedge
and gnashing her teeth over closures.
over drape, texture, comfort, lustre,
using the tools at hand--
(me and photo timers -- not a thing...)
The path to the finished skirt
has, of course,
involved a teensy bit
of avoidance behavior
(also known as important thinking time).
to contemplate and decide,
beginning with waistbands.
The first possibly
was a backstrap rigid heddle experiment
that I wove a couple of years ago using Kestrel,
a knitted linen tube from Quince and Co.
The yarn was lovely to work with
and the finished band drapy and soft.
It was not what I had wanted back then,
but it had potential as both button and waist band
for this Sarah-Dippity.
I still had plenty of the cotton from the skirt,
and at the last weaver's guild meeting
my friend Helen gave a program
on straps and bands --
and I hadn't made a warp faced band in ages--
so...well... you know how it is.
It turns, alas, out warp faced bands
are not as fun for me as a balanced weave,
(though my weaving cards are still singing a siren song from the drawer).
But I got her done and had some selvedge practice to boot.
Of course I also had to choose between them.
I finished knitting the fourth wedge,
began the final panel sewing (vs basting),
and finally saw that, matching aside,
the older linen band suited the garment best.
This was a satisfying decision
as I was still dithering about closures.
buttons? zipper? frogs?
The internet is not always a decision-making friend.
there a person will find compatriots
who fully understand
the enormity of these dilemmas.
So at that same (woven band-centric) guild meeting
I just happened to mention my closure angst to Helen
"What about snaps?" she said.
Erm --I mean thanks,
but I don't think so.
The knitted part is too fragile.
And what if they came undone?"
"You must lead a very exciting life," she said, lifting an eyebrow.
"It's just that the fabric might catch the corner of something,"
"Maybe a zipper?"
Helen didn't reply.
She's very polite that way.
And anyway, she had done her work.
I sewed the panels firmly together
(replacing the rough basting),
and by the time that was done
that I wanted a zipper.
it was raining too hard for a bicycle,
and though I could have walked the two miles
to the fabric store in the mall,
it was windy enough to turn my umbrella inside out,
and my raincoat leaks,
and I was NOT going to start my car just to get a zipper,
Better make some Oolong and think.
and decided to have a quick rummage
in the sewing machine drawer
while the water heated.
I might find a cast off zipper
under the spools of purple polyester Woolworth thread
that my ex-husband's Grandmother
used to buy on sale and send to me
when I lived in the wilderness
where, heaven knew,
there were probably no Woolworth stores.
(not sure she understood that there were actually no roads or people either,
or that the brownies she baked sat in Hamilton Montana
for a month or two before anyone brought us our mail,
but that is another story,
and anyway I didn't find a zipper).
What I did find,
waiting quietly in an Altoids tin,
as they had been waiting since about 1985
when I moved from said wilderness
to a teensy shack
where though I had to carry water uphill in a bucket
there was a roadish kind of thing
that would eventually take me
to a fabric store of sorts,
Those words are just delicious.
I also happened upon a bit of linen tape,
hand woven in England and purchased just for me
by my dear friend Rochelle who knows I hate gifts
but always finds the ideal thing to give me anyway
in a form of friend torture for which I love her dearly,
that was perfect
for reinforcing both knit and woven edges
and ensuring snap stability and security.
the full length of the linen band.
But as I was loathe to cut it,
and it goes twice around my waist,
I'm going with the time-honored
double wrap and safety pin solution.
but for the moment,
snugging it around my waist
feels weirdly comforting,
and extra secure--
because you know--
my exciting life and all.
-400 grams (just under a pound) for the finished skirt
-waist: 31 (ish) inches/78 cm
- hem circumference: 73 (ish) inches/186 cm
-length (including waistband): 31 inches/78 cm
-woven panels (finished) are 8 1/2 inches/22 cm wide
-knit panels: 9 1/2 inches/24cm at the bottom
and taper evenly to 1 inch/2.5 cm at the top.
The knitted sections do intimate that there are black leggings beneath
(at least when stretched out while sitting crossed legged on the floor),
but don't feel remotely immodest
when outside without leggings
clutching a hot cup of tea,
wondering what on earth to do with two giant willow balls,
and pretending it is perfect weather
to wander around barefoot
in a Summer Sarah-Dippity Skirt
(slightly wrinkled from three days of wear),
on wet green grass
amidst leafless trees
composing really really long sentences,
that hopefully make sense.