During times of transition, it’s best not to make things too complicated. High-maintenance crafting and cooking just isn’t fun when you’re trying to accomplish a million other things. So for the past week I’ve been keeping it simple, and discover that there are real benefits to this—that it may be worth doing all of the time.
I suppose it would technically make the most sense to lay off the sewing altogether until I’m 100% settled in… but I’m not that practical, and I need my stitching fix. Seriously, too much time away from the Singer does not agree with me. Fortunately, I discovered a marvelous new source of fabric that is very conducive to sewing up a super-easy skirt; my father’s old neckties.
I know this has been done before, but I’m particularly fortunate to have a very stylish father. In fact, he’s undoubtedly where I got my love of color and pattern from. For instance, he made the decision a little while ago to never wear white shirts when lecturing at Harvard Business School. He also owns an outrageously colorful sweater that garners so much attention, he refers to it as his “pick-up-chick sweater.” And this mild shade of yellow, on him, is pretty conservative:
It seems only appropriate, then, given our common genetic inkling, that I would be the one to turn his old neckties into this:
It probably took less than two and a half hours to whip this up. The beauty of neckties is that they’re already tapered just the right amount. I also left the lining on them so it would be a thicker skirt, appropriate for the approaching cool weather. The waistband is a couple of ties sewn together with an elastic in between—doesn’t get much more straightforward than that. And I love it; it’s just a celebration of all those silky, colorful, textured fabrics. I have decided that men’s neckties- and my father’s in particular—are a treasure trove of glorious fabrics. Fortunately for me, there are leftovers, and I have plans for them…
Even whilst sewing and unpacking and dealing with the all the craziness of life, I’ve had to feed myself somehow. My default dishes are probably no big surprise. Yes, I’ve been eating lots of pasta and fool. What is a little different about these ones, however, is that I kept them quite basic. On my second night in the apartment, having just barely unpacked the necessary pots and pans, a friend and I made ham-cheese-and-peas pasta. That’s all there was to it, and man it was good:
And in an ode to the fading summer weather, I also made a pineapple-orange fool. It had that tropical, refreshing flavor that only pineapple can achieve:
I realize that fools don’t ever look like much more than colorful whipped cream (which, frankly, they are) so I always add a nice little garnish. I was delighted to discover that my boyfriend was particularly fond of this one, and ate about half of it for breakfast one morning… so I had the opportunity to make another! For the second one, I used up that bag of cherries that had been sitting in my fridge for about a week, and added some dark chocolate syrup to make cherry-chocolate fool:
The syrup worked beautifully, absorbing and dispersing the cherry flavor. I added a few strawberries since my cherry bag was slightly diminished and they’re suddenly impossible to find in the grocery store, but really it was the cherry flavor that stole the show.
Finally, I made blueberry pasta, version 2, using less than half of the ingredients—and achieving a much more satisfying result. This time, the pasta consisted of blueberries, corn, goat cheese, a little chicken stock, and nothing more:
Turns out, you don’t need anything more. It was lovely and simple; the strong goat cheese flavors goes so well with the sweet corn and sour/sweet blueberries. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, pasta and fool are the perfect foods; I had more than enough leftovers to get me through the week.
Moving to Davis Square has also meant adjusting to a very different commute. I’m a crack-of-dawn sort of girl, so the mornings are fine, but afternoon traffic can be rather brutal. So I’m looking on the brightside; less time actually moving in the car = means more time knitting in it. This may sound dangerous, but trust me—you can sit at Alewife for a good 5-10 minutes without moving a foot. And I’ve only been working on simple, repetitive patterns. For instance, my honeycomb scarf (in its new home; the passenger’s seat of my car)
I’ve also resurrected an old project that I had all but forgotten (shameful, I know). This crazy cardigan/sweater/whatever-it-was:
The back is already done, so I’ve started on the front and I’ve decided I’m going to make it a sleeveless turtleneck. Not entirely sure why, but for some reason the thought of wearing that over a long-sleeved shirt in the fall and winter sounds very appealing—plus, I’ve never made one before.
So you see, if you keep it simple, you may find that there’s plenty of room and time in life for all those little crafty pleasures—and the results can be even more rewarding.