Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shocking. Petal. Pale. Rose. Salmon. Baby. Peptol.

Dear hearts,

Sometimes it is positively spooky how a color suddenly seems to follow one about.

I have for some days now been resident in Jaipur. This city, founded in 1727, was later decorated with a fresh coat of pink paint as a gesture of welcome to Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII); and to this day it has stuck: Jaipur has become known, far and wide as the “Pink City of India.”

A snap of the Hawa Mahal, Jaipur.

And this in a country so famously flush with color that it raises the stakes on what color means, my darlings.  The legendary fashion editor, Diana Vreeland, nailed it (as usual) when, upon examining a piece of Indian silk, exclaimed, “ I adore that pink! It’s the navy blue of India.”

All this after careful perusal of the entries for our monthly contest led to this choice of winner–knitter Teresa H.’s rendition of “Bankhead” by Susie Gourlay.

Pink! You see? Not the pale pink of Jaipur, to be sure. But I am haunted–nay, pursued!–by pinks.

Susie points out that while the pattern is quite simple, it was created for travel–specifically a trip to Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada. She used Steamer Trunk, noting that a steamer trunk would be useful in transporting one’s outdoor gear to Banff. And of course it is excellent for thick, cosy hats.

Well done, Teresa. Do please drop us a note at to arrange for delivery of your prize skeins. Thank you, dear heart.

An Important Note About the Monthly Contest

And now, before I sign off, a brief note about the contest. We’ve been delighted with how it’s been going since we launched it, but the plumbing that makes it run is due for a refurbishment. And so it will be on hiatus for a bit; we hope to have it re-knit with all loose ends woven in by the end of the calendar year.

If you have already entered for October, have no fear–we shall be in touch with word of what happens next.

All of you, do please keep an eye here (and on our bustling Twitter and Facebook feeds) for word on the re-launch.

And now, a nap. It's well over one hundred degrees, and I am feeling just a touch dessicated.

Yours ever,
Mrs. Crosby
Jaipur, India 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Close to Home

Dear hearts,

I had a message not so long ago from a knitter who follows me via these pages, as well my Twitter and Facebook feeds. She noted that I seldom stay in one place for very long, and asked how often I am at home.

I might have replied that, as dear Mr. Johnny Mercer famously wrote, “Any place I hang my hat is home.” However, I understood that my correspondent meant “home” in the sense of my official place of residence.

She concluded by asking, “If you don’t like the Midwest, why don’t you move somewhere more inspiring?”.

Gracious, what a question.

I can but say, with firm emphasis, that anyone who would consider the American Midwest as uninspiring has not spent enough of what is presently called “quality time” in the American Midwest. The region is vast, and contains multitudes: of people, of animals, of plants and trees, of landscapes, lights, shapes, and colors.

The Midwest has already given the world enough art and design to fill several commodious museums, and continues to inspire new generations.

Witness a recent happy emergence on the fiber arts scene, the pattern book Midwestern Knits by Allyson Dykhuisen and Carina Spencer.

What these estimable ladies have brought together is a collection of bold, beautiful pieces sparked by the sights (both urban and rural) of an often underestimated part of America.

I am particularly proud to note that the crisp geometry of Ann Weaver’s “Grand Rapids Furniture City” was designed with two colors (Hot Pimiento and Squid Ink) of our own, dear Steamer Trunk.

Grand Rapids Furniture City Sweater, back view

Grand Rapids Furniture City Sweater, Front View

Whether or not you hold the Midwest dear to your heart, I recommend you take a good look at the book–it’s available via as well as (electronically) via

What is more,  Midwestern Knits is hosting a knit-along of “Grand Rapids Furniture City” beginning on October 23. For information and to sign up, pay a call on the Midwestern Knits Ravelry group

Yours Ever,
Mrs. Crosby

Contentedly at Home in the American Midwest