modern is traditional

"Modern or traditional?"

I hate that question. It divides all tastes with a hard line that has the Victorians and all that came before them on one side, and the modernists on the other. For the former: embellishments everywhere, natural materials, a complicated palette of tertiary colours. For the latter: everything stripped down to absolute basics, man-made materials, primary and very simple secondary colours.

It completely leaves out all the joy of juxtaposition you get when you take that hard dividing line and try to blur it a bit. Which brings me to my latest finished objects:

Gothic cross necklace


This was made from a kit I got at a beading expo a couple of weeks back. It's by Rypan Designs Beadwork, and, like all their kits, was very easy to put together. I like how they use basic beads to make their kits, so that after you make the first one, you can always make more to justify the cost of the kit to yourself. Their three-drape Victorian Gothic necklace was the first beading I ever did, and I've made at least half a dozen versions of it since.

Henry VIII collar


This design came from The Anti-Craft. You can check the link for their explanation of why it's called Henry VIII. I like that it uses up almost an entire vial of seed beads -- great way to stash-bust! The first two rows are completed simultaneously using a two-needle technique, which is nice because after the relatively slow start, the next two rows zoom along. I went for plain glass drops, but there is a lot of potential to change the look of the collar by using different colour combinations and drop beads.

Hemlock doily (1941)

My bedroom furniture is a great example of the modern-is-traditional aesthetic. It's from IKEA, so you can bet that not a single scrap of materials is superfluous, yet it has the scrollwork and bedknobs of a Victorian metal bedframe.

In this set, the wardrobe and night-stands are metal and scrollworked as well, plus the shelves have punched-hole patterns on them in the shape of Scandinavian eight-pointed stars. The metal seems to pick up dust like crazy, and I've been looking for tablecloths for a long time. I've never found any that I liked, though.

Then it occurred to me: the ever-knitting Emily at the Naked Sheep took a vintage doily pattern and worked it in a heavy worsted-weight yarn to make a shawl. What if I took the same pattern and worked it in the original fine crochet cotton to make a doily?

Emily told me where to find the pattern, I guesstimated that I would need one size larger needles than what the original called for to get the size I wanted, and off I went.

This is an extremely quick knit. I started on a Sunday and was done by the following Thursday.

The only thing that took me a long time to get around to was the pinning out and starching. I finally pinned out the doily on my bed's mattress (with a fitted sheet underneath it!), sprayed the starch on, and let it dry by itself. That worked perfectly. You can see in the final photo that I decided to make it a bit pointier than the original.


my (unblocked) Hemlock with Emily's shawl at the Sheep


the blocked & starched Hemlock doing dust-prevention duty on my night-stand

Now I just need to make another one for the other night-stand!