short spring handwarmers

There’s something grounding about wearing even the smallest garment made with my own hands. Knowing how it was made! Where it came from. Connecting with a long history of people making what they need, and a simpler, slower life. Little steps into traditional skills make me courageous and deeply curious about making more and more of the things I wear and use. Here’s one of my small studies that you can take up, short sweet wrist-length handwarmers in springtime colours.

writing with handwarmers

I love handwarmers for all the things you can do while cosily wearing them. I’ve begun making some photographs on the subject.

short.seagreen.cable.left.watch.side

What do you think? Could you make a pair of cabley fingerless gloves? I learn best by looking over someone’s shoulder, so that’s how I made the tutorial movies. (Watch them in the schoolhouse, in the lefthand column.)

short.cable.heatherblue.typing

Handwarmers do add a bit of elegance to tapping away on the keyboard. I’m very happy when I get a chance to rattle away on the typewriter, the old technologies give such satisfaction.

short & sweet heather grey handwarmer kit

This heather grey is the original shade you see me working with in the movies.

spring.yarn

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typewriter

Our tall girl fell in love with an old family desk typewriter this summer, and spent hours composing stories at it. Something about a typewriter appeals to her romantic sensibilities about writing. I have to agree. I think the immediacy, the physicality, the sound of a typewriter possesses something gorgeously satisfying. Not unlike my beloved writing book and fountain pen. Only punchier! The aura of it’s history, all those writers and typists, since the late 19th century, surrounds you.

typewriter © elisa rathje 2011

For her birthday, my sweetheart found her a beautiful 1930’s machine, a Bluebird. Its petite and low like a Jaguar roadster, and it already has quite a mystery story running through it. We’ll see if she let’s me take it for a spin.

button press

Over at the enthralling Regional Assembly of Text, just up the street from the tea shop and the old wool shop, I learned to make a button. An appleturnover badge, carefully assembled on their beautiful old-school press.

appleturnover button © elisa rathje 2011

A sweet artist who works at the Assembly, Rachel, made the button with me. We cut the paper to fit the button size on their super punch.

appleturnover button © elisa rathje 2011

appleturnover button © elisa rathje 2011

appleturnover button © elisa rathje 2011

Put front and back pieces with the image into the buttonmaker, and pressed each side.

appleturnover button © elisa rathje 2011

Magic.

You can pay a visit to the Assembly of Text and make your own buttons on their button press. We love to go and stamp and type to our heart’s content. I picked up a ribbon for our old Royal there, to keep our little typist in ink. I wish we were in town for their letter writing club. Delightful. Thanks Rachel!

update: how nice is it that there’s an assembly in victoria, bc, not far from our new home on the lake?