Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Own Private Glasto

There is something good to be said about Giant TV after all:  it allows me to create my own private Glastonbury Festival!
Imagine if you will:  FL asleep in the corner, and me on the sofa, with my knitting and a mug of coffee.
Glasto is on the tv, and I am sneaking up the volume little by little until I am THERE!  Right there!  Bounce, bounce, bounce!
Luckily, FL could sleep through the Zombie Apocalypse.
Actually...  maybe it IS the Zombie Apocalypse!
Word of warning:  lace knitting doesn't mix well with bouncing!
So yeah, I am having a blast here in festival-land :D
I have pushed myself to keep the weeds in check in the herb garden, and today threw a load of "wildflower meadow" seeds at the gaps. 
After finishing the Willowherb Socks, I picked up my Ronaes Shawl and made a start on the lace.
I can't get over how different mine looks to my knitting-friend's version.  I must see if I can get pictures of the two side by side.  She is using 4mm needles and a rich turquoise silky yarn.  Hers is elegant and refined.  I am using 5mm needles and shetland handspun, a two-ply laceweight that absolute reeks of sheep-in-the-rain, and it is coming up at least twice as big.  It is very very rustic!
Thank you all so much for the reading suggestions.  I have added all the ones I haven't read to my library reservations list (online and free - woo hoo!) so am looking forward to a summer of good books.  I was incredibly lucky that my local village branch had Codename Verity on the shelf, waiting for me, so I snapped that up and brought it home with me yesterday
No sewing this weekend.  I need some thinking time.
Right... where was I?
Watch this:  Daughter.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

FO: Willowherb Socks by Rachel Coopey

Pattern:  Willowherb Socks by Rachel Coopey from her book "Coopknits Socks"
Yarn:  BFL Sock by Lioness Arts, a light fingering, colourway:  Pan
I love how the pattern was mirrored on the second sock without me having to do any complicated thinking!
Another beautifully-written pattern from Rachel Coopey.  I don't need any other sock designers, thank you - Rachel keeps coming up with more and more patterns that I want to knit.  Even if I manage one pair a month for the next few years, I am not going to catch up with her design output!
The yarn is an amazing hand-painted shade of dark forest green which refuses to show its true colours in photographs.
I took it outside "in nature" and set it against the lady's mantle, thinking the acidic yellow contrast would  help, but no, it just looks more grey / lavender-ish than ever.
But you can see the flashes of purple coming through - appropriate for a pattern called Willowherb!
Ironically, the farm is usually a mess of willowherb (also known as fireweed), but early strimming of the road edges has kept it at bay so far this year.  I am sure it will be back soon enough!
 So - Christine?  Your socks are ready!
Coffee and cake time?  ; )
P.S. Look what I found today!  This gigantic fungus is at the entrance to a rabbit-hole near the house.  If the bunnies aren't eating it, I reckon it must be poisonous.
Or maybe they just prefer eating the herbs in my garden!  We now have two layers of chicken wire "fencing" but the little beggars just keep digging it up. Hero is manning (or dogging) the watchtower, but they sneak in when he isn't looking.  So, to the commenter who asked about how I rabbit-proofed the garden...?  I try, but that's the best I can say!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sometimes I Read

It’s a long time since I talked about what I have been reading.

That’s because I haven’t been having a very happy literary experience over the past few months.

So I don’t have any real recommendations to make, not even “Avoid this book at all costs!” It’s all just been a bit low-key.

However… I think there’s value in the dissection.

So what have I been reading?

After The Night Circus, I decided to read the entire Dance to the Music of Time series. That link is just to Volume One, Spring.  Invitation to roll on the floor laughing at me: I managed about 100 pages of Volume One before I decided I had to just stop. Tracey Thorn may well be planning to write her PhD about this literary edifice, but I am not she and I failed to make headway. I can’t quite explain my problem with it. I floundered after the initial scenes of a chubby boy running through the fog. Will he become a spy in later life? Maybe. But that suggests an emerging plot and I am not convinced it is the sort of series to have an actual plot. Do I care about the characters? Probably not. Sorry.

Then I tried Great House. I had some moments of connection with the characters, but mostly I was trying to fathom the identity of each narrative voice and piece it all together in my head, and I failed. I read the whole thing but it took me far too long.  Two failures one after the other!

So I went for an easy read and demolished Starting Now, which was, you know, friendly enough, if irritating. I wanted it to be more about knitting. I found the main character profoundly annoying – if she was such a hot shot lawyer, surely she had the intelligence to think of doing freelance work without waiting for a man to tell her? No wonder she lost her job if she was that dim-witted! Ahem. A pleasant enough interlude, but don’t buy a copy.

I had great hopes for Just Kids by Patti Smith. I thought it was going to be all about Robert Mapplethorpe, but really it was about Patti Smith. I lasted about 30 pages before I lost patience. I wanted to like her, but her drug-addled self-absorption was too much for me. Just no.

I have just finished The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. This is another Skein Queen Yarn Club reading recommendation. The inspired yarn is gorgeous: Turkish Delight in a high-twist Squash sock base: completely delicious. To be treasured in a pair of Rachel Coopey socks, I am certain. But the book? I was rather taken with it in the beginning. I was struck by some of the swift-penned characterisation. Maureen is “Regal, yet squashed, Just like her mother.” Oh my word. That’s good writing! But the subject matter (elderly man walks from Devon to Berwick to save the life of an old friend who is in a hospice, dying of cancer) was entirely too painful. It is a book that is brimful of loss and pain and unhappy humanity and I was crying out for relief by the end. It made me angry and sad and frustrated. You should probably read it. Sigh.

So what’s next? I actually have no idea. I have queued a whole list of books at the local library but the last two I collected were both vegan cookbooks. The Vegan Baker looks promising, but I have been trying to eat more healthily so cake is not top of my agenda. Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day is immensely inspiring but depends on access to squeakily-fresh fruit and veg and artisan bread. Yes, I know I used to make my own bread and grow my own vegetables. But these days I mostly buy “reduced” items at M&S and stock up on tinned staples at Lidl. Shiny farm-fresh produce? Hard to find in these parts, even though I live on a farm. Oh dear. Wake up, Roo!

Have you any reading recommendations?  Extra points for likeable characters!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keeping and Indulging

It is June, half-way through the year, so it seems like a good time to revisit my new year's resolutions. 
You probably won't remember, but I decided that 2013 was the year I would start (1) doing things "for keeps", and that (2) I would reward myself with a "small indulgence" every time I made something for someone else.

How's it been going Roo?

Pretty well actually!

(1) Doing things "for keeps" has had the knock-on effect of me giving myself permission to use the best fabrics in my stash, and to knit with the yarn I had saved for... for... I don't know what really!  As a result, my knitting and sewing has felt a lot more special. I have paid more attention to a good quality of finish and at the end of a project have found myself with something I genuinely like and want to wear or give to someone else - woo hoo!
I bought the July issue of Vogue... Yeah, yeah, don't worry, FL has already poked enough fun at me about this petrol-station impulse purchase - you don't need to have a dig too! It is devoted to the topic of age, and in one article, Charlotte somebody writes about how she realised that her "staples" have stayed the same as she aged, only now that she is older, she is buying the best-quality version of them that she can find/ afford. 
I absolutely get that!  If psychological theory is to be believed, we tend to feel nostalgia for our late teens / early twenties, because those are the years when we became recognisably "ourselves".  Charlotte's staples are the items she wore in her youth.  Mine are probably the ones I wished I had worn!  But as long as I don't look like I am having a mid-life crisis (you will tell me won't you?) I see no harm in gathering together the styles I identify with being "me".

Things like:  cowboy boots, denim, broderie anglaise, big aran cardigans, oversized scarves, strings of beads, swooshy skirts, checked shirts...

News Flash:  I have given myself permission to BE ME! :O

And I am still working on my Kex Blanket.

(2) At the start of my small indulgences experiment, I showed you my first rewards:  stitchmarkers, a notebook, soap... and then I went quiet.  You may have thought I had forgotten about the new regime?  Um... no.  Instead, I had already accounted for FL's birthday socks with another order of Future Primitive Soap.  I have control of my addiction, honest!  But delicious smells have become part of my life now.  There is soap in my yarn stash, in my underwear drawer, in the shower and at the side of the kitchen sink.  Every morning, I inhale deeply before I go out to face the world.  Life changing aroma-therapy,  I kid you not.
I spend far too long in the shower every morning breathing in The Shire:  "Orchards in blossom, Birds nesting in the Hazel thicket, Summer Barley & the barest hint of Heirloom Strawberries."  It's true!  And it looks like blue skies over the fields :D

Right now, I am motoring down sock two of a pair of Rachel Coopey Willowherb socks for Christine

Now, although she has already rewarded me for these with the JC Rennie's aran wool I used for my Lonely Tree Shawl, and some handspun and some Albayarn,  I think I might allow myself a yarny treat for finishing these.  Even though the knitting is a treat in itself!  Maybe a skein of Countess Ablaze sock yarn?  I do love the Northern Lights colourway!

So, yes, I am being pretty good to myself this year.
And best of all?
I have planned a mini-break with The Girl, just the two of us - yay!  Girl-time!
We are going to Hebden Bridge for 3 days in the summer.  3 days of vegan alternative mooching with a splash of Plath and a buttering of Brontes.  Yay!
FL is slightly bewildered by the plan, but fingers crossed he will be well enough to manage on his own for 3 days.  He just MUST.

Monday, June 24, 2013

FO: My Sugar Skull Secret Dress

This weekend I made a shirt dress.

I started out with the intention of making a shirt, but I know myself well enough now to realise that a straightforward straight-up-and-down man’s shirt does not suit me: I need more shape.

My first choice, a 1960’s Woman’s Weekly pattern, was far too big and the darts were about two inches too high. I could have re-drafted it, but I also had doubts about the collar, which looked as if it had to be gathered to the back neck – mmmm, stylish!

Lisette Portfolio involved too many check-matching decisions, which I could have resolved by the careful use of a contrasting plain … but I didn’t have anything suitable in the stash.

A New Look pattern included too much shaping to cope with matching those checks.

So I sat down with my knitting for three rows of thinking.

Then I realised I was wearing the answer: Darling Ranges! As I knitted, the whole project fell together perfectly in my head: I would use the pewter buttons I salvaged from an childhood skirt of The Girl’s, and I would add some embroidery – ooh yes, embroidery! It would have a definite prairie dress vibe and I would wear it with my jeans or cowboy boots or both. Sorted.

So I made my dress. I used my redrafted bodice piece and remembered to add extra length to the back bodice to account for my front dart adjustment. And I made a pretty good go of matching my checks, despite the skirt appearing slightly asymmetrical at the front – it is perfect at the back!

By this point it was 4pm on Sunday. So I settled down on the sofa to embroider a pocket to sew onto the skirt section. The dinner was in the slow cooker, so I had all the time in the world.

Then FL woke up. “What’s that you’re doing?” Embroidering a pocket. “But what is it?” It is a Mexican sugar skull, celebrating the Day of The Dead. “A… what? But what’s that got to do with you?” Um… it’s about celebrating life and death and the art of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and I went to an exhibition once (Hayward Gallery, 1988) and it had calla lilies and huge murals and… “Yes, but what has that to do with YOU?”

FL disappeared into his newspaper. He is good at that. A little later, there was a herrumph and then
“I don’t particularly care for your embroidery.”

So I put it away and served dinner.

I have made my dress, but I am not sure that it is finished. This is not the first time FL has accused me of cultural misappropriation: my tattoo-embroidered pillowcases got the same cold shoulder. He won’t outright say: “Don’t get a tattoo or wear religious / symbolic jewellery” but it is part of the same thought continuum. And FL’s disapproval is hard to live with - just ask my children!

So I might have to do what any rebellious teenager would do: turn my patch pocket inside out, and hide the embroidery on the inside. It will still be there. I will know it’s there. But FL doesn’t have to look at it. Shazzam!

Psychologists would have a field day.

Pattern:  Darling Ranges dress by Megan Nielsen, re-drafted to fit (details in this post.)

Fabric:  Less than 2 metres of cotton check from Edinburgh Fabrics, originally bought to make a tablecloth.  There was a fat quarter missing from the length as The Girl used it to make a make-up bag.

Other:  9 pewter buttons scavenged from an old skirt, thread, white bias binding from stash, a "Half Agony Half Hope" label, assorted embroidery threads from stash.  Embroidery pattern from Embroidered Effects.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Latest Thing

When I saw the first pictures of Megan Nielsen's latest Breakwater pattern collection, I have to say I was slightly horrified.  Shimmering polyester surf-bunny styles?  No, not for me!
But other sewists have better vision than me, and I have been watching project after project pop up across the web, gradually wearing away at my inhibitions.  If Scruffybadger can wear those culottes, maybe I can too?  Oh look - Kirsty made them in corduroy!  And really, that high-low wrap skirt looks pretty special but wearable in jersey, as seen on I Still Love You.
And so it continued... until I found myself rummaging through the pattern stash looking to emulate and imitate without actually spending any new money.
I found myself seriously considering making a skirt I had previously dismissed as "1990's mother-of-the-bride", Vogue 8040 from 2005.  In my defence, this pattern was either a gift or part of an ebay bundle.  I am ashamed to say that I can't remember which.  If you gave it to me, I apologise for dissing your taste!
Once again, I baulked at the illustrated fabrics.  And the more I stared at it, the more I doubted myself.  Was I only considering this make because it was a bit like The Latest Thing?  Would it have longevity?  Or would I make the skirt, wear it once and then realise that I did in fact look like Mother-of-Bridezilla and throw it in the charity shop bag in a fit of self-loathing?
And I realised that a lot of the time I just don't know what I like.  Because I don't buy clothes, I don't go to shops and try things on, so I have no idea what I might look like in a chiffon flamenco-dancer's frock.
I can imagine that the Cascade skirt has the swish and swirl of my flounced prairie skirt, but also risks a lot of exposure.  Where does the wrap go when you sit down?  Does the whole thing fall open to the waist?  Is it a skirt for beaches and discos and 19-year-olds? 
And if so, do I revert to Vogue 8040 to make the more practical 40-something-year-old's version?
Or wear shiny gold hot-pants underneath a Cascade?
Or avoid both like the plague?
Or stop worrying, buy Megan's pattern and have some fun with it?
Yeah.  That's what I'll do...maybe.
Meanwhile, I am stash-diving! 
This checked cotton was supposed to be a tablecloth for The Girl's room.  But I have itchy scissors...

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Quest

The pressure is on. FL has finally realised we don’t have a holiday booked, but that I have a large number of days of holiday to take off work before October. So “Let’s go to the west coast”. Children, a word of advice from Auntie Roo: you cannot wait until the end of June to book a holiday in July or August unless you are willing to spend a week in a caravan in a pub car park (no, I am not kidding – I will give you the address if you are interested: no dogs allowed, electricity costs extra).

It is complicated by the need to sandwich a break in between hospital appointments and blood tests. So there are only two weeks out of any 4 when we can go away. I still have work meetings across the summer, and the longer we hesitate, the more of those creep into the diary. Today I ruthlessly blanked out every possible week between now and the middle of October as “Hold: annual leave”. The secretary whose job it is to book meetings is no longer speaking to me, and I can’t say I blame her, but it’s every woman for herself in these circumstances!

So… the criteria for a holiday cottage.

It must be: cheap (less than £500 for a week), allow a dog, include electricity and fuel costs in the base price, include bed linen and towels, have a toilet on the same floor as the bedroom and preferably have no stairs at all, have an enclosed garden with a nice view, be detached from other properties… and be within ten miles of Gairloch. This final factor is the sticking point. FL has not been fit to play golf for months, and yet our week away must be near this one particular golf club… just in case he gets the urge. Huge sigh.

July is a write-off. August is almost a write-off, unless you are willing to spend a week in a pub car park (see above). There is only one week in September when we can get away and I can’t find anything that week because it is the final week of the English school holidays… so it was looking like October.

I identified a cottage which met all of the criteria. Heaven help me, it looked lovely! It was within walking distance of one of my favourite restaurants from holidays past. But… October? I showed FL.  He blinked.
"It's a bit... bleak?"
New criteria:  must have shrubbery.
And this morning?
"I was thinking... can't we go somewhere in August?"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FO: The Lonely Tree Shawl

Pattern:  The Lonely Tree Shawl by Sylvia bo Bilvia, free on Ravelry or in the supplement Best of the Net from Issue 16 of Knit Now magazine
Yarn:  3 x 50g balls of JC Rennie chunky lambswool aran in Bramble colourway, a destash from Christine in part-exchange for a pair of Willowherb socks!

Process:  A quick and easy knit! It only took me 14 days from start to finish, and that included lots of coming and going on other projects.  It would be a great gift-knit.

The pattern is written in a very conversational way with charts, which might not suit everyone.  You definitely need to read the whole thing through before you start.  I reckon it would make a good first lace project, as long as you keep your wits about you. 

I used stitchmarkers between each repeat.  If you do this, you need to remember to move them out of the way when you are knitting-two-together on the stems of the leaves.  I thought I had miscounted my stitches until I realised the need to move the marker on these rows.

I have seen some other knitters complain that there are incomplete leaf motifs at the centre back and side edges... but I don't mind that at all!  On an aran-weight shawl I think it's entirely acceptable.

The yarn is soft and warm.  For a large, aran-weight shawl it is surprisingly light.
The stitch pattern is bold, especially in silhouette, and I love the picot-edge finish.
I expect to wear this as if it was a cardigan.
With a shawl-pin (mine was a gift in a swap package many moons ago, from Carpedyem - thank you again!) it looks quite formal and dressed-up.
But it is equally at home skulking around in the hedge-parsley!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Weekend of Shawling

This weekend was devoted to my Lonely Tree Shawl.
The end was so near, I could almost touch it.
But I paced myself.
I went to the library.
I did some gentle weeding and rabbit-proofing of the herb garden.
I pondered potential fabric / pattern matches in the sewing stash.
I bought and cooked food.
But again and again I came back to my knitting, ekeing out the rows across the hours.
Until suddenly it was done.
With only a tiny scrap of yarn leftover!
It's blocking now.
Back to my sock!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Short Burst of Birthdays

Yesterday marked the end of another round of family birthdays:  Grandma, FL and The Girl all get older within days of each other, every year!
The only hand-made presents were FL's socks, which you have seen already.  But here they are, modelled :D
I rustled up a batch of peach and chocolate chip muffins for the birthday boy. I might help him eat a few!
We had an impromptu lunch date at my place of employ, an occasion which lacked glamour or romance but was most pleasant nevertheless.  He was suitably humbled that I cancelled a knitting date to meet him!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Vanishing Point

Thank you all for your lovely comments about my new Betsey Johnson prairie skirt!  :D

All 5 foot 3 of me in Betsey J trousers
Linda C left a comment, asking about the proportions of the skirt, and wondering if it "worked" because each of the 3 sections was about the same size?  She went on to say that she had been inspired to try a wider-legged trouser after I talked about the shape of my Betsey Johnson trousers and their unexpected tendency to make me look taller, and wondered if it was a similar phenomenon with the skirt?

Well, that got me thinking.  Me Made May provided me with a substantial "data set" of photos of myself wearing different outfits.  By far the most flattering combinations were "nipped in" with a high waist.  Whether it was a dress, trousers, or skirt, I looked taller and slimmer with this high-level definition.

And I realised that the Betsey Johnson prairie skirt is designed along the same principles.  No, the panels are not all the same size.  The upper section is the shortest and narrowest, the middle section is obviously wider to accommodate the hip, but is also proportionately longer, and the final flounce is by far the widest and longest section.  The result is an optical illusion of sorts:  the eye is drawn upwards to the smallest point, as if to the apex of a pyramid.  What artists would call "the vanishing point".

Llynfi skirt with apex potential

There are so many theories about "apples and pears" and the ideal clothing for different body shapes, most of which I treat with scepticism.  I am pretty straight-up-and-down these days, despite an earlier career as a flat-chested pear.  Nowadays, I have slightly more up top, less waist definition, and slimmer hips.

Potential to look short and dumpy
In the outfit above, the eye is drawn to the width across the shoulder, which is almost the same as the width of the skirt. This could have been "hourglass" with a belt... but without a belt it is a squat rectangle. Ah.
Although an a-line skirt fits the "narrower at the top than the hem" description, it can either make me look slim or chubby depending on where the triangle hits me.  If the waist band hits me round the tummy, I will look a lot chubbier than if it hits me higher up, just below the rib-cage, where I am slimmer.  This also increases the optical illusion that my legs are longer than they are, because the section below the waistband is so much longer than the area above it.  So I can get away with a lower waist if the hem is correspondingly lower and wider.  The most unflattering skirt-shape for me is a low-waisted pencil:  that way leads to a short and dumpy Roo, with more or less equal proportions above and below the waistband.
This is the sort of discovery people make when they draw a croquis.  I never did get round to that!  But it has led me look at pattern illustrations with different criteria in mind. All the pictures in this post are of patterns that I think would suit my shape.  I own a few of them already, but not all.... yet!

It hasn't escaped my attention that they are all from the 1970's.
Maybe this is why I am drawn to that era - I instinctively know that the line will suit me?
Mind you,  there are plenty of 1970's styles which would spell dumpy disaster... and no, you don't need me to show you!  Just think:  blouson, dropped-waists, drawstrings, short smocks with big collars...


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Knitting Doggerel

Time for a catch-up. There has been nothing but Me-Made May and finished objects around here – tsk! ;)

This is my waiting room knitting.  You know Karina Westermann don’t you? She has just released the first pattern in her Doggerland collection and I have signed up for the KAL in her Ravelry group.

The Ronaes Shawl has been on my “must-knit” list ever since I saw Karie wearing hers at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I am using the Shetland laceweight handspun I bought from a shed at the side of the road on the West Coast. It still reeks of sheep and I love it!

However, after three and a half hours in the waiting room, in  sauna-like conditions, my hands were coated with a thick layer of lanolin and I was all counted-out.  FL even resorted to reading the pattern when he had had enough of Tacitus. He said I was knitting doggerel.   (No offence, Karie - he just loves a bad pun!)

I need a short break from short rows after that marathon.
So this evening I will return to the Willowherb sock by Rachel Coopey. It is flowing off the needles in a very pleasing way. Although I can’t predict the chart, but have to read every row as I come to it, the meandering lace pattern has a cohesion that I love. It makes sense. Hoorah! The Lioness Arts bfl sock wool has revealed a lot more purplish handpainting as it is knitted up than appeared in the skein – lovely!

My Lonely Tree (Brambles) shawl had to take a back seat while I waited for new needles. I knitted a whole ball of the JC Rennie chunky aran before running out of space on a pair of nasty “free with a magazine” plastic straights. I am not a needle snob, but the varnish has worn off, leaving a rough and sticky surface, which makes them really unpleasant to touch. Yuck! I ordered a Knitpro Spectra interchangeable mini-set, with three sizes of point and three lengths of cable and can’t wait to get going again.

But where are all those cardigans you planned to knit in May, Roo? Errr… yeah. I don’t know why I suddenly stopped knitting the back of my “Learn to Knit Love to Knit” cardigan. I think it was to prioritise FL’s birthday socks. I need to pick that up again, because it was looking good the last time I saw it.

And the Kex blanket? Another casualty of birthday sock syndrome, but eminently pick-up-able, and the love is definitely still there!

Sewing?  I have thoughts to share... watch this space!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

FO: Lace, the Final Frontier (Betsey Johnson 4089)

Pattern:  Betsey Johnson for Butterick 4089, from the 1970's, size 25 waist, with an extra centimetre added at centre front and back.
Fabric:  2.2  metres vintage broderie anglaise, found on ebay for about £10; 1 metre Sevenberry Bandana Collection Collage in red £9; and 0.5 metre Sevenberry Bandana Collection Paisley in red £4.50 both from Fabric Inspirations.
Other:  Vintage crochet-style cotton lace, gifted to me by Debbie of Minnado's House.  An "I am half agony, half hope" label from Scrapiana, an Etsy UK seller.  Zip, interfacing and thread from stash.

Ever since I  pounced on this heavy vintage broderie cotton on ebay a year ago, I have been searching for the ideal pattern to make the most of it.  For a long time, I planned to interline it with a strong-coloured voile to make a simple Boden-inspired a-line skirt.  But how predictable that would have been!
So the fabric sat in the stash, a contant niggle at the back of my sewing brain.
It was only when I was making my linen wrap skirt with the same pattern, that I hit upon the idea of leaving it unlined, as the final flounce on a 70's prairie skirt.  Because it starts below knee-level, it doesn't matter that the lace is so open.  
If anything, it makes the maxi length a lot more wearable, and less... um... Amish?
All the time I was sewing, I was looking forward to combining it with my cowboy boots.
And wondering if I could justify buying another pair!
  I have left the bottom un-hemmed as the broderie stitching is incredibly sturdy.  Even if it starts to unravel with wear, I think the distressed effect will add to its charm.
The final layer is cut like a circle skirt, and I had to shorten it three or so inches to fit the pieces onto my narrow fabric.  Luckily, it turned out to be Roo-length!  The first time I tried it on, I sashayed around the house, enjoying the twirl and transparency of that final flounce.

Oh my goodness!  I know it's crazy and eccentric, but I love it!
Usually, after taking my photos of a finished object, I change back into my jeans before I sit down to write a blog post.
I'm still wearing it!
I wore it to cook the dinner and to bring in the washing and to sit on the sofa and catch up with the weekend papers. 
As soon as I finish this, I will settle down to my knitting and I will still be wearing my new skirt.
I think that says it all.