Swinging with Barb Brown

The weekend was a whirl of activity, from the time I retrieved Barb Brown from the airport until I dropped her back off for her flight this morning. It’s always wonderful to spend a weekend with a good friend who I don’t see that often. And we made the most of our time together.

 

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Friday we took a trip to Winterthur, which for those of you who’ve never heard of it, is the former estate of Henry Dupont. Although it’s only a short drive from me, I’d never been there before.

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We took a tram ride through the gardens — fields of flowers, all sorts of beautiful trees (including a yellow magnolia)

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and of course a stately mansion.

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In addition to his passion for horticulture (“You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think” — Dorothy Parker), Dupont was fascinated with the decorative arts and the museum has quite a collection of quilts,

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ceramics,

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and even some old knitting — check out the extremely thin size of these needles or “pins.”

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We also got to see the display of costumes from “Downton Abbey,” which I highly recommend for fans of the show.

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This is Lady Edith’s wedding dress, for example, and the exhibit told about how many of the costumes were made. (The wedding dress was created around a surviving piece of a beaded train from the correct time period — fascinating.) We saw plenty of ball gowns, servants’ uniforms, hunting tweeds..but had a hard time getting our minds around what it would actually be like to live that kind of lifestyle.

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We were also transfixed by Winterthur’s display of soup tureens (yes, soup tureens), which came in an unimaginable array of shapes, styles and materials. For example, would you like to sip your consomme from this soup tureen shaped like a water buffalo?

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I took Barbara’s Saturday afternoon class, on “Swing Stitches,” and picked up some great tips and new-to-me stitch patterns. (It was a really lovely crowd of students.)

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And I got to see Martha’s socks made from Black Bunny Fibers sock yarn — didn’t they turn out great?

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Barbara taught a full-day class in fair isle on Sunday, which by all accounts was wonderful, too, and then we had a lovely dinner with Craig, Laura and the spouses.

I’m back now, and it seems awfully quiet here…..I miss you, Barb!  I’m so glad you were able to visit and I hope you can come again.


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