Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mortgages and Tunisian Crochet.....???

Two topics at once:   First, the mortgages part.   Some time ago, as many friends know, I bought a big ol' house (c. 1896) to rescue, fix up and flip.  I pumped oodles of money into it.  I will never reveal how much (the idea was to hide money from the unproductive stock market).  Of course the joke was on me, and so I find myself possessed of a HHHHUUUUGGGE mortgage (and other things) in a market that won't permit a decent house sale.  And it's a house that's too idiosyncratic for Grosse Pointers, with a handful of exceptions -- a quirky urban house, marooned in a suburb.  So much for the Big Flip. 

So I went to an event in Novi, Michigan, sponsored by many banks for the benefit of mortgagees who were experiencing financial pressure.   WOW.   It was at the so-called Showplace, a gigantic expo center with a three-block-long parking lot.  The lot was FULL.  Inside, the scene was just plain grotesque.  Bankers were lined up at half-block-long lines of tables across the full width of an enormous ball room -- in fresh little Polo shirts, differently colored according to their bank (Chase was royal blue).  Each little banker had a shiny silver laptop -- hundreds of them, the lids propped open.  Meanwhile, clients sat on the sidelines behind ropes, as if in a deli waiting to order chopped liver and pastrami, clutching little slips with NUMBERS.  After 3 hours, my number came up.  The little fellow in the crisp, obviously new blue shirt was polite enough -- but it was clear from his demeanor that he was in it for the money, literally.  He even had a card specially printed for the occasion (how much did those mathing laptops, matching shirts, and new cards COST??).  I tried to take a panoramic photo of the scene, but it wouldn't fit into one frame, so I just got a couple of random shots.  Had to quit because a couple of Red Shirts (another bank) were eyeing me.  Folks, this is emblematic of our time.  What a commentary.  You can't really sense the depth or width of the ballroom......

IN THE MEANTIME:   While turning out hats for the winter season, I've also been working on a very thick, very easy Tunisian crochet shawl to show people when I offer Tunisian Crochet again at the studio.....just to demonstrate what nice objects can be made from Simple Stitch and a bit of crocheted fringe (beginning project!) and lovely yarn.  In this case, I used 30-year-old LaGran mohair from my attic stash (I have an entire closet full of mohair, if you must know!), a strand of Silk Garden Lite (Noro), and for a bit of drama and light-catching interest, some to-and-fro rows of Trendsetter's Dune, one of my all-time-favorite yarns, at the ends and at the center.  It's about 7 feet long and slightly less than two feet wide.  Of course, I used one of Bag Smith's humungous Size S, 18-inch, hand-carved wooden Tunisian crochet hooks.  The starting foundation row had only 28 stitches.  Here it is!!!!   You, too, can do it.  It took me less than a week, working on it only for brief snatches of time.  Every row (and each stitch) occupies an inch.  The Dune doesn't show in the photo (blame my cheap-o camera), but it's in the 7th, 9th, and 11th rows, third photograph.  The shawl is light, frothy, and hugely fun. Next will be a wide Prism black mohair three-quarter length coat  with Dolman sleeves, with some Trendsetter Tonalita (and the occasional shot of Dune) worked with the mohair, done mostly in rectangles with slight armhole and neckline shaping.  Might add a stand-up collar made from a Tunisian strip.  This one will have HUUUGGGE buttons, mismatched and vintage.

More soon, after the Wisconsin show has come and gone.     svb


  1. The information you have provide about mortgage is really nice. I read all your post and get very good things.

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  2. Yes, the short sale came and went -- and I'm SOOO much better off. Don't ever saddle yourself with burdens that you will find onerous. The trouble with expensive belongings is that they literally make us unfree. svb