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In November I was lucky to haev the opportunity to take another workshop with Crispina Ffrench at Kripalu. The class included some new faces and some returnees from last year.  We had a great time, learning, laughing and sharing on topics as broad as sewing and life. As always the days went to fast. We could have easily  been there for a full week.  In the photo is the first of two sweaters I made during the program. This one was a gift for my friend Ila who was about to depart on a traveling adventure. It seemed just the right style for her. A little hard to see in the photo, but I was able to take advantage of a organic, wavy front, adding some embroidered bars of cooler to the dark chocolate brown which contrasted beautifully with the green.

Just finished this sweater. I like the contrast of the vibrant purple, green and red with the slightly more muted colors of the patterned sections. It is a comfy and cozy design, too. Off-kilter patch pockets are functional and add a zip of color in an unexpected way.

I’ve long been an admirer of Eileen Fisher and the clothing she designs. For just as long, I’ve been wearing her clothes, searching out the best sales, since well-made clothing are an ivestment. I’ve also enjoyed the fact that many of her pieces are classic parts of her collections and stay relevant from year to year. Sometimes, though, a piece becomes out dated, or worse, the size I thought was perfect because the sale price was so good turns out not to be. But I’ve held on to these pieces of clothing hardly ever parting with them. Now that the option to create new sweaters from old ones has become a part of my life I have bravely taken my shears to a few of my prized EF sweaters and made them into something new, something very much mine but also embracing the original forms that they came from. So here is a new tunic for my wardrobe made from three EF pieces: a black 3/4-length sleeve cardigan, a long gray v-neck cardigan, and a black pullover.  All three are of very similar fabric. I added some fuchsia cashmere cuffs and a decorative insert in the back which you can’t see. For the stitching I choose black and red on the gray and lime green on the black. It falls to the mid-thigh and looks great with a pair of straight leg black pants.

Made this sweater last week. I’m quite pleased with it — a little bit of a cropped length, bell sleeves and a pouch-pocket. Contrasting stitching and the few bits of dark pink cashmere make it extra special. Right now it is hanging out at WinterSun in Rhinebeck along with a few of its sister sweaters, at least that’s the last I heard.

I’m in love with the process of taking old sweaters, cutting them up and reassembling them to creating news ones — usually far more interesting, colorful and absolutely unique.

Under the navigation tab: PLAY IT AGAIN you’ll find a gallery of the sweaters I have created. I just posted this new one. Stay tuned. There’s another on the cutting table, too!


Now that I have my very own URL I’ve been consolidating my web activity into one location. My blog “Cadence” now lives under my main url: elenaerber.com. I’ve added my resume, and some page with photos of my latest passion: creating new sweaters from old one (more on that later). I’m planning to add a portfolio page as well.

Hopefully, as time and inspiration permit, there will be other things of interest to develop here.

More posts and pages to follow.

So here I am at WordPress. The bummer is that the header doesn’t look as cool as the one I had at blogger so my first task is to find a theme that is a little different and that might allow me to customize my header. Here goes….

This was a meal worth noting. Red snapper stuffed with fresh herbs and lemon, brushed with olive oil and grilled with ginger, garlic scapes and scallion. Served with brown rice, slices of avocado and lemon wedges. Tamari, lemon, ginger sauce on the side. And a fresh from the garden green salad. Chard from the garden lightly sauteed with a few garlic scapes are hidden in the covered bowl. Shared it with my honey. Lovely dinner.Yum!

Well, I’ve been off the blog path for some time now but returning with a new product to share. I’ve been making back straps for accordions — they are very comfortable, infinitely adjustable, easy to put on and off and really, really good for your back. And they are for sale! $20.plus $3.00 shipping. Would love feedback. Any thoughts on the pricing and where/how I should market them? Thanks.

The other day it became suddenly, unmistakably, and annoyingly evident that a key was sticking on my accordion. This is so because when the key sticks it plays any time the bellows are moving. I wasn’t sure what the fix would be and was delighted when fellow PKOer, Mirko, offered to repair it. He said we’d have to pull the rod that the keys are held in place by and that all the keys would pop out. That sounded horrifying and also like an adventure into accordion land and I was game. I’ve always heard about people who work on their own accordions. I’d like to be one of those people. Now I am (sort of).

the offending key: #30 (b flat)

This morning Mirko came over armed with tiny screw drivers and a needle nosed pliers and a blanket to work on. I had prepped for the operation by sticking tape on each key and numbering them so we’d able to keep track of what went where once the keys came out.

1 – 41, marked and ready for removal

On one side of the keyboard there’s a little cap held in place by two screws. The expectation was to remove it and access the rod that holds the keys. What we found was not one rod but two. In my accordion there is one rod for the white keys and one for the black keys (really red keys but we called them the back keys). Once this was apparent it was amazing to me that Mirko could immediately figure out which rod held which set of keys. He could see where they pivoted from.

the black (red) key rod starting to come out.

As the rod was worked out Mirko removed the first black/red key. It is a complicated little item complete with a curved wire that acts to make the key spring. Given the age of the accordion it wasn’t surprising to find that the keys and felts were dirty. I worked on clean up crew. It didn’t take Mirko long to figure out that he could pull the rod almost all the way out and still leave most of the keys in place. He did this until he got to the stuck key which he completely removed.

first key out:

Mirko examined the bad key and figured out that the wood part of it was rubbing against something metal. He shaved the wood down a bit, fit it back it and . . . presto. . . it worked again.

Mirko working on the key:

With the keys back in, the rods was carefully rethreaded through the keyboard. THe cap put back on. The switch plate replaced (did I mention that had to be reomvied?) and then the grill screwed back in place. All done. Ready for playing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mirko.

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