tag: lunatic lover poetmyrlin hermes

October 2009

take a page from my book . . . gown!

In addition to being gifted writers, many of our authors have other special talents. Myrlin Hermes, author of the upcoming The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet, for example, is quite a craftswoman. For the Text Ball, a literary-themed costume party that’s part of Wordstock, Portland, Oregon’s annual book festival, Myrlin decided to go all out.

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As she says in her Craftster post on the project, which I recommend you read to get the full details, “I was watching Project Runway’s paper dress challenge when it came to me—I should make my Text Ball costume out of the pages of my own book! It semed like a creative and fun way to promote the novel at the festival. I would invite people to pluck a page at random off my skirt to keep and read!”

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For more craftiness from Myrlin, you can also check out her Dollar Store Bridal Gown, and don’t forget to check out The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet! After all, if this is what Myrlin can do for a party, imagine how creative her novel is!

December 2009

the olive reader holiday grab bag: myrlin a. hermes

Happy Monday! Today’s holiday grab bag post (and it just may be the final one, unless more come in today) is from the lovely Myrlin A. Hermes, author of The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet, a topsy-turvy rethinking of Hamlet. Myrlin is our resident crafty author (you might remember her book gown), so we’re delighted to share her post below on how to make your very own recycled cashmere scarf!

I’ll admit it—I’m addicted to cashmere. Lest this seem like one of those diamond-shoes-too-tight problems suffered only by the very rich, let me assure you that writing literary fiction hasn’t suddenly become a lucrative career choice. Most of my cashmere and merino wool sweaters were rescued from thrift store bins for a few dollars apiece, which means that many of them have stains, holes, and dryer shrinkage—perfect for making into these easy fringey no-sew recycled scarves.

What’s that? Your only experience with crafts was making those knotted embroidery-floss friendship bracelets for your BFF in middle school? Perfect—you already know the basic technique! First, cut the sweater (or whatever material you want to use for your scarf) into strips about six inches long and 1 ½-2 inches wide, discarding collars, cuffs, and seams.

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If you’re using cashmere or wool, you’ll want to felt these strips a bit to keep the edges from unraveling. You can do this by boiling them in a pot of water on the stove for about half an hour (yum, sweater soup!) then drying them in a hot tumble dryer. Now you’re ready to begin.

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First, make three long strands by knotting several of the strips together end-to-end, leaving about two inches of loose ends at each knot. (I find it easier to work with if you make each strand no longer than a couple of feet at a time, adding more strips onto the ends as you go.) Tie these three strands (we’ll call them A, B, and C) together at one end with a double knot, which you’ll hold between your knees to keep the scarf steady while you work.

Take strand A and tie it around strand B with a simple overhand knot. Now your strands will be in order: BAC. Then tie strand A around strand C so they’re in order: BCA. Take strand B and knot it around strands C and A in turn. Keep working from left to right, tying more strips onto the end of your strands as necessary. Keep going until you have the length you want (or run out of strips—I find it takes about 1-2 sweaters to make an average scarf) then tie the strands together at the end with a double knot to secure them. If the scarf looks a little “thin” anywhere you can go ahead and add more fringe by tying short strips on where necessary. Et voilà! A low-cost luxe handmade gift in about an hour, without having to brave the mall.

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January 2010

why we love our authors (fashion edition)

You might remember our holiday grab bag post from Myrlin A. Hermes, author of The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet, where she taught us how to make awesome recycled scarves. Well, imagine our excitement today when a giant box arrived to the office of Rakesh Satyal, Myrlin’s editor. Scarves for everybody!!!

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(left to right: Rakesh, marketing director Amy, me, Rakesh’s assistant Rob.)

Thanks Myrlin!

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