The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.

If you've been over to my reading blog, then you probably know I am not a big fan of Woodrow Wilson. In fact, I would go so far as to rank him in my top five worst presidents we've ever had, and that is a pretty competitive list. But I'm not here to talk politics,… Continue reading The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.


Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Leprosy

Princess Mononoke, 1997. My first introduction to leprosy was through a Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke, which I got on VHS in middle school and wore out through successive watchings. In the film, a town on the edge of the forest is a sanctuary for those otherwise ostracized by society. Among them, a group of lepers… Continue reading Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Leprosy


A Brief History of Haunted Mirrors and Photos

It's an old trope that gets trotted out this time of year. Walk through any Halloween decor section at your favorite shop, and you'll probably find a creepy plastic frame on a mirror that makes noises when you walk by, or flashes a ghostly image at the push of a button. There are even decals… Continue reading A Brief History of Haunted Mirrors and Photos


By The Grace Pattern Dive

Next week my book By the Grace comes out, and I thought it might be good to introduce some of the characters through the knitwear. A note: All of these links go back to Ravelry, as I don't know of any other comprehensive pattern repository. Slimline Undies by Susan Crawford Julia Grace is our main… Continue reading By The Grace Pattern Dive


Spiritualism During WWI

Ghost stories have been part of our popular consciousness from ancient times. The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Celts, and the Mesopotamians all believed the spirits of the dead could return to earth. In China and Mesoamerica major festivals evolved around honoring and pleasing the dead. From the Vikings to ancient India, Africa to… Continue reading Spiritualism During WWI


The Baroness of Flight

On August 22, 1882 in Paris, one of my favorite figures from history was born: Élise Léontine LaRoche. Élise was solidly middle class, the daughter of a plumber. This perhaps explains her interest in all things mechanical from an early age. She loved motorcycles, cars, and eventually started flying hot air balloons before taking up… Continue reading The Baroness of Flight

books, history

Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Strep Throat

I don't know about the rest of you, but strep throat was the bane of my existence in middle school. I think I caught it 4 times in sixth grade, and there was talk of having my tonsils removed. But what is strep? What causes it and how dangerous is it if untreated? The Disease… Continue reading Would this Kill Me in the 1800s: Strep Throat


Failures and Starting Again

Some of you might remember a project I posted about a while back, a set of summery Victorian undergarments I was hand sewing and planned to make hand knit/crocheted lace for. I wanted to start on the lace, so I went back to that project, only to discover I hadn't finished assembling the chemise. I… Continue reading Failures and Starting Again


Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Asthma

Asthma is a common enough problem in the US. It affects roughly 7-8% of people worldwide, though in the developed world at least, it doesn't trigger much concern. Many children are diagnosed with it and then outgrow their symptoms. But statistics show that asthma cases have been steadily rising since the 1960s, likely due to… Continue reading Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Asthma


A Brief History of Contraception

For as long as human beings have been having sex, they've also been searching for ways to prevent pregnancy. You might think this is morally wrong. And that's fine. If you choose not to use it, that's okay. But all over the world there are people who do use it for a variety of reasons.… Continue reading A Brief History of Contraception