Friday, 27 April 2007

Baby Houses and Tank Tops

Spring in the garden - I love it. This is the best time of year for our garden (pictured above) when everything is lush and green and blooming - and before the diseases and black spot and various pests take hold, and before the lawn dies in the heat. This is my machine knitting shed, an object of beauty at this time of year.

I've finally sat down and painted the rest of the metal 144th scale miniatures that I bought at Miniatura, and basically finished the Baby House (although you can always add more). For you non-miniaturists, this is a standard dollshouse size cabinet about six inches high (1/12th scale) and I have decorated the inside as a 'dollhouse's dollhouse' in 144th scale. This is a historical tradition - before dollhouses came about as we know them, the wealthy in the 18th century used to commission showcases of furnished rooms inside furniture cabinets to display their collections, and they were known as Baby Houses. Each of these rooms is a little over one inch high.

These are the garden drawers at the bottom of the cabinet, the idea and creation of my very talented embroideress/quilter friend Pauline B. She took the drawers home and brought them back as you see them, exquisitely decorated with 3-D stumpwork embroidery and paint decoration. She is so clever! This house is so cute, I just love it.

Last night I also finished the second tank top I was knitting. This one is in a ribbon yarn by Colinette called 'Giotto' and I just fell in love with the colours. I have used the same pattern as the blue cotton one I knit a few weeks ago, except that I knit two fronts instead of a racer back, to create a more conventional top. I also crocheted a simple loopy finish along the bottom. I might wear this to work this summer with dressy trousers and a light cardigan. I've started knitting a cushion cover in Rowan Big Wool which I scored half price at the local scrapbooking/wool shop - it uses 12mm needles which just feel ridiculously clumsy compared to my tank tops on 5mm needles. The wool itself though is like knitting with a cloud, beautifully soft and fluffy. I am copying the cushion cover I saw at the shop 'Loop' in Islington at Easter, just a simple wrap-around with some ribbing as detail. I've got three balls of Big Wool which hopefully will be enough for at least one cover.
My sewing machine is supposed to be arriving back home today. It has now been to Chester more times than I have. I spoke to Assistant Repair Guy who admitted under interrogation that the intermittent knocking noise had not appeared while the machine was in their hands, but they have been over the machine with a fine-tooth comb and it is running smoothly for them. At least they believe me, because of the time I held the phone up to the machine as it made the terrible noise, so one of them heard the noise over the phone. I just hope the problem has now been resolved, this whole thing has been a complete pain although I have had time for lots of hand applique. Assuming it does turn up today, and is working, I've got my quilt club tomorrow so will have to think what project to take along. I have a Lone Star top in vintage 40/50s fabrics that I bought at Paducah from a dealer, which is set with the most hideous pale pink background fabric. I plan to remove that and reset it against butter yellow, so I might take that along.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Beautiful, beautiful work! Love the shed, love the tank top, am simply amazed at the baby house!

About that hideous pink fabric. Does it by any chance look like the pink in my 7 sisters top in my UFO folder? If so would you share that fabric with me? Pleeeeeeease....

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