I used to feel guilty about the large portion of my time and income devoted to various craft hobbies,
but eventually I realised that I am stress-busting - and it's cheaper than therapy!
Sunday, 24 October 2010
We've just come back from a walk in the crisp autumn air, brilliant sunshine but cold enough that I needed to bundle up in several handknits. I probably overdid it, but it's just so much fun to be wearing things like my Selbuvotter mittens that I haven't seen since last winter. This morning we drove to a farm shop to look at the pumpkins and buy a few more Halloween decorations. I couldn't resist coming home with these colourful gourds and squashes, which will decorate our table for a while until we eat the squashes.
Remember I was having Monday all to myself this past week? It was blissful. I didn't even get out of my pyjamas until after lunch. I realised the next day that the front door was still locked from Sunday because I never went out at all on Monday. I resisted doing all work, including washing up, and spent quite a lot of time knitting and drinking tea, cosily tucked up in front of the computer, watching catchup tv shows that I had missed. I also did some quilting and some handsewing! And here is what I was working on:
This is the start of a Hawaiian memory quilt/wallhanging, using fabrics that I bought on my quilter's tour of Hawaii last year. I blocked in the various landscape zones on Monday, and then worked on it more yesterday at quilt club, fusing on extra bits to blur the lines between the various fabrics. It's full of things that remind us of our holiday, like the whale we saw on the horizon, and the stingray we saw when we were snorkelling near the hotel, and Diamond Head at Waikiki.
I finished the pumpkin tea cosy. This is knit in Lion Brand Wool-Ease. The cables are my own design, but the leaves and tendrils are crocheted and I adapted them from instructions for a similar tea cosy on the Vogue Knitting site. It works really well - keeps a pot of tea nice and warm for ages!
The hand sewing I did was to attach the tatting that I bought at the antiques fair a few weeks ago, onto one of my hankies. It looks very dainty now, and I even had a few inches of tatting left over. The edging was easy to attach, as the maker had left picots all along the straight edge, ready to be caught down with invisible stitches onto the hem of the hankie.
Yesterday at quilt club I also finished my son's birthday present of the cat portrait cushion cover. It's turned out really well, and here is a picture of Colin inspecting his portrait. The cushion has to stay a surprise until DS's birthday in a few weeks.
Unfortunately, weird knitting physics came back to bite me on the a** this week. I've been knitting occasionally on my second Sanquhar Glove and had reached a point above the thumb opening where I felt I had enough knitting to try the glove on. Astonishingly, it was way too tight. Completely mystified, I got out the first glove and compared it to the second one. As you can see, the second glove is clearly and dramatically smaller. I spent a few moments wondering if I had suffered some kind of blackout which had caused me to lose all memory of using a needle several sizes bigger for the first one. But I know that I didn't. I am using exactly the same 1.5mm needles and exactly the same wool. I can see that the corrugated ribbing was a lot tighter on the second glove. The only thing that I can think of is that I have grown much more accustomed to handling the small needles, which may have caused my tension to tighten up. Or maybe I was really tense when I was knitting the ribbing. Who knows. Anyway, it all had to come out (sob...) I've started over and made it a priority this week, and have managed to reknit the ribbing, and am halfway up the bracelet/date band.
I am generally not one to mock the knitting media, like some do. But I have to mention one pattern in the UK 'Knitting' magazine issue 83, December 2010, which turned up yesterday. Given the time of year, you have to wonder what the stylist was thinking when they commissioned "Cabled Cape" from Susan Crawford (page 23) and decided this spherical poncho with armholes should be pumpkin orange and be placed on a model dressed all in black. Yes, she looks exactly like an adult dressed in a pumpkin costume. Not only that, but there is something deeply weird about the angle her arms are coming out at, like they are her second set and there is another set of arms still hiding inside the pumpkin costume... [cue theme from Twilight Zone]