Saturday, 11 January 2014

Presenting Eliza

Introducing Eliza, my version of the Jean Greenhowe pattern for a knitted replica of a Victorian wooden peg doll.

Yes, I am a grown woman who has spent tens of hours knitting and assembling this very fiddly and completely pointless unsuitable-to-be-a-toy dolly - but isn't she cute!  And it was very fun to make something just for the sake of it, and to use some creativity in selecting colours less clownish than the pattern original.

And is it more or less pointless than the 38 hours I have so far racked up playing the video game 'Oblivion' (predecessor to my previous addiction 'Skyrim')?  Discuss.

As you will gather, I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment.  It's the eye of the storm, safe from the whirlwind of selling our house, and taking an enforced breather before we head back there to buy another one. I don't know anyone here yet, and most of my stuff is in storage, so I don't really have a lot to do.  So I've been happily knitting (and playing Oblivion), I've done some baking, I planted some bulbs in our rented garden, and I'm ready to pounce on my son's room next week to start sewing again.

I've also been shopping - look what came in the post yesterday!

At long last my Latvian mitten knitting kit turned up.  To be fair, once I realised that my first attempt to order had apparently never reached them (to their website) and I placed a second order (via their Etsy shop), it turned up within a few weeks. I first saw these at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching show. The kit, which comes in a special black box, is full of lovely brightly coloured wool and a very intricate chart, and instructions translated into English. The kits cost 19 euros plus 5 euros for shipping, and can be purchased from HobbywoolRiga via their Etsy shop, and are shipped from Latvia.  Here are some of the other patterns available.

I found ordering a bit tricky because the Etsy shop is very basic with just a drop down list of pattern numbers without showing you what they look like.  I had to go to their main website to work out what pattern I wanted then go back to the Etsy shop to order it.  This kit is the Kurzeme K-4 pattern. 24 euros is about £20 for the kit + shipping, and with the high presentation quality that feels like a reasonable price.  I'll let you know what the instructions are like when I get around to knitting it up.

After finishing Eliza, I've immediately started knitting a more conventional knitted doll from the Sandra Polley toy book.  She is cute but also smaller so hopefully won't take as much knitting as Eliza did.

Today we had a break from the lashing rain and wind and the sun was actually out, so we drove out to a lovely Northamptonshire village called Geddington where they have one of only three remaining Eleanor Crosses.  There were loads of cute thatched cottages and lovely gothic windowed brick dwellings, and a fabulous medieval bridge with the added entertainment value of an actual ford across the river right next to the bridge - we saw several cars approach the fast running high river and decide not to chance it, but then one car did drive through apparently without harm when we were walking back.

On the way back we stopped in another small village where one ancient thatched cottage was open as a tea room.  DH is probably regretting it because it turned out the tea room had a large collection of novelty teapots including teapots that looked like market stalls selling, wait for it, miniature teapots, Lilliput Lane cottages, and Royal Doulton figurines!  Too many of my forbidden collectibles in the form of one teapot was just too overwhelming for me and when we got home I went online to discover they were all designed by Paul Cardew in the 90s - I've got a bid in on Ebay already for the Lilliput Lane model.  I did read somewhere that collectors have similarities to addicts...

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Wow, lot of work in that doll, you have far more patience than me! Sounds like you're having a much better time in your new area than we're having down here at the moment too!

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