Sunday, 26 February 2017

Why do I make useless things?

I have a long history of making relatively useless things just because I like them or think that they are pretty, or cute .  Not because I need them. Not necessarily because I want them in my house /or because they fit in with my decor. Not because I have a specific recipient in mind. Not because I have everything to make them with so don't need to spend more money (usually the opposite applies). Not because they are quick so won't take much time away from my 'real' projects (usually not quick at all). And certainly not because I think other people will applaud them (my DH frequently questions my taste).

I seem to be irresistibly drawn to particular patterns and designs despite all of the above.  To a certain extent I blame my childhood in the early 70s oppressed by my parents' minimalist tastes: surrounded by overpowering amounts of natural wood grain, uncomfortable wooden Danish-style furniture, pumpkin orange and hunter green upholstery matched with terracotta low-pile carpet, and virtually no clutter nor decorative objects. So perhaps as a reaction,  I seem to have grown up with a magpie-eye for colourful, embellished objects, period or vintage style bric a brac, finely detailed or delicately decorated items, and above all items that were/are made just because they are pleasing to look upon, and not necessarily for practical use. Perhaps in a former life I was a Victorian matron churning out an endless supply of busywork items from the pages of Weldon's needlework publications?  Do you find yourself making things you don't need, or is it just me?

I caved  on the toadstool kit I was pondering last week and have embarked on the project, which is a prime example of what I am talking about.  The pattern is called '3 Fairy Crescent' by Gail Penberthy of Endless Thread designs, and I bought the kit to go with it because of all the specialist buttons and beads on the finished samples at the quilt show.

Do I need a pincushion shaped like a toadstool??  I do not.  And yet here we are, underway. And inside my brain there is a constant battle going on between "Ah, isn't it cute!!?" vs."This is a completely useless object which you do not need and will probably not use".

Disappointingly, the kit had nowhere near the amount of little flower buttons shown in the picture or on the finished samples, and also omits to provide any design for the detailing around the windows and doors, nor any pictures of the rear of the items.  I wish I had taken some photos now of the samples.  I ordered some more flower-shaped buttons from Amazon (more money) and am getting on well with the pincushion.  I'm undecided about making the companion thread holder, which looks awkward to carry around, plus the pincushion won't fit into it.  I probably will make it as well since I have the materials in the kit.  Sigh...

Of more practical use, I finished my Frisee Shawl knit in five gradient colours of a Sweet Georgia Party of Five yarn pack. This is the smaller size of the pattern and mine has come out with a 52" wingspan.

I'm pleased that I re-did the mesh section, I think it looks good. And I like how the gradients fade into each other. And blue is my favourite colour so it's a win win win.

I finished sample 5 of my Bucks Point Lace crash course, and have made the pricking ready to start sample 6 which is called the peacock's eye pattern.  I made several mistakes on sample 5, although mostly only one time for each mistake which I suppose is better than making the same mistake over and over. I'm planning to take all my samples, with their mistakes, to show the teacher on my course so she can see what level I am at (probably bottom of the class, but hey, someone has to act as a benchmark for the other students :)  ).

I've done a bit more dollshousing this week, and I'm almost finished the third finger of my Selbuvotter replacement glove.  Curiously my tension seems completely different so my new glove is not looking like my old glove.  Or perhaps I wrote down the wrong needle size on my Ravelry page, I don't know.  I think some wet blocking will help to even out stitches and hopefully shrink things slightly, but it's going to be a near sibling rather than an identical twin to the first glove.

Some of the bulbs I planted over the last few years are coming up, and we have a fine display of crocuses blooming away, and various tulips and daffodils poking up through the soil  now.  A couple of early daffodils are blooming.  And of course several clumps of delicate snowdrops.  This weekend we spread more dirt on the front lawn we started last week, to level it out, and I've put down some shady grass seed which I hope will sprout and grow successfully.  It looks so much better already compared to the undulating depressed and severely sloping lawn area we started out with, so now we are planning to spread some dirt on the bit of lawn on the other side of the front path as well.  It's not nearly as bad, so just needs a bit of filling in the sunken hollows which are probably caused by tree roots.


swooze said...

Life is short! Do what makes you happy. Your shawl is so pretty. I'm sure your mitten will be fine. Most people won't be studying to find the differences.

Daisy said...

I think, if you enjoy making something, then make it. I have things that probably aren't the most 'useful' but I remember how much I enjoyed making them!

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