Saturday, 25 February 2012

garter stitch

Okay so this is the first thing you learn when you start knitting. Probably when you are around 7 with a pair of little plastic knitting needles and a ball of wool that nobody wants. You knit way too loose and your stitches fall off, or too tight and you cannot get the end of the blasted needle to go where it is supposed to go. Maybe this is the stage you simply give up and go and find something else to do.

Or you persist, and make your first scarf for your Barbie, Sindy, Tiny tears or teddy. You are so proud! And then in time you progress to something a little bit more complicated, only you have to get Granny to do the neckline as you don't quite know how you are supposed to pick up stitches. And so it goes on. I am not an expert knitter, as I don't knit and do nothing but knit. I am having a conversation, watching telly, listening to the radio or something else. The fact is, there is a little bit of guilt around just sitting and simply knitting and there just aren't the hours in the day to tackle something too complicated. At least that is my excuse. So having made jumpers, (one of which I wear when I come home at the end of the day and it means I don't have to turn up the heating too high as it is SO WARM and not even made of wool), I have now made SOCKS! and scarves of course and always have something on the go.

So this is back to basics - a garter stitch scarf which I am very pleased with. It will be on its way to Glasgow soon as a belated birthday present for my step daughter who is kindly grateful for everything I make for her.

Today I picked up a copy of the latest Country Living which has a feature on a divine old farmhouse, chintzy with bits of vintage and unmatched patterns and stone. I made a 1940's style fair isle slip over not long ago and sold it on ebay last year, as it was just too small (or time for me to lose weight) and I AM CERTAIN that the very same 40's style fair isle slip over is in the picture of this lovely farmhouse. Maybe these stylists trawl through ebay for bargains such as this. Anyway, it looks the same! What are the chances of that! How cool!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

colourful world on a grey day

I realise I dream in colour. I realised this a long time ago. I also dream things that are quite weird. last night I dreamt I was watching a demonstration of Buddhist monks singing the Everley Brothers 'Cathy's clown' (for those who are not decrepit and ancient check it out on itunes)...The colour red predominated, plus I was looking at rolls of fabulously coloured wallpaper and an Indian market with ready made upholstered chair covers, made from sari silks (now there's a thought..). I think this must be down to the half a lager and a packet of crisps I ate last night on our infamous Saturday nights in. this involves watching something involving on the telly (so sad that Borgen has finished) with the added attraction of reading sub titles while knitting/crocheting. Perhaps it's all too much for my addled brain.

Anyway, I have mounted the latest little pic of my adorable charming ladies of a certain age with Shopping Spree. See above since I cannot figure out how to get my pictures where I want them. Plus here is a picture of our house guest Mr Darcey who takes up so much room on the sofa that I am relegated to the draughty arm chair. We cannot sit together while I knit as he attacks my wool with as much zeal as if he it was his last supper.

Also yesterday afternoon, in the gloomy murk of a winter gone on far too long I continued with my little floral embroidered shabby cards. I love the fact that this takes me back to the days when my friend and I used to sit for hours embroidering our jeans. I forget who taught me to do this but I suspect it was my Granny. I still have a tin of hers full of tiny poppers on cards (or press studs I think they are called now, and hooks and eyes and a label for genuine Manx Tweed (with the 3 legs of course). How I love the random quality of all this. It is a metaphor for my life. Sometimes it's like living on the edge of insanity - I quite like this state actually.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

little things

I have been inspired by the small, humble and far less than perfect. But sort of amusing. I have taken one of my doodly drawings and turned it into an aceo for folksy. I think when you don't think about trying too hard, then what you are supposed to achieve happens more naturally. Hence I am much happier working with scraps and bits and pieces that are recycled, chucked out etc.

I am also doing a little bit of patchwork too...

Today I was ironing a cotton shirt of my OH's. Well it was old, but the iron ripped straight through the collar and that was that. He says it's his best shirt. I think not. Now it is in my stash bag and I used it to make a little floral card with daisies. It's the softest cotton (after years of washing and my not too delicate ironing).

I have received a small cheque today for the final royalties on a book I illustrated called the Cosmic Egg timer . It is now going to be reprinted without my illustrations! Ah well. It was never going to make me rich.

Now back to the cards. I am using silk pieces and muslin snipped from a scarf from the charity shop and am embroidering. Trying to wish the little flowers into being, since this must be the greyest day ever. Roll on Green Days.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

the joys of winter

Yesterday I went for a walk and everywhere was glazed with ice, not frost, but ice and icicles. The ground was crunchy, not with snow but grainy ice. Quite weird. I love the misty colours and the dankness but am also glad that it stayed light until nearly 5.30.

I knitted a scarf, for some reason I am trying to use up my stash and I have this beautiful burnt orange funky chunky wool which is now a thick but not too long scarf. Simple stocking stitch, so it is quite sculptural.

I also got on with some cards on a more summery theme.

This is a most excellent blog by illustrator Vanessa Caban she makes the most delightful sculptures as above, and jewelery and I love the freshness of her colours, but then I like Kaffe Fasset colours too.

I think I need to study paintings again as this is what excites me - not so much the image but the colours and how they work together. The stripey baby blanket is getting bigger and this will be for the new grandchild, God willing that all is well here, but I am aware and cautious that nothing can be taken for granted. Meanwhile, I need to look up a suitable crocheted edging, perhaps in bright red.