Thursday, 2 August 2007

a few good lessons

I finally finished the blanket with the WRONG SIDE problem, (see previous post) and have made something i am happy with, and something my daughter loves to play with when she is in her pram...although I'm slightly worried she is going to pull the flowers and caterpiller off as she gets a bit enthusiastic about playing hide and seek with them or tries to sniff the flowers. (lesson 1: make sewn connections 5 times the strength you believe is necessary if the object is to be used by a child) ) My friend Pat showed me how to crochet a simple border onto my rather wonky knitted edges and this gave me a more solid foundation to then stitch on a fine woollen backing cloth. So now the blanket is even warmer, and there are no WRONG SIDES, just a back and a front. I fiddled around with the crotchet hook and fashioned a few flowery sort of things and knitted a few bobbles and attached them in a random meadowlike composition. finished. my sense of satisfaction is enormously quietly wonderful. (lesson 2: finishing difficult projects is better than starting them)

If i ever knit a blanket again, it will definately not be made of tiny squares, but will be knitted as one big piece on circular needles. (lesson 3: dont knit anything that requires more sewing up than knitting) I think it was a cruel exercise Ms Debbie Bliss! However I made it much worse for myself by altering the pattern, which again was very foolish given it was only the second thing i had ever attempted to knit and I soon found that I had absolutely no idea what i was getting myself in for. (lesson 4: dont run before you can walk, unless it is in your nature, in which case, be tenacious and keep working on the thing until you find a solution)

I learnt a few good knitting lessons, but I havent been turned off improvising with a pattern again, in fact I am fantasizing about drafting my own pattern for project number 4. How hard can it be?

Thursday, 15 March 2007

what is

the brilliance of a warm jewel only dawned on me when i moved from sunny australia to the north of england. I started to notice a different kind of body adornment being used by some locals...not cold metal chains and sparkling gems, but lovely items made of felt, fibre and wood. How wonderful! Ah ha I thought! Warms Jewels! what a sensible art. So I have decided to investigate this concept and learn to make felt and design a few warm jewels for myself. This follows on from my earlier decision to learn to knit, because 1) I was moving to a cold country with long dark winters not conducive to outdoor activites, and 2) i was pregnant and felt i would be more likely to actually knit something if it was very small in size.

So, I started by knitting a scarf. For a baby. Have you ever seen a baby wearing a scarf? No, me either and my baby, now 11.5 months has yet to wear the scarf, although i did try it on her a few days ago, and it looked pretty good, and she didnt try to pull it off or strangle herself.

Then I made a blanket, of 56 squares, which then had to be sewn together. Big mistake, I managed to sew them into strips, and when my mum came over to visit the newborn babe i begged her to sew the strips together. She took pity on me but did a really rough job and managed to make the back of the blanket look like the Wrong Side. In my opinion a blanket shouldnt really have a Wrong Side. Anyway, then she embroidered some pink flowers on it. Again, there is a Right and a Wrong Side to embroidery. I love the blanket, but am constantly irriated by the Wrong Side. I have been trying to figure out a good way to put a backing on it so it looks like it has two Right Sides, and Very Nice Neat Edges. The Nice Neat Edges are providing the stumbling block.

Anyway. Then I knitted a jumper. Which I was fairly happy with, except, again, my sewing up could have been better. Popsy was good enough to smile when i put it on her.

It was about this time when my mother in law came to live with us. A knitter from way back, who had gone into retirement and thrown away all her kit. But at 81, and a first time grandmother, she got inspired. So I have since then promoted myself to knitting foreman, in control of wool and pattern purchasing and giving directions on the shop floor.

Interestingly this development is actually freeing me to focus again on my main goal, and the real subject of this blog. Warm jewels.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

first baby steps

my daughter took her first steps yesterday, my friend Barb sent me her first blog (knit1 blog1), spring is here in the north east of england and i thought i need a new beginning myself. I felt inspired! This is the beginning of...


A space to reflect upon:
my modest attempts to knit,
my serious attempt to be a good mother,
my heartfelt attempt to stay in touch with distant friends who make and dream about making.