Sunday, September 24, 2006

No one can accuse these socks of being boring to knit! This was from ebay too, and I was a bit dubious because the skein looked a real hodgepodge of colours, but it's really good fun to knit. Love that red stripe.

I decided I had to get a new leader ender project because I've amassed 44 of these blocks and I didn't want it to be a particularly big quilt. ( the blocks are 6" finished) So I'm interviewing candidates for the next L-E position and trying to chose a setting material for these blocks. As they are made from a selection of dregs from my 2" drawer ( no strips, just the pieces less than 8" long) I kinda want to use some material for the setting that I'll be glad to see the back of.Nothing too precious because the blocks are sooo scrappy and jumbled. I'm sure I've got a piece of 80's calico that will fit the bill- somewhere- all I have to do is look for it. And as we got rain for the first time in months last night, and the day has dawned cool and grey, I think it would be a perfect time to pull out boxes and containers and look through all my stash.

Keryn and I used to love rainy winter days when we were young. Mum would let us go through her material drawers and ransack her wool stash and we'd get all her old knitting magazines from the 40's to look through. We had a slow combustion fire in the kitchen and we'd settle down in front of that, sipping tea and looking at our pile of books while we decided what we were going to cast on for next. Even this morning, as soon as I saw the wet ground and the deep grey-blue clouds outside I thought "Oh, it would be a good day to go through my wool!"

I've been collecting these fabrics for a few months, and something's stewing in my mind. Don't quite know what yet...... There are some rusty bricky reds that go with this pile and a few more of those strange blues. I'm leaving them out so they can speak to me, but I think this will be my next project, if I can stop the leader-enders from taking over.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My completed blocks are growing in number, in fact I think I'm going to have enough for more than one quilt if I make all the pieces I've cut out. Never mind,it's a nice block to make, but I should have made it 9" instead of 12". This quilt is going to be BIG if I do what I originally intended.

I may use a lightning streak setting like this instead of a plain alternate block like the antique quilt I'm copying. There's still plenty of room for some vines or feathers to wind around, and it will use up a few more blocks. Bad thing is I'll have to make half blocks to fill out the edge, but I'm sure I'll manage.

Keryn's photo on her blog of all the little half square triangles laid out so neatly made me smile. This is a batch of triangle units, finger pressed open and waiting next to the iron to be pressed properly. They look like a tray of little sandwiches ready to go to a party! I quite often leave a project at a stage like this so that when I can work at my sewing again I've got a nice easy job to do first up.

Here are the latest pair of socks, ready to be cast off. These were really quite boring to knit because the stripe was so predictable. It took some discipline to do the second one, but finally I can cast on something more exciting. I always do a toe-up sock with a short-row heel when I'm using self patterning wool, but I love the traditional sock that starts at the cuff and has a french flap heel. I could knit them in my sleep I've made so many over the years. But the self striping wool looks much better in a short row heel and it's easier to judge the amount of wool you have for each sock.

It's suddenly turned quite hot here, and I'm hoping my knitting days aren't numbered. I shall have to knit regularly throughout the summer, even if it's only a few rows at a time, just to keeep my hands in training. This winter when I started to knit after a break of several years I found my hands ached quite badly until they got used to it. I'll have to do ten minutes knitting training in the cool of the morning this summer!


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lookee what I got at the local antique shop! A pair of 40's shoes in perfect condition. The flash makes them look a bit greyed out but they're jet black suede and sooo comfortable I will definitely wear them.

I've always loved shoes from that era, and indeed others pairs have come to my attention before. But Keryn and I have little feet and nothing ever fitted, so I couldn't justify buying them just to look at. These will be worn to special occasions, but definitely not for walking very much. I don't want to be the one that ruins them after they've been looked after for 50 odd years.

Excuse the picture of my fat leg, it's just the angle of the camera, I swear!

And some irresponsible person put sock wool on ebay and look what they made me do! How dare they tempt me like that! There's enough here for another 7 pairs of socks at least! And because Keryn and I have the aforementioned little hooves I don't use up the whole 100g ball. Already I'm getting a collection of oddments that I might combine to make truly lairy socks. I've noticed on some knitting blogs that people are making blankets out of leftover sock wool, but my patchwork is for making lap quilts and throws and crib quilts and such. I refuse to knit them as well. It's getting hot early this year, but I will endeavour to knit as many pairs as I can before it truly swelters and my sock drawer will be stuffed ready for next winter.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Life goes on and I have to do the things that make me feel better. And of course that involves sewing...My good blocks are slowly coming together, but it's hard to get back to feeling enthusiastic somehow. Part of me wants to hack up huge swathes of material and chainsew like mad, for hours on end- what strange sort of therapy is that? I don't know, but I feel as if I need to see some really quick progress on something after months of devoting my time to others.

I plan to rearrange my quilting tables and make my space more efficient, that always makes me feel better too. Sometimes even if I can't sew, I sit and refold fabric, or shuffle it from one drawer to the next, and the feeling of the fabric, the mechanical movements of my hands sorting it out are soothing and help me sort my thoughts out too. And the best thing about tidying my sewing space is that it inspires me to get in and mess it up again with some new project! Even more therapeutic.....


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


It was a perfect day.......
Nothing undone
Remained; the early seeds
All safely sown.

And now, hark at the rain,
Windless and light,
Half a kiss, half a tear,
Saying goodnight.

Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917)

Keryn's blog


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