Sunday, 18 March 2012

should I be worried?

today is mother's day over here. and I am starting to worry a bit! other mums seem to receive chocolates and bunches of flowers. I receive gardening mags and a potted gooseberry:) well, ok, I have to admit that I don't like cut flowers anyway - and it's the right time to get new ideas for all those gardening jobs! at least we have nice weather today - it's quite nippy, but mostly sunny (apart from a few hefty showers, but they moved elsewhere quickly enough). and it's supposed to go milder over the next few days.... I can live with that!
on the craft front - I still have to show a few finished items. so here they come:
 this is the "bird" quilt I made in january. I think the recipient liked it; it's backed with fleece, so nice and cozy - though I should have started it way earlier - to do a better job with the quilting. as it was, I only had time to quilt (by machine) inside the larger green squares. with more time I could have done nice feather or bird patterns - by hand.... and if I had a large board to put my blocks up - I might have realized that I did a botched job with spreading out the birds... there were 3 different designs and I should have put the birds in either looking in the same direction - or away from each other. not both.... well, what's done is done. but I freely admit that there are more skilled patchworkers and quilters around:)
I also used up the first ball of opal "van gogh sternennacht" yarn. I liked the blues in that ball - but during knitting I thought it might just as well be named "koi carps in a pond"... I started to knit on the train, without any pattern - and suddenly didn't fancy knitting stockinette. so I started a few simple lines.. which became rather boring after a little while:) which is why I added another few.... in hindsight I should have turned the leg part over - I think I prefer the look of the wrong side!

 anyway, they fit and they're warm - and cheery enough. I have another ball of van gogh yarn - darker blues and some yellows, inspired by van gogh's "Terrasse du cafe le soir". but I decided to finish two other sock projects first, while I started to dye and blend a few other colours for my "museum sock project".... which gives me time to think up a nicer pattern for the second batch of van gogh yarn:)
I also finished the cross stitch picture "generosity", which I had for some time. this was supposed to be a "no brainer"... but it was quite annoying in the end! I took it with me as a travel project, checked the back of the pattern for the yarn list and found I had everything I needed. off I went.... when I wanted to start embroidering - I found that the inner list of yarns had one more colour on it - and one I needed quite often! and of course didn't bring.... also there are several mistakes in the chart, nothing dramatic, but I think if you sell patterns - you should take a bit more care before sending them off to the printers. and on the small photo attached to the pattern it looks as if some areas have been done with multicolour yarn, which looks quite different.   anyway - I finished it in time for a birthday present - and I think the new owner liked it; she didn't know about the hiccups! I am finishing with winter for now though - I want "springier" looking projects....

another small project was to change the band of a wristwatch I received as a gift (for a sub)... I don't like wearing tight leather bands, so I decided to be inspired by "sprotte" and exchanged it for a handmade one. I cut off the leather and knitted a band out of handdyed silk, which I received some time back from a friend in wales. there were several small skeins and at first I didn't know what to do with them. but I thought the grey/earthen tones work ok with the silver/grey of the watch. I also found a suitable mother-of-pearl button to close it.

if I had to do it again, I'd change several things. I'd finish both ends with tips. I'd make them overlap properly (but I didn't have more grey silk for the base...). and I wouldn't attach the watch and then use the same thread for embroidery! which was idiotic - because if I have to wash the band, I have to take off the watch. which of course means that I'll also cut away the yarn of the embroidery close by:( lesson learned.....anyway, it's very nice to wear, soft and smooth - and warm at the same time. but not restrictive!

of course it wasn't all textile fun during the last few weeks! we still had to empty the polytunnel of about 60 large sacks of rubbish. mostly from the roof renovation after the rat damage! we ordered a skip - which didn't fit down the road to the house:( eventually the driver dropped it at the top of the road, which meant that essentially our road was blocked for 4 days. luckily the postman was able to drive up to the house from the bottom of the road. and we scraped past the one side with our bikes:) it was a job to pack all the bags into a wheelbarrow and push it uphill to the skip - but the job is done now and my polytunnel is free of the stuff - and going to be used again for its original purpose! Dobby had to sniff the whole thing out properly - of course!

I think the chocolate cake (baked this time:) should be ready by now - and when it's cooled down I am presenting it to myself for mother's day! I am also still working on the shawl "in the pink" (in white:) - but I've reached the outer border = plain sailing and a 10 row repeat (85 repeats though....). after knitting and blocking this I hopefully have enough silk/wool dyed to start the spinning for my museum socks! I tried a light green (dyed with reed flowers) yesterday, navajo-plied it - and it's just the right thickness for socks. but first - I use the small sample to knit/crochet a few more flowers... daffodils, daisies etc.... it's spring after all!


Sprotte said...

Das Uhrenarmband ist ja traumhaft geworden! Hoffentlich leiert es nicht zu sehr aus. Ich habe eins aus Seide, das ist inzwischen so lang geworden, dass ich die Druckknöpfe versetzen muss.

Verrätst du mir, wie du die schöne Schlaufe gestrickt hast? Oder ist das ein Band, das drangenäht ist? Verstehe ich gerade gar nicht.

Viele Grüße vom Sofa,

Nina said...

I love the idea of gardening magazines and the gooseberry bush as Mother's Day pressies. Somebody put a lot of thought into something they thought you'd like! Who really needs chocolates anyway, when you can bake such yummy looking goodies?

You've done a superb job on the quilt and I like the variations in the way the birds look. It adds a lot of charm and interest to the quilt. The knitted watch strap is excellent! It is handsome and looks very comfortable. What a great idea!

Woolly Bits said...

Britta - ich bin auch ganz zufrieden damit, hauptsaechlich, weil es sich wirklich angenehm anfuehlt. und gedehnt hat es sich bisher auch nicht - zum glueck:) die beschreibung hab ich grad nachgeliefert, wie hab ich bloss gelebt, ehe ich i-cords aller art kannte?:)) ich denke, ich werde mir auch noch ein oder zwei andere machen - ich hab da noch zwei "umaenderkandidaten"! danke fuer den anstoss....

Nina - yes, I'd prefer a fruit shrub anytime over cut flowers that are thrown on the compost after a few days (not to mention everything that goes into growing them in the first place!) - it was just a joke:)
the quilt - I think it's ok, but it could have been much better. I tend to start - and think later with these projects! one of my other problems is lack of space, where I can pin things up, lay them out etc. as I can't move into a 20 room villa - that's not easily changed:) I just have to live with that....

Leigh said...

OH! I've been behind in my blog reading and missed all this. I always did admire your creativity and industry.