Friday, 13 March 2015

Inside and out in the middle of March

I do love a good project and living somewhere like this means there are always things on the go. Inside there is usually something on the needles or on the sewing machine, especially in winter.



Outside is ignored when it is cold and wet but it begins to call about now and I have spent a couple of days working in the garden.  So just for the record before inside gets abandoned for the spring and summer, here are this winter's projects plus a new one cast on yesterday.




Here are some curtains made from dinosaur material for grandson number two, aged five.  The material comes from textile express, a great business based in Oswestry with a really good website and web presence.  I make lined curtains about once a year and every time I have to go back to square one in terms of reminding myself about the order of events.  Last time I did it I made three pairs in one marathon effort for the holiday cottage so I took the time to write down all the things that were at the forefront of my mind as I was finishing them in this blog.  I was really pleased I had done that as I saved myself loads of time by referring back to it when I would normally have been wondering whether to do the hems before the header tape!  Joseph had been waiting for these very patiently but I was distracted from finishing them off by another request from him.   When asked whether he would like me to knit anything for him he thought carefully - he is a thinking sort of a child - and said eventually "Could you make me a flying pig?"  I had been thinking more in terms of a jumper but I can quite see that a flying pig is a lot more useful.


So here he is.  Ian suggested that his wings, as befits a Welsh flying pig, should be dragon wings so I invented what I hope are the wings of a baby dragon.  He has flown off to South Wales now and I hope is settling in nicely.


There was also this jacket for grandson number three which I really enjoyed making.  It comes from a Debbie Bliss pattern book.  I love her patterns and her yarns and the way you can produce something from them which is just a little different.


Then there was the window seat cushion which I slipped in sometime in February.  Both of these last two have already appeared in the blog but I include them again for completeness.  I thought I would shelve inside projects for now as the days lengthen and things start to grow in the garden but, as is often the case, somehow I decided to fit just one more thing in.  After all although it was sunny and mild on Tuesday, today it is pouring with rain and an inside project seems just the thing.



My daughter in law gave me a ball of the darker green wool as part of my Christmas present and I have been wondering what to make with it.  I contemplated another cowl or more fingerless gloves but I do have quite a number of both.  Then I found myself thinking about cushions.  A couple of years ago I had a bit of a run on cushions and made three for the sofa:





I really like them and am planning another go on the sewing machine for cushions for the holiday cottage but the cushion that has given me most pleasure is the one I made with wool I bought in the Outer Hebrides on our holiday there in 2013.


I wanted to catch the colour of the sea and the sky and the process of designing and making it and the finished product gave me a lot of satisfaction.  I am not an artist.  I am not even a craftsperson.  I am simply a knitter and sewer again, after years of no time when the job and the family filled every minute of every day and absorbed all of my time and energy.  Part of the drive in leaving my job was to spend time on things and people and places and parts of myself which had been neglected in the whirl of work.  For some reason knitting has filled the place which for others might have been used for art or music. Having worked with my brain all my life I find real pleasure in doing things with my hands. Throughout the frantic years cooking was the only way I held on to my interest in making things. Knitting needs time and a calm head.  Sewing needs space which is not full of teenagers and televisions.



So I bought some other muted greens and neutrals to try to have a go at a cushion which would echo the colours of our hills just now.  I am not sure I quite have it yet.  I need a more vivid green and a brown for the lines of hedges and bare trees.  I don't intend to produce anything which is pictorial and it is quite likely that no one but me will look at the finished cushion and see anything but stripes but for me it will have meaning and that is enough.

I was going to move on to outside projects but I will keep that for another day.  The big project is Ian's and the construction of a new henhouse but I will leave the detail of that for him to share.  In the meantime I leave you with a picture of the work in progress.



Where are you at the moment?  Inside or out?  How do you find your pleasure in creating things?

32 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, you are doing much the same as me.. finishing off indoor projects before the big push starts on the garden. Curtains (or something to cover a window!) on my agenda too. And a window seat cushion.
    Of course a flying pig is more useful than a jumper. Perfect!

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    1. Well it is obvious when you think about it. A jumper you can only wear. A flying pig is part of your life and can go anywhere with you. Don't know why I didn't think of it myself.

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  2. The pig is a delight - as is grandson#3.
    Your projects are very lovely - I'm still only knotting hats.....
    Longing for spring!

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    1. Now I am puzzled - knotting hats? how? What? I would love to know.

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  3. I am outside today, planted sugar snap peas that I started in the cold frame and seeding some lettuce, chard, beets, carrots, bunching onions. I guess I really live for being outside.

    My grandmother taught me to knit as a child and I have enjoyed craft projects more than making clothing (love the flying pig!), but not having much of a family there is not much of a "distribution channel" :-). I love your green and blue pillow, those are colors I love (and wear a lot). I should think about knitting a pillow here this summer, when it is "inside time" here because of the heat.

    I hope your weather improves so you can be outside. I think that you have to take advantage of good weather days where you live.

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    1. I am so taken by the difference in our climates meaning that it is sun not cold that drives you inside! I am an outside person too which is partly why I have a sense of making things inside belonging so very much to winter. When it is warm enough I am drawn outside like iron filings to a magnet. My Christmas present from my husband this year was a bench for our side garden. It says something for the power of outside that I have sat on it with my cup of tea quite often in the last few weeks. I just need some sun and no wind, temperature is less crucial.

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    2. I so know what you mean! I have been known to sit outside in the sun in a winter coat and holding hot chocolate :-).

      And yes, it is the sun that drives us inside but it is only May and June that we find hot (90-105 F) as it is dry as well. It is called "foresummer". In July we get thunderstorms and some rain, making being outside a wonderful time again, all the way to fall. That is our "monsoon season" or summer.

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  4. Betwich and between! I'm knitting, flower brooches, baby bootees and another little jacket for our latest great nephew. But I am longing to garden both at home ad at work. My little garden group at work have been busy indoors in the winter painting cans for planters and making bird seed cupcakes, great fun! I'm a big fan of Textile Express too! Lovely post as ever, Jane x

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    1. I like the idea of the inside activities of your garden group. What do you mean about at work? What is work exactly?

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    2. I am a day support worker for adults with learning disabilities and one of my sessions is gardening in our sensory garden. I have the best job ever! Thank you for asking, Jane x

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  5. Great creative post, I like the flying pig and the dinosaur curtains are cool :)

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    1. I am glad you like them. I love them both and am now plotting on a huge floor cushion in the dinosaur material and a yoga bolster in a similar pattern with elephants. Love making things!

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  6. I am so impressed by your knitting creations. I have few crafty skills and I love to see what other people can make. I have been out and about but mainly in the car, so I can look for the first signs of spring but not experience them. Please show us your winter cushion. I love the muted colours of this time of year. Jane xx

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    1. I have bought some more wool for the cushion so hope I now have a dark brown for bare hedges and trees and a golden brown for bracken at this time of year. Have a go at making things. You might need a course or a friend to start you off but it is such a great thing to do once you get going.

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  7. That little grand is so so cute! Love the flying pig!

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  8. So glad you like them ! Perhaps we should have appealing pig and flying baby!

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  9. Right now? This minute? It's just four in the afternoon and I left work early in order to come home to do some cleaning before the weekend. Vacuumed and dusted and turned a few things upside down and shook them out. I haven't done a think in the garden - not yet a garden, just a boring lawn with a hedge. Inside I'm working on a blanket for a baby girl - nearly finished. I'm also working on an Easter piece with lots of rabbits and hens cross stitched. I love it. When the girly blanket is off the needles I'll start one for a boy.
    I love that flying pig!

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    1. What you are doing so much replicates what is happening here! So many things to keep spinning, so much pleasure in the doing so.

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  10. Hi Elizabeth,I have just begun, and I do mean just, to knit.I have spent large chunks of my life sewing,but a local group in our library made me try to make something with bigger needles .I have now bought needles and a ball of wool. Your beautiful textured cushion is inspirational. Your flying pig should have a storybook to go with him.

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    1. I am totally sure that your textile and embroidery skills will be fabulously transferable to knitting Linda. Will love to see what you make!

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  11. I love that flying pig. I bet it’s going to become a favourite toy.

    I am back inside, not making, but reading. It’s gone cold again, far too cold for this tender plant. I am hoping to put in a morning outside on Tuesday. Lots of pruning and chopping and trimming to do.

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    1. I have loopy amounts of things to do in the garden but I am very much a fair weather garden. The first sign of cold or wet and I am indoors by the fire!

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  12. I just designed and finished an afghan for a friend in Dublin. I like you, see representations of scenery and places in my knitting. I love all of your beautiful projects, especially the pig, the wee jacket and the Hebrides cushion.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. Thank you so much. I am glad you like them. I wonder if others see in your knitting what you see yourself? I am never sure whether my vision remains private or is obvious to others.

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  13. I love your indoor projects! I knit and sew too. Just recently started sewing again. I haven't made anything for a long time, but have made several printed fabric cushion covers for the living room. Also have done a lot of repairs, like fixing a skirt, and the hem on a pair of slacks, and making a scarf. I have material to make a dress, but I think i may wait a bit on that, as for the moment, I feel a bit "sewed out." Maybe tomorrow!

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    1. Now mending and repairs is not a favourite task. I am happy to make something from scratch but my husband is far more likely than I am to get the machine out to mend something.

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  14. I am in the middle of a DIY overhaul of our bedroom (yes, just one room) and the entire house is an utterly chaotic quagmire. Photos on my blog to follow...

    It's still too cold and there's snow on the ground in places, so no outside projects yet - but the first thing will be getting rid of the dead tree that fell into our yard from a neighboring yard. Ugh!

    LOVE your yarn choices - and your cushions! Adorable baby cheeks on that little fella, too!

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    1. It is amazing how one room spills into the whole house isn't it. We have a load of stuff finding a temporary home in the sewing room so that Ian can put a slate floor down in a corridor. It has totally taken over.

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  15. I am so impressed with all your creative talents - especially the sewing! I've dabbled in quite a few 'crafty' things, but never with much success - I'd probably be much better if I'd stick to one thing and stop dabbling, I suppose. At the moment, being 'crafty' is the last thing on my mind, as I am up to my ears in trying to cram all of our belongings into a much-too-small house (the charity shop people love me) and I spend most of my days (almost 2 weeks after the movers have left, mind) digging through piles of things that have no place to go. It is absolutely thrilling to watch Spring come in Bath - even though I have only the tiniest of gardens in our terraced rental house, I have lots of plans! I spend about half of my time whilst walking the dog stopping to look at other people's gardens or sniffing and stroking plants and flowers that I don't recognize. I can only imagine what the neighbors think. PS - your flying pig is absolutely wonderful, and I do love the dragon wings - they were the perfect choice. x

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    1. Glad you are in your new house and gradually getting installed. One thing I find with older houses like ours is that they have very little storage. Mind you, there is always self storage in one of those pay as you go units. Still hoping that as things get a little straighter for you we will be able to find time to meet.

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  16. aargh lurking inside on the computer among too much stuff, as we have the living room and the kitchen all crammed into 2 bedrooms. Longing to get at the garden. Then get the refurbished house sorted. Afterwards I have a pile of Liberty prints and boxes of multicoloured cotton yarn - which must become something.

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    1. So much to do and how to prioritse it is always going on round here! Sounds like you have your priority list sorted.

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