Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Yarn Along

Happily joining Ginny and the gang over at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along. 
Always feels great to finish something doesn't it? Just in time for Spring, I've been really enjoying wearing these. They put me in mind of another era : )
You may remember the first pair I made from this pattern. I made even more changes this time, especially with the shaping and they fit great. Slowly but surely I think I'm learning some things about how crochet really works. The learning is absolutely in the doing. I'm realising now that yes, it's really important to learn how to follow patterns, but just as important to learn to think independently about the project and be able to design a piece as you go and to understand how to make that happen. I think I need to keep a crochet project on the go now no matter what else I'm working on, just to keep those skills alive and fresh in my mind, as I seem to have a hard time retaining things, yikes!

It's been another couple of weeks where reading feels like a luxury! But I just spotted a copy of Jane Eyre in a charity shop and the wonderful painting on the cover called me ; ) So, looking forward to losing myself in that soon.
 Thank you for visiting.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Seven times around the sun

Feel like I've lost my moorings a little! January and February turned out to be unexpectedly busy. Lots of important things that needed attention have taken me away. Thank goodness for small projects for I have been beavering away through trips and hecticness. This morning, home again and  faced with having fallen way behind on the domestic front, I decided(as I am wont to do) that all that could wait, and instead I needed to come here to share some of the special happenings from these past weeks : )

Something about painting came up in conversation recently with smallie, and he said 'I never paint, you don't let me'. Gulp. While pondering whether this was true, instant inspiration came as to what to give him for his upcoming birthday. I'm not a huge fan of kids paints I've got to say, or kids brushes, or the massive clean up job afterwards. I passed that aisle in our local arts supplies shop and headed for the artists paintboxes, brushes and watercolor pads, not so expensive after all.

The morning of his birthday, not yet dressed for the day, with breakfast barely over and his packages just opened, he began to paint. There was something wonderful in the air around it.
 We are both loving this little set, easily packed in his small backpack to Nana and Papa's last weekend and its getting daily, totally independent use. Sometimes we paint together. That this little prince of my heart would be the hand that beckons me finally back to painting seems precious and only in-keeping with the quiet magic he has always brought.

He wished for a cycling day to a special, favourite spot with a castle for his birthday. 
A single rotation of my bicycle wheel under the canopy of trees and I instantly felt revived, we all did. 
 The problem with all this crafting I've been focused on is it has me firmly planted on my derriere. Not good.
I was also reminded of how I miss the movement and air of my pre-driving days.
For smallie and his dear friend that day was all about the bikes and balloons, binoculars and bubbles and perhaps most exciting of all... doing skids ; )

 By the end of that day I also realised that ouch, I so need to felt me a saddle cover!

A lovely friend and fellow fibre-artist Linda Grant came to visit, always a lively exchange of ideas and enthusiasm between us. She'd been telling me about Peg looms and the lovely rhythmical nature of the craft for students. Hearing her tell of it inspired me get a simple one for the handwork room at school and she kindly walked me through the basics. I've been reading in a Steiner publication that the gesture of weaving is akin to breathing... Love that.

 I (happily) seem to be surrounded by people whom when I say 'I'd really like to get one of those', respond with 'you could easily make one of those' or 'I could make that' and I often end up grumbling under my breath. Because...really? We simply can't make everything, not with all the other things we need to do on the average day. And yes, I too cherish the idea of settling into a handmade chair with a handstitched blanket and drinking out of our own pottery mugs. Yet ultimately I'm a realist, with my feet on the ground and I'm ever more aware of time and what we can honestly and fairly expect to do and get done while also working (some of us two jobs!) outside the home. 
All this, a pre amble to what smallie did when he noticed me trying my hand at weaving on the new loom. Without saying a word, he dug out a block of wood he's held onto for a long time. Found some discarded colouring pencils that were surplus to requirements and on their way out, in a charity bag by the door.
I said nothing... just quietly reached for my camera and watched.

He set to work, weaving away beside me. Just. Like. That.

...These are the things I want to remember : )

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Yarn Along

Writing this on Valentines day, allow me to get carried away..?
I'm happily joining Ginny and the gang over at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.
I've been crocheting cords for these heart necklaces, trying them out before making them with the children at school, a simple project to introduce them to the notion of stuffing and sewing, we put lavender inside with the fleece, they love the smell : )
 I've also been looking at heart and flower patterns trying to find simple ones, to use for decorating hats and other accessories...more on this later.

I was looking in the library some weeks ago for a novel to get stuck into, knowing I had a couple of trips coming up. I loved Anne Tyler's 'Breathing Lessons', so thought I'd try another by her. This one is The Amateur Marriage. Always refreshing to read a candid portrait of a long-term relationship. Loving the recurring  image at the beginning of this book, of the striking young woman in the red coat in the otherwise grey world of the Polish quarter of Baltimore...

Thank you for stopping by, I look forward to checking out your reads and your stitching : ) M

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Yarn Along

Happily joining Ginny and the gang over at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.
So, making Granny Squares is a great way to get back in to crochet, right? But the mere thought of making a blanket right now or heck, even a cushion cover is more than I can bear ; )
So pin cushions it is. For now.
Small is Beautiful these days.

I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's collection of stories Homeland. I loved reading her novels; The bean trees, Pigs in Heaven and Prodigal Summer when I was younger. I was curious to see what her short stories were like. I just read one called Quality Time....I do love stories about the real life experience of motherhood. 
The mama in this story is thinking back over the idealistic ideas and intentions she held about parenting when she was pregnant. This line has stayed with me:
 ' Now she understands. Parenting is something that happens mostly while you're thinking of something else.' 
...Love the honesty in her storytelling : )

Looking forward to seeing what y'all are stitching and reading out there. Great to have you stopping by. M x