Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Entertaining Mr Trebus

The ghost of Mr Trebus lives on. Through me!* This time, it's worse than just a routine root in a charity shop with the resulting hoard of fashion-backward fabric. It's the irresistible urge to collect bits of stuff off the ground.


Some of these china shards (sounds perfectly acceptable if you say, "china shards", doesn't it? Almost curatorial) come from the knee-grazing slag-heaps of Stoke-on-Trent but most of the stuff hails from our garden, or from walks with the dog (who has perfected a withering look for such lowly activities as china-hunting). In order to justify this weird behaviour I tell myself that I am scrabbling around in the dirt and putting bits of it in my pockets in order to make something like this:


It's a Table Mosaic, by the amazing Candace Bahouth. Do have a quick look at her website, if only to see the fantastic mosaic shoes she made...One day I'll be able to retreat to my mosaic-covered grotto in my own china-encrusted shoes, shouting blue (and white?) obscenities at the council officials knocking at my door waving their notices...*sigh*.

I was playing with pots of a different kind at the weekend. This is completely out of character as usually the only time I do anything that could be described as gardening is when I run out across the lawn shouting and waving at the dog to stop eating Mr Yaffle's plants.


They didn't come with instructions, but I suppose that if I a) remember to water them and b) remember where I've hidden them so I can water them, I should have some hyacinths by the spring. Or earlier. Or the whole exercise might just turn out to be an extremely fancy way of rotting some bulbs. At least I can cover the pots in bits of broken china while I'm waiting.

*and a number of other crafters, for certain!

Monday, 22 September 2008

Nip and tuck

Have a look at the Wardrobe Refashion blog. I think I stumbled upon this via Needled's blog (let it not be said that I spend all my time reading blogs! Nay!) and it's a great idea. You take a pledge to stop buying new clothes, and instead repair, re-fashion or just poke more holes in clothes that are languishing in your wardrobe or that have been 'pre-loved'. I'm starting with these second hand things which have been sitting in my Mending Pile of Doom* for a while now.


From top to bottom: untidy skirt; broken skirt; shapeless sack of a dress. In the case of the sack-dress: I couldn't resist the fabric. Love the fabric, don't suit the dress. But I thought I'd get it anyway and see if leaving it on a pile with other, ill-behaved fashion objects would make it think about changing its ways.

After, oh, about six months, this hasn't happened, so I'm going to make a belt from some ribbon, and nip it in a little bit to make it look like I'm not 4 months pregnant back and front. Which is what it looks like at the moment. With any luck I might end up looking like I'm wearing a cassock instead. This just in from Vague Magazine: "Cassocks are the latest news in separates this year! Clerical is just the hottest look for AW/08! You need a key piece like a surplice (try this one from Reiss, £399) to accent your look, or if you want the ultimate in ecclesiastical, snap up an embroidered chasuble (this one from Whistles, £429), and ensure you're the high priestess of fashion this season!"

The skirts just need a bit of TLC where the previous owners have spilt things on them (red wine? paint? hmm, I'm getting notes of creosote from this stain) and/or trodden on their hems and the seams have come away. Easy, right? Won't take six months? The best mending job ever? You've got it! If you spot some ecclesiastical-looking vestments in your local charity shop in the next few months, you know where they have come from.

*abandon hope all ye who enter here...

Saturday, 20 September 2008

No sense of UGH!

Oh dear. I've been rummaging around the charity shops again.



I seem to lose all sense of 'UGH' when I go in there though. I mean, look at this.


It's an UGH, right? But behold! Add Photoshop electrickery and ugh becomes...


...a bit less ugh? I couldn't resist buying it though. It's the ugh-blind bit of my brain. That same part of my brain which says 'one day, the boffins will invent Real Life Fabric Photoshop and then I CAN change the colour! and world fabric domination will be mine!' (Seriously, there's a bit of my brain that is rattling about saying things like that. The nurses say I should take meds to stop it, but why bother when you can have so much fun?). And so it is that I now have a fabric stash (yarn stash later. Trust me, that is just too upsetting pre-watershed) ...which looks like this:


In the spirit of Felix's Messy Tuesdays concept, here's my Messy Saturday. Except it's like this Monday to Sunday. I've tried being tidy and ordered, but it goes against all my instincts. I like to see fabric in its natural state, not in ironed piles inside a cruel duck-egg-blue cage! Orderly bores me. As would ironing the sodding lot of it, too. So there it is. Can I find stuff? Yep, course I can, it's in here somewhere! Is it an ugh you're after? No, wait, don't go, come back! I know it's here somewhere, honest! Wait a minute, I know it's here...

Friday, 19 September 2008


By popular request... in the spirit of Lolcats and LolVogue here comes Lolknits. There's more where this came from. It deserves a whole blog to itself really. Oh, come on, it was asking for it. Srsly.







Thursday, 18 September 2008

Cabling. Ur doin it wrong.

I've become well-acquainted with my charming inner knitter this week. I've been knitting this lovely hat which features lots of cables. Lots.


My inner knitter is having a good go at making this hat, despite all the odds stacked against her.  My imagined knitting self is a glamorous, fashionable woman whose elaborate, yet easily-cabled hand-knits make people swoon when she walks past. "Oh, this old thing? Whipped it up it in a day!" In reality, my inner knitter is actually Julie Walters in this sketch. "Two Purls? right away, sir. Cables? I'll just go and check...um...nope...I've forgotten." Honestly, I can't hold a pattern repeat in my head. If it says p2, C4B, p2, you can bet your life I'll go and p3, C4F, p5. And that's on a good day.

An evening's hat-knitting chez Yaffle goes something like this:
7pm purl, knit, purl, cable etc, drop stitch.
7.05 in fixing dropped stitch, realise there are other errors further back, go and fix those.
7.35 chuck dog, blankets, throws, cushions, knitting and self off sofa in attempt to find cable needle.
7.50 go upstairs to find alternative cable needle.
8.00 go back downstairs and put sofa back together. P2, cable a bit, p4. cable some more, purl, cable.
8.05 get glass of wine.
8.15 woohoo, look at me, I'm cabling! this is so easy. p2, cable, p2, cable, p3, cable, p2, cable, p5, look I am cabling like never before, just look at me! I could do speed cabling, me, I am great!
8.35 top up wine glass to celebrate. This cabling malarkey is hilarious.
8.40 start new round, purls and knits. Easy.
8.45 hmm, the purls and knits don't seem to be matching up here. hmmm. what happens if I knit 2 together, ah that's better, that matches up. purl, knit etc, whoa, that's not matching up either. Hang on.
8.50 look at progress. weep.
9.00 pour more wine and un-knit previous four rows.
9.05 get dog, blankets, throws, cushions, knitting and self off sofa in attempt to find cable needle.
9.10 find two cable needles, a pound coin from Gibraltar and an old rawhide bone chew. Put chew in knitting bag and give dog a cable needle.
9.15 put dog, blankets and cushions back on sofa. find knitting partly unravelled underneath a cushion.
9.20 Despise knitting. Howl. Laugh maniacally. Weep. Stuff knitting down side of sofa cushions.

Can't wait for this evening's instalment. Personally I'm hoping for more loot from down the side of the sofa (as is the dog!).

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Fun, with added procrastination!

When Knitter's or Spinner's Block (or any other kind of Block for that matter) takes hold, fear not! Try making a Wordle. Nothing will be as important for the rest of the day. Here's one I made earlier. I'm upset by the prevalence of the word 'sausages' - I had some airy notion that I was more erudite than that. But if tubes of processed meat is where my career's headed, so be it...thousands of clever talking dogs could be thinking the same?