Monday, 17 October 2011

A square-free zone

During the summer I made great progress on a quilt I'd had in mind for a while. It started life as a piece of unfinished patchwork I found in a second-hand shop years ago. I loved the vintage fabric in the patchwork, and couldn't bear to cut it into pieces, so it stayed as a metre-long (ish) piece and I left it in a cupboard for years, not knowing quite what to do with it. It sometimes got lucky enough for an outing, where I'd stare at it thoughtfully, admire the 70s patterns, fold it up and put it back. And there it sat, waiting for the muse to arrive (on the number 76 bus I think, that's usually how it arrives).

This is part of the original bit of patchwork. It's equipped with a charming degree of wonkiness! Whoever made it struggled with the different weights of fabric and in trying to get the seams to match up. Or, well, who knows, maybe the person didn't struggle - they just didn't give a hoot! anyway. Back to the story. The muse got off the 76 bus, walked down the lane, into the house and slapped me roundly about the chops whilst proclaiming "you should make a quilt in the style of the original bit of fabric! Equipped with a degree of wonk!" It was like a quilter's game of Whose Line is it Anyway. A quilt in the style of.......a wonky quilt! So about it I went. And after a few days of slicing and dicing, I had this.

Well, that's part of it. It's about double bed size. I haven't finished the quilting yet. I've decided upon a scribbly circle for the quilting, I think you can see a bit of it in this...

How I love those vintage bits of fabric! I tried to keep within the theme of the original with the colours and 70s styles. I put in old shirts, skirts, sheets, duvet covers, old aprons, in fact any old bits of  vintage fabric I'd been collecting over the years. Not that it's made much of a dent in the shameful stash! To make up the size I slipped in a couple of new fat quarters too.

As you can see, I haven't bothered about lining up the seams. I wanted it to be totally randomly pieced. I didn't want matching perfect squares or lined-up lengths. I love working without a plan or a sketch! (possibly why I don't get on with knitting patterns...). So that's how it turned out. The scribbly quilting needs finishing, then it needs binding (urgh). But I'm nearly there. And here's the ultimate test: does the dog like it?

I think that's a yes!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Non-wonky knitting!

After showing you the horror of my sock knitting the other day, (hahah, there really ought to be a 'Real People' style magazine for my knitted horrors... I could fill it with tales such as 'Evil Twin Knitted Sock Ruined My Life!",  "I Knitted Some Socks Without Knowing I was Knitting!", "I Left My Knitting in the Lurch!", "I Knitted a Jumper With Three Arms and no Neck!" "Double Pointed Drama at 30,000 Feet!" etc) I thought I'd share a success story. Aaaw. Everyone loves a happy ending, right?!

This is another one of those Nearly Finished objects! Just the one sleeve to go. Here's hoping I manage to get the sleeves the same length. After all, there's no hiding the dodgy sleeve inside a wellington boot (, wait, even I can't carry that off as a fashion statement) The pattern is Cadence and I've managed to knit this far in about a fortnight, which is unheard of for me. It's knitted in Sirdar Bonus Aran, in a rather fetching shade of purple. For me, of course! It's not blocked or anything (not sure I'll bother as I have no patience) but it's meant to be an off-the-shoulder number so the yoke looks a bit more like this when it's on.

The funniest thing about this though, I think, is the size of the ball of yarn. It's a hilariously huge 400g ball! I feel like Dougal in Father Ted. Near, Far Away, Near...etc...

So if you happen to read the headline "I was Savaged by Huge Ball of Yarn!" in the knitting edition of Real People...well, that'll be me...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Object in Nearly Finished shocker


Oooh, a Nearly Finished Object. Rare in this house, let me tell you. Well, I started it a while back but in a late-night frenzy, I decided to chip the entire design off the bath and start again. Insanity!! After lots of swearing, banging, crashing and regret (regret isn't quite as noisy so my husband didn't mind that one), it metamorphosed into this.

Had to do a bit of a David Hockney to get the photo to show properly because it's a curved bath and the design is too big for my lens! I've no idea how many square feet I've covered, but it's a lot. About a squillion trillion, something like that. I think you can see it on Google Earth. Anyway, it's all done bar the grouting. (sorry).

I'm going to make up a cobalt or turquoise grout for it, as I'm not keen on white. There's no getting up late at night to rip it out once the grouting's done though so I've been taking my time deciding (well, that's my excuse for not quite finishing anyway. I haven't finished the grouting in the kitchen on the plain square tiles either. ahem).


This is one of my favourite bits. It's like a puzzle - there are lots of little motifs I've cut out that take some finding in the general mêlée of the design. I've been really lucky in scoring shards - Polly Polkadot's mum has been very kind in collecting bits and pieces for me when she has been digging over her allotment (thanks Gill!!)! A lot of the mosaic has been found in the ground or in the river, but I did have to do some in-filling with 'new' plates and cups found at car boot sales and charity shops. I prefer the 'found' bits though as they have more character.

Now that my bath is officially a Nearly Finished Object, I'd better go and get some more objects to nearly finish...!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Why I don't knit socks for anyone else...

Because this happens when I knit socks. In fact, I don't think I own a pair that aren't in some way, er, wonky. Or saggy. Or impossible to get on. Or unfinished. So I tend to make them just for myself (to hide inside my dog-walking wellies) or for my husband (to hide completely and pretend he loves them really). I love knitting them though...and surely that's the point...? I wouldn't embarrass you by giving you a pair for Christmas though. Or would I? Ha!!

In other news: blog neglect! Sorry for not being around during the summer. Thanks for all your comments - hello to Lou, Picto, Helen and CrazyJane - some of you I think popped over from Polly Polkadot to say hello and some of you from Pinterest (love your pins, CrazyJane!!) thank you for reading! - and sorry for my absence. Been so busy dyeing, seeking out new yarn for the shop (exciting times, stay tuned folks) knitting bad socks, etc etc. And of course the biggest time-stealer of all (aside from pinterest, haha) is this:

Ironing the dog. No...I mean, just the dog! Love how she picks the clean clothes/ironing basket to sit in though...typical pet behaviour I think!