Sunday, January 29, 2012


It was sewing class yesterday and I was wondering whether I had the necessary strength after yet another stressy week during which I had managed to catch the dearly beloved's cold (thank goodness I was nice to him - it's an evil one - not just man flu!).
I went though - reasoning that if I'd struggled in to work, struggling along to sewing class seemed like the least I owed myself. It was of course the best thing to do. Filling me up with the creative energy I was lacking. I finished off the last bits of machining that needed doing on THE dress. When I find a few quiet hours and some good light for the hem and neck binding hand sewing she'll be all done. I then made up a pattern for the next project, a very simple little loose top in this beautiful fabric I brought back from my holidays last November.
We meet in a somewhat shabby old community centre but it has huge windows and all afternoon sunshine poured in. Half a dozen of us just gently sewing/pattern making/chatting away created a gentle, absorbing cocoon protecting us from the outside world and its pressures. I felt thoroughly soothed and replenished afterwards. It hasn't cured the hacking cough but for everything else it was the best medicine!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The View from Here

This morning I've enjoyed listening to Sounds of the 60s while recovering our kitchen from the wreckage of a week when I've been either at work or somewhat zombie like and the Mr came down with an evil cold.

The garden is feeling a little neglected, this view hardly gets seen during the week so it's been good to spend some time gazing out there. Many lights flitted across that view this morning but it's settled into a dreary grey that it started with. Glad to have captured that blue brightness both on film and in my body last weekend. That and a few glorious sunrises and sunsets mean that the grey isn't overwhelming.

Looking forward to a very quiet weekend looking after the patient, perhaps catching up on sewing homework for my class next weekend and of course knitting. In a week with no travel it's naturally been all about the portable project, I don't know why I ever try and pigeon hole knits. Slow mo evenings on the sofa it's just about knitting what feels right and that yarn feels so right in my fingers.

Cleaning up this morning I've felt a few of those bursts of pure happiness when you know everything is just right with your world. He and I are slovenly housekeepers but happy nesters so remembering that cleaning is a form of nesting might just keep our little haven a little more heavenly.

Overlaying the daily routines this week during what is a pressured time at work has been something wonderful to dream about. I got confirmation of my place at the first Squam retreat to take place outside of the US. Come October I'll be at SquamItalia! I'm so pleased I sent in my form but I had one of those strange struggles to give myself permission to do so. It's a luxurious indulgence and though I have the savings to pay for it it took a lot to see that I should spend that on myself. My dear sweet friend Kat and the Mr were the team that convinced me; sometimes its hard to see what's right from inside your own head. I read something someone wrote justifying the expense of Squam as a recognition that you need to pay in to your own account or when you come to draw on it there'll be nothing there. I like that. It's too easy to keep on asking myself to do more and hard to feel that it's right to take the time or money or whatever it may be to fill up the well. It's a fun and frivolous thing to do - knitting classes in Italy - what an amazing dream! - but I have no doubt it will be worth every penny and a million more. What is this serious mission that I'm on that doesn't take in every fun and frivolous activity I can get my hands on?!?

One of my classes will be Shetland Lace Explored with Gudrun Johnston, do share your favourite lace patterns with me if you feel so inclined, I've a frivolous wish list of lacy shawl patterns to construct!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Light and bright

We had a weekend of crisp winter weather here in Oxford with the bluest of skies.

Long riverside walks and lovely company made the most of the light and I felt restored and full of brightness by yesterday evening. During the working week daylight and I have a more fleeting relationship but I've filled up the stores.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Awaking from hibernation

When I got this version of Blogger (which summarises your posts in a different format) I saw that there was a draft post dated from February 2010 called Patti; it just had the text 'Patti - slowly does it' written in there and although I imagine there was going to be more to it I'm surprised I didn't just hit publish. It couldn't sum things up any more succinctly. I think she saw a little more action after that but the power of the blog shows me she wasn't touched after July that year. Looking at this, as with Summit, I truly wonder where 2011 went. Depleted craft time combined with more crochet and sewing is the answer when it comes to my knits; when it comes to my life - who knows?? Maybe the fact that I am already in denial that it's January 12th says something about the pace of things here!

Anyway this is a perfect week night piece. Plenty of gentle going stocking stitch. And I do mean plenty (hence the hiatus I guess) but it's Felted Tweed which is pure heaven to knit. It works in to this beautiful, even fabric, so picking it up 18 months on you can't see any difference due to tension change. 

We've had our ups and downs Patti and I but I think we're both ready for some knitting reinvigoration. I think this is where I stop with the revival of the WIPs for the moment. I've got a nice set of things to be getting on with and I'm hopeful that I've got the right balance to see more stitches slipping across the needles. I want to maximise the knitting time I have and to do that I think I need the right feel of piece to work on in any situation.  With a portable piece like the socks, a fun challenge like the mitts and a mile of stocking stitch to switch off with I should be set.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hamper Treat

Out from the hamper this weekend came seven dinky round balls of tweedy yarn. My sweet Mum who still makes sure my (31 year old) brother and I have a stocking couldn't understand why Santa was being asked for one ball each of seven different colours.

It was my Friday night treat to cast on the Peerie Flooers mittens. I'm loving it so far, already I can see genius in the colour selection for the cuffs (ignore the pink yarn which is the cuff lining, leftovers in softest cashmere and silk). Until I get the hang of this colourwork I think it will mainly be a weekend project as my work frazzled brain has fancied less challenging occupations these past couple of evenings. The cast on was not without its little dramas, the obligatory search for needles through my chaotic supplies and then a special treat of Panda doing her best to choke on the end of the cast on yarn she'd proudly killed! She's a constant companion for my sofa knitting adventures, sometimes more peacefully than others.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

WIP Flip

I ripped out Summit and it's been a Spring Forward sock in the beautiful Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna that has been keeping me buoyant these last few evenings. I'm not sure where it came from but I'm happy it's arrived.

I'd lost the pull to make the shawl, though I still find it hard to believe I haven't touched it for over a year. A year?! A YEAR?! Where did that go? I had to check the blog to prove beyond reasonable doubt I didn't take that holiday and start those projects in September 2011! Apparently the big thing for me and Summit was to understand how it worked. Curiosity sated, project done. Maybe the new year give me the impetus to do the ripping, it's been lurking at the back of my mind that I needed to release that yarn. The Sunna said sock this time and with a lovely pattern still to hand after the Christmas Eve bind off the path of least resistance has led to this happy state of affairs. I think I should butt out of choosing my knits more often.

There weren't many socks knit in 2011 and I'm excited to see whether I'll knit more socks this calendar year. I do like the anticipation and wonder that January brings with its fresh new page feel. No resolutions for me to fail at just good intentions to keep living by and plenty of crafty fun to have. Well other fun is also allowed.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Craft Hamper

My uncle always sends our family a hamper of delicious Christmas goodies; I stole the hamper and used it to cart my own delicious goodies around this Christmas. I was very blessed with many lovely crafty gifts and it's so nice to have them all in one place to play with. So much potential in there. Liberty fabric! Rowan Fine Tweed yarn as requested for a project I've had my eye on for a while! Lovely books! It's been cheering me up today looking in there. The back to workness of tomorrow has been playing on my mind and creating a certain gloom but I'll still have the champer to look forward to when I get home. Yippee!

I was very impressed at the amount of unrequested yarn that came my way. I think that it can be quite intimidating buying yarn for a knitter but I'm glad they got on in there. Two yarn/pattern combos were gifted and I've started both straight away to prove how appreciated they were. Hoping some positive reinforcement might provoke similar brave generosity in future!

This little bag just needs blocking and sewing up. My auntie got this whole kit for me complete with sequins and a lining. Purty!

These slipper boots may be the death of me as the Sirdar pattern is a bit of a torture to follow but it did let me knit my first ever bobbles. I'm not sure how it can be that I haven't made them for anything before but they were fun - hopefully I can keep bobbling along.
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