Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Project Study-o

It seems that I have been unsuccessful in claiming the study in our new house as my own. Instead, my husband has staked his claim on the space by acquiring a giant familial desk to take pride of place in the coveted near-the-window spot. It is a rather beautiful thing though, in all its red-leather-topped loveliness, and my giving him a retro desk lamp for Christmas has been a tacit acknowledgment that the space is to be shared. So instead of a 'studio', we've ended up with a rather chimeric 'study-o', which on the whole probably suits a couple composed of a mathematician and arts and languages type.

I have won some battles along the way, like the glass-fronted narrow billy bookcases to organise my fabric and yarn stash (the husband had wanted a deep cupboard to house the children's boardgames, which was one erosion of my space too far). I've also insisted that this time around, my wooden thread storage rack will be hung up straight rather than at a queasy angle (I'm picky like that). There are the lovely Ferm living scissor wall decals that I really really want but can't quite justify; I'll maybe get away with them if I promise not to use them to cut all his things out of the study-o. I have completely vetoed the idea of a filing cabinet - I don't think so!!

Study-o in progress

- bad, I know, but it's work in progress and definitely better than it was. Eventually, it will of course look like the beautiful workspaces I've been busy collecting over on pinterest.

It's taking shape, the study-o, but like most things here, that progress comes at a snail's pace. I'm not sure why really, when I have the two helping hands of this little miss by day (and often by night too).

Ribbon organisation
Self-appointed ribbon sorter

Button love
Chief button organiser

She has also proved to be a very effective random scrap vomit generator. I can honestly say that I had no artistic control over the way the multicoloured scraps were assembled in this quilt top as she delighted in throwing my nicely-organised pieced strips around like a lottery winner tossing piles of cash in the air.

Scrap vomit quilt top

Please excuse the general carnage. My husband dubbed the quilt top 'organised chaos'; I like the way that references the general mood around here.

In other news, I have now enabled threaded comments on my blog, so hurrah for being able to reply to everyone beneath the post itself as I've long been frustrated by blogger witholding email addresses so that I can't say hello when someone comments. So please do say hello, and I'll say hello back.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Knits and stitches 2011

I still make things, just not half as much as I used to. Looking back on 2011, though, there was a bit more making than I realised, in between the house-hunting and house-selling, as well as all the stresses and strains of a relocation with 3 small children in tow.

In costume, there was 1 don't-look-too-closely felt Paddington hat, 1 Mildred Hubble school tie and sash, 1 Victorian smock, 1 WW2 evacuee's cap and gas mask, and a Bethlehem villager's get up. You'll have to trust me on this one, though the costumes were pretty shoddily thrown together at top speed, I may be biased but I think the cuteness of my children more than compensated for it!

For my little family, there was an attempt to be less of a slummy mummy by making an apple print pram liner, and a couple of outfits for my daughter's Corolle Les Cheries doll.

dolls' clothes and pram liner

There were even two handmade baby quilts as gifts for my friend's new baby and my new nephew. I loved making the orange and pink zig-zag quilt, acquiring a new love of orange fabrics in the process.

zig-zag baby quilt in bright oranges and pinks

The nephew quilt was finished and belatedly gifted to its recipient just before Christmas when at long last I managed to unpack my sewing machine and clear a space amidst the boxes in the study to sew! I used some of the same fabrics as I used in my own boy's quilt, adding some new ones into the mix, and backing it with some lovely soft brushed cotton fabric from Cath Kidston.

Baby nephew quilt
baby nephew quilt

And my first project of 2012 is already underway as I'm getting another new nephew in the Spring when my sister's first baby is due. Today the fabrics were ordered and I can't wait to get started.

And in the hall of unfinished shame, we have one baby quilt top and the scrap vomit quilt I started back in May. I'm so nearly there with the scrap vomit now, well, with piecing the top anyway, just waiting for a spool of cotton thread sent to my old address and I'm away! But in the meantime, here's evidence that the B blocks are in progress, though I've departed from the pattern here and gone for what will hopefully be a pattern of diamonds interlinking across the quilt in dark grey solid cotton ... which may or may not turn out to be a terrible mistake.

Scrap vomit B block

There was also a sole knitted project, but as it was start to finish in moss stitch I'm counting it as three (let's overlook its miniature size!).

Mossy cardigan
Pattern: Lucky by Kim Hargreaves
full details on Ravelry

I got over the pain of the moss stitch by knitting continental style, which I heartily recommend, as otherwise I think my hands would have ended up as gnarled claws in the process (knitting British-style does not favour moss stitch as it's about as inefficient a movement as you could get switching from knit to purl). I finished this one whilst watching Prof Brian Cox's A Night with the Stars before Christmas. Ok, so the maths bit was a bit of a stretch for me (and I have a gloaty mathematician of a husband to make this abundantly clear) but as far as I'm concerned, lining a handknit jacket with quilting cotton is as near as damnit to quantum physics. Stretchy knitting versus tightly woven cotton, the whole inside out/right side in thing. I'm so pleased with the end result, and my little nephew looks gorgeous in it!

And as for 2012? My stitching resolve is firm, and I intend to have a much more productive year.
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