Showing posts with label Granny Blanket. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Granny Blanket. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Ugly Blanket



These last months, while I’ve been working my cotton socks off, bits of coloured yarn have proven something of a lifeline. Every day for half an hour, I’ve tied one end securely to a skerrick of sanity and stitch by stitch, woven a bit of headspace back into my world.

What has become increasingly apparent, at times such as these, is that I care NOT A JOT about the ‘look’ of things. Well, hang on – I do care a very lot at the very start – and the Ugly Blanket was a planned yarny purchase. But once I’ve made that first slip knot, I couldn’t care less. It’s ONLY about the ‘make’.



Stitch stitch stitch. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.



Even though I don’t think the Ugly Blanket is as ugly as all that – SHEESH! – the name has stuck. It was coined as soon as I reached for that apricoty, pasty, naked-coloured yarn in the middle. There was a raised eyebrow from the Mr and some immediate banter concerning the exact shade of old man undies. I blue-in-the-face argued that old man undie colour is a lighter shade of beige, possibly with yellowy undertones. Right?

Regardless, the family has decreed that ‘apricoty-pasty-naked’ is a bad colour for a blanket.



Stitch stitch stitch. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Ironically, after all the family insults, when I went looking for the blanket with my camera, I found it in the kids’ cubby house. HUMPFH.

Not too ugly to be STOLEN.

I twisted arms and forced admissions. Now it’s the ‘Ugly Snuggly Blanket’. Apparently the Ugly Snuggly isn’t entirely awful.

I left it to hang out in the cubby for a very teensy while.

Ugly Blanket details over on Ravelry...






Tuesday, February 28, 2012

In a Startling Turn of Events, the Marinating Quilt is Completed and Posed on The Front Gate



Fellow craft campers, steel yourselves. In a burst of Dammit! I AM a finisher! the quilt top destined to marinate in its juices for veritable epochs (i.e. ages longer than five months), is basted, quilted and completed with a smug, handstitched binding.

Here it is, not posed on the front gate...



...



There are 560 little and littler squares of the very scrappiest scraps. I love scraps. Scraps have history.

There are bits of screenprinting history:



Inklings of ‘T is for Towel’ history:



There’s the big girl’s favourite dress history:



There’s long-time-fabric-fave history:



After I’d finished the quilt top at Camp, I gathered up most of the scrappy quilt top scraps and made a scrappy cushion cover. There are scrappy cushion cover scraps, waiting in the wings and, a bit weirdly, I sense a scrappy potholder in my destiny. (Just thinking about scrappy potholder scraps is scary).



I keep throwing the scrappy quilt in an artful, spontaneously considered fashion, over the arm of the sofa. Tragically, no one else seems to appreciate the spontaneously artfully considered. Every time I turn around, the scrappy quilt has been unceremoniously pegged to the Other Thing Which Did Take Six Epochs to Finish and morphed into another kid cubby house.



Go figure.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tongue Tied

Let’s start at the very beginning.
A very good place to start.
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi


BUT HOW DO YOU START WHEN YOU HAVEN’T BLOGGED FOR SIX WEEKS AND THERE’S A WHOLE LOT OF WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE AND EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A START IT ALL COMES OUT IN A JUMBLE AND IT’S NOT ALL BRIGHT AND SHINY SKIPPING THROUGH THE FLOWERY FIELDS AND IN FACT LIFE HAS BEEN EVERYTHING FROM DOWNRIGHT SHITTY TO JUST BLOOMING BRILLIANT AND I’M ALREADY SOUNDING LIKE A BIT OF A NUTTER AND AFTER ALL THAT GEEZ I’M A BIT EXHAUSTED AND NOT QUITE MYSELF AND HAS ANYONE SEEN MY GROOVE OR EVEN THAT SPARE BIT OF ZEN I’D PACKED AWAY FOR A RAINY DAY?

Breathe (punctuate).

Lower your voice (use lowercase).

Start at the very beginning(s).

.........................

Beginning #01
Two days after I last posted and my kid and I took her shoes on their outing, there were revelations of the startling kind. Confessions of bullying by classmates, the kind that sent the Mr and I reeling, as we finally, belatedly, truly, guiltily, comprehended the path our eldest kid has trod for the last year. The School requested our silence as they handled things and while I held my tongue and observed two adults behave like children, a grief-stricken scream built up inside me that sits, still firmly lodged in my throat.



Beginning #02
The Mr would say I achieved great bang for my knitty buck. I finished my 2ply cardi and well, there’s a lot of knitting in a 2ply cardigan but I crafted the whole affair in a smidgeon under one skein and in so doing, won a $2 bet against my eldest. Playing yarn chicken finally paid off.



Except that I chickened out halfway through and purchased the back-up skein.



Modelled, gazing-off-into-middle-distance-while-pondering-use-for-second-skein, cardigan shots pending...

Beginning #03
Christmas flew by in a flurry of typical last-minute-ness and early-morning, crack-of-dawn-ness, an unconventional surfing day, followed by a festive dinner and sleepover at friends. Lovely but without photographic evidence.

Still counting my blessings but not entirely enamoured with 2011, the New Year was welcomed with open arms. A barbecue, at home, with the usual, fabulous, visiting-from-London pals, a nice bottle of bubbles and sparklers. Ditto, (lovely) but without photographic evidence.

Beginning #04
Assuming anyone is still reading this blog-let(?) one or two of you may recall a certain angst associated with this little crocheted number. On New Years Day I made a startling and unexpected commitment to weave in all those ends. I shan’t bore you further. Here, simply, is the finished, celebratory

WOO...



...HOO!!



Do you reckon the tying up of a few million loose ends, makes for a beginning of sorts?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Here Lies One Who Loved Such a Lot but Hated to Weave in Her Ends*

For the one or two of you who may recall my enduring dislike for end-weaving-in, this post shall

drip...



drip...



drip...



with heavy irony.

On Saturday 13th August, the Powerhouse Discovery Centre is hosting an open day, themed The Handmade Revolution. There are fabulous goings-on for those interested in weaving, textiles and, well, making – not least of which involves the visiting UK artist, Shane Waltener...





You can see more of Shane Waltener’s work here (he does breathtaking things with shirring and knicker elastic and whatnot). But if you are lucky enough to live in the same city as the Powerhouse Discovery Centre, you can assist Shane in the making of REAL LIFE ART.

Dubbed the Outdoor Weave In, visitors are able to help Shane complete the work using rope, twine and foraged materials – with trees as weaving looms.

Other activities on offer, include Big Knitting (on three metre knitting needles), making ‘paper lace’, rag rug crafting, a Discovery Trail and inspiration in the form of lectures, short talks and crafty-type demonstrations.

Is this sort of thing right up your alley? If so, I HAVE TEN FAMILY PASSES TO GIVE AWAY and you should let me know quick sticks! It’s first in, best dressed – just make sure I can contact you via your comment.

Along with everyone else who does not live within spitting distance of Sydney, I am, (even given my sordid history with weaving in), stamping-my-feet in tantrummed disappointment. I have decided, that in the spirit of things, I shall spend my Saturday August 13th, stringing up the beleaguered shag pile of a granny blanket between our birch trees – sort of à la Shane Waltener. I shall host my own Outdoor Weave In.



All welcome.


.........................


* Note for my Mr:
Sweetheart, should it be me who falls off the perch before ye, then I really couldn’t think of a more fitting epitaph – unless you can come up with some sort of Spike Milligan brilliance? His I told you I was ill is a pearler.**

** For those who enjoy a useless fact:
Spike Milligan is buried at St Thomas’ Church in East Sussex, but the Chichester Diocese refused to allow his epitaph. As a compromise an Irish translation is engraved on Spike’s headstone.***

*** For those who enjoy a linguistic challenge:
The Irish translation of I told you I was ill is: Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite.****

**** For those who have linguistically given up and would prefer an approximate phonetic translation:
Doort may latt guh rev may bro-tcha. (I’m guessing this didn’t help much?).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What Colin Did Next

A couple of weeks ago, I was one very lucky bidder and won the opportunity for Colin to live at my house. He was lovingly crafted and donated by the Bear Guru, Jess, as part of the inspired Queensland Flood Relief Appeal Auctions. I know Jess well enough to understand that she has a very large soft spot for Colin and that she would like to know how Colin has been faring in his new home. Here is a photographic glimpse...

Colin has settled in supremely well, winning many hearts. He has learned to steer clear of the Carnivorous Fish and he and Camouflaged Twig have become buddies of the bosomy kind.



This is a photo taken of Colin yesterday morning, after much of the garden had puddled over and all the children had splashed and pranced about and then dripped their way through the entire house before Mummy was awake. Colin is quite a careful bear and requested that he be allowed to enjoy standing in his first puddle without any of that splashing malarkey. Colin felt quite a surge of adrenaline after standing in the puddle.



The puddle-related adrenaline surge, prompted Colin to come over quite death-defying and he thought he’d like to try a King Kong impersonation.



There was a horrified intake of breath from all at chez Myrtleandeunice, (with the exception of Carnivorous Fish who doesn’t do intakes of breath), when Colin’s death defying feat ended in disaster.



Jess, Colin and I would like you to know that everything is now fine. A wee lie down, a cup of tea with honey and a band aid, was all that was required.



After lunch, Colin felt suitably recovered for a spot of quiet thread-end-weaving-in. Some of you will understand how beside myself with joy I am that Colin enjoys thread-end-weaving-in. Colin says he should have the pesky blanket finished halfway through 2013. This is a glorious twenty seven years ahead of schedule.



Colin also indulges me with wool winding. I am careful not to push things because I can tell his arms get a little stiff.



To help restore the feeling in his arms, Colin performs a little Liberace-inspired number. He says that he would quite like a candlestick for his birthday.



Yesterday afternoon, the entire family visited the local library. Colin was allowed to borrow a book too. It wasn’t a difficult choice.



He solemnly insisted in standing in the borrowing line. The Please Queue Here sign towered above his head and a large thong (flip flop) wearing human pushed in front of him. But Colin is a determined soul.



The librarian was very nice and said that she would send Colin an email three days in advance of the return due date. This seemed to alleviate Colin’s concern over accumulating a (twenty cents per day) late fine.



When we arrived home, the Mr, who rather aspires to a bee keeping future, offered to read to Colin.



It is true that the Mr performed a small faint upon hearing the news of the winning Colin bid. This is now long-forgotten. The Mr is enamoured to have an interested household member at hand, to discuss the intricacies of bee hive construction, the therapeutic qualities of manuka honey and debate the merits of smothered-with-honey toast versus dripping-with-honey crumpet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Creative Space: The Honeymoon Period



Hand on my heart, I pledge not to shower this blog or anyone who happens past with weekly granny square updates. I promise not to inflict a stitch by stitch, end-weaving-in account so that by the time this blanket thing is finished, remaining stalwart visitors will be thinking they should have a baby to show for it.*



Just cut me this bit of slack. It’s the honeymoon period. I’m but ten squares in and that Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton has some fab colours. Whenever I can, I’m slotting in the portable craft. It killed me to leave it in the car for last night’s exhibition opening. I thought I could have looked quite arty, (albeit a bit two dimensional arty), with all those sculptor-types gesticulating about.



In the meantime, the Myrtleandeunice clan are bewildered. I have silently declared that I’m on packing-away-craft-stuff strike – it’s eating into the ‘doing’ time. Instead, I’m treating yarn stashes, cotton reels, piles of fabric etcetera, as potential home decorating notions. Little crafty vignettes keep cropping up around the house, cleverly disguised and grouped with other stuff in a vain attempt to look convincing. Here we have a little yarn vignette. That’s a spot of cheerleading typography in the background. By George! (Who is George? Anyone know who George is? And why is he always so emphatic?), This is not another non-finisher. I AM in for the long haul. I AM going to finish this thing!



* Yes, even you three male followers

PS. Pop over to Kirsty’s. I’m thinking she could probably point you in the direction of another Creative Space or two...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bad Girl



I’m heartily sick of being a good girl. So I’ve moved (further) toward the Dark Side. Last night, instead of catching up on ‘stuff’ with pressing timelines, I tuned in to ABC television for the Friday night crime, enjoyed a glass of wine and (if I knew how to do that thing with the smaller text, I’d be doing it now), started a new project.

I need a new project like a hole in the head. There are so many crafty works in progress that I’m forced to admit that I’m just not the monogamous being I thought I was. As far as the knit/sew/embroider/crochet thing goes, I’m a big hair floozy in a push-up bra and hot pants. An excellent visual image when you consider that last night I was all about the granny squares.

Which is also why I feel bad, bad to the bone. As I understand it, the whole notion of a granny square came about with the embracing of the frugal – using up all those scrappy yarn odds and ends. Problem is, a little while back, I saw the Circle-in-a-Square granny pattern at a 1/4 of an Inch and then this over at Flower Garden and had a Veruca Salt moment. I WANT ONE NOW. I WANT IT IN COTTON. If I am spending the next year of incidental, portable crafting (you wouldn’t believe how much I can fit into a week), then I WANT IT IN NICE COLOURS.



So it was, that after a tough day at work, I escaped to the Wool Baa for pure, unmitigated retail therapy. Even though I intend for this blanket to be around for a long time, for it to be woven into our family history – a permanent fixture on our living room sofa for random snuggling, evening story reading, and sneaky nana naps, I’m still feeling the guilt. Luckily it’s mainly at the start of a project that I come over all ‘just right’, uptight and colour co-ordinated. Getting toward the end, I’m really good at hit and miss and no doubt by then, there’ll still be some granny square stash-busting to be doing.