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Frantically knitting August 10, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall, Craftiness, Knitting, Sewing.

I’ve spent the last few days knitting like it’s going out of fashion.  I’m afraid I can’t tell you what I’m knitting, it’s a secret at present, but I’ve set myself a deadline of Saturday to have it finished.  As things stand, then, I’ve spent a fair bit of time with a calculator having ideas and muttering to myself.  A deadline of just over a week is really, really daunting, even if the things I’m making are quite small, but I’m glad I’m doing it.  I feel like I’m pushing myself a bit here.

I also have a question for you – if you don’t mind helping me.  If you were to happen, for instance, to be browsing a hypothetical online market of handmade odds and sods, and you were to come across a rather lovely tote bag to the tune of this, only rather better ironed/photographed/with buttons sewn in the gaps:

or, indeed, a little more topically for today, this:

…would you be interested in having one for your very own?  And at what sort of price would you make a mental note to remember it for the birthdays of some of your more arty friends?

Just hypothetically, you understand.  I really haven’t decided if it’s too much effort while I’m a finalist.

There’s a high-ish chance I’m going to keep the one with the umbrella on it for myself because I love it so much.  Also, it’s a bit smudged.  But mainly because I love it.

Dad and I are going to Arran in Scotland next week – hurrah!  I am counting down the days.  There will be good food and better walks and it’s going to be fantastic.  I will try and wrestle his camera before then, because I know I keep meaning to post all sorts of pictures of things and failing utterly to do so.


Waving July 30, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Craftiness, Knitting, Lovely people, Really good day, Sewing.

Yes, I know, I’ve been terrible at keeping in touch, recently.  I’ve been working practically full time for the last few weeks, plus attempting to tackle a bit of the reading list for my dissertation, and have a massive clear-out of my room, and I’m too shattered to do much else at the moment.  Perhaps surprisingly, the clear-out is stressing me out more than either of the others.  My theory is that it’s because I’m a pack-rat by nature, I hate chucking anything away and quite frankly, there’s a lot to go.  Plus I can only do it basically one day a week because I’m out at work or hiding in libraries miscellaneous the rest of the time, so right now everything’s just sat there, and you can’t see any floor space, and there’s nowhere to put it all, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away.

In other news, I’ve cut about seven or eight inches off my hair, so it’s now ust below my shoulders and actually looking tidy, and I’ve started using my sewing machine with varying degrees of success.  My first impressions of this are that it’s a whole lot faster than knitting (I made a skirt! in about three hours!  After knitting, I can’t quite grasp in my own head how this is even possible), and also a whole lot less easily reversible.  The unpicker and I are becoming very good friends, and my vocabulary has been substantially fruitier the last week or so.

My crush on Marcus Brigstocke has reached new and previously unexpected heights after seeing him play King Arthur in Spamalot on Tuesday.  The musical itself was good fun – although I preferred the new bits to most of the scenes lifted directly from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, probably because the latter were done so well first time round.  Having said this, Marcus Brigstocke playing King Arthur could probably only have been improved for me were he wearing handknitted socks, and holding a creme brulee and two spoons.  I’m so Radio Four.

I was at Knit Nation today for a few hours – and it was fantastic, exactly as expected.  Also as expected, exactly like I Knit last year, this time I have promised myself that next time I will actually take a workshop, and bring a friend.  It’s a little bit overwhelming wandering around yarn marketplaces by oneself, and I totally failed to organise in advance to meet anyone from Ravelry.  I shall continue to lament that although I know people who knit in real life, for the most part they only really do it because I showed them how, and I can’t really compare exciting patterns and yarns and techniques with them because they never really have any of their own.  Everything’s just so different on the internet, isn’t it?

Speaking of exciting things in the marketplace, I had been looking around for approaching five minutes, when I happened upon a very large, and slightly militant crowd getting overexcited about some eye-wateringly bright yarn.  Good thing I turned up early, ladies and gentlemen, for I have Wollmeise:

The more I play with it, the more I see what some of the hype is all about, although I imagine I shan’t be joining the ranks of the stashers and Ebay-scourers.  People were grabbing armfuls of the stuff, though!  It was mad.  But I got my skein of Lacegarn, and spent about twice as much on it than on any single skein of yarn I’ve ever bought in my life, so I suppose I can’t really talk.  It’s blue.  By which I mean bright vibrant turquoise, and probably more blue than every blue thing I own put together.  And squooshy.  And it smells nice.  These things are important.

It’s going to be a cardigan.  And I’m not going to use a patten.  It’s going to be terrifying.

I also spent the requisite amount of time stroking Ysolda‘s samples, and trying to decide whether it’d be impossible to knit Vivian for NaKniSweMo in November (I’m currently erring on the side of OMG all the moss stitch, I’d better finish it in a month or I’d never want to touch the damned thing again).  AND, and and and, I managed to bag myself a copy of Woolly Wormhead’s new book – the last copy she had brought with her.  And she was lovely and chatty and signed it for me and absolutely no fangirling occurred. Definitely not.  It’s just nice to meet these people in real life and discover they’re just as excellent as you’d hoped.

I discovered an article on Handmade and Fabulous today about why handmade things are just so special and thought I’d share.  I’m a student, I have as little income as the next student, and I still buy free range eggs and handmade things still make me happy, and this just articulated a bit of that for me.  What I would add as my reason for loving handmade, though, is the same reason a lot of knitting makes me happy.  A lot of people are probably of the opinion that I don’t really do fashion, that I’m not really interested.  I am interested, it’s just from a totally different angle.  A lot of fashion today is about how things look: it’s about the finished product and how it all looks together and moves together and works as a completed entity – and that’s wonderful, that really is, but I am far more interested in the process.  The choosing of the fabrics, the thought process and engineering that goes into putting something together.  I am a process knitter.  I think buying things that are handmade is wonderful because it puts you so much more in touch with the process, and while some people are more interested in the product, and so much better at understanding the product than I am, for me the process is what it’s all about.

…Well, that was a lot of odds and sods.  I’ve been saving it for you, you know.