There have been some surprises as I never expected to find myself pulling out the needles and thread to start on some home furnishings and accessories.
Nevertheless, after coming across a book called 'The Gentle Art of Stitching' by Jane Brocket I found myself cross-stitching an alphabet sampler (destination - the new living room walls?) and working some Kantha stitching into making a pair of large-scale patchwork curtains. I never thought I would be doing either cross-stitch or embroidery. It's made me think that there are so many avenues to be explored, if you love all things fibre and textile related, and getting diverted is all too easy. How easily are you diverted? Do you have strategies for keeping yourself on track? Or, do you say 'hang it, I'm doing this now'.
Still, there are projects a-plenty to finish and other ambitions lurk. There is so much to explore in the world of knitting, like Fair Isle, Shetland lace and Scandinavian knitting. I'm drawn by the rich culture, evoking wind-swept remote places. I don't live anywhere like this, so is this armchair travel by knitting? The fiddliness involved might try my patience though. Start small with these, that's my tack. Swatching might be all that I can manage for now.
|Coloured Ryeland sheep|
Then there's the art of the small knitting project, so handy for using up the yarn stash. The yarn/fabric stash is something that has been sitting upstairs in the loft and squeezed into drawers around the place, niggling at my conscience. Coming across an article in the paper about The family who bought nothing new for a year brings 'the stash' into focus again. Just when I think 'maybe I'll get some yarn and knit up that jumper pattern I like', the voice of reason says 'but you've got enough unused yarn and fabric to make a whole new wardrobe of clothes and accessories, for you, Mr L and friends, no problem! I've come across the call to Buy nothing new for a year before, and marvel at everyone who achieves it. I'm not sure I could commit to buying nothing new this year, but I could seriously challenge myself to use what I have and delve again into that stash.
Added to that, I've developed an obsession for making something from scratch. From the fleece on the back of sheep in the field to a finished woolly (knitted or crocheted), from a flax crop in a field to a piece of linen cloth. Where does the desire for the complete process come from? All the washing, carding, spinning, dyeing, harvesting, bashing, (breaking), heckling ....I really don't know. Perhaps it is the delving into a lifestyle; one that has shrunk from being a central part of daily life to being, mostly, a hobby for a few (at least in this part of the world).
Blogs - I have had so much entertainment, and learnt so much. I could spend hours at any one time. And then there are podcasts. I have recently discovered Electric Sheep from Hoxton Handmade, which to me, has the soothing, relaxed feel of Radio 4. I'm awaiting the next one. Last, but not least, I have been on Pinterest. It started with sorting out some ideas for the house and has grown. Find me on Pinterest as Liz at In Stitches Daily. Here's to 2014....