Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Blessing for the Impatient: Sewn Wool Socks

A long time ago I tried to knit socks. It was an enthusiastic beginning - the class was thoroughly enjoyable, and I learned a new skill. And then pfththhthth...

Those who knit habitually fill me with awe. It remains a little like magic to me.

So what to do about socks, then? Lovely, hand-knit wool socks are frankly out of our price range, and yet there is nothing better. And I would love a pair that go up to my knees, or ones that I can fold over the tops of my rainboots. Ooooo, Ahhhhh....

And then I found someone who had done sewn socks! And they looked, well, normal!

So before solstice, Safiya and I spent a day wrangling the pattern, as it really needs a custom fit to not look schleppy. We wanted snappy, not schleppy. We used an old work sock for a basic pattern (the link above has links to a couple of places for tutorials/patterns). I put my foot through a couple of test runs because the lightly felted merino I was using wasn't in balance with the snug fit I was attempting. So I loosened the fit, switched to a different felt with a little less give, and TA-DA!

Mr. S.'s Solstice present.


I'll be making more of those.....

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Dolmade Effect

I have a new lens for my camera. Don't you love the effect?

You may have noticed it in my previous post, as well. Unfortunately that lovely haze wears off. Actually, fortunately that lovely haze is wearing off, because it's the oily dressing from the dolmades that I stuffed into my bag before we went to the art gallery, thinking "I'm sure that will stay level."

Food and electronics don't mix.

Actually, they shouldn't let me have electronics, but there you are. Enjoy while it lasts!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Gap

It's been nine months since my last couple of posts. And before that little bit last April, there was a gap of almost a year.

I've figured it out. You see, I read other people's blogs and they have babies and there are pictures of them (the babies) sleeping on their (the parent's) lap and the person is knitting. And they say things like "I just can't help it - I have to do something creative every day." They live creative lives.

I don't ask myself how. That I know: there is no such thing as super-mom, -dad, -whoever. You trade what you want for what you can do. Baby got new hand-knit socks, but I'm not even going to think about posting a picture of the giant dust bunnies under the bed who will stealthily come out at night and eat said socks. Right? (Everyone nod in recognition :)

However, I have asked myself why. As in, why don't I? Apart from hectic last-minute hours of sewing presents, I've barely stepped foot in the studio. Granted, half the time the past year-and-a-half it was full of crap from our floor renovation, but it's not like I went down into the depths to retrieve my sewing because, you know, I needed to make something. Apparently I don't. And this made me feel less of a crafter, less....genuine.

I've gotten over it :)

And that's 'cause I've figured it out. Mr. S.'s Nana (who sadly passed away almost a year ago) said of me, before Safiya was born, that I was going to be a mother "like a hen to baby chicks". I had no idea what she meant. I was hoping it was a compliment, but I could tell by her tone that it wasn't, not exactly. It's taken me a while, but I get it now.

Have you ever tried to take a chick away from a hen? Hens are vicious. And it's true, I'm that kind of protective and watchful over my children. But you know what else? That's all hens do. They eat and they take care of their chicks. And that's me. All my energy, creative or otherwise, goes into my baby. And that's just the way it is.

Until one day the desire comes back. That restless feeling starts. Fabric bins are sorted for no other reason than to feel the fabric and see the wonderful colours.

The last time that happened was the beginning of this space five years ago: Valentine's Day, 2007. Safiya was two-and-a-half years old.

Zinadine's almost two. So if you see the odd sight of a hen clucking down the road, needle in hand (wing?), a cloud of fabric scraps trailing after her, don't worry, it's just me, flying the coop :)