Stitching and knitting my way through the months. It keeps the November fog and mist and the brain fog at bay. Keeping occupied is often the best way to combat the winter blues. Make the best of those infrequent blue skies and get out and walk. When it is dreary, sit indoors and dream with a bit of stitching and knitting.
Hand Stitching The Patchwork Jacket
The jacket took a huge leap this week. Not only did I stitch through the pain of sciatica, when I could and finish the back of the jacket, but I got the front cut and sandwiched. It took me two days because of the sciatica, but I am there at last and ready to start my running stitches. This is usually my evening activity whilst watching a film or series. I am pretty sure at this point, that this is going to be sleeveless. In fact, I tried it on today and was rather surprised that it is quite weighty.
With my leftover yarn, I like to knit hats. If you follow me, you will be aware that I notched up over 20 hats a couple of years ago and a fw have been added since. Two days ago, I started knitting up hats with my leftover 4 ply pure Falcon Wool from the late 70s. I made two hats in two days. I cast on the third last night and thought wow, this will use it all up, then this morning I found three more balls. Oh well, I guess it will be four hats in total this time around. See the knitting patterns on Ravelry
New series of ebooks for launch
Very shortly I shall be launching the first in a new series of ebooks, that provide resources, ideas and inspiration plus projects for all textile artists, based on historical themes. This will be my 50th ebook. You can see the full range here on the website
My work life seems to happen in threes. This week it has been new knitting patterns, hand stitching and writing. I like to change tasks to help allay the pain that occurs particularly in my right arm and my neck. I find rotating what I am doing helps. A bit like crop rotation, or maybe not.
Hand Knitting Patterns
If you know my knitting, you’ll know that I like to have a project on the go. This is the final one of three in this yarn, although I have a bit of leftover yarn and will do something with that. There is a long and short version of this sweater with and without a peplum. I am slowly adding all my knitting patterns from the last 30 years to Ravelry.
Hand Stitching and Quilting
I am losing track of when I started this hand stitched jacket, but it is fun to pick up of an evening, when I remember and do a few rows. The hand quilting is not as even nor straight as I would like but it is all hand stitched and I am not a machine. I hold the fabric in my hands not in a frame of any kind. I have almost finished the back and I have one half of the front done. I think this one will be sleeveless. It has silk wadding, which I like for clothes. I lost a needle this week as I had to get up and answer the phone, and poof, it vanished. These hand quilting needles are so small, it is difficult to find them again.
Writing An Autobiography
What’s so special about writing you might be thinking, but this is different. This time I am not writing a textiles or quilting ecourse or ebook; I am writing my life story. I want to get it all down in glorious technicolour before the colour fades, if you get my meaning. I want to see if I learned life’s lessons before I kick the bucket. So far I have written over 5,000 words. I think it will make interesting reading. If someone had told me I would write an autobiography, I would have laughed.
That’s all for this week, I shall continue with my knitting patterns, hand stitching and writing or maybe there will be another task to talk about next week as I keep on drawing and more.
Progress is sometimes hard to come by. No matter how hard you try progress can be elusive. This happens in all walks of life and it certainly happens in textiles.
Sometimes it’s that the ideas will not come (never suffer with that one), often it’s not having the right materials and occasionally you are stumped in great need of a technique that you do not know.
Experimenting can help overcome this – trying out different things and thinking outside the box.
This second week of January 2019, I spent launching a brand new, exciting range of snowflake fabrics. There are a total of 16 mix n match fabrics in my new permanent range. I am delighted with these.
I also made great progress with my latest Winter Inspirations quilt at last. I am trying to ignore another idea I have had for a second winter quilt until much later in the year. This one has not followed my initial sketches too closely. I tried out an idea that does not work either, but I have a final design. I am hoping it comes together quickly now and will be added to the website by the end of the month.
I was more than pleased to return to hand quilting this week and a UFO that has been sitting there for a few months. I am hand stitching a patchwork jacket using a running stitch. The wadding is silk and the front is a patchwork of fabrics with a blue lining.
I finished a cardigan and hat and started knitting a cabled waistcoat. I have altered the basic stitch pattern to make it unique to me. I think this really is the last of my Rowan lightweight double knitting wool bought in the 1990s!
Enjoy your creative projects, whatever you are making. See you soon when I will be telling you of my first speaking engagement at a quilt show in April.