This post is a first for me: A second post in a row on the same piece of craft.
It’s the embroidered shop again. And I post about it this week as well in order to boast of my progress. Because even if it is by nature slow going, something did happen over tha past seven days:
It’s just as sideways as last week. But just click back and forth between last week and this to admire the difference! Most of the door, a good deal of the second window. I really am quite pleased with myself.
The finished picture is going to a friend, and I’m going to see her in two weeks’ time. I can’t get it done before I see her, because one colour ran out too soon. Most of it can be done though. Since it just lay around idle for a long time, I’ll be happy to hand it over.
And then go on with the patchwork project of 480 individual pieces I started on …
Yes I know it’s the title of an old movie. From 1960 more precisely, which makes it older than I am. And I never saw it nor the remake from 1986.
So why name a crafts blog post after it? Because this is one of the things I’m working on at the moment:
Sorry it’s on the side. Turn your head, your screen or just think of another movie: When Harry met Sally. She has everything on the side.
I’m almost more sorry it doesn’t really show all the shading that means areas of few stitches in each colour. Such areas take forever and usually have me cursing under my breath. Add to this the fact tht I do this embroidery for someone else because I’d never hang anything like that on my wall and I have to ask myself: Why do I do this? Why do I take the time?
I actually still like it. I like seeing a pattern and a motif come to life under my fingers. And so I have a feeling it won’t be tha last piece I do.
Just the last for a while.
My red sweater is finally done! This includes the silken neckband that I had to go to a specialised shop to get. It was worth it just like it was worth the work. It turned out exactly the way I hoped it would.
So why did I caption this post with the words “goodnight, hot night”? Because this is a night sweater. Yes, I’m serious: Women used to sleep in sweaters like this. It was what you wore to bed some 150 years ago and before. In fact you would go to bed dressed in a linen slip and a sweater like this (more or less), sleep in something akin to a cupboard, cover yourself with a woolen sack stuffed with feathers and down and lined with a linen sheet. And you would half sit instead of lying down.
This was how every peasant woman slept for easily 200 years. Whenever I go to the open-air museum or think about it I wonder how they ever made all the children they had.
Hay must have something to do with it. Somehow. Because nice and warm as a sweater like this one is in those drafty, unheated-at-night houses, sex is the furthest away on my mind when I imagine the sleeping arrangement.
Of course, I’ll just wear this to keep warm. (And look … nice)
Yes I know I did not post for a long time. The main reason is that my work life has been in chaos for just as long. It’s finally settling into some sort of order and I can muster the oomph to do things other than work.
The one thing I was able to do was take up a sweater that’s been on hold for several months. Most likely to give myself something mindless to do and an idea that something was moving towards a definable target. And look now how close to finished it is:
The first two snaps are details of pattern and of the – if I may say so myself – rather brilliant way I went about not having to sew on the sleeves by picking up cast-off-stitches and knitting them together with the edge stitches at the sides.
The pattern is my take on a theme of regional variations of the so-called night sweater worn by women in Denmark in the 16-17-18-hundreds. The sweaters were more or less hidden away for festive occasions but visible when they worked. The crossed double bars and the eight-point stars were more or less standard, but some had only patterned sleeves, some had a patterne likes angles or V’s in rows on the trunk et c. I could find a partial pattern for the sleeves alone, and the stars had to grow with the sleeve to keep the same number pattern row by pattern row. I ended up with 6 pieces of A4-sized checkered paper taped together to make sure I got it right.
Those women did without pattern. Just skill. This sweater has given me enormous respect for them. Nowadays you really only see sweaters like these with folk-dancers performing in costumes. I call taht a pity: Let’s give this pattern a revival. Show our skills.
There’s a good deal of debate going on currently about youngsters sharing nude snaps of (mainly) girls without any form of consent from the victims. One thread in the debate is that parents have a part of the blame for two reasons:
The obvious one is upbringing. As parents we teach or at least try to teach our children about decent behaviour though the individual concepts of that phenomenon has variations.
The other reason is the fact that we parents sharesnaps of our children. Including cute nude snaps of happy toddlers in paddling pools et c.
So I decided to not photograph my daughter’s head to display the swater I finished for her and which so obviously fits her snugly. She is very good at only sharing pictures of herself where she may look a bit silly, but never drunk or nude. Doubt she ever sent anything like it in private to anyone; she’s not the type to do so.
In fact she’s a nerd. Which is why the sweater has the design it has: She studies geology and wanted it to display layers of dirt disrupted by e.g. earthquake. And the head? Just a container for her brain.
Forget the art of motorcycle maintenance. I neither own a motor cycle nor know how to ride one.
Instead I find my Zen moments elsewhere. It generally comes to me when I have some time-consuming, menial task to perform or when I go for a very long walk.
This week, however, I came to doubt whether it really was all that Zen and not just daft. Idiotic. Ridiculously time-consuming. Because this is what I worked on:
I didn’t get very far, because it’s tiny cross stitches. Two and a half long stripes were all I did. I have no idea how long time it will take me to get it done. all I know is I want to fill in every bit of material.
Why? I like the result. When using such small stitches in such large numbers it becomes finely pixelled like a digital photo of really good quality. And though it may well put the stamp of idiocy on me: I like the process too.
Is washing a craft? Hardly. It used to be tough work whaen it came to cotton and linen and delicate work when dealing with wool. When I was younger I still washed wool by hand because there was no other way. I was never very good at it, got it felted no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. As a result I wore precious little pure wool if any at all and sorely missed this fantastic fibre that keeps you warm at minimal weight.
So when the old washer gave up on us and we had to get a new one my one demand was that it had to have a hand-wash cycle. My husband found it easy to comply with this a bought Ms. Miele who still serves us loyally.
As a scout and the mother of another AND a keen knitter I took advantage of it as soon as possible. It’s been several years now and we gathered us a good collection:
Two items visible here aren’t wool but left from washing black the day before. Five pieces aren’t from my needles. The rest is.
I’m proud to be a woolcoholic!