>The unfamiliar first…This is the view from the saddle of my lovely old bike. Yep, that’s right, me, sworn off cycling for life due to the unspeakable horrors of any kind of incline has actually started to ride voluntarily and even (gasp!) enjoy it. Even with hills. Wonders will never cease.
Not only can old dogs learn new tricks, but they can acquire new old treasure. This is another find from the farm (a seemingly endless trove of undiscovered goodies). Like the jam pan and chest of drawers before it, my Father in Law was quite happy for me to have this, which he would term ‘kelter’ (junk to the non-Lancastrian famers among us) on permanent loan. The only proviso was a share of the cakes I’m going to create with it. There’s a reason Kenwood has the good reputation it does, as this old Chef may have been grubby with years of neglect and maybe shows its age in the styling department but switch it on and it still goes- whether whisking, mixing, dough hooking or liquidising. I’m delighted.
New new treasure arrived in the post this week, in the form of this heavenly bundle of Manos Wool Clasica in ‘Ganges’. Mindful of my habit of running out of yarn before the end of a project I bought all nine skeins that were in the sale at Meadow Yarn . At the moment it looks like I’ll be using it to make a grown up version of Queen Bess but we’ll see.
Finally, new and unfamiliar yet somehow old too…M had some chunky coloured pencils among her birthday present and today she had her first try with them. Seeing her being so grown up is new and unfamiliar, yet babies picking up the tools of other family members and copying what they’ve seen is surely as old as the human race.
We’re gradually claiming the garden back from weed and junk and now have a good sized lawn to run about on, most areas free from rubbish and, ignoring a big pile of topsoil due to be shifted, a place we can sit out and enjoy good weather. I’d actually written off the idea of getting any food from the garden this year as the last patch of weed and rock covered wilderness at the back is earmarked for the veg patch. However, thanks to the greenhouse, some peasticks from our friend’s woodland and some plants which seem to have forgiven me for my rather irregular watering habits, we should have at least some of the following: basil, borlotti beans, squash, tomatoes and strawberries. It’s a start, anyway.
In contrast to last weekend’s power tools and paint, my work this weekend has been a lot more genteel. By day I’ve been in the garden rather a lot, but for the last two evenings I had my sewing machine out. While my two patchwork projects are calling out for attention, there were more pressing needs in the baby and toddler departments.
First up, a long promised pirate sun hat for P. I made him some shorts out of this fabric from the market a while back, and they’ve been worn so much the skull and crossbones have almost faded off them. This hat, like the shorts, was made using an Oliver + S pattern from the lovely ‘Little Things To Sew’. I’ve made a few of them now and have plans for more items for the book as presents for the upcoming autumn of birthdays. I think I might have made the crown on this one a little shallow, but as the brim is quite deep it works okay, as the brim shades his eyes without stopping him from being able to see out. He seems happy with it anyway, we’re getting lots of ‘Aargh, Captain’ from him when he wears it.
Next it was another visit to ‘Handmade Beginnings’ for some booties. My cousin is booked in for a C-section a week tomorrow, and I’ve already broken my superstitious rule about not making things for babies before they’re born by knitting an Aviatrix hat for her baby shower. Even so, I prefer to say that I’ve made these cute little Liberty print booties for a baby, and if it just so happens that it’s the baby that arrives in a week then wonderful. They were a little fiddly, especially getting the inner soles to stick (I need better interfacing) but they’ve turned out pretty well I think, although looking at their size compared to one-year-old M’s feet, I’m not sure 0-3 months is going to be an accurate size, and she may be waiting until winter to wear them.
There was more Liberty print last night when I made M some more ‘Quick Change Trousers’ from ‘Handmade Beginnings’. Mum had given me the Liberty fabric as she knew she wouldn’t have time to make a dress with it this year. As it goes, M has had so many lovely dresses given to her this summer that it would be a waste to make another. In addition, her crawling and climbing calls more for trousers so although I indulge myself putting her in the frocks (with the bonus that it slows her up a bit), I indulge her by putting her in leggings and trousers. These ones were partly a contrivance to use the lovely seaside print fabric that our friends had wrapped M’s birthday present in instead of wrapping paper. There wasn’t that much of it, so I cut the pattern with shorter legs, thinking I might squeeze a cropped pair out of it. That wasn’t going to happen, so instead I used the contrast back yoke option, which also gave me a chance to use a fat quarter of lovely red spotty fabric I’d been given. In the end, when they’re unrolled the trousers are just the right length- she is only just into the age category for them- while when turned up they are a chic and climber friendly capri length.
Tonight, providing C can stand yet more sewing machine noise, I might just get around to that patchwork.