Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Sue's Needles have been Busy

Today I completed a knitted lace scarf - Flutter by Miriam Felton - and for the first time ever I'm blocking my knitting, using a set of blocking wires I bought from Loop recently. I think it will be well worthwhile, as the process was very simple and quick to set up, and before I wired it up, the scarf was looking rather shrivelled and sad. Once it is dry, I'll steam it with the iron to set it and then hopefully I can wear it and be proud of it. It was an enjoyable knit and the yarn I used, Scrumptious Lace, from Fyberspates, was and is a delight, very lustrous and silky and soft.

My sewing needles have been quite busy, too, as I have been designing costumes for a Dance to be performed at the Mermaid Theatre in London next month. It is a community-based project within my village and is entitled "Breathing Spaces", featuring dancers from the village primary school and the local community high school. I have no photos of completed costumes yet, but it has been very busy as there are 34 people to be dressed, all in unique costumes. More about this in due course, but I've been busy space-dyeing fabrics, adapting t-shirts and making friends with my overlocker as well as working with a total of twelve volunteer mothers and helping them to be confident in using their sewing machines, teaching them new techniques and exploring their creativity. Enormous fun, but extraordinarily tiring as well, especially as we've been working in a very tight time frame. I now have plans for some space-dyed t-shirts for myself, made from scratch.

My previous make was with my crochet hook, and was another scarf: this time using a Drops pattern and yarn as recommended, bought from Scandinavian Knitting Design.

My friend Sara had made one which she wore when we met up at Liz's in January, and I decided to flatter her by imitation. It has been a while since I crochet something froma charted pattern and at times it was challenging to remember where I was and what I should be doing, but the mohair did not like being frogged, so I soon learned not to work on this when my concentration was poor! It's a pretty and cosy scarf/shawl which has already had quite a lot of wear.

I think I might give it a gentle wash and a blocking next, once Flutter is off the wires...

Meanwhile, I am thinking about making new curtains and a roman blind for our newly-redecorated living room, choosing between a shawl and a tunic for my next knitting project while also working on the costumes and my t-shirt dyeing. Sadly, I'm very very tired at the moment so it's all a bit of a struggle.

Last Friday I went up to Birmingham NEC to the Sewing for Pleasure Show. I've never done this one before, but I had a good reason to attend. As well as catching up with my friends Sarah and Gill, I called at the exhibition of Poetry in Stitches 2 where I had the pleasure of meeting Linda and Con of the National Needlework Archive for the first time, seeing the excellent entries and proudly receiving my prize for Contemporary Interpretation.

I was appalled to find myself close to nodding off on the way home: clearly the trip was a bit more than I can cope with just now. Flipping ME. So I have been taking it easy since then, trying to pace myself and get plenty of rest to recover from the feelings of exhaustion and muscle and joint aches and pains as quickly as possible. Spring is springing and there's lots of creativity to be realised as well as new materials stashed to play with.


Gill said...

Oh frightening to realise you were so tired in such a dangerous situation. It was lovely to see you (as always) and I felt very proud to know The Winner!!

Congratulations on that well deserved prize.

Love the knitting and the crochet...such talent you have!!

Paula Hewitt said...

lovely knitting and crochet - the lacy one is gorgeous. congrats on the prize too.

Sara Lechner said...

I just read this one and I must first congratulate you for your prize and also I see that you do lots of knitting and crochet too. I'm always going around with some needles and wool in my hand and have about 8 projects going that I really finish at some point!