June 29, 2010

Hexagons growing - could it be spring?

So I went out to the old pear tree, and what did I find? Flowers everywhere, even in the cold winter sunshine!

I'm sure anyone who drove past thought I was crazy, running about in the cold, windy field, trying to get a quick picture before the wind ruffled my hexagons and sent them spinning across the paddock.

Stacks of hexagons, all ready to sew together. Do you find yourself obsessively counting them? I do.

I'd set a target of 45 hexie flowers in May, which was almost right -- I think I hit 42. It's amazing how quickly a project grows when you work on it every day, even if only for a little while (I do half an hour to one hour each day on the train). All different colours and shades. Lots of blue, plenty of red, and a little yellow and black to add excitement.

Now I'm sewing them all together and making approximately 72 billion plain white pieces to surround each of the flowers. I was sitting on the train, production-line making white pieces, and the woman next to me said, 'How many of those do you have to make?' To which I could honestly reply that I haven't calculated the total (because if I did, I'd lose heart and stop this crazy project altogether!)

June 28, 2010

That nasty >groink< noise

So, first seam on first damentop, let's call it 'shoulder number one'. I've measured and cut, pinned and checked, bought seam tape and consulted my book on how to sew knit jersey. The machine's feeling a little odd, but I think it'll be fin--GROINK. End of damentop sewing.

So this was last weekend, and I've been hunting for a sewing machine repairperson ever since. Me and the old Janome went for a drive on Saturday, but the sign I'm sure I saw advertising sewing machine repairs, isn't there.

In the meantime it's back to planning my garden for the spring. How about this photo for inspiration? This was a B and B we visited years ago not far from here, which had all sorts of 'junk' scattered amidst the plants and the trees. It was a wonderland -- although I felt a little sorry for the singer sewing machine (in the picture above).

So far, progress: I've almost got out all of the mint that bound up the vegetable patch -- mint will take all the available root space and spread like mad. I think it's had 5 years, maybe more, and some places are a solid heavy lump of mint roots. Over the last several weekends, we've hacked and pick-axed and ripped out all of the roots we can find. Most of the bed is resting gently under a nice warm blanket of manure (do your job, wormies!) and there's just a bit that remains to be done. A couple of months of organic rest, and then we plant in spring.

In the meantime, it's back to the hexagons, which are growing like mad (we've hit the upper 50s in hexagon flower production). Nothing like being forced to work only on one project, for results!

June 16, 2010

My reindeer cometh in

Not a ship, not a plane... my reindeer arrived yesterday with a saddle-bag full of goodies from the design ladies at Ottobre.

 Does my nose look big in this? 

Not merely content to replace the magazine I so wantonly lost, I also got a back issue and a copy of one of their basic multi-patterns, the excitingly named 'Die besten Damentops'. I'm sure I said damen-something a few times last time I tried sewing with jersey knit, but this set of patterns has got me all revved like the reindeer and ready to tackle stretchy plastic seam tape with the best of them. Wish me luck. This weekend is tops for Damentops.

June 8, 2010

Bits and pieces

I've been editing a book in which Little Red Riding Hood features. Or LRRH as she is known, for short hand, to her friends. It reminded me of this image I had stashed away in my 'Inspiration' folder, a Japanese stitching magazine idea that always makes me smile. I think my favourite bit is the playing card people, looking a bit out of place like a cross between extras from a filming of Alice in Wonderland and the old set of Dr. Who. Waving their arms. Oy!

I've been meaning to update you on the hexagon progress (good), but I have no photos. I feel a sense of having let down the blog but I'm never home in daylight. It's dark grey dawn when we pull out of the farm, too early even for the dog to have done much but stumble out of bed and gaze blearily at me as I whisper goodbye nothings about rabbits in his ear. Uhhnh, says the dog. I know how he feels.

And then home in the cold full dark, the stars are bright some nights. I put on my wellies over my work tights and a big fuzzy jacket over my dress and me and the dog, we go out in the pitch dark to say hello to the Totoro tree. Hoo-ho. Hello tree. It's huge in the dark and seems to go up forever.

June 1, 2010

D'ya remember when...

.. I got a copy of Ottobre magazine and was all excited about it? Well, I also bought a single back-issue, of their autumn/winter designs (it being autumn then), and when it arrived, I pounced on it with glee, took it on the train with me to read on the way home from work-

- and promptly lost it.

I spent days convinced it had just slipped out of my purse under the filing cabinet, but no. Completely gone.

No more lovely autumn coat, cute trousers or funky overdress shirts for work. Humph

So today I finally bit the bullet and re-ordered a copy. I've seen it (briefly), so I know I want to make several things in that issue! And while I was there, I ordered another one, and a t-shirt pattern pack, too. In for a europenny, in for a europound.

Now I just have to sit and wait for the boat (plane/mule/reindeer) to get here ALL THE WAY FROM FINLAND. It could be a long wait, but luckily I found fifty-two billion unfinished projects when we moved, so I have plenty to do to pass the time...