in which i almost talk about knitting…

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I have been knitting, and pictured above is a little bit of my new favourite ever knitted thing.  (Sorry little brother, your kilt socks have moved down to Number Two.)  The pattern won’t be available for a while, but you can see better examples of it over at Ysolda’s blog.  I’ll make more – I love a baby gift that looks impressive but is really easy and fun to knit.  And there are so many possibilities for colour combinations.

But mainly today I was going to talk about another finished quilt, which made it to the completed pile a few weeks ago.  Suddenly I had 30 minutes to take pictures before it had to be sent, and it was raining, a lot.

So some not-so-great indoor pictures are all I have –

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An improvised top, backing from Ikea (and most appropriate for a house-warming gift – I need to find some more), and the binding was mostly leftovers from my Picnic Blanket skirt with some top leftovers to fill in the gaps.  It was my first time doing a completely machine-sewn binding that wasn’t on a quilt destined for a dog, and I like it.  I find the teeny little stitches all the way around very pleasing!

I quilted this using an awesome tutorial from Film in the Fridge called Big Diamond, Little DiamondDefinitely using this again, its so pretty.  My photos really don’t do it justice!  I just have one more quilt to write about and I’m all caught up.  Maybe I will attempt an actual knitting post next…

nothing too girly

Its still early in the day but I have already learned some important lessons.  One – getting up a little early to make blueberry pancakes is always a very smart idea.  Two – don’t wait until you’ve already been outside and in public for 30 minutes before checking to see if your trousers are on inside out.  And three – don’t wait until the day you need to post a handmade gift to take pretty outdoor photos.  Because um, it’s pouring.

And so I know I promised knitting this time, but its going to be a (different) finished quilt instead.  This has probably been my most productive quilt-making year ever, though I’ve still only made a handful.  But this one was my favourite – a quilt for my brother and his wife for when they got married in May, though I was a little late getting it to them.  But they knew it was coming, and my brothers’ only design/colour request was ‘nothing too girly.’

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Just some simple log cabin blocks, in lots of fabrics I love.  It started as a little pile of Japanese prints in beautiful, rich dark blues, and then they met up with a little bundle of neutrals from Ray Stitch.  A few things were added from stash, including the gorgeous bird hand-print you can see in the second last picture (I’d been hoarding that one for a while).  The backing was a duvet cover* I spied in Ikea that I thought would be perfect and it all came together to make something lovely.

*oooh I just realised I have enough left to make a new curtain for my craft room…

postcards

Things are getting back to normal here.  I had a lovely two weeks with my visitors, many giggles and crafting sessions and saw a lot of the extremely beautiful country where I am lucky enough to live.  I arrived home feeling very inspired (thank you, Shetland!), and my knitting mojo is back and fierce.

I’ve had so many kind messages over the last weeks, so at the end of this post there will be a tiny amount of little one chat – if you are sensitive to this for whatever reason please feel free to stop reading after the pictures x  Next time I will talk about knitting…

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(My mum’s new, slightly modified Sheep Heid.  It is a work of art, her colourwork skills are totally inspiring.)

 

 

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Turns out I took a lot more pictures of Skye than Shetland, probably because as soon as we landed my fingers were clenched round my knitting needles.  I will save the yarn chatter for another day…

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And so to me and my little one.  Things still seem to be fine.  People who know what they’re talking about keep telling me that things are fine and that they know for sure that this little one does not have the same terrible condition that affected our son last year.  So that particular worry has melted, and I try hard not to fill my mind with thoughts of other things that can go wrong.  As I get rounder and feel things wriggle a little, its getting easier to imagine that things might turn out well.  And just like last time, I am hopelessly in love x

In less than a week it will be exactly a year since our tiny little boy was born, and we came home without him.  The weather is turning now, just like it was when we lost him, and I can’t believe a whole year has passed.

quietly rambling

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It was a very peaceful weekend.  I read, knit a hat and slept, a lot.  The hours I spent conscious were pretty few and far between, but I think my body needed it.  This doesn’t make for the most interesting blog post, so I’m sorry.  But mainly I just wanted to appear to here to thank you for the comments, and many PM’s and emails of love given what I hinted at in my last post.

Things are still fine, though I most likely won’t mention it much here.  If I ever do, I’ll warn you so if you want to, for whatever reason, skip it.  There was a time not too long ago where I found sudden mentions of babies and pregnancy jarring and there were several places both online and in real life that were just too difficult to visit.  As strange as this sounds given my current situation, I often still find this to be true.

Soon it will be a full year since our terrible loss, and I realised this morning that more than a full season has passed with me growing my second little one.  Where has the time gone?  The coming weeks will be busy – I have some wonderful friends coming to visit, and there will be adventures as we try to show them as much of Scotland as we can manage, including a trip to Shetland.  I had a crazy idea this weekend that it’ll be possible to make a quilt for the newly-decorated guest bedroom in time for their arrival.  Still trying to talk myself down from that one…

back again

It feels like its been a while.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging and I don’t feel bad about that.  Hello again.

This most recent absence though is more to do with an almost entire lack of crafting to share.  I didn’t just lose my knitting mojo this summer, my spinning, dressmaking and quilting mojo’s all flew out of the window too.  There were no major house projects to occupy me, or big changes in the garden.  I’ve just been living quietly and my brain’s been a little full of worry to fit anything else in.  (The worry is easing a little now.  There was nothing particular to worry about, just the prospect of something bad happening.  So far, it hasn’t.   Right now, things are fine. But when terrible things have happened to you before sometimes its hard to shake the worry away.)  Sorry if that’s a little cryptic.  I have no secrets but am a little shy and cautious.  I might talk about things more here when I’m ready.  In the meantime, if you’re on Ravelry, this knitting project helps explain it.

And onto the making!  Pretty much the only thing I worked on through my worry was my Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery monthly sampler.  I worked on it a little back in January and then stopped, so I had a lot of months to catch up on.

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I think progress (and so the fact that I made anything at all) should be credited to my good buddy Bex.  She’s working on the same thing, alongside lots of other beautiful embroidery pieces, and she made me want to reach for my hoop.

Just in the last couple of days I’ve felt my knitting mojo starting to nudge me a little.  Maybe something to do with a trip to a new yarn shop?  I cast on for a Wee Brock for a friend* as soon I was home and fed.  I can feel that obsessed-with-a-new-project feeling coming on.  Hopefully it’ll lead to another one…

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*This friend is a Mr Saz’s cousin, who has an adorable little two-year old.  She doesn’t knit, but always seems to be appreciative of handknitted things, and she got a lot from the ladies at her work (and me) when her daughter was born.  But as new babies have been born, her supply dwindled.  I randomly knit a little cardigan and it was passed to her, and I didn’t hear much, apart from ‘she says thank you, she loved it’ from my mother-in-law.  Then, a couple of weeks ago I was in a different town and randomly walked into her and her little girl.  Her daughter was not only wearing the cardigan but she was snuggled up it, it was covered in bits of the biscuit she’d been eating and wow, it looked like it had been loved.  I could see her looking embarrassed that it looked a little messy but all I could think was ‘You get more knitwear for your little one.  You get ALL THE KNITWEAR for your little one.’  Seeing the things I’ve made look used and loved is one of the best feelings ever.

I’m not ready to talk about the time I was in my sister’s house and spotted the huge quilt I’d made her scrunched up her dog’s basket.  It might have looked used and loved, but it gave me the opposite feeling…

shades of green

Finally, lush is the word for the garden right now.  Not so much in the vegetable garden, yet, but definitely everywhere else.

As the weather warms up a little and we spend more time outside, my mind keeps wandering into to the woods at Squam Lake.  I’m not going this year, but I can feel the excitement building anyway.  I am imagining students and teachers getting excited, making plans, gathering supplies and headlamps.  I sit outside with Penny and if I close my eyes and ignore the quiet chatters of the chickens, it almost seems like I’m there.  If you’re going, have a wonderful time x

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slowly emerging

It’s been a while since I last posted, how it can it nearing the end of May already?!  For almost two weeks I’ve been floored by something nasty called the flu.  It wasn’t pretty.  Neither was trying to look composed in my brother’s wedding photos when there was no-one behind me to hold onto.

This week I’ve been attempting recovery in the fresh air, which has mainly involved drinking herbal tea outside my greenhouse, giving directions to my lovely father-in-law John and coughing a lot.  I am starting to see changes in my garden, finally, after almost 3 years of battling weeds, overgrown everything, endless rain and that feeling of where do I start?. The answer – a little section at a time.  Eventually it’ll all be beautiful.  This year’s tasks are the front door, and my favourite bit, the vegetable garden.

I found this picture from 2 years ago –

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And now, today, from roughly the same place –

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This gate is the sole reason my vegetable garden exists, and there are things growing in it (though not as fast as I’d like, it is Scotland in May after all…).  This gate is the difference between my chickens gorging themselves on tasty, organic fruit and vegetables, and the humans gorging themselves on tasty, organic fruit and vegetables.  I mentioned to John a few weeks ago that ‘hmm, maybe a gate here would be a good idea?’ and then a few days later we got back from a trip up north and he’d built one from scraps of wood from our garage and installed it in the perfect place. Such a wonderful man.  I cried when I saw it.

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The parts of the garden John and I have worked in feel so full of hope, and right now I’m clinging tightly to that.  The last three years have started that way too, then all that hope has been washed away by crappy weather.  It seems like this year we’ve got a better start.  Does anyone have any favourite rhubarb preserving recipes?