Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

This is one of my treasured posessions. Published in 1944 "in complete conformity with the authorized economy standards" it is an amazing window into a difficult world where women used their skill and imagination to keep things together for their families.
Its full of wonderful quotes, including this from the introduction:
This little book is, quite frankly, one for hard times and scarcity of materials, when thrift and make-do are the greatest of all household virtues. We are all passing through such a time now and so I hope that'Economy Knitting and Patchwork' will help the knitter, the crochet worker adn the needlewoman all equally.
And when the national hard times are over, I believe that this book may still aid any women who are unluckily passing through individual hard times, when sixpences are scarce and each must somehow do the job of a shilling. I have tried, therefore, to choose economical ideas which will not readily date when the wheel of Fashion turns more rapidly again than it is in these days of coupons...

Well, that wheel has spun a fair few times since 1944 and while I wouldn't pretend that our hard times are even a shadow of wartime hardship, I certainly don't have much to splash out on materials. 'Thrift and make-do' are definitely virtues needed around here, so, inspired by the lovely Butterfly Balcony blog amongst other things I'm doing a bit of making do, using some oddballs, mostly of Rowan Felted Tweed:

I'm planning on making a patchwork cushion cover, trying out some of the knitting stitches in 'Economy Knitting' as sample squares.

This first, green, square is in what's simply called 'Triangle Pattern': "An effective design for skirts, shawls and blankets, and looks best in thick wool on a comparatively heavy article." Personally, I'm really taken by the idea of a cardigan using this stitch and despite the fact that I'm fully embroiled with pattern testing for my 'Baby Queen Bess' sweater I'm already turning ideas over for how that would work.

The second, red, square I'm working on is 'Barred Stripe Stitch': "A decorative pattern, which looks well on jumpers, jerseys and boys' or men's sports stockings." Can't see myself knitting any men's sports stockings anytime soon, but I'm sure it'll look great on the cushion.
More making-do and mending is planned for the rest of the weekend, so will hopefully have more to share here soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Our baby girl is nearly one! With her brother turning three the week before it's going to be a busy time. Somehow I've managed to swerve organising duties on both counts, as each of the grandmothers are taking a turn at hosting. All I have to do is send out the invitations, make a few cakes (including one like a Combine Harvester, gulp!) and turn up with the little ones. As we're not exactly sending out a huge number of invites to M's party, I had a go at making my own cards today, doodling with some felt pens. The theme, like her Christening is 'All Things Bright And Beautiful', partly because she's a summer baby who arrived with the flowers and partly because she is just that...bright and beautiful.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blea Tarn

Sometimes you just need to get out and breathe. This was very much the case today, after a tough week that had left us emotionally wrung out and rather uncertain about what happens next. The thing about going out walking is that once you're there, with sandwiches and fruit for lunch in your rucksack, it doesn't actually matter how much money you have (or don't have). The heavens will open on anyone's head, prince or pauper. In actual fact, while the rain was almost horizontal as we toiled up to Blea Tarn (hoorah for our new-old veg-oil powered Jeep! Potholes? Who cares?) and lashed at the windscreen as we ate lunch in the car, it actually more or less held off as we walked, played hide and seek and in some cases paddled round the tarn and back. Wind swirled around the Langdale Valley, threatening to bring the slate-grey cloud down onto us, but for some reason the sun decided it would keep smiling for just the right amount of time. With tired babies and soothed souls, we headed for home.