A sneak peek

This week, I have been assembling a gift.

It’s to be handed over on Monday 29 February, so I can’t show the whole thing till then, but here are snippets to give you some idea.

Closeup1 Tag Closeup2After our big trip south, it has been surprisingly hard to get back into my ‘sewzone’; many distractions, a lot of dirty, dusty house to clean, but finally I’m making some progress. The patio paving has sprouted a thicket of weeds, the vegie beds have disappeared under a thatch of nutgrass, the lawns are mid-calf length, thanks to all the lavish rain that appeared just as we went away. I look at all of it, and resolutely turn my back and sew, before I realise that it’s time to make lunch, or supper, or bring in laundry, or make a cake because the Dowager is coming round for coffee.

Once we’re into March, and my next short trip to Melbourne at the end of this month is over, normal service will resume. I think… I hope… I have F2F blocks to make, some Selfish Sewing and a couple of items of clothing to finish.

Speaking of F²F; the first year is coming to an end in May. For the 2016/17 session, the participant list will be finalised in April and the next round will start in June this year, so if you would like to join in, let me have your name, blog/email address and contact details and I’ll add you to the list and send you some information. We can easily do it with more participants, but any less and either everyone has to make more than three blocks 😦 or there will not be enough blocks at the end to make a good sized quilt 😦

CaneFinally, I just wanted to share a lovely piece of non-fabric loot. I have widespread arthritis, especially bad in my left hip (replacement one of these years, I hope) and my hands. On bad days, I lurch along with a cane to take some pressure off it. Up to now I’ve used one of those collapsible telescopic canes that you can fold up and put in your bag. Trouble is, they’re not very rigid, a big defect when you’re putting most of your weight through it. My lovely BIL down in New South Wales, a talented cabinetmaker, has tailor-made me my own cane. The shaft is American oak, there is a small collar of Australian oak at the top, and then a hand carved rosewood handle. How lovely is this?  Solid as a rock, elegant, and made to fit. He’s planning to make more to show and sell in the local Easter Art & Craft show. I reckon he’s onto a winner. And he takes commissions…

Right, back to the chores.

38 thoughts on “A sneak peek

  1. norma says:

    The sneak preview looks very interesting – look forward to seeing the rest.
    I find it really easy to ignore chores in favour of sewing and then end up doing everything in a rush….Everything is a lot slower though because we’ve got a puppy now. The old dog is very keen to sit and sew (sleep!) but the puppy likes to chew fabric.

  2. I can guess the recipient of your mystery gift. Shh!

    That’s a beautiful stick, but you really need two! I use Nordic poles for walking, to stay balanced, as one stick was leading to lopsided walking.

    • katechiconi says:

      The one cane is serving me quite well for now, it lets me stride out much better without the constant painful grind. I’m sure he’ll make me another when/if I need it in the future!

  3. Grannymar says:

    A bespoke cane is very special, May it ease your journeys for many a long year! Like Viv, I am saying nothing. 😉 😉 😉

  4. Grannymar says:

    Being *exactly* the right length, is so important, otherwise it can lead to more pain.

  5. tialys says:

    A lovely, elegant cane. My friend – who has rheumatoid arthritis – uses two Leki walking poles which are fine around here but she spends half her time in the U.K. where she is always being asked if she’s going skiing. She swears by them though.
    Please add me to the F2F list – if you haven’t already – I’ve had a lot of fun with it and would love to do it again. I am hoping to get this year’s one assembled before the next swap starts but I have the fabric for the sashing now so I can get moving with it.

    • katechiconi says:

      I can put weight through the top of this one with my arm straight, where poles would be too tall.
      You’re on the F2F list already. I’m waiting to find out what sort of interest we have, because if it’s less than 12 it’s probably not going to work… If that’s the case, I’ll come up with another idea.

  6. My dad made a whole collection of canes over the years. He gave many away but used a couple, especially in the last few months. I had thought to keep one but, realising it was silly to do so, let my sister have them all. The warmth of real timber made them so much nicer than the shop-bought ones.

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re right, and the wonderful thing about this one is not just that it’s exactly the right height, but also that the handle has been made to fit my hand and is very comfortable, unlike the shop-bought kind. I’ll always be able to use it…

  7. it’s utterly amazing that you’ve got widespread arthritis in your hands and yet are so dedicated to creating art from fabric. You are made of sterner stuff. #awe

    • katechiconi says:

      Much of me hurts much of the time. I have to rise above or give in to it, and I prefer to rise above. It *is* tedious to be forced to pick things up with both hands, be unable to open tightly closed jars, and to rest often when hand sewing, but the alternative is to vegetate and fail to realise my creative vision, and I simply won’t 🙂

  8. A cane just the right height! That’s a very special gift. When we hike I use poles that can be adjusted for height. They help a lot with weight transfer, making the activity easier on all the joints. But one of the reasons I love them is that they act as antennae. Since my vision is not great, and I especially have trouble with the distance at my feet, they help me find my footing. Makes a big difference for safety on uneven surfaces — which is all of hiking!

  9. dayphoto says:

    I love the cane! I had to use one for a spell, they are so helpful!


  10. Birdybrain says:

    I love canes, yours is beautiful, such a nice work of art. Dont you just love the feel of wood on your hands? When a saguaro cactus dies here in the South West and the ribs have dried out-they make excellent walking sticks or canes. I have a few, I sand them a little and either leave them natural or stain them. I always try & remember to take one when I’m walking or hiking just for balance & protection if needed.

    • katechiconi says:

      The feel of a wooden cane handle is so much nicer than plastic, isn’t it? Softer, warmer and more organic. I love the sound of your cactus-rib canes. I wonder if they’d be strong enough for putting all your weight through, though – my BIL tried beech for the shaft of mine but had to use oak in the end to make it more rigid.

  11. Lynda says:

    I have a telescoping cane that locks into height. It gets me going on the days that are rough. However, this is a masterpiece! It is so lovely! Waiting impatiently for that quilt reveal. 🙂

  12. Lorij says:

    Beautiful cane. Having had both knees replaced I know that a good cane is valueable. Although I no longer usually need to use mine, I still keep it in the car.
    Your patch work is pretty

  13. Magpie Sue says:

    Oh Kate, that cane is BEAUTIFUL! I’m sorry you have to use one but that one’s so pretty it will be a pleasure to use it. Kudos to your BIL. 🙂

  14. rutigt says:

    So now we almost know what you are sewing 🙂 I love the cane, but I´m glad I don´t have to use one myself!

  15. EllaDee says:

    Clever hints and lovely gift 🙂 Your new bespoke cane is awesome, not simply useful but art.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve done my best with the clues I had, so I hope it fits the bill! The cane truly is awesome; it fits my hand like another part of myself. I just need to find a better way of attaching it to myself, that piece of cord is rough and rubs my wrist a bit.

  16. claire93 says:

    looking forward to seeing the front of the secret sewing project ^^

  17. nettyg says:

    I skipped to the end so I could say put me down for the next F2F please, forgot to tel you when you were here. Having been granted a feel of the cane, a close-up look, and seen it in action, I can attest to it’s beauty and functionality. I hope Cyclone Winston has blown himself out offshore by tomorrow, and your flight south doesn’t have to battle through his left – over windiness. We have huge seas and big waves on the river thanks to TC Winston!

    • katechiconi says:

      Done, you’re on the list!
      Funny about TC Winston, it’s you lot down south copping the action for a change. Up here, it’s just another hot and only slightly breezy late Wet season day…. Luckily I’m not a nervous or queasy passenger, so even if it’s a bit windy en route I should be OK.

  18. I’m as curious as everyone about what you’ve made though we think we know where it’s going. 🙂 The cane is just beautiful. I’ve used one for 6 years now for a different reason than you but all the same, a lovely one would be nice. I too, understand what you are saying about not giving in to infirmities. We rest a bit, create a bit then rest a bit more. Never giving up is essential. I’d like to leave here with a needle in my hand. 🙂 I’m going to check on this weeks posts and see what news I’ve missed. Don’t think I’ll ever catch up. 😦

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