And Another Thing

Sorry about the silence from Chiconia recently…

I’ve been a bit busy recently: visits to the dentist (the usual polish and clean bill of health), the optometrist (new glasses again this year), unpacking more boxes in the sewing room/office area, setting up my new desk, hooking up a large new monitor to my laptop, repairing the Husband’s work clothes. All necessary stuff, but not really post-worthy.

However, the yarny clear-out continues, and a new Thing is evolving. I had 4 x 100g balls of Cleckheaton California 4 ply 100% wool, 2 in the Ocean colourway and 2 in Volcano. Not enough to make anything much with, but gorgeous colours. I also still had 4 balls of the Moda Vera Tarantino in the rust and ochre shade left over from Woolly Thing. So the plan is to make another Thing in the same sort of style but maybe a bit shorter, using the California for the two ends and the Tarantino in the middle: Ocean, Volcano, Rust Rust Rust Rust, Volcano, Ocean. Only time will tell if there’s enough to make anything wearable. If not, it’ll be a really gorgeous huge cushion cover. It’s evening work, for while I’m watching/listening to TV. Also on the agenda is covers for the back porch swing seat cushions, cushion covers for the reclining chairs out there, and still more repairs.

Hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to show you next time!

Chunky denim

I was scuffling about in Miz Lizzie yesterday. As you do…

It struck me that her pale vinyl flooring  was easy to keep clean but a bit hard under foot. A rug was needed. Having handed over large quantities of the Husband’s hard-earned cash to buy her, I didn’t want to go and spend yet more money on a non-essential rug, so obviously, I’d have to make one. What did I have that would be the right colour, and how was I going to make it?

Something I have in large quantities is the Husband’s worn out work clothes, especially the blue denim jeans. They go down at the heels and wear away on the seat and inseam. But there’s nothing much wrong with the legs, or the pockets. Light began to dawn…

One big pair of scissors and one worn out pair of jeans later, I’m here:

denim-crochetI can’t crochet properly. But I can make a chain and then simply hook backwards and forwards along it. I’m using the largest hook I could find, an N or 10mm. The strips are roughly 10-12mm wide – very roughly! I just started cutting at the bottom of the leg and spiraled my way up by eye, no measuring or fancy ruler work. What you see here is one leg crocheted and the other cut into a continuous strip. It’s hard work; the denim is very tough and the seams resist being hooked through, but it does make a gorgeously chunky texture, and my arms are getting a workout.

It’ll make a nice, textural, washable bedside rug in the perfect colour. And that’s another pair of jeans I don’t have to throw away. Recycling in action 🙂

I’ll show you what I’m doing with the pockets another time.

What’ll it be, then?

The decks are cleared, the desk is clean, the sewing machine is defluffed and all the pins are put away. Finally.

Happiness is draped over the back of the sofa, preening itself because it knows it’s the prettiest thing in the room.

I find myself at a slight loss…

Screen shot 2014-05-07 at 3.33.42 PM

The big question is, which project do I start next? Will I continue crocheting Woolly Thing? Will I start knitting Fluffy Thing?  Will I begin cutting out for Broken Bottles (overdue), or start work on Amistad (self indulgent, but gorgeous). Will I make the other 4 fabric baskets I need for the Cupboard of All Colours (black&white, brown, neutral and multi, yup, boring), or will I start the big scrap sort I need to make the thousands of 2.5″ squares for two scrap quilts for nieces (not urgent).

You’re going to decide for me. If I take your advice and it’s boring, then it’ll be your fault! Result anyway!

 

Thank you, and I look forward to potentially disregarding your vote. Well, you should be used to that, what with politicians, and all…

Addendum: Some of you have indicated that you can’t see the results. The poll was set up so that you could, and I lay the blame solidly at the feet of WordPress. I will publish the poll results tomorrow so you can all see, so keep voting, because your vote counts, as they say at election time.

The Tree of Life 19: There are waves now

I have spent most of the day hand quilting.

It’s time to stop, I’m getting tired, my fingers are stiff and sore and I’m beginning to draw blood with monotonous regularity.  But I have finished the ripply lines for the sea in the lower half of the quilt.  I’m pleased with how it looks.  Tomorrow, I will do the sky. And then, then, my friends, I’ll be done.  All that will be left is the binding, putting in a hanging channel on the back, and labelling it.  There will be major gloating and whoopeeing.  I will take a nice photo of it hanging on the line (assuming the weather obliges, which seems likely), stick it in my archive, maybe stick it on my spanking new Pinterest quilts board, and then breathe a sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, some detail shots to whet your appetite.  It’s been a toss-up about whether to include these, as they do rather expose the defects in my work. On the other hand, if I can’t be candid with my blogging community, there’s no hope! I mean, is any of you seriously going to send round the stitch police?

Birds detail

Birds detail

Flower detail

Flower detail

Fish detail 1

Fish detail 1

Fish 2 detail

Fish 2 detail

While I was out briefly this afternoon on a rather fruitless errand, I passed our local op shop (known to non Aussies as a thrift or charity shop). I scored a nice pink basket handbag, but I also found these rather smashing ties.  They are just begging to be picked apart and turned into something handsome: a cushion, maybe?  I like how they are already slightly patchworky in appearance, which is essentially what caught my eye.

Ties

Ties

And now, some of you have been having a look at my new Pinterest boards.  For those who wanted a look but haven’t been able to find me, and were offered options along the lines of Pasta, Corgis, Holidays, Sneakers and other bizarreness, here’s the link:   http://www.pinterest.com/katechiconi. I’m not altogether clear why my user name, which is the usual talltalesfromchiconia, won’t produce anything in a search, but there you are.

And while I watch TV tonight, I’m going to add a few more inches to the Woolly Thing, which may itself be ready for an unveiling in a month or two!

Right, off to make the Husband, who’s had a bad day, something delicious and unhealthy for his supper.

The Mystery Woolly Thing

No, I’m not going to do a big reveal.

A woolly mystery!

A woolly mystery!

Just a small, tantalising glimpse of what I’ve been doing with my lunchbreaks at work, as a break from the hand-quilting needle and when I can’t face the weeny stitches of the hexagon Car Quilt or other item that requires anything by way of thought, memory or concentration. Now that I’m doing it again, it’s a lot easier than I feared, and growing faster than I dreamed possible.

I live in a hot, humid climate. In summer, the air conditioning is on whenever we’re home. It’s very efficient, and when I’m sitting on the sofa, I get a sharp jet of cold air on the back of my neck. If I’m up and down a bit, this doesn’t matter (and if I’m very busy, it’s even welcome), but when I’m sitting still for a while, sewing, reading, watching TV or even just talking to the Husband, it gets very cold and a tiny bit nasty. The Husband is a perennially warm person (wonderful in the winter to have someone to warm your feet on!), and in any case sits out of the direct stream of the air. He doesn’t feel it. But he would feel it very much if the aircon was turned off. So I need something to protect the back of my neck and head. Similarly, the bedroom is kept very cool at night. We both sleep much better in a cold room. But once again, I’m on the breezy side of the bed. So when I’m sitting up in bed in the morning, sipping my delicious cup of latte (thank you, Husband) or trawling through my WordPress Reader, stats and comments, I need  something around my shoulders. It’s all the wrong way round, I know, needing a Woolly Thing in the summer, but that’s how it goes.

And this is where the mystery project comes in. I’ve picked up my crochet hook for the first time in about 10 years, apart from making my square for the Snail of Happiness’ Masterpiece project. It’s taken a while to get back into the swing, and I’m not even going to consider fancy stitches. But I’m happy with how it’s looking, and most of all, with how it feels. The bouclé yarn is a mixture of wool, soya and acrylic. There are two different texture yarns, one with more bobble and one with less, so not only do the stripes change colour, they change texture too, and you get shallow ridges, which I like. It’s soft, cushy, warm and thick. It doesn’t tickle. The colours are lovely.

Let’s see if I have the patience to finish what needs to be quite a substantial object. I have decorative plans for the finishing…