Saturday, May 18, 2024

Booking time

I loved arranging and taking this photo and immediately forgot to post it ever:

At least, I think I did. If you've seen it, hopefully you're as pleased to see it again as I am. It's Vesper sock yarn as always... and I don't think I've knit up any of these skeins or even caked them? But I am due for more cake-making because my Go Bag of socks to cast on is down to practically nothing. 

Did I mention I stopped buying yarn when I realized my pace was slowing, the better to use up what I had and reclaim space? And I *still* haven't entirely wrapped up my Vesper supply! I mean it's got to be nearly ten years at this point. Astonishing. More so: Hugs itself has been in play for fifteen.

The other night I was talking to Lannie about Hugs and how I used to get up early to write a post every weekday, before setting off for whatever obligations I had to fulfill. 

I can't even comprehend who that person might have been, now. Just the part about when I was posting - I mean I have never been a morning person. But I was getting up with the dawn *and* creating off the bat, over a cup of morning tea! I didn't know then you could prepare a post in advance. 

In truth, I never took to that idea, even once I did know. I am typing this post just before eleven in the morning, having slept in (only a little!) before enjoying a delicious decaf latte and chocolate croissant. It's Saturday, and a long weekend, so why not? 

If you'd like more notes of immediacy, I can hear a siren in the distance through our open living room windows, which are letting in a lovely soft breeze as well as the quiet rustling sounds of Pete shifting garden tools from their overnight storage. I should be out there helping, but this is Hugs time, so instead I'm here thinking of you, and typing.

Back when Hugs was new I had at least five varied projects going at once, one of them often of my own design, and spent all my leisure hours working on them. Also, all of my transit hours. I found it hard even to walk somewhere without plain knitting to do as I trundled along, if the weather was warm enough to keep my fingers from freezing.

Of course I was fiercely protecting my creative life, at a time when long-form writing felt far beyond my capacity. You need to be able to think deeply for that work, and deep thinking is difficult when you're juggling loads of responsibilities. Surface level thinking, though - the math required for pattern design, the tactile delight of yarn, the visual beauty of colour matching for a textile project - all that is just a lovely escape. I suppose *that's* how it was possible for me to do so much back then.

I still do a lot, even if it's not daily knitting. I work on a novel five days a week at least, and I read thoughtfully for many hours every day. If I also took the time to get a table set up for my adorable and compact knitter's loom, I could probably listen thoughtfully to an audiobook, as I used to when weaving scarves. I think there's still a pink silk scarf in progress in the loom bag, too. This isn't a terrible idea and might be a really nice way to spend the summer, don't you think?

What I will not do, because it's sold out, is join Kate Davies' fabulous-sounding mystery summer kniting club. She is pairing a readalong of mysteries by classic crime writer Margery Allingham with her own always gorgeous designs for a months-long project - with clues no less! - that sounds delightful. Feel free to read about it and wish, like me, you had heard about it in time to have a chair at the table.

Probably I will not break out the loom despite the temptation to do that as soon as I've posted this. I am trying, on top of wrapping up a lingering project every month (and no, I haven't even started May's yet) to finish a first draft of the current novel project by the end of June. I'm almost at an Early Hugs level of task-juggling just now, and probably I should throw in the towel and knit a pair of fingerless gloves instead. I won't, though. As a person I lean always to Relentless, so I'm sticking to the project I booked. 

And only a little bit thinking of the project I have in mind for after that...

Hope you're having a lovely day, with an even lovelier weekend in view - especially if it's a long weekend like mine - and thank you as always for dropping by. See you next Saturday!

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Sewing kits

Well I am much better today than last Saturday! but in between, there's been so much coughing and sneezing that knitting was impractical at best. So today, let's talk about sewing kits with Ricardo, my friendly fireplace rooster.

Isn't he lovely? He watches over all this stuff from his perch in the glass bowl behind him. It's worth noting while I'm here that a fireplace mantel is an excellent standing desk for small bouts of hand stitching. 

A note too re. the pin cushion shaped like a cat. My mum made this for me when I was in my first grownup apartment and finally had the cat I'd always dreamed of living with some day. She was honouring my love of said cat without ever realizing I would be, you know, sticking pins in a *cat*! Still, I've always used it and always treasured it. I mean all that extra embroidery she put in there... Oh, I miss her, and not just because tomorrow is Mother's Day.

Okay, let's look inside the blue tin, which served as my aunt's sewing kit in the 60s and 70s:

A green seam ripper! I love it. And she kept her safety pins in a plastic case she picked up in New Hampshire. Probably there was originally a plastic raincoat in that little case, or at least a plastic rainbonnet. They used to sell those all accordioned into the box, and you could never ever fit them in again.

Here's my sewing kit, kept in a soup tureen gifted to me after another aunt passed. It's the best I've ever had - lift the lid, and everything I need is right there:

My seam ripper is red because that's my favourite colour. The pincushion lives in here too. There's so much you can cram inside because the lid is vaulted to accommodate whatever's sticking up.

Here's the absolute favourite though, a tiny gas-station branded kit my aunt picked up and never used:

The 'Esso' logo is printed on a tiny tape measure that sits atop a red thimble, over tiny wooden spools of black and then white thread. 

Plus eight additional colours!

The pins are for emergency use only, folks. There are even tiny buttons and safety pins in the top. I wonder if it would all fit in again as neatly, if you ever took things out to use them?

Sadly I'll never know because the lid is jammed on so tight, then taped. I've never been able to get it open. It's the Time Capsule Sewing Kit.

Do you have a favourite sewing kit setup? 

Thanks for dropping by today - hope you have a wonderful weekend and also, Mother's Day, if you are celebrating! See you next Saturday.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Sick Day

Guys, I am down for the count with a cold - haven't been able to knit (or read!) for days, definitely can't face taking cute knitting pix today. So please enjoy a placemarker photo of a mug matched to a lot of classic crimey paperback spines:

I will be back, hopefully even coherent, next week. If you're missing my voice in the meantime you are welcome to read my book posts over at Instagram, from whence this beaut has come. You don't need to register there or anything.

Have a marvellous Saturday! I plan to spend mine napping in between giant bowls of chicken soup.