English Rose's Blog

{December 7, 2011}   Hexipuffing

A few months ago I spotted a cute little pattern called Beekeeper’s Quilt. I immediately added it to my favourites on Ravelry.

I have a rule that I am not allowed to work on more than one project at a time. I like to finish things that I start and am quite determined that I will stick to this rule as much as I possibly can. At the time I found the pattern I was working on Citron as a Christmas present for my Nana so those cute little hexipuffs had to wait.

Citron is now complete, and while there are so many patterns out there I want to make, Beekeeper’s Quilt  is really pulling on my attention, I want to make a start.

The great thing about this project is that it is so portable, and although I will have just one project page on Ravelry for the full quilt, each hexipuff is essentially one project so I can do this project in between other projects and it does not break my one project at a time rule. Or am I just making excuses so that I can start this project and put it down again whenever I want??

At Tea Tree Tea I picked up some scrap sock yarn at the yarn swap which is perfect in allowing me to do a little practice run of my very first hexipuff.

Beekeeper’s Quilt, I’m ready for you!


{December 2, 2011}   Happy Anniversary TTT

I work full time, and until recently also had a part time job. It was only an extra 8-12 hours a week, but in the remaining free time I had I just flopped. Well, due to a number of factors I gave the part time job up. I’d had enough and wanted my life back.

I had been a bit of a lurker on the Tea Tree Tea group on Ravelry for quite some time and without the excuse of a second job to hold me back any longer I went along. The group were spread around the front of the cafe so I couldn’t possibly speak to everybody, but the people seemed very nice and so I have returned a number of times now.

It turns out that the TTT folks have been as a group for two years and last night they had a little anniversary party. It was a wonderful chance to meet more people, get rid of some yarn that I had purchased and could not identify a project for, pick up some pretty yarns that others had acquired and could not identify a project for, and buy some yarn (shhh). I also must not forget the cake, cocktail (thanks Rod) and wine!

As I had volunteered to gather the rejected yarns and take them to the charity shop I decided to join a few others for the “after party” at the Filmhouse bar so that I would then be able to get a lift home from my boyfriend rather then head home by bus. It was nice to have a good natter with the small group (Nathalie, Jackie, ummm … need to learn more names!!), but soon the evening was over as my chauffeur had arrived. I thought Rod was about to have a fit when he saw how much yarn I loaded into the tiny BMW Z3. I assured him that it was charity shop bound!!

{November 30, 2011}   So here I am, a knitter

From a young age I enjoyed arts and crafts. When I got to high school my enjoyment of arts and crafts died thanks to a horrendous art teacher who didn’t make art fun in any way and didn’t appreciate that I might just be able to paint a picture in 80 minutes and be happy with the results. Instead I was made to sit for three more weeks and ruin the picture I was happy with to make the teacher happy. Actually, that should be read as, leave him in peace for three more weeks so that he could sit and read a newspaper rather than give me a different project.

I didn’t really pick up any form of craft again until education was out of the way and I’d moved into my own place. I started out with feeling the need to do something … but wasn’t sure what. I looked at courses offered in the local area. I liked the look of the sewing class so signed up. I made a bag. I wasn’t overly happy with the end result, but it wasn’t too bad considering I hadn’t ever made anything on a sewing machine before. I decided to take another sewing class and make an item of clothing. Again, the results weren’t great, but you have to start somewhere and learn from your experiences.

I love pretty papers so tried my hand and making paper, and the next logical step seemed to be to bind paper into a book. I found instructions on the internet and gave it a go.

I then found a felting class so took a block of felting. I loved the fact that you got very quick results. I started making felt brooches from pieces of wet felt I’d made. I even managed to sell a couple of the brooches I’d made. I did a second block of felting class to try some different techniques.

My mind started drifting back to sewing again. Kate is pretty nifty with a sewing machine and offered to teach me to make a shopping bag. We went shopping for fabric. I had no idea there were so many gorgeous fabrics. Kate made a great teacher and our first session was a great success. We have now made a few bags together, and even created a pattern together which I love.

I still felt a little empty though, these crafts didn’t satisfy my requirements. The problem was that I had two jobs and really needed a portable craft. Knitting scared me a little so I opted to learn crochet instead. I signed up to a magazine series to learn to crochet. I loved it, but still I didn’t feel entirely satisfied. I looked at my crochet and the problem was that it did not give me the kind of fabric I wanted to be able to make clothing. At around the same time a friend posted on Facebook that she was interested in going to a knitting class at K1 Yarns and she wondered if anybody wanted to join her. Umm … me?

Let’s go back in time again. My Mum asked me if I wanted to learn to knit when I was about 11 years old. Sure I thought, that sounds like fun. Well, my Mum casted on for me and showed me how to knit. I did. Then whenever something “complicated” needed doing, the project when back to my Mum, she worked her magic and then I was on my way again. Mum cast off for me and my first bit of knitting was complete. I had made a bootie, a single lonely bootie. I never did make its twin. In my mind all I could think about was that it was complicated as I had to take my knitting to Mum anytime something other than straightforward knit was required.

Lindsay and I signed up for the knitting class – a two parter at the local yarn store. If the craft still wasn’t for me then I haven’t invested too much time or money. Vala was my teacher, and she was great. I understood everything she said and demonstrated. It turns out that I prefer continental knitting over English knitting … gasp … but I am English!! I think it comes from having been crocheting as when I was taught by my mum it was the English way. Continental just feels so much more natural to me.

So here I am, a knitter. Something I never thought I would be.

et cetera