Thursday, November 28, 2013

Little Santa and the Etsy Store

Last week I was working on getting my little Santa pattern knocked into shape, with a view to FINALLY getting my Etsy Store up and running. Making my own patterns has never been a problem; so many times I just sketch something on paper, cut it out and stitch it into existence. But taking my fudged-together paper bits and taking them through the transformative design process has long proved to be a stumbling block.

But this time I was determined to push through the pain barrier and work it through to completion. And I did. It took my entire weekend to tweak the pattern, produce the sample (thereby testing my own instructions), tweak the pattern again, take a thousand dodgy photographs, and finally get to the point where I thought it was done.

And then we come to opening an Etsy Store ...

There is no such thing as just-opening-an-Etsy-Store. Fair dinkum, it felt like writing a job application for a position for which I was ill-qualified! I confess to being quite the novice, and not exactly possessing a head for business, it became a long, drawn-out, and tiresome exercise. But I was as diligent as I could possibly be, and I now have my shop up and functioning, complete with polite little policies, a few pretty pictures, and a PDF pattern!

It is hopefully the first of many. A meagre offering perhaps, but it does feel so very good to have put a drop in my bucket of dreams. I have two more little Christmas projects nearing completion, and the patterns are already a good way through the design process. At the moment I'm just having fun and enjoying the satisfaction of making sweet little things.

Wish me well my friends!

Evie xxx

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Watson and the devil of a day

Poor Watson has had a day of it. We had a 45 minute drive to the groomer this morning; a bath and blow-dry and then the dreaded clippers. He has once again been transformed from a scruffable bundle to a handsome poodle-dog. He sits so beautifully tall and proud (not that he is that tall). But then we had the trip to the vet-doctor this afternoon for annual vaccinations and the heart-worm needle. She also plucked his ears out and checked to make sure all was well deep down in his ear canals. But I think the thermometer up his rear end was the final indignity. He is asleep at my feet now. It's all been a bit exhausting.

I find it best to go off and have a coffee, leaving the groomer to do her business. I spent a whole hour with my knitting, a big cappucino and an almond friand. It was busy, but not so busy that I felt guilty in taking up a whole table and two chairs. It was a wonderful panacea to the hurry of life; knowing that I had the simple pleasure of time to sit and knit and think and let my mind wander wherever-it-will.

I am on to my second entrelac sock, and have almost completed the trickiest bit. It's nearly time to work the heel and knit on down to the toe. I'm thinking of trying something a little more complex for my next set of socks; Farmer McGregor, a pattern from my Socktopus book by Alice Yu.

It's good to have aspirations ... but I might be calling on my knitting gurus for this lot! Be warned y'all. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Vintage finds

Sadly, one of our local vintage thrifty shops closed it's doors last month. It has long been a favourite haunt; just the place to pick up old lace doilies, odd buttons, embroidered pillow shams and old ladies gloves. They have also stocked an excellent range of vintage hats, shoes, frocks, and ties, and usually enough daggy pre-loved gear to outfit one for those dress-up-parties-of-the-unmentionable-birthday variety.


Apart from the beautiful blue French embroidery cotton, I was able to pick up a silk kerchief, a couple of fine lace doilies, a string of pearls, some vintage buttons ...

... lots of assorted triangle cards of old press-studs, and a box of fine crochet cotton.

I also scored a whole bolt of scrummy chocolate-coloured braid. I can see it now, stitched around the collar and cuffs of a future Regency Spencer jacket creation ...

I spent an entire hour sitting awkwardly on the carpeted floor rifling through knitting patterns that stretched back some seventy or eighty years at least. I could have bought so many, but it was the quaint Paton's knitting booklets from the 1940s that came home with me in the end. There were baskets full of odd balls of wool, tins of knitting needles and crochet hooks; boxes of old dress patterns, magazines, and other strange assortments of ye-olde-things.

I can't help but be captivated by the ephemera of the past. Perhaps they are the things that link my modern-day life to the whisper of my grandparents' hand-me-down existence; the time when a woman's handiwork was valued and cherished, when remnants were hoarded up to be repurposed, when a reel of thread was eeked out sparely and gathered resources were conserved. I still feel as though I have one foot on that polished linoleum floor, as though I could rest my head upon the velveteen cushions in the dimly-lit front room, and listen to the steady rhythm of the wind-up clock.

I love to dip my hands into the tin of old buttons, to thread a fine needle, to make tiny stitches and slowly create something useful, or even something beautiful. 

These are the things that help to ground me when I feel overwhelmed by a pace that is not of my making.

It helps me to breathe.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Secret Socks

Knitting + Spare Moments = Secret Socks
Knitting + Spare Moments + Thinking = Rambling Thoughts

Pondering the rhythms of life
That aren't really rhythms
But are more like waves crashing on the shore
Sometimes a raging sea; wild and uncontained
A swirling, churning, bruising, swallowing, dragging swell
I bet you know it all too well
+ + +
Yet other times held soft and warm
Afloat, becalmed; Anchored by some sturdy means
The waves are waves no more, than ripples on said distant shore
I cannot find a rhythm here
The tides will come
And tides will go
There will always be ebb and flow
The constant thread that I hold to
Is all I make and all I do
Though some may think it all is dust
Need drives me on - create I must
Still knitting ... happily

Nearly there.

Crazy Zauberball by Schoppel-wolle in Herbstwind 1507
Purchased at Morris and Sons, Sydney on Bushfire Thursday 2013

Secret Socks are a secret because they are a gifty for someone who won't expect them :)