Thursday, June 27, 2013

Clown bottoms, confidence, and books

To return to one of my (very few) topics of recent months, Demelza has now posted a whole set of great photos of 'An ode to the pleasures of minor encounters' - now you can see the piece from all angles. Love it.

And now, the story of the little prototypes that didn't. Before the pumpkins, I had an idea of making felted soup mugs for the exhibition - something like this in shape (scroll down to the big photo). These purple ones are unfinished - I was planning to attached the handle with a button, like this jug from years ago. But after several iterations to tweak the shape, I decided the fabric was too floppy. I moved on to different wool (not in this photo), but didn't like the colour combination as much, and at that point I ran out of steam... the pumpkins seemed like a better bet. I'd like to have carried this off, but let's just say it needed more development time than I had available.

No. To be honest I also lost confidence in my idea - particularly its appropriateness for the event in question, but also whether what I was trying to do would make any sense to others. The exhibition was very much conceived to be about functional vessels, and mainly for pottery. I do like the idea of trying to mimic pottery with felt (without dismissing textiles entirely, hence the button), but I'm not sure this was the right outlet.

And to return to one of last night's subjects, Shaun's comment, as well as being a good suggestion, which I also don't plan to do (ha!) reminded me that I used to keep a sort of lazy book journal. It was just a word document where, as I finished each book, I would put down a few brief thoughts. I would also add any quotes that I was sufficiently enamoured with to write down.

Reading is a constant pleasure in my life and I wasn't willing to turn it into a chore (or associate a chore with it) so I never made myself write much about each book. And even so, it did become a chore and I always seemed to have a backlog of books waiting to be added to the list. I stopped bothering a few years ago, not long after I got into the habit of using Librarything just to to list each book as I read it. That was because I wanted the widget that you see on the right hand side there. I don't know if anyone tends to look at it, but if you ever find yourself reading something around the same time as me, I'd love to talk books! Since late last year, I've mainly been cycling between two excellent series, Stephen King's Dark Tower, which I have been meaning to dive into for ages, and Gwyneth Jones' Bold as Love series.

So anyway, my old book journal tells me that I first read American Gods in 2003. Ten years ago! Maybe I can let myself off the hook for my poor memory of it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



Have you seen enough pears? If not don't worry, I have plenty more pears planned, including an interesting challenge from my best customer and dear friend. More on that soon, I hope.


Meanwhile, I made some pumpkins for the CraftACT shop's "For the love of soup" event this Saturday. I'm sure, if I kept making pumpkins like I have with the pears (don't know, yet) that I would have fun stretching what could be considered "good pumpkin colours." It's a distinctive shape, so it probably doesn't strictly have to be orange (or grey).

Here they are with some thread snippers for some idea of scale. A prize-winning size of pumpkin would take a long time to knit, given the shrinkage involved in felting.


I've given it a little time, but I still don't like the new Flickr format. I don't like all the photos squashed together and clamouring for attention. It makes me feel a bit panicky, for some reason. I guess I'll get used to it.

I'm re-reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods at the moment. It's great. And I know I liked it when I first read it, but I couldn't remember what it was about, beyond the barest concepts. It's irrational but I'm a bit afraid it's going to disappear from my brain again as soon as I finish, or even start dropping out while I'm still reading it, if I don't read fast enough. There is a bit in it where Shadow asks Mr Wednesday who they are going to meet in Las Vegas, and Mr Wednesday tells him, and then a few minutes later Shadow realises that although he asked, he can't remember the answer and asks again. And he still ends up having no idea who it is. Is that what is happening with that book in my head?

Actually, now that I think about it, I often don't have the best memory for books (movies and tv shows too, though that could be because my mind is at least half on my knitting). Not that long ago I decided to quickly read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas prior to seeing the movie. I  knew I had read another of his books and wanted to read this one...except as soon as I started, I realised that I had read it before. It has a very distinctive structure. Still, I read through the whole thing again and only remembered how each bit went as I got to it. I guess this is the opposite problem to the one with American Gods - in that case I knew I had read it and couldn't remember the content, with Cloud Atlas I couldn't remember reading it, but at least recognised the content.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Something I once thought I would never do

Mia's coat
Well, aside from letting the dogs sleep on my bed - I lost that battle years ago, and now I wouldn't have it any other way. I really didn't see myself knitting clothing for my long-haired dogs! But they are getting older and this girl has been feeling the cold - her hair doesn't grow as thick in winter as her brother's. Unlike the raincoats they both despise, she doesn't seem to mind wearing this at all. And it was the simplest thing to knit. At some point I'll do one for Elvis too.

Mia's coat 2

Mia's coat again

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Off the square (in Le Marais, and Marriage II)

I seem to have fallen into a time warp recently. It was over a week ago that we went to have another look at the Off the Square exhibition before it closed. And I've been just about to post photos here, every day since.
There were signs asking people not to photograph the exhibition. So I asked special permission, and  kept the works other than Mum's only in the background.
The woman's jacket is 'Marriage II'

And the man's, 'Off the square in Le Marais'
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That's gold leather applique, on corduroy. Yes!
And I need to apply myself to getting the white balance right, or at least consistent if I'm going to present a set like this.