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Sunday, December 31, 2006

And So To Wrap Up The Year

I've seen this on some other blogs and thought it was quite a neat thing to do. A wrap up of this year's blog:

JANUARY - The Diamond Patch Jumper - I started this jumper last summer. (I.e. summer 2005/2006. It progressed about halfway, then I decided to have my op and realised that it was going to miles too big for me, so I used the unused yarn to knit the Norah Gaughan Vogue Knitting cardigan which I blogged about much later).

FEBRUARY - Books! - I'm obsessed with books. We are drowning under the weight of our book collection. (This was a meme about books I had read, was going to read, wanted to read or had never heard of. As a result of this meme, Taphophile gifted me a copy of The Time Traveller's Wife, which I have only just got round to reading, and it is one of the best books I had read in a long time).

MARCH - My Beautiful International Exchange Scarf - A little late, but no less beautiful, this is my International Scarf Exchange Scarf from Tina. Tina has no blog or website and barely posted to the ISE blog, so I know almost nothing about her, but she sure knows how to pick the most beautiful colours. This is a gorgeous thick and thin yarn, fairly coarse but I just adore the way the colours meld into each other. (It was a mixture of blues and browns and very pretty indeed).

APRIL - Use What You Have Month - I haven't written so far about my Use What You Have Month. I have managed not to buy any craft materials except for a few bits I needed for my course (and for this Friday I genuinely don't need to buy anything new! I really will be using What I Have). However I haven't managed to stop buying magazines, naughty me. I did also buy one book - I really wasn't going to buy any craft books this month but this one on art quilts was exaclt what I had been looking for to help with my two major assignments due at the end of semester :)

MAY - Project Spectrum May - Green - Also K is for Kid - Fashion Show at The Highway Gallery for this year's Come For a Yarn, their festival of knitting and crochet.It is a Shardigan, pattern by Terri Ranck (Google for her, she doesn't seem to have an actual site as far as I can see), knitted in quite different yarns from those used in the original pattern.On me it is a shoulder shawl. (This was a picture of Wombat wearing a green shawl - one of my favorites and one I must knit again in other colours because it is the right size and weight to go with all sorts of things).

JUNE - School Holidays - We're halfway through the school holidays here and it has been hard getting computer time, so not much blogging has occurred. We're having a pretty quiet holiday, as we were all recovering from (everyone else) or starting (me) yet more colds and things - it has been a bad winter for viruses. There's been lots of computer games, DVDs, Gamecube games, reading, beading and hanging out with friends, so that's been nice. Last night we visited friends for dinner and had a lovely evening - their house is full of dogs and artworks and artefacts from foreign travels, and they are wonderful people.

JULY - Stitched up Festival Wangaratta - I fear that a semester of 'art school' has turned me into an artistic snob. I found myself going around the exhibits at the aerodrome muttering under my breath. There was some lovely stuff there, certainly, but nearly everything that won a first prize in its section was so conventional, while the wilder stuff rarely got even a commendation. There was a lovely series of A5 embroideries, for instance, that made me think of encrusted corsets - lots of exciting techniques and effects - and absolutely nothing for them. That artist did win a prize in another section, but with the most conventional (and least interesting) of her pieces.

AUGUST - Gum Leaves - We aren't doing as much stitch work this semester as last semester, but this is one piece I did a few weeks ago. We had to do something illustrating over-and-under techniques. I had a huge amount of fun doing this!It is not necessarily botanically or zoologically correct - I don't think this sort of eucalypt has that sort of leaf gall, and i don't know if a spider that looks like that one spins webs and hangs around in trees like this, but I confess I was aiming for effect and not accuracy! (This was a textile piece that I was very proud of!)

SEPTEMBER - Hate CPAP Machine - Rotten CPAP machine. I thought I'd had a good night's sleep last night but I feel blinkin' terrible today - headache, all over aches, knackered, just like I'd never made any attempt to get the CFS under control. (I'm glad to say that the CPAP machine and I became firm friends, I felt heaps better, and now I have lost enough weight for my sleep apnoea to have vanished entirely and I am still feeling much more energetic. The CFS and Fibromylagia haven't completely vanished but they are much more under control and life is much better).

OCTOBER - FRAGMENTS OF ME - The original collage for this work consists of childhood photos, photos of my own daughter and niece and nephews, street maps of two of the most significant places I have lived, and the (present day) board outside the hospital where I was born.Although I was reasonably happy with this collage and played around with some stitching ideas to use with it, I then decided that the composition was too static. While playing around with photo-editing software I attempted distorting the picture several times, and chose these three distortions to place side-by-side in a triptych.It shows how our perceptions of ourselves as children are distorted in the real world, and those perceptions distort further as we get older and become parents ourselves. Different aspects of our lives take precedence at different times. For me, family is a constant theme that informs how I live my life. The stitched border represents the gardens of all the places I have lived in and the domesticity that forms the bedrock of my life and relationships with others.My grandmother’s charm bracelet completes the picture. Two of the charms (the sheep which she hung the wrong way round, and the flat iron) were makeweights that she put on to balance it out. The other charms are a St Christopher medal that belonged to one of her sons whose plane was shot down during WW2; a silver threepenny piece; and the navy badge worn by the other of her sons who was killed during the war, in the Battle of Crete.

NOVEMBER - a Finished Object That is not a Sock! - This is the cardigan I have just finished. (Actually, looking at mine next to the picture of the real thing, I realise that I have made a mistake in the sewing up which will require fifteen minutes rectification).
It's the cabled cardigan by Norah Gaughan (whose designs I love) from Vigue Knitting Fall 2006. Instead of knitting it in a wool/alpaca mix which I would never be cold enough to wear, I used the cotton/acrylic mix I have mentioned before, Stonewash by Elle. I'm not sure how many balls I used (me bad). It was a surprisingly quick knit, the scarf thing round the front took the longest. (This was what the Diamond Patch Jumper morphed into. I did rectify the mistake in the sewing, and it looks fab on - I wore it a couple of days before Christmas and was very pleased with it. I may still knit the Diamond Patch Jumper in something else, but smaller!)

I;ve just realised that I have given the last post of each month, not the first, but for December I will give the first:

DECEMBER - Saturday Sky - We had a weekend of running hither and yon. Grocery and Christmas shopping on Saturday for me, then Baby Bear had this sleepover birthday party (far more convenient for them to be sleepovers when it is a half hour drive into the back of beyond to pick them up!) She did unusually well for a sleepovers - I believe she got a whole five hours sleep this time! (Plus a Saturday Sky picture - I have been slack about taking these but at least I seem to be managing one a month!)

Next year - well, it will be full of more knitting, more pictures, more textile art, and dressmaking - I have recovered my dressmaking mojo with the weight loss and am gradually doing over my entire wardrobe - filled two bags with Fat Clothes for charity last night, bought a few in my current size in the sales, and am about to embark upon dressmaking in slightly smaller sizes (or very adjustable things!)

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