Tuesday, February 19, 2013

sadness and socks

This week has been thrown entirely off-kilter. One minute life is a gas and the whole world is your oyster, and in an instant everything you thought important seems trivial and useless. Sunday morning, in my hometown, a friend of mine was lost in a fatal house fire - along with his girlfriend and a roommate. Mark had been such a gentle, wonderful, ALIVE person; perhaps the most alive a human can be.. and now he's gone. Although I feel so removed from the situation, I was overcome with a feeling of ennui - what is the point of living if we could all die at any given moment? - but I cannot be sad forever. I am now resolved to living life like the fullest, and in a way that I know Mark would be pleased with. It is, perhaps, the very least I can do.

Here are the few mementos I have here to remind me of my friend: two polaroids taken when we hung out in Toronto, and a pin he had made for me by John K Sampson of the Weakerthans. Any others items be in a box in Victoria, which I will pull out and appreciate when next I find myself home, surrounded by friends. 
I remember making jack-o-melons on the back porch of the movie theatre where he was living; jumping a fence and wandering through a chinese fairground lit up for an event; drawing hot-air balloons on his wall. I remember the day we bought a vase from VV and walked from Store St into Ross Bay, chatting and singing and collecting flowers from gardens as we went. We stopped at the Ross Bay Cemetery, the oldest on the island, and wandered around until we found a grave in terrible shape. Alice Conner, if I remember correctly. It was overgrown and cracked so we cleaned it up and swept it off and left our flowers there. For Alice.  
I hope one day I can do the same for dear Mark. 


To keep myself sane and somewhat busy, I've started on the process of knitting all my leftover sock yarns into a few pairs of crazy socks - although, this first pair is not all that crazy. The cuff is a blue/grey gradient, transitioning into black/white/grey stripes, which may end in more blue/grey and possibly some green if I need to stretch the toe. I have half a drawer filled with odds and ends like these, and I'll be glad to cull it... if only to full it again with more yarn. My goal for the year is to knit up some of my existing yarn, and finish 2 of the three half-pieced quilts in my sewing room. It should keep me busy for a little while!

Stay safe, friends. Remember to treasure every moment.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

one down

Dear friends! I have been eager to share these photos with you, the anonymous masses, because I will not post them to facebook until the subject arrives safely with its owner... but I know you're all good about keeping secrets, right? Right. So now, without further ado... 


The quilt is finished!! This is my third hand-quilted project since I learned the art two years ago, and I'll honestly say it may be my favourite. The front pattern is an adaptation of Color Play from Sew Scrappy magazine (spring 2012, I believe), and the back is a nine-patch gradient jumble that I made up based on the dimensions for length. It was many long and tedious months in the making, but I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it and am beyond excited to send it off to its intended...

My grandmother. She will turn 75 in the next few weeks, and has always been my closest friend and confident. She is an amazing woman who I have missed terribly since leaving my little island in the north and moving here to the bible belt, and making this blanket for her is the best way I could think of to show her I love her and give her a hug every time she uses it... which I hope will be lots. 

What's next for my busy fingers, you may be asking? Well, I have a sweater that I started in the fall with a little work left to it, and a blanket that I crocheted that still needs its ends woven in. And then, likely, on to the next big quilt! I'm equally excited and apprehensive. Quilting through the summer is a fresh brand of torture. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

tea for two

Here in the middle of winter, nothing says true bliss like a hot pot of tea. English Breakfast, Earl Grey, green, peach permeated, black with sparkles in... something warm and properly steeped works wonders to soothe the soul and make a body feel whole again. It occurred to me this week that while my tea sat waiting for me to put down my quilting it was getting COLD! And as someone who prefers her cup with milk and sugar, cold tea is a travesty. So I took a little break, pulled myself together, and whipped up a simple tea cozy from some leftover yarn and a button from my box. It may not be the fanciest thing on earth, but it serves its purpose and serves it well. I've also purchased a sharp bamboo tea tray so that I can have everything at arms reach without making multiple trips. Isn't civilization wonderful? 

In other news, I have officially finished the quilting portion of my quilt (YAAAAY!) and will be devoting a day this week to making and attaching the binding. I'm so pleased to have this done, and to have the ability to paint my nails again! I've worn a serious groove in my thumb nail from pushing a needle through the bulky fabric, and it is in need of some attention. 

Happy February, friends!