It seems like the pinny got the vote in my last post, so I just wanted to tell you that you can have one just like that, too.
There is a wonderful tutorial by Jona G, called 'Apron in an Hour', which you can find here. This shows you how to make an apron just like this one, using a fat quarter for the front, and half a yard of fabric for the ties, and the instructions are so clear - step by step with photographs of every stage, so that you just can't go wrong. Even a complete beginner could make one of these pinnies as it is all straight stitching, no curves or gathers, and no pattern pieces to fiddle about with.
The latest one above was made for a special friend whose kitchen is a dream, all red and spotty (in the nicest possible way, of course). She cuts Princess Bunchy's hair for me, as the Princess will not let her mother near her hair with a pair of scissors, ever since the fateful day when said mother decided to give her Princess ringlets and in the process got the styling brush irretrievably stuck in the Princess's hair, just below her left ear. In most households it is small children who give themselves lopsided haircuts when their mothers aren't looking - unfortunately it seems that in Pomona's cottage the parent was the guilty party, and the daughter was the one who had the grace to accept an impromptu haircut, or perhaps surgical operation would be a more appropriate term, in order to remove a hairbrush. She accepted the situation with a brave and stoic mien, but ever since has exhibited a certain wariness on glimpsing a pair of scissors in my hands.
I normally cut my own hair (I can tell, I hear you say, sniggering) but on professional inspection yesterday it seems that I had actually managed to get the front snipping quite symmetrical. I will pass over the fact that the Head Chef's attempts with the scissors on the back were perhaps not quite so level, which accounts for the fact that I am always left with one section shorter than the rest when I plait it. But it could be the fact that we use wrapping paper scissors for hair - dressmaking ones being far too precious. But now you will be pleased to know any little amateurish inconsistencies have been evened out by a more expert pair of hands.
But enough of such vanities, and on to the important things like fabric and yarn, and crafting for twenty minutes a day. I have much to thank Marmalade Rose for - I have only missed out on my crafting on two rather wobbly days, and it is the making and creating that has kept me on the smiley side of sanity this winter.
Meet Me at Mike's has had a granny square initiative, and I did spend a whole evening trying to teach myself to crochet - I did think I had mastered the hook at eleven at night, but by the next morning I seemed to have forgotten it all again. So I think I will have to revisit the art of crochet at a later, lighter, and calmer date.
But back to the nitty gritty of fabric - for the red spotty apron I used some Tanya Whelan fabric - Rosie Dot and Ticking in red, from Gone to Earth. The first pinny I made (the one at the top) was in Heather Bailey's Pop Garden Rose Bouquet in yellow from Saints and Pinners, together with her Bijoux Tiled Primrose in turquoise, also from Gone to Earth.
But you don't have to buy fabric specially - I made one of these aprons for the Seaside Landlady (I think all seaside landladies must be in possession of a pinny, and possibly a headscarf and curlers to match), with a fat quarter from my stash - Kaffe Fassett, I think - and I used an old pillowcase from a charity shop for the ties and trim. Just open out all the seams and you will have plenty of fabric for nice long ties, but remember to avoid any worn parts in your quest for serviceability.
But it hasn't all been aprons round here - I have also finished what my dear mamma termed 'odd socks', although she did afterwards tell me that she was referring to the randomness of colour, rather than any inherent peculiarity of the knitting. These were knitted using one skein of Colinette Jitterbug in Popsicle, and in order to demonstrate to you the stress I was under whilst completing the second of the pair, here is all the yarn I had left.
It was touch and go, I can tell you, much anxious weighing of the ball and much pessimism on my part as to whether I would get to the toe without having recourse to a makeweight in another shade and brand of yarn entirely. The Head Chef was most amused.
But all's well that ends well, and they really aren't odd socks, and I do have enough left for darning. I used 2.5mm DPNS and the 8 stitches per inch pattern from Ann Budd's sock book in the adult small size which comfortably fits my size 5/38 feet. So if you want to knit anything bigger, I suggest buying more than one skein of Jitterbug - it will be much gentler on your blood pressure. This yarn does make lovely soft and cosy socks, so I would really recommend it.
However, do be warned, once you start wearing hand-knitted socks, it completely ruins you for anything else; it is a sort of cashmere cardigan effect - once experienced, nothing else quite lives up to it.
Now just one last word to say thank you for all of those kind comments after my last sad little post, I do appreciate them. It was a bit of a wobbly time, but we are steadying ourselves day by day.
And although I do miss my little Black Dog, I have also had quite a few blessings to count this week. My computer is back from the hospital, and absence has indeed made my heart grow fonder, and did you know that you can get portable hard drives in CK red?
Mr Dyson was able to repair the vacuum cleaner, in spite of the fact that it seemed to me that more bits were broken than working. It is obviously all a matter of perception.
And it is raining so hard here that the Head Chef has been impelled to tidy the shed, not to mention his current love affair with Danish oil means that our worktops are positively beaming.
Also, even better, dearest Nina of Tabiboo has sent me the loveliest little dog from Scotland - it is the present that I would have chosen for myself, and has brightened up my week so much. Perhaps it might assuage my desire for a square-faced puppy.
In the face of such a wonderful present, I also feel quite fortified in advance of my birthday, well able to cope with whatever the Head Chef and Princess Bunchy have decided that I need in my life, and the fact that the Ploughboy will probably still forget, in spite of electronic reminders from his fearsomely-organized brother. I found two hot water bottles in my Amazon basket last week - and I am not sure if they are a red herring, or the consequence of constantly complaining about the cold.
I have also been reading Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, on the recommendation of Karen at Sew and Sow Life, a book which is also most wonderfully fortifying, and should be part of the National Curriculum. But thereby hangs a world more tales, and I think that better be it for today - I am being beckoned by some pyjamas which need darning and the biggest ball of candy-pink yarn that I have ever seen. The rain it raineth, but I am for the fireside. Have a good day!