As I sat today and gazed upon the indelible stain on my cream merino I thought I might move on from fashion hints to those of a laundry nature, but unfortunately, well not unfortunately at all as the poor parched plants needed it, it has been raining this morning and thus not conducive to artistic pictures of washing hanging on the line.
|Rare sighting of a raindrop|
But the lettuces are looking distinctly perky, and the Head Chef is waxing lyrical about the smell of rain on fresh earth, and he is not a poetic type, except for the occasional doggerel presented to me on wedding anniversaries, which makes me cry; but as I am sure that I have said before, my family knows they have succeeded on the present front if it makes me cry.
(As well as perking up the green growing things, I hope the rain will perk down his hair as he marches off to bond with his pigs: he has a certain air of having spent some time with his fingers in an electrical socket this morning.)
Such is the rarity of precipitation in these parts that I did have an urge to leap from my couch and go and roll vigorously on the front lawn in thanks and propitiation to the rain gods, but I would most certainly injure myself, if not in the rolling, probably in my precipitation from the house.
And anyway, I have been feeling stitchy. I think it is the effect of spring and sunshine but I am filled with an overwhelming urge to make and create, in a textile way, you will understand.
Such is the stitchiness that I found myself sitting in bed this morning with paper pattern tissue spread across the counterpane. My little princess no longer has a call for maternally made ensembles, so I will divert my need to clothe someone into making clothes for myself.
You might say that things have come to a pretty pass: nearly twenty-five years of marriage and the Saturday morning lie-in involves wrestling a paper pattern back into the envelope, with the Head Chef giving me helpful hints as to following the folds, and asking polite questions about what I am going to 'start making next'. But having been searching for many years, my view is that it takes a maturing of the mind to realize that the seeker can move a step nearing to finding out the meaning of life by pondering the potential inherent in the pattern, in all its forms and guises.
And little does the Head Chef know that making a dirndl skirt with an elastic waist will involve total immersion in enough patterns to stock a small shop, and midnight perusal of arcane books on tailoring with diagrams I cannot begin to understand. It's the academic training, I tell him, I need to read around the subject.
Anyway, today the pattern constitutes a distraction activity: as a fluffy vegetarian in a house full of hearty meat eaters, I find it rather uncomfortable listening to anecdotes about what happened on the way to the abattoir, or when he got there, or ... here I must draw a veil on behalf of readers as sensitive as myself.
I know that I cultivate the air of a sympathetic listener, always eager to hear about and engage with the various activities undertaken by my little flock (even when I would rather be learning how to twist a cable) but the intricate detail of the destiny of a pig is a step too far, and I like to pull down a little shutter in my head and pretend that they gambol in orchards forever.
|Up the garden path|
So back to the patterns: I fell asleep in a whirl of inspiration over this lovely little book, which leapt out of a shop window and kidnapped me whilst I was just off to have a cup of tea. (I can blame the General for this, only I wouldn't dare tell him, as his basilisk optics would look down on mine in a superior manner, and he would opine on the necessity of taking responsibility for one's own actions, a very worthy sentiment which he has, I must admit, learnt at my very own knee.)
Prolific digital artists with giant boxes and portfolios to transport about the country need a chauffeur on hand, and at very particular times, which necessitated my lurking about town for an hour, and some gravitational pull exerted by things tactile and textile drew me in the direction of a very magical shop where the assistants charm the fabric off the shelves and into your bag.
|Unfortunate carrier bag and sensible knitting bag|
The only drawback is that the carrier bags in the magical shop are, more's the pity, transparent. Rather than acting as a cloak of invisibility, these insubstantial bags somehow emphasize the extravagant enormity of the spell which has overcome the hapless wanderer who is charmed through the fatal door into a wonderland which is all too material.
And it is this magical bag of visibility which brings me to one of my handy hints to help you on your dusty road through life: always carry a knitting bag, just to be on the safe side. And a capacious one at that.
Because if magic shops give out invisible carrier bags, you can always transfer a portion of your purchases into the dark depths of your knitting bag.
And then when they emerge, it will just appear as if they have been in your possession forever and a day, and are just part of your crafty entourage which accompanies you everywhere, just in case you have a few minutes spare, and being so industrious and thrifty you never pass up an opportunity to whip up a little something out of nothing.
|Capacious knitting bag|
Like the knitting bag which, of course, is the acme of economy being a confection of repurposed fabric (and how I love that word 'repurposed' which has arrived on these shores with a sense of direction, and well, purpose, rather than the more meandering, rambling, happy-go-lucky, 'recycled'), from a skirt that didn't quite match the aspirations of a three-year-old princess.
So there you have it, more thrifty lifestyle hints from one who tries very hard: always carry a knitting bag, read around the subject, and be careful, be very careful, if you feel an urge to roll on the grass in the rain.
And with that, dear readers, I will leave you, as I go off to practise what I preach. Have a lovely weekend.