I know. We’re lame. But I have to say, you’re more lame than me. Up here, we’re not on retreat in a bucolic albeit possibly rodent-infested setting. We WISH we were in a bucolic albeit possibly rodent-infested setting. Here, there have been real-life struggles worthy of a reality show. Human versus massive numbers of cardboard boxes and dusty old stuff. (I don’t say humans, plural, because basically, it’s me versus the cardboard boxes. The only stress being suffered by the rest of ’em is the tedium of waiting for me to fish their essentials out of cardboard boxes and dispose of dusty old stuff.)
By now, you’ve surely noticed that there are no pictures in this post. What do you want from me, miracles? I’m on a borrowed computer that does not want to talk to my camera. I could post you pictures of the borrowed computer’s vacation in Venice, perhaps? I suspect the real problem is that the borrowed computer wants pictures of Venice, not What Kay’s Knitting Right Now.
A confession: in addition to the stresses and strains associated with Floral Container Overload, Absence of Nonsecured Wireless Bandwidth, and Personal Stuff in Multiple Locations, there is another factor affecting my ability to contribute to our knitting blog in a meaningful way. Are you ready? I’m quilting. Get OUT! Yes, I’m quilting myself silly. One of the first items to be unearthed from the cardboard mountain was the Janome Jem, jewel of my heart. My first foray to the outside world (other than the Container Store) was to Purl Patchwork. I was jonesing for fabric. I needed a quilting frame. I was out of thread. (Think about that. When was the last time you ran out of THREAD? Until this quilting thing grabbed me, I owned spools of thread that dated back to the early 80s. I intended to pass them down to my heirs, minus at most a couple of buttons worth.)
Since last we spoke, I have discovered the zen of string quilts and the glory that is chain-piecing. I’ve been stacking, and I’ve been whacking. My mind has been blown to SMITHEREENS by this book (Don’t click on that link unless your mind is prepared to be blown.)
Yesterday, thanks to a 30-second demonstration by the kindhearted Joelle Hoverson, patroness of Purl (here’s a tip: a summertime Monday is a great time to drop in on your local quilting retailer to cadge free tips), I learned–really learned–how to do the ‘rocker’ method of handquilting. It’s not, as I had gathered from my booklearning on the subject, something that you do whilst clutching the tiny sliver of a needle between your thumb and index finger. It’s more like acupuncture. You lightly stick the tippymost tip of the needle vertically into the quilt, using only your thimbled index or second finger. You give it the slightest tap so that it goes to the other side. After that, all the work is done by the hand on the bottom. When I tried to do this for Joelle, I couldn’t stop sticking my thumb in there to hold onto the needle. It just wanted to go there. This was messing up my whole style, slowing me down, unevening my stitches and hurting my wrist. As Joelle put it, I needed ‘less thumb involvement’. Last night I sat up practicing, willing my thumb to stay OUT. Eventually, will power triumphed over muscle memory. And it works! It rilly works! I’m making those teeny tracks of handquilting! I may never knit again! (Kidding. The thing I will always love about knitting: I can, um, do it.)
Missing you like the Dickens,
loving you to bits,
and promising to do better,