Going nowhere fast…

MonkeyI don’t know what’s going on at the moment, but it’s taking me forever to get anything done! These poor monkeys have been waiting so patiently to be finished, I feel a little bit guilty. The joy of making two monkeys at once kind of hit a snag when I realised I had to make EIGHT LIMBS. E I G H T. And then sew them on. Every time I get to the sewing arms, legs and heads on I remember what it is I *don’t* like about amigurumi. That said, it is nice when they’re whole.

two green monkeysLook at them! They’re a really nice size actually. They fit comfortably in your hand, and feel oddly delicate, but firm. The fabric this cotton crochets into is pretty sturdy, but there’s something about the size of these fellas makes you feel a bit protective towards them.

One has a scarf, the other has a scarf-in-progess. The scarf in progress is a simple 2×2 rib. I do love the fact that I can knit them scarves now (Thank you, Mum!) It always felt like a bit of a cruel blow that you spend so much time making them and then you’re still not done – you have to crochet them a scarf as well. (Monkeys always need a little accessory. It’s a very unloved monkey that gets sent into the world without one).

familyUmm, yeah. This is a little family, it seems. The littlest one is here to stay, the orangey one does fit rather well on the bookshelf, although is considering leaving home, and the two green ones will be going somewhere, when I’ve decided where. I started making the green ones some drawstring trousers, but there was a hiccup with the sewing machine, so I need to do a little maintenance work first. These are all cotton, where as the yellow one I made recently was wool. Gawd. I said a long time ago that this blog should probably change its name to ‘Occasional Monkey’, perhaps I was right.

Anyway. Yesterday I went to the Creative stitches and Hobbycrafts show at ExCel, in London, because I was lucky enough to be  given a free ticket. (Thank you, Mum!) My friend and I had fun – but it was nowhere near as good as the Alexandra Palace show, which I still think is the best of those kind of events. The stalls were all okay (not widly exciting) but I did enjoy the Royal Schools of Needlework display, which had examples of students’ sketches and works in progress. (My friend Jane took a lovely photo of the blackwork). I keep a sketchbook / notebook for work, but I’m starting to think I should work out a way to make one for fabric / thready things…

sketchThen I’d have somewhere to put the odd things like this which end up stuffed in various boxes around the house. This was me trying to work out a smaller version of a vintage pattern, and then switching to something else entirely (above).

oopsAnd this is me being an idiot and mis-reading a pattern. What do people *do* with things like this? Do any of you do scrapbooking, or have kids that would like less-than-perfect things to collage with? I dunno. Let me know. Anyway, I digress.

As well as the Royal School of Needlework display, there were some lovely quilts on show. I loved the rich colours on this one, which is actually evenly lit, but has a natural gradient in the fabrics, making it look like its moving from shadows to sunshine:

colourThere was also a display of smocks and smocking, which I think was from a collection owned by the WI. They were absolutely beautiful, my favourites being all one colour, natural linen. It was hard to get a photo as the weren’t well lit, but this is the kind of thing:

smockingSmocking is actually on my list of things to try. (It’s a long list, mind you). Oh – would you look at that, a nice tutorial! It was the work of this lady, who made me realise just how beautiful this kind of thing could be. Actually, looking at it now makes me want to chuck everything I’m working on out of the window, take a week off and learn how to do this *right now*.

We left the show, had lunch and then headed back to Somerset House for the the Walpole Crafted: Makers of the Exceptional 2013 show. (I say ‘headed back’ as we were only there a few weeks ago). This was a nice afternoon mooch – in the same space as the previous show we’d seen. Again there was some thought provoking work on display. I did love the colours on this Fair Isle Knitting, by Mati Ventrillon:


fair_blueThere’s so much stuff to try, isn’t there. Gah! As always, so much to do and so little time.

There was one other thing that was a feature of yesterday – and today. Sunshine! We had some sunshine. Yesterday finished off with a lovely long walk in the sun, through central London and Green Park, and today a lovely walk in the country side – I spotted primroses, daffodils and even a few lambs. I thought I should make note of it here – at least then if we don’t get any more for a while I can look back and remember how nice it was.

Actually, despite the worrying title of this post, I’ve had a lovely weekend. I hope you have too.

15 thoughts on “Going nowhere fast…

  1. The monkeys *are* a lovely size. The scarfed one may be eyeing up the little one’s hat though, so keep an eye on them both 🙂

    Also, yes, the smocking was from the WI collection. A little bit more info is at http://www.thewi.org.uk/what-we-do/craft/shows,-events-_and_-exhibitions/a-must-for-wool-lovers. The link relates to a show from a few weeks ago at the NEC but it sounds like pretty much the same thing we saw yesterday.

    And I, too, need to offer thanks to the Occasional Crafter’s Mum for yesterday’s ticket. Thanks!

  2. The group of monkeys is so cute! I especially like your thoughts about making sure that each monkey has an accessory! Those are some well-dressed monkeys:)

    I like the little tatted motif that you mentioned you did not follow the pattern correctly. What were you trying to make? It’s lovely.

  3. I hate crocheting amigurumi, but I expect I’d quite like sewing together (I made a few teddies out of fabric and quite liked the Dr Frankenstein-feeling of making sure the heads were attached at a charming angle), do we need to do a trade?

    I love the idea of a fabric-paged book for putting in textile notes, there must be something on Pinterest!

    • ha – yes, maybe I should send you a packet full of dismembered bodies 🙂 The ‘charming angle’ is the thing – get it wrong and you end up with something that makes all your hard work look rubbish. Same with sewing the mouths and placing the eyes. Gawd. Aren’t hobbies stressful!

  4. Gosh, so much in one post! Love the monkeys most – lots of work! The colours in the orange quilt are beautiful, I must get to Somerset House, there seems to be a lot going on there.

    • I’m bit all-or-nothing at the moment – don’t post anything for ages and then it all comes at once! Do keep and eye on Somerset House – I’d never been until the other week but these two exhibitions have been lovely. They’re free, and quite a nice size – smallish, but the sort of size where you tend to take your time over things and have a proper look.

  5. totally love the monkeys (and worth the wait!!). They are the perfect size. I know that your time doesn’t get paid for with the amount of work that goes into them but they would sell in minutes. I’d be ordering he fellow with the grey nose and perhaps a scarf 🙂

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