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Sewing Memory Lane

Chantal Ratnam

Posted on April 10 2019

Welcome back everyone! I actually remembered that today is Wednesday and I am absolutely claiming that victory, and not because I spent half the day yesterday reassuring myself that it was Tuesday and not Wednesday. There’s nothing like being off of everyone else’s schedule to make you really appreciate that time really is a construct of our own making.

This week’s blog post has both a super exciting thing and a not so great thing.  If you’re not a bad news first kind of person just skip to the bottom and I’ll get to the good stuff.  The bad news is I think I feel a rut coming on and not just a knitting rut, a makers rut.  I have no idea where it came from.  I have a few super cool projects pending and while I was excited to prep for them, all of that energy has sort of…. Deflated. 

I know the headaches are part of the problem and so is the crazy eye pain and all of the other symptoms but at the back of all of that stuff is this nagging little question: to what end?  Why am I doing all of this? It kind of just feels like I’m occupying time until something happens.  I don’t know what that something is though.  Now that I’m putting it on paper, maybe it’s not a rut, maybe it’s just an existential crisis.  That’s what wine is for right?  Maybe I’ll try that and let you know how it goes.

I have been doing some fun things though.  My Harlow hat is definitely coming a long nicely although I’m still very intimidated by the decrease section.  I am almost completely convinced that I’m going to wait to visit Ashley on Easter weekend and have her show me how to do them.  I’ve definitely made a few small mistakes.  For a few stitches at different parts of the hat, I forgot to yarn over.  You can’t really tell if you’re just looking at it but you can feel that those small parts are definitely not as squishy as the rest of it.  Other than that I’ve got about two more inches to go before we’re ready to decrease.

I also bought fabric to make the forager vest and the hinterland dress by Meg at Sewliberated. If knitting was my favourite travel craft, sewing has definitely become my stay at home craft.  It was a crazy twist of faith that brought me back to my machine and I have absolutely been enjoying my time.  I even went through a Tupperware bin of fabric that travelled with me from Ottawa to Mississauga and then two moves in Brampton.  I occasionally opened it, been seriously intimidated by the contents, decided it was a tomorrow problem and closed it again.  Well, tomorrow finally came. 

Trapped in there was a couple of fun memories and some fabric I have absolutely no memory of. One of those projects was a fleece bunny rabbit that was completely cut out and ready to be sewn but had to wait almost 20 years before coming together.  I have absolutely no idea who this bunny is supposed to belong to but I remember the circumstance of its birth really clearly. 

When I was a kid, before I was a fierce aunty, I was a fierce cousin.  As the eldest girl on my mom’s side I was pretty much a big sister to all of the little ones coming up behind me and I loved them to bits.  In fact, it was all of those little ones that first convinced me that I didn’t have to have my own kids to be a mom.  I’d be perfectly happy being a mom to any kid who needed one.

When I was a teenager, while all of the cousins my age were doing their own thing, my littlest cousins used to trail me everywhere and that meant that they spent a lot of time visiting in the summers.  Their moms would drive down from Toronto and drop them off and we would hang out and then their moms would come and get them and they would beg, BEG, for just one more week. Their mom’s would go home and we would try it again the week after.  Despite almost 10 years age difference between us, I didn’t mind at all – of course, back then I had no idea about the cost of childcare and how much free babysitting I was giving away, but I had fun.  They would all sleep in my room and since no one wanted to be the one who had to sleep on the ground, they would curl into little balls on any part of the bed they could squeeze onto.

I was the 18 year old with a half a dozen 8 to 12 year olds trailing behind her to her retail job at the mall.  I’d give them my debit card and let them run amok with it.  They never did.  Instead, they went to Claire’s and bought me some earrings and Cinnabon for themselves. Hoarder that I am, I probably still have those earrings. 

One year, I decided to teach them to sew.  We bought the stuffy pattern and all of the fabric and we took over our giant kitchen table while I taught them how to draw the pattern onto the fabric and cut them out. Everyone got one except for one kid, who was supposed to get this guy.  I have no idea which one of them it was supposed to go to but I remember the disappointment of being the only one without and my guilt for having not finished on time. I’m sure if I asked them, they probably don’t remember who it was. Until I opened this box, I had completely forgotten this memory.

The other things at the bottom of that bin was a Wizards cloak that I had started making when the second Harry Potter movie was coming out.  After my friends strictly forbade me from wearing a cloak in public, that project was abandoned. Trust me when I say that I wore that cloak all around my condo the other day when I found it.  Also abandoned was the ballgown that I started at the sewing class I took in my early 20’s.  I looked at the measurements of that gown and died laughing because I couldn’t remember the last time I was a 36-28-38.  I am a lot further along then I remember being on that dress.  Very nearly close to finished actually, and I’ve decided to finish it.  I still have little cousins now coming of age who it might appeal to.  Or I’ll donate it to one of those organizations that gives prom dresses away.

Finally,  you’ve come to the exciting news portion of this blog post. HERE IT IS! Oh wait, I forgot there was something else I was supposed to tell you guys.  Just joking!  I was prolonging the anticipation.  Really, here it is: ASHLEY AND I ARE GOING HAVE A BOOTH AT TWIST FIBRE FESTIVAL THIS YEAR!!!  We literally got the news this morning!  I am absolutely thrilled.  We’ve missed the last two and I feel sad every year.  I can’t wait to go back.  I can already taste the maple cotton candy!  If you’ve never been, you should definitely go.  It was the first festival that I had ever been to where my fellow knitters would be knitting and shopping and drinking wine all at the same time. It’s a very different vibe than some of other shows we do and I LOVE IT!  Like I told Ashley when I found out, absence really did make the heart grow fonder. 

We are just two and a half weeks away from the start of show season and both Ash and I are still working hard to make sure we have tons of goodies for you.  I know for sure that we are both counting down the days that we can actually get productivity hours out of so that we can appropriately ration our time.  I'm sure by next week we'll near the red on panic mode.  I'll keep you posted on that too.  Until then, PEACE to you and yours and as always, happy knitting.

 

 

 

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