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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Last-minute dot Christmas

I realised a long time ago that procrastination is all about perfectionism - because the circumstances tomorrow might be just the little bit more auspicious...

It took me a whole lot longer to recognise that this is A Bad Thing, and that a task not done for the best of reasons is still essentially a Task Not Done.

So now I try to keep my inner perfectionist on a very tight rein, and she really only gets to express herself here in my blog where I hardly ever write anything. She was certainly well suppressed back in November when I found myself with a tiny slice of time and an old cocktail dress which was crying out for an upcycle.




I muddled this skirt together in a twinkling, knowing that my four-year old can carry off the tulle-and-sequins look a whole lot better than me, and that she won't be troubled by grain line issues and dodgy top-stitching. I even felt a glow of satisfaction at having started my Christmas sewing while there were still leaves on the trees.

And then the very next week O+S released the Onstage Tutu Skirt, an actual pattern for exactly the thing I'd been trying to achieve. And it was free. And showed me clever solutions to all the glitches I'd encountered.

My inner procrastinator was delighted: the universe was clearly on her side. 
Consequently all the rest of my seasonal sewing has been done in last-minute flurry.

Hair ties for all the little girls in my life...



For son#2, an Art Museum vest modelled on Bilbo Baggins' waistcoat (with some linen PJ trousers to match, in case he wants to go for the full Hobbit look).
Oh - and the lining is gold silk from that cocktail dress.


For son #1, who has grown so much in the past year that he won't fit last year's PJs, new pair in soft houndstooth with fancy buttons (because real men dare to wear pink)




Next year, I'm going to remember some sensible words from my friend Rebecca:

'Christmas', she said, 'is a predictable event'.

She was encouraging me to crochet a reindeer jumper, which may or may not ever happen - but I'm going to hold on to the reminder that there will be another Christmas in 367 days, and another in 732, and another... and so on.

So there will always be another chance to do the thing perfectly.

And if it's not quite perfect this time, that will be ok.



A very happy Christmas from runcibledays.




Tuesday, 25 November 2014

All quiet at runcibledays



It's been quiet for too long at runcibledays. Some things get harder to do the longer you delay - writing a long-overdue letter, making belated apologies, cleaning behind the fridge - and also blogging, it seems. The longer the silence, the more pressure to break it with something amazing.

Instead, I'm going for the 'aaah' factor with a sweet little jacket (though it's not nearly as sweet as the gorgeous baby it was made for). It's from Simply Crochet magazine, issue16, and it was a joy to make.  The background fabric is a pram blanket from way back when my babies were babies, and it still makes me smile. 




After a summer of crochet (did I mention you can crochet on the sofa? in front of the television? or while having a conversation? by the pool on holiday? - that's still very exciting to me) I was a bit afraid that sewing might also have crept into that category of hard-to-pick-up activities, and that having not stitched anything for so long, the pressure would be on to create something extraordinary. I wasn't sure how to break through the perfection-barrier, and had started dithering about rearranging my button storage. Luckily my sewing friends have come to the rescue with a reminder that some projects just won't wait.



Remember these tiny bubble dresses? They was made for my little runciblegirl when she was a baby, and were the start of my obsession with O+S patterns.




Their original patterns - the puppet show, the tea party, the swing set and of course the bubble dress - only go up to size 5T.

And my runciblegirl will turn five in the springtime...


So it's time to leave the sofa, step away from the crochet hook, and start catching up.

But first, while I'm still in baby mode, just one more 'aaah' for that cardigan...


Friday, 10 January 2014

Hook a duck (quack)

A belated Happy New Year from runcibledays!


I'm celebrating 2014 with a new sewing icon: the multi-talented Scarf Lady, from Sarah and Duck. Scarf Lady is inseparable from her grumpy carrier bag, and she has a colour-coded wool store in her loft (where the oddments live a secret life of their own). She keeps a donkey in her garden. She is terrible at remembering faces, but good at keeping up with her friends. She can knit trumpets, tree-cosies and hot air balloons.



I don't know whether to worry that I'll end up like Scarf Lady, or to see that
as an aspiration.

Anyway, although I still can't knit (too afraid of all those little stitches) my friend Carol has taught me to crochet, and I am smitten.  I love that there is only ever one stitch which can unravel, and so incidents with cats or toddlers can always be put right.

Also, it's like sewing, but I can do it from the sofa. Bliss.


And there's a whole world of beautiful wool and yarn to be discovered.

But mostly I just wanted to make a duck.

Or two.


I'm very grateful to Jo Clark who designed and shared the Duck pattern.
(I'm hoping she'll do a hot air balloon next.)

Clearly any little girl with a Duck will need a hat to match...



... and perhaps a bunny (from a pattern which came from the library, I'll give credit where it's due if I can find the book again) ...


... and a Christmas stocking, or three (based on a pattern from Deramores).


The only question is: do the children in my life really need more crocheted animals? 

And how will I know when it's time to stop?

(Although Scarf Lady wouldn't worry about a thing like that.)

Monday, 16 December 2013

All he wants for Christmas...

Christmas is go in the Runcible household: we have tinsel, fairy lights, candles, glitter, mince-pies, and mystery decorations made at pre-school. 

So why does my husband look a little bit afraid, a little bit anxious, a little bit like a man haunted by an unspeakable dread?

I think I might have the answer.

He had suggested some practical - and fairly specific - Christmas gifts:
 cycling gear, socks, books.

Could it be that he's afraid I might be baking, stitching, crafting or crocheting all of the above?

The socks must be a particular worry.


So, will I be knitting reflective bicycle clips this Christmas?

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

When the going gets tough...

... the runcible house gets organised.

Tidying up is my default displacement activity.

Because even though the universe might have infinity and entropy and chaos,
at least my fabric scraps are all in order.