Memories of my mum (Post 23)

I’ve been sewing tonight (damn calisthenics costumes!) and it’s made me think of my mum.

She sewed a lot for me as a child. I remember calisthenics costumes she sewed – and she got the double whammy as I’m a twin, poor thing. There was a gorgeous princess dress – puffy short sleeves, a fitted bodice and A-line skirt in a satiny light blue, and a Pinocchio costume of shorts with braces and a white shirt. I’m sure there were others but they are the two costumes I remember.

A couple of years later there was also a ruffled peasant skirt with a broderie anglais blouse, and a corduroy a-line skirt with matching vest. Yes it was the ’70’s. Mum didn’t actually like sewing much, but she did it. She fair preferred knitting, and was a very talented knitter.

I got my love of knitting from my mum. I remember loving the jumpers she knitted me, as a child, as a teenager and as an adult. Unfortunately knitting was one of the first losses through Alzheimer’s. We weren’t aware that Mum was suffering from Alzheimer’s at that stage, and she blamed arthritis in her hands. Afterwards it was more apparent that she wasn’t able to follow the patterns anymore, and forgot where she was up to.

The last couple of things she knitted were a baby blanket and jumper for my first child. By the time Kid2 arrived, Mum had stopped knitting and within 18 months she was diagnosed. I still have the blanket and the jumper, and will keep them always.

I regret I didn’t keep the many jumpers she knitted and the clothes she sewed, but the sentimentality just wasn’t present then. I do have her knitting needles, and her old knitting box which has holes in the lid to determine the needle size – all imperial measurements of course. She used to have lots of old knitting patterns when I was a kid, but sadly they were discarded in a house move.

I have tried to pass my love of knitting and sewing on to my girls, but with no luck. It still may happen, but I think it’s unlikely. Perhaps I can have a go at the grandchildren, if I’m that lucky.



Hunting for a sequin or two. (Post 17)

So the task of finishing the MJ costume has been waylaid by a lack of sequins. I wasn’t given enough in the pack that was distributed by the Calisthenics team leader. Bugger.

So I ventured to one of my favourite places today – Spotlight! I can spend hours in Spotlight and not buy anything, just get ideas. I think it’s the closest I come to understand my husband’s love of Bunnings.

But today I spent… It was so much fun. I bought some new scissors, which are much sharper than any other pair in the house – hands off everyone! I also got appliqué paper for Kid2’s design project for school, and red beads for the MJ costume. I was swayed by a sale on wool and a cheap pattern, which will now probably be knitted before the mucho stripy jumper (after I finish knitting the rug).

I also got a lovely surprise at the counter when I paid. As I am a member I received an overall discount of $10 and the wool, which was already marked down by $2 a ball, I got for half price – that was $26 off in total. I am generally not big on store memberships – absolutely every shop wants you to join so they can bombard your email with ads, or even worse – SMS you. But I love Spotlight so much, this just made my day. I don’t even mind their ads.

Yet, no sequins. Spotlight had the wrong size. The lovely lady on the counter recommended a craft/bead shop, which was my next stop. Red sequins, right size but a plain red, not sparkly. The sparkly ones are called Laser sequins. Who knew? I lost interest in the hunt then, and I was hungry 🙂 So I’ll be hitting the team leader up for more sequins tomorrow night. That’s ok, I had just wanted to finish the damn thing today.


Warming up for winter (Post 16)

Among other things I have been very busy knitting. The vertigo has slowed me and the calisthenics costume has side tracked me, but I have been greatly enjoying it this autumn/winter.

I’ll be honest and say that it was the Better homes and gardens magazine that got me started. I scored a year’s subscription as a Xmas present, so every month I get a lovely surprise. The mag has had a wonderful focus on things crafty over the last few months, with projects for knitting, crocheting and appliqué. This is my kinda thing!!

So I invested in 3 of their rug projects – one of each of the kids (they chose their preferred pattern) and one of me, which of course is the one I’m doing now… last.

The girls love their rugs, and they are so easy and fun to make. I have changed the patterns a bit, re the styles of knitting, and have also made the rugs wider by adding in additional column. Having whizzed along, I have been most disappointed that the knitting brings the vertigo on. I only do little bits now – half an hour at a time – to avoid the worst effects.

I also have a secret aim to use the leftover wool to knit the most truly stripy jumper ever seen. I made a wonderful stripy jumper a number of years ago, which Kid1 then stole (she says claimed) off me about 2 years ago. I had lost the pattern, but found the original pattern book online and just repurchased it.

I can’t wait to finish my rug so I can start the jumper!!!