Bare with me for the moment, because here and now we are going off the track that this blog usually takes. You’ve been used to adventurous trips and crazy locals, but let me tell you, my life isn’t all fun and games my friends. Oh no. I work, far too much of the time if you ask me. And while sometimes I do take trips on the days I have off work more often than not I watch far too much TV and try and find new and inventive ways to fill my time. These new and inventive ways have so far taken two, surprisingly creative, forms. The first was sewing, something I was actually quite successful at. The second is crochet, a new venture that there is yet to be a verdict on, regarding success. First to sewing. For Christmas my lovely mother bought me a novelty sewing kit, small enough to go in my suitcase that was guaranteed to keep me busy for quite a few weeks. There’s a (fairly) new sewing shop in our town, and from their she purchased a ‘sew your own sock owl’ kit. This may seem like an odd thing but it’s actually exactly what it says on the tin, a kit containing thread, a needle, stuffing, felt, a pattern, some instructions, random accessories, and a sock, from which you can make your own owl. Now I’ve been known in the past to sew on the odd button and even fix a seam or two, so I thought I’d challenge my creative muscles and try my hand at actually making the sock owl. I tend to get a bit frustrated with creative projects because I like to be able to do things perfectly five minutes ago, so it took me quite a while to do, but lo and behold I succeeded. At the beginning I spent a lot of time just getting it out of the bag, staring at it for a bit and then putting it away again. I was easier but a lot less conducive to actually making something. Then I took the plunge, mutilated a sock and made the body. Which was the easiest bit. The instructions suggested that the pattern should be used to provide guidance and I thought ‘no to that, I’m going to cut out the pattern, pin it to random castoff pieces of sock and use it as the exact template of exactly what I’m going to make. Because of this it has been mentioned, on several occasions, that my owl has freakishly large penguins feet. But I don’t care, it worked. After the cutting and pinning and cutting I spent a really long time jabbing myself with a needle making all the separate pieces and then went back to step one, taking it out occasionally to stare at it but not actually doing anything. I also spent roughly the same amount of time, after I had pinned (but not sewn, at this stage that was too much of a plunge) on the wings balancing its other features precariously on its body and trying to work out how to sew them on in a non-wonky manner before putting the whole thing away again. Eventually I took the plunge and, a lot more needle related injuries later, I created the ultimate sock owl, by the name of Ozwald. I could take you through the minutiae of how I sewed on each individual piece, and how I had to unpick his beak and start again because it was at a very jaunty 45 degree angle. I could even regale you with the complex way I managed to attach the eyes. But I won’t because that would be boring. Ozwald was finished and now he lives in my classroom where he gets mixed reactions from the kids. The best of which has been ‘it’s weird but cool’. The highest endorsement I could hope from a 9 year old boy. Next we move onto the crochet. Now this is a new thing (as in I started it today) so I don’t want to speculate at how wildly successful I’ll be with this venture. It began pretty badly, I had to consult the oracle of YouTube because I couldn’t make heads nor tails of the instructions in my book, and it has remained my solid and faithful companion all afternoon. I’ve now (sort of) mastered the slipknot and I think I’m able to crochet a chain, but whenever I try a double chain it descends into a ball of mess. I’ve also resorted to employing all the methods of holding stuff I can come up with, for a craft that uses only one needle you need about 40 fingers. I will keep going with the crochet and one day, probably quite far from now, there will be an update about how well (or, more likely, badly) it has gone. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.
Leah Out X
Update: Since writing this yesterday I’ve actually managed to master a couple of crochet stitches, god knows how, so please enjoy my slightly ropey efforts at the double crochet, treble crochet and double treble crochet (half treble crochet not featured because I mucked it up).