Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vintage knits

Wow, I have not participated in Ginny's yarn along for such a long time. Somehow, this yarn along (and auntie Leila's {phfr}) keep me entertained and fascinated.  Glimpses into lives, sometimes filled with more order and wonder, and sometimes even a bit more chaotic than mine. 

But I feel quite proud of the latest outfit - a charming raglan  pullover, and tiny trousers, both from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.

The lace detail on the sweater was just enough to make it special.  On the back panel I did it incorrectly - I did not slip both stitches together when the pattern stated sl2, but rather one by one (see below).  Turns out it does make a difference, but only if you know where to look.  I also forgot to make the third buttonhole, but the last one is luckily not that important anyway.

 This is just a little human interest story on the side.  He was carrying a battery for his dune racer when his brother ran into him from behind.  He fell forward, and you can see the line where his face hit the battery, the poor thing.  He screamed blue murder for about 5 minutes, and today he has a beautiful black eye.

I modified the trousers a little, by adding little eyelets and an i cord drawstring instead of sewing elastic tread into the ribbing.  I thought it would look nicer, and I had no idea how to sew in the elastic tread anyway.  I am quite happy with the result, all in all. Considering it took me only about a week to knit.  The outfit went home yesterday, to a friend whose baby is due in August.  (One day, I dream of having an etsy shop - don't we all? Except for those who have one already, I guess!)

I am reading "The Hidden Art of Homemaking", by Edith Schaeffer.
It is hard to describe, but I am learning as I read, agreeing with most of it, but not everything.  It helps that I know someone whose parents met while they were working for L'Abri in Switzerland, who then became missionaries in South Africa.  Visiting with them has always been a special treat, I have often felt they know something I do not, and I think I am starting to understand it a little better now that I am reading this book.

Here is one quote that struck home:

“Interior decoration is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not! We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.” 
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

Also this one:

“It seems to me that whether it is recognized or not, there is a terrific frustration which increases in intensity and harmfulness as time goes on, when people are always daydreaming of the kind of place in which they would like to live, yet never making the place where they do live into anything artistically satisfying to them. Always to dream of a cottage by a brook while never doing anything to the stuffy house in the city is to waste creativity in this very basic area, and to hinder future creativity by not allowing it to grow and develop through use." pg 66” 
― Edith SchaefferThe Hidden Art of Homemaking

I highly recommend this book, to be read in small dosages, as inspiration.  I cannot read to much of it at once; she inspires me to put the book down and go do something.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dit hang seker maar af van hoe jy daarna kyk...

Dieselfde toneel, maar elkeen heeltemal anders as die ander. Dis moeilik om te glo dat dit dieselfde dag, dieselfde huis is - nie ons huis nie, vriende het ons oorgenooi vir Independence Day.  Ons het hambugers gebraai en dit op papierborde geëet en water uit ou konfytbotteltjies gedrink, want dis hoe ons dinge hier doen.  Buite was dit lig tot na 9, en dit was warm. Regtig warm. Warmer as Komatipoort.  Maar die vuurwerke was die hitte werd.

Dit was nie 'n lekker week nie - ons was vir 'n klein rukkie swanger, en toe nie meer nie. Ek is fine, net hartseerder as wat ek gedink het ek sou wees. Wens ek kon die nuus met meer deel voor dit so hartseer geword het. Maar ek wil dit tog deel, en gelukkig kan ek maar praat, want niemand verstaan Afrikaans nie.

Ons nuwe huis is lieflik, al werk die elektrisiteit in Melva se kamer nie elke dag nie, en al is die boonste badkamer se drein geneig om verstop te raak.  Dis net lekker om ons eie plek te hê, om nie meer iemand se huurders te wees nie. Die simpel eienaars van die vorige huis - dieselfde mense wat op ons grasperk kom staan het met 'n karavaan, vir drie weke, twee keer, sonder om ons enigsins daarvoor te vergoed - het 'n spul onkostes van ons deposito afgetrek wat nie ons skade was nie. Nou ja, Jacques dreig om vir hulle 'n brief te skryf, en ek onthou hoeveel dit gehelp het die keer toe ons huis gebou het.  Ten minste hoef ek nie meer elke maand vir hulle 'n tjek te stuur nie.

Soms kyk ek by die agterdeur uit, en moet myself herinner dat ek dit maar mag geniet, daar is nie 'n goeie rede om te vrees dat dit binnekort gaan verbygaan nie.  Die laaste jaar in Suid Afrika was so lank, en elke keer as ek opgekyk het en die tuin, of die wolke, of die son gesien het, moes ek myself herinner om nie te geheg te raak nie.  Ek is dankbaar dat ek weer so begin voel oor 'n plek. Nou wens ek ek kon dit vir almal van julle wys, maar nie in Julie nie.