After two weeks of knitting with this glorious dark blue wool – I think of it as black watch tartan wool – I finally found a decent background for it last night as I sat casting off my Madeline Cardigan (original name “Practically” by the very talented Kelly Herdrich) – named after Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmanns of course – can’t you just see all those little girls in two straight lines wearing this very cardigan as they march the streets of Paris! – wrapped in this lovely vintage Laconia blanket. Oooooh but our little cottage is sooooo cold at night – being metal and all – and when Julian’s not here to light the fire, I must confess, we are very lazy and pile on the woollens instead. As for this cardie – I adore it! And so pleased with the additions I made :-)
Alas, I am easily distracted, and so this morning, instead of sewing on Madeline’s buttons – or doing the dishes or hanging out the washing – truth be told, I even made the animals wait a bit longer – I grabbed my lovely new fabrics, my gorgeous Dottie Angel patterns, and began chopping instead!
And how did I get these here buttons sewn on? Why I paid Noah of course ;-)
He is a very talented and accomplished sewist – with amazingly fine motor skills and a superb eye for detail. So off he set, carefully measuring and stitching …
whilst I worked on my sheep applique and regularly queried “Are you almost done? Have you put that one in the right spot? How much longer will you be?” Yes it would often seem that Noah is more like the parent, and I the impatient, impulsive teenager. Sigh!
Then, when all was finished – in an effort NOT to have to take photographs as well as sew on buttons for his mad mother – Noah attempted to teach me how to take selfies in the mirror. Hopeless waste of time. I can never work our where to hold the camera or where to look or how to compose the background. So he had to take them anyway :-)
Doug made an excellent and obliging prop – adding his black dachshund hair to the thousands of strands of cream puggle hair that have been knitted into this dear cardie. As well as my long treacle and grey coloured hairs – I always have to spend the first couple of weeks of a new knit carefully pulling out the long hairs that have been tightly knitted in!
Fu decided she wanted in on the action as well. She really is the most delightful dog – best farm dog here at Wombat Hill to be sure! She can round up chickens, cheerfully hang out with ponies, lay snoozing in the sun with sheep. All our animals are completely relaxed around Fu – they can tell she’s a good one. Not like the other two horrors. All flee from their frantic, yapping paths!
Because I misread the pattern and didn’t buy enough fabric yesterday, then it was off to our local fabric legend – Freddie’s Fabrics in Cobargo – where not only did I find the perfect fabrics for more Dottie Angel goodness, but had a lovely leisurely tour of Freddie’s beautiful garden (her shop is in her garden studio) and she packed up several cuttings and a lovely bunch of heavenly scented Daphne for me. Now that’s my kind of fabric shopping.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig – toasted cheese and coffee on the porch with a splendid new catalogue. I shall have to forego buying any more fabric for the next few months so I can dedicate that money to spring flowers from Tesselaar! Oh you should see the Clematis! The Aquilegia! The Dahlias! The BEGONIAs! I didn’t know Begonias could look like that. Methinks Julian will have to plough up half the front house yard to fit in everything I love! (He’ll love that suggestion ;-)
Then there was some casting on. Well of course there was. I cast off last night! I know I could have finished other knitty projects instead – four instantly spring to mind – but since I’m in my Dottie Angel mood, and it’s been on my Ravelry list since I joined Ravelry – and the wool arrived last week – I just HAD to. So here’s the beginning of my February Lady’s Sweater. Mmmmmmm ….
And a couple more photos of the Madeline cardie. I do find it is easier to photograph in the shade – that way the incredibly intense darkness of the black watch doesn’t make the light blow out. So here you can see the lovely “in threes” of Kelly’s pattern. As well as the scalloped crocheted collar I added. I added four stitches to each side when I cast on so that my cardie would not only meet but button up.
I also added a simple side panel of ever increasing garter stitch – it’s made a pretty stepped pyramid going from the underarm to the deep garter band around the hem – I added a few extra inches to the hem so that it would sit a little longer. My round tummy is not a fan of the cropped look!
And of course, I added full length knitted sleeves with deep garter stitch cuffs – I started with the stitches on waste wool for Kelly’s capped sleeves, picked the stitches cast on for the side, and added two extra stitches on either side of them. Then I decreased by 2 every seventh round until the sleeve measured 40 cm, then knitted eleven ridges (as Elizabeth Zimmerman calls them – so very sensible and instantly identifiable) for the garter cuffs. Our winters are moderately cold – mornings are often frosty and hovering around the zero mark, and the afternoons are cool – I’ve discovered that 3/4 length sleeves may be great for not getting your cuffs wet when you’re filling up the pigs’ water trough but they are freezing cold when you are standing outside the bakery at Nimmitabel in the snow! In fact, I think I may soon be undoing the cuffs on my green cardigan and knitting them all the way down too! Knitting is so generous and flexible like that, isn’t it.
Oh see the button – so pretty! I bought them on Noah’s and my recent little holiday in Melbourne at the truly gorgeous shop Epoche in Callista – incredibly well worth a visit – we were there for almost two hours, so delightful was every nook and shelf.
And finally – the selfie. In the kitchen garden, with my purple podded peas. Looking very proper and all – after taking umpteen photos, it became obvious that the absurd was far more entertaining than the normal ;-)
So now, here I sit, cosy cosy in my lovely Madeline Cardigan. I could finish cutting out my Dottie Angel tabard. I could start piecing my sheep cushion cover. I could even sneak into the television room and curl up with that lovely Laconia blanket, my snoozing dachshund, and my new knitting and watch Restoration Man (OMG – we got tellie finally! Only two years after settlement! Our friend Pete sent the television man over on Monday and he just whipped up onto the roof, shoved up an antenna, ran a cord, drilled a hole, popped it into the television, tuned the television and within an hour of Nick’s arrival, we had tellie! Who’d have thunk!!!)
Instead, I should be the grown up and put on supper – roast chook and veg – and wash some of those bloody dishes. After I’ve boiled the water of course because we are revelling in week 6 of no hotwater system. But it’s okay, the plumber is coming tomorrow … then we will be super sophisticated. Hot water and tellie all in the one week. And my Madeline Cardigan. I am one blessed woman.