Monday, February 05, 2018

Angry bird

The sun came out since we last talked. She still stays very low above the horizon, but as her delicate, shy rays hit my dusty rooms, I was shocked. I threw myself into cleaning mode. The temperature has been way down, -30ÂșC during some of the days. It is too cold to stay outside much, so there has been lots of time to clean. I am not nearly done yet, and not sure for how long I am inspired to keep going, but let’s hope lots gets done. This cleaning has almost felt like a passage from the winter hibernation to the land of the living; even though it is still very wintery, I have jumped into the spring winter. 

This feeling is strengthened by the added amount of daylight. Another reason for the growing energy level has been the fact that Ruusu was better in last week’s check-up. I truly hope she keeps improving from now on. It always amazes me how much grief and worry take away from the energy.
I have three things to show to you. Let me begin with the little quilt.

At first, I thought I was going to make a quilt with a bear in hibernation (another Marimekko print)… but could not do it, since I felt I was out of hibernation. I was there at loss for a bit for not knowing what to do, but while walking with Piki last week, we paused and heard birds singing above our heads. They were chirping away in the brisk, cold air, to both of our astonishment. So, I thought to myself, maybe it is not too early to make a bird.
I had something else in mind, and I was not sure why this bird ended up looking little bit angry or rather, determined… but then realized it is me in a cleaning mode. Even though I don’t hate cleaning and most of the time enjoy it once I get going, but to get me going, I need extra determination, frustration, adrenaline… It is a self-portrait in some odd way.

I made it using English paper piecing method, since I aimed for simple. Did not want to do applique, as that builds on the background and I was for a clean look. I have not done English paper piecing much, and made lots of mistakes, some very visible (like the white thread showing) and some less (where I had problems with the seam allowance, or the lack of it), but I will try to fine-tune those and make another with the same approach.
As you see, I did not use any yarn in the making and I am most likely going to keep it that way. It just gave me too much trouble and slowed me down. I did not want to add embroidery (chain stitches) to the picture, but since the whip stitches were showing so clearly at some places, I was forced to add it. Hopefully in my next work I do not need to camouflage my mistakes.

I tried my best, but I am not very happy with the workmanship. While making the bird, I thought about hanging it in the kitchen. I have an old-fashioned cupboard and entertained myself with the idea of dressing it appropriately for the season, but we’ll see.

Remember when I was pondering what to do with the left-over sock yarns… I wanted to knit rag socks without much planning and made this pair.

It was not as fun as I thought it would be as I already had knitted socks with the yarns and knew how they would look. These will be worn, wool socks are good no matter what, but the knitting - not so much. Sock knitting was not a way to go with the left-overs and I had to think of something else.

I follow Sandra Paul’s Cherry Heart Podcast and blog and long time ago she crocheted a blanket using left-over sock yarns and mini skeins. She did hers with (US) double crochet stitches and I really like her blanket. I could not see myself staying focused for the duration of a whole blanket and made this cushion instead (20" x 20"/50 x 50cm).

I am not sure what I think about it. I do like the blue side, not so much the other.

I used smaller hook (2,5mm instead of 3mm) than Sandra, because I needed to make a stable and sturdy fabric and instead of using double crochet stitches I used linked dc’s. I like the hand of the fabric, I am sure this cushion will wear well. It was fun to make, so much so that I have started a new one. Yet I have this small voice in the back of my mind asking, are you sure? I kind of like the pillow, but is it in a way like… you know when you leave something into a place where it does not belong… at first, it bothers you all the time, then you get used to seeing it there, so that in the end you really don’t see it anymore… it is like you eyes get used to it. Is it only my eyes that have grown used to this? I need to figure this out, before I make too many… But as it is not yet clear, I am making one with red leftovers (and there are also some unloved skeins there too). This method, join as you go, is really an interesting way to go and it opens up many different possibilities.

I think, there it is, my week in stitches. It is Monday, a new path to walk upon (yarn and fabric).

Wool with you,


  1. Such fun! First, so glad to hear that Ruusu is improving - wonderful news. I love your Angry Bird! Years ago a friend made me a wall hanging with a primitive cuckoo bird - embroidered. One of my favorite things.

    I think your socks and cushion are great! I am making a blanket out of my scrap sock yarn - knitting little squares together. It is good, mindless, meditative knitting (and will take me FOREVER to complete - LOL).

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  2. Carolyn18:18

    Your pillow and quilt are wonderful! I love the texture and colors of the pillow. It has given me itchy fingers, and now I want to make one too!

    You know, sometimes I feel my inner critic is like the mean kid on the playground. Remember her? I have to remind myself that that mean kid is me, being mean to me. It is amazing to me the things we will tell ourselves that we wound never say or think about someone else.

    Anyway, enough of that! Hope your week is wonderful and full of sunlight and birdsong. Hugs to Ruusu!

  3. Always good stuff.

  4. I like the idea of making a pillow out of the sock leftovers. I don't have enough to make a blanket but it's very possible to make a pillow cover.

    Also, about the embroidery on your quilt squares - do you go through all the layers or stay on the surface? I bought a lap-size patchwork quilt at a holiday bazaar that is not quilted. Now with a grandchild on the way, I am thinking of embellishing with embroidery and can go through all layers but I wonder what I am getting myself into.

  5. Great bird (angry or not)
    It must be wonderful to see the sun again ! (don't know if I could stand NOT seeing it !) Here the first spring flowers appear already ...
    Wow, your socks are amazing !!!

  6. I like the idea of spring winter. I also am enjoying these small quilts with embroidery. The determined bird is wonderful.

  7. Madeleine05:29

    What a fine cushion! I prefer the blue side as well, but the reverse is quite nice, too. The bird quilt is charming, unique—very Lene. It must be such a happy day when the sun returns! And I'm glad the cat is feeling better. How nice to read lots of news!

  8. Happy that Ruusu had a good check up. Worry is an energy-sapper.

    Love all your creations--hidden mistakes and all. I read somewhere that the Navajo Indians always leave a small imperfection in their rugs because they see imperfection as essential to creation--that perfection means there is no room to grow or improve. A new way to think about mistakes.

  9. Your new pillow and bird quilt are beautiful and so creative. Glad to hear your little dog is improving.