It's all go at the moment. For the past week I've had a student here working on a Louis style armchair. Idiot that I am I didn't take a photo (if you're reading this, please send me one to post on the blog!) but she did a great job and worked remarkably quickly.
I am involved in a couple of knitting projects with other people which I can't really reveal but one has to be finished before I go to England in a couple of weeks. And finally I have been asked to knit a baby's Christening Shawl - which also has to be ready when I go to England as the person concerned is in London and I want to take it with me.
I knew the shawl would take a while - they always do - so I just do a few more rows every time I have a spare moment. The problem with lace is interruptions. I become obsessed with counting - to six, to ten and, at the moment, to twenty - and not answering anyone or anything until I've reached the relevant number. It's just too easy to lose your place. Lifelines become a major feature too - I work on the basis that it just isn't worth having to rip out even two rows with over 300 stitches on the needles so I tend to put lifelines in after each knit row. So far so good. Only another goodness knows how many rows to go!
The patterns I'm using are a mix mostly from shawls I've already made. I want lots of flower features, water is already in there and as we are coming up to the beginning of the bee season I thought I'd try to fit some bees in. I showed the work so far to my 17 year old son earlier today and explained the different motifs. His reaction? "You REALLY have to use your imagination to see that Mum!" Oh well...I suspect the recipient will have enough imagination to deal with it.
I've also got a second chair to restraw - that's not the word is it but I'm looking for "rempaillage"; sort of rush seating but not quite. Anyway, on my course I did one for a friend and she asked me to do a second one. I felt uncomfortable asking for money (she offered) as, unlike caning, your first chairs are not likely to be top quality. So I asked her husband to paint a picture of Max's dog. He's a great artist and we already have a selection of his work. He painted Titch and Tosca a few years back so one of Tipsy seems like a fair swap to me - he agreed so presumably he feels the same.
I will try and take plenty of photos of the restrawing process. I've noticed that the way I was taught (here in France) is very different to the process in the English books I've seen. I'm not going to do a better/worse thing (at least, not until I've actually put some of what I learnt into practice!) but certainly it is very different.
It's so lovely to be nearing the end of winter. February can be so awful and cold but there's always spring just around the corner to look forward to. The bees are flying now on sunny days and I'm hopeful that most of the hives will be ok when I open them up in mid/late March. I'll be regenerating Up The Garden Path as we do more work in the garden and the bees will be a large part of it so if you're interested take a look.