Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Moving on...

After nine years, I have moved my main blog, Cheshire Cheese, over to Wordpress. This blog has been much neglected, by readers as well as me, but in case there is anyone out there, I have moved it as well. You can find it here.

I shall leave these pages here for the foreseeable future, but there will be no new posts. Now I've finished my education, I hope to post more often on the new Wordpress site.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Now I've nearly finished the degree and I've got nothing to do...

Some little bits of creativity, inspired by the book '365, A Daily Creativity Journal'.   Day 1, a little book made from stuff at hand. In theory it's all orange, but most of the pages are brown, copper or turquoise.  
                            Day 2, something involving my favourite animal. A collage in the 'orange' book.  
                    Day 3, something using paper, but without using scissors, glue ar drawing. Another collage in the book, torn and stitched.  
  There's a Giorgio Morandi theme developing here...

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Saturday, 9 April 2016


'I make no secret of the fact that I would rather lie on a sofa than sweep beneath it.' Shirley Conran

Feeling uninspired by the prompt, I Googled 'quotes about rest', and up popped this one. OK, it isn't directly about rest, but it expresses my attitude to housework completely. Feet up on the sofa, knitting/embroidery/good book in hand, soothing music in the background, and a glass of something cold and white close by. Perfection. And I can't see under the sofa when I'm sitting on it, and out of sight is out of mind.

Of course I can't stay here all day, (although knitting for my Degree Show provides a very good excuse) but after a long day avoiding housework by playing working in my studio, the sofa is the best place to rest and recuperate.

We have two similar sofas, so this is not the one I am sitting on, I would have had to move to photograph that. This is the one for guests, so it is smarter: you can see my C&G cushions and the blue throw I was too lazy to photograph when I wrote about them.



Friday, 8 April 2016


If you were to ask me if I am superstitious, I would say ' 'No -superstitions are folk myths, fantasies, make believe, people trying to control a world they really have little control over.'

And yet... If there is no wood available, I touch whatever's nearest, I seek out black cats - because I like cats, and I have been known to look for four-leaved clovers, though I've never found one.

On the other hand, I deliberately walk under ladders, if there is room and no-one on them.

I came to understand how such things might develop when I spent some time learning how to dye with indigo. After you've immersed the fabric, being careful not to get too much oxygen into the vat, then pull it out and the green colour gradually turns to blue - it is like magic. Working with a group of dyers was an almost spiritual experience.

But indigo vats can be temperamental: everything has to be just right, and even with modern knowledge about the process, what works one time may not work the next. So the first dyers, lacking scientific knowledge, may have developed superstitions about how they had to behave when dyeing.

Having a ritual to follow - wearing lucky socks, having a lucky mascot, turning widdershins three times before you start - may build confidence, and increased confidence may contribute to success. And so the ritual is reinforced, perhaps taught to others, generalised to other situations - and a superstition is born.

Sunday, 3 April 2016


Once upon a time I had a knitting machine. Well, to be accurate, I had three. I also collected a lot of yarn to knit on them.

After 10 years or so I got bored with machine knitting. I had a mad burst of knitting sweaters for Oxfam with all the acrylic yarn, gave away the machines, but kept the wool yarn, with a vague idea that I would knit it by hand. Three and four ply? By hand? Yeh, right.

Another 10 years passed. The wool sat in a cupboard, gathering dust and moths. There was quite a lot. What the heck could I do with it?

Eventually inspiration struck. I came across a pattern for a square throw knitted from the middle out, in US worsted weight. If I used two or three ends together, it would be roughly equivalent to worsted.

There was a problem. There were some full cones (probably 400/500 gms) but far more odds and ends. I had the idea to use one or two of the bigger cones along with a mixture of the smaller ones. Fortunately there's a fairly restricted colour range, so I assembled three groups - blues, pinks and greys and greens. (Why so many greens? I have never worn green!)

I knitted and knitted and knitted. It was a simple slip stitch pattern, which was mindless enough to do while reading or watching TV, and helped to blend the colours.

So now I have three warm woolly throws on the sofas. Only the blue one matches the decor, but on a cold night we can snuggle under them, so who cares!