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Saturday July 7, 2018

Colouful Kit Bag

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I've been neglecting weaving spinning and dying lately - I admit I went to a "Brioche" class last week which was interesting, and did make me think of redrafting my fisherman's rib hat in two colours in the future.... But apart from that, it's been far too hot to think about sweaters (and hats!).
What I have been involved in is making up a rather posher version of my Pattern of the Month for July. This bag (or the illustration of it) really "spoke" to me through the ages as it were, when I first found it in a 1940s magazine. As is often the case, the actual bag and the instructions were fairly rudimentary and I changed it quite a lot in the making. I am so delighted with the result - better than I ever expected since it involved working with leather - and just as well given the amount I spent on materials. [So much for the make do and mend ethos of the original bag!].

I did stick with the idea of using oddments I already had, but I used mostly chunky yarns so I did not have to work with the yarn doubled - which can be a bit of a nuisance when doing crochet, even though many old and new patterns seem to suggest it. As I selected my yarns based on colour, some of them were used double to achieve the thickness I wanted.
I used a 4mm hook with my chunky yarn, and worked in double crochet (American single crochet) in order to achieve a firmer fabric.

For the base, I used 2mm thick leather, which was tough to work but made up surprisingly well. I made the base to be an oval shape to suit the offcut of leather I had and I made rudimentary leather handles, plus a clip-on shoulder strap.

The only element I've so far failed to completely solve is the closure at the top - the bag will gape open when the shoulder strap is used - so still working on that, and nothing wholly satisfactory has presented itself yet.

Posted on July 7, 2018 at 10:28 AM. Category: Knitting. | Comments (0)

Tuesday February 6, 2018

Network

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I somehow failed to notice this production - I guess I knew the film from my youth and never watched it (despite its being "acclaimed" - someone experiencing a nervous breakdown on camera never held much appeal). However, Brian Cranstone is another matter - known to and loved by me for his priceless performances in Malcolm in the Middle rather than the more recent and much hyped role in Breaking Bad.
So without much optimism I joined the Friday Rush queues for tickets, and was amazed (really lucky) to actually procure some - for a matinee and which I think must have been top price returns. And what a truly great production it was. Even George was impressed.

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Posted on February 6, 2018 at 10:50 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday January 28, 2018

Dulwich

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Alison and I had a day out at the Dulwich Picture Gallery to catch the final day of the Tove Jansson exhibition.
I saw a great documentary about TJ on BBC4 some time ago and it was wonderful the see the actual detailed artwork and working drawings for the sketches. And also of course I read all the books as a small child - which must have been only a short time after they were available in English translations. I read all that were in our local library which was probably only 4 or 5, but apparently there are 9.
Overall it was excellent - and the only minor disappointment was that all the beautiful tiny drawings which we imagined would transfer well to postcards were not available - all posters and prints sold out, unsurprisingly.

They have a really good cafe at the gallery (Dulwich is a very right-on place) where we had both elevenses and (later) a light lunch (despite being initially rather startled by the strength of the black tea).

The excitement of the day was rounded off by going to see The Last Jedi at Kingston Odeon. Nostalgia all round.

Posted on January 28, 2018 at 8:16 PM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Saturday January 13, 2018

Pinocchio

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This was a spontaneous booking at a very low price which tempted me - I wanted to see it for the inventive direction and puppetry - I had not checked but it is in fact a musical and did (to my delight) include the familiar songs I had hoped for - specifically "An Actors Life for Me" - and Mr Fox was also terrific. The seats were right at the front of the stalls - temporary seating I'm guessing - presumably thought to be not ideal with the way the production is staged (giant puppets) and hence they are offered at such bargain prices. However I absolutely love being close to the stage and enjoyed the whole thing very much.

Posted on January 13, 2018 at 9:13 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Saturday January 6, 2018

Cinderella

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Always worth seeing the imaginative Matthew Bourne shows - this one had many plus points for originality, being set in WW2 and with not only a wicked step-mother and 2 ugly sisters but also 2 ugly brothers (one with a shoe fetish).
The only thing I was not so keen on was the fairy godfather. I liked the concept but his silver outfit/hair etc reminded me (being that old) too much of the ancient TV series UFO, and although he was a terrific dancer, I was not keen on the choreographic style he was given. In fact I found him rather sinister, but I am not sure how much that in itself was a detractor - maybe the opposite. I did like the implication at the end that he helped other down trodden maidens and not just Cinderella.

The truth is I was spoiled with Swan Lake all those years ago, and more recently with Edward Scissorhands and then the fantastic Carman. He set the bar very high.

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Posted on January 6, 2018 at 9:15 AM. Category: Art and Culture. | Comments (0)

Sunday December 31, 2017

Books in December

  • Don't Point That Thing At Me, After You With The Pistol, and Something Nasty In The Woodshed. by Kyril Bonfiglioli
    These is the Mordecai trilogy and the only novels in this series published in the author's lifetime. [A fourth The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery - unfinished - was completed by Craig Brown and published posthumously].
    I had never heard of this author despite the fact that there was a film based on the books released in 2015 - and it should have been a hit (starring Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ewan McGregor) but somehow passed me by.
    The (anti) hero is Charlie Mortdecai who is like an amoral Bertie Wooster with his sharp and loyal manservant to boot. The books are realy hilarious but I must say I did somehow tire of the (high quality, beautifully constructed, but relentless) humour after the second book. I think in agreement with another reviewer, the best advice is to not read all 3 (or 4) on the trot.

    BOM-DontPointThatThingAtMe.jpg BOM-AfterYouWithThePistol.jpg BOM-SomethingNastyInTheWoodshed.jpg
  • Posted on December 31, 2017 at 7:39 PM. Category: Books of the Month. | Comments (0)

    Saturday December 23, 2017

    A guide to tasteful gifts

    We had lunch with my sister.
    She was anxious to show off my tasteful Christmas gift to her.

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    Posted on December 23, 2017 at 4:04 PM. Category: Days Out. | Comments (0)