Friday, November 18, 2005

from the sublime to the ridiculous

the divine miss l m

Lettice Maud has been here for a few weeks, but is only now feeling ready to 'go public'. Her journey to the north was somewhat traumatic, as she found the postal service just a little rough - some nasty, nasty man put a hole in her suitcase. Still, once unpacked, and unruffled, and after some Earl Grey (in bone china, thank you very much), she quickly realised no harm was done. She misses her flatmate, and their walks through the Hampshire countryside, looking for Mr Darcy and Mr Wentworth, but is coming to realise that exploring wuthering heaths could be quite an adventure. (I, however, think that if she actually met a Heathcliffe, she would, in a distinctly ladylike fashion, run a mile.)

Lettice Maud has enjoyed making new friends - the ladies at the nearest craft guild particularly appreciate her ways with a bakewell tart - though she has found the accent a little difficult to understand. And she was delighted to discover a fairly close Capability Brown garden. Feeling daring, she decided to venture outside today - but not again, until spring, as it was just too cold - and explore the local flora. Altogether, Lettice Maud feels she may indeed like the north (although her heart will forever belong to Jane, and Hampshire), but just for now, she wishes it were a little warmer.

(Absolutely none of the above will make sense if you don't run over and visit Yarnstorm - and I strongly recommend that you do.)

would you believe they are socks?

At a local craft fair (Lettice Maud wanted to go), I found these bizarre looking items. Made from handspun Jacob's fleece, I was told by the spinner/knitter that these are one size fits all socks. Made for World War (1? - I wasn't listening that carefully, too busy stroking the wool) soldiers, one is meant to try them on, identify the heel, and then darn for strength. A friend, who knows the maker, calls them 'banana socks'. They aren't pretty pretty, but they are practical, and in good function there is always an aesthetic beauty. They look simple to make - a few longish rows of garter stitch (for the length of the foot, and up the calf aways), then a few longish rows of stocking, with decreases thrown in, all done flat, and seamed up the top. (I would properly reverse engineer them, but I don't want to take them apart!) No sock wool, no tiny needles, no complicated heel flaps, kitchenering, or tricky shaping. And they make the best bed socks ever.

The lesson for today? It is fun making your own things (with the added bonus of feeling all clever about it), but sometimes, you can get far more pleasure from the work of others. So thank you Yarnstorm, and spinning lady whose name I have forgotten, for the pleasure I have found in Lettice Maud and the banana socks.