Living the Crafting Dream – in Deutschland
It feels like it’s time for a bit of an update around these parts, having neglected the Wind-Up Sheep for a little while. There’s not a lot to catch up on: I just moved to Germany, learnt German (ho ho ho) and got back on with normal everyday life again. Except a bit more German-style this time (i.e. I now eat a lot of rye bread, cabbage and wurst, and am very happy for it – all I would improve is the beer, but I’m sure that’ll come). I’m slightly ashamed to say that I’ve become a bit hooked on Instagram in recent weeks – just like the rest of the world, it would seem – something I never thought would happen. And although I wouldn’t want to put my lack of blogposts down to that alone, as evidently my dedication to the slow-blogging cause runs deeper, I would say that it’s playing a part. It’s like instant blogposts, without all the writing. Super!
But, back to the real blog. This week I’ve been living the dream; that is, I haven’t had any work to do, which is almost unheard of, and so I’ve been crafting to the max, littering every corner of our flat with different projects on the go, and weirdly enough, actually making some significant progress! Above is a view of my crafting station (please forgive the assorted fluffy creatures – they seem to follow me around, I don’t know how), surrounded on all sides by different projects. The most significant progress of all has been on the patchwork quilt. It has been lingering in a pile, with one-quarter of the machine quilting complete, for some years. But as I recently began planning a new patchwork quilt, and given the number of patchwork quilts I possess in various stages of completion, I made a vow that I had to finish one before I could start another. So on Monday I dragged it out and finished the machine quilting, despite my sewing machine’s attempts to prevent me.
Then on Tuesday, I spent the morning dreading hand-sewing the binding of the quilt, and so procrastinated by planning three future knitting projects in detail (including buying the patterns on Ravelry and finding the necessary wool from my stash). It required such strength of will not to cast one on, too, that even I am surprised that the yarn still remains untouched on the coffee table. Eventually, I summoned up the courage to do the right thing, and I trimmed, folded and pinned the edges of the quilt and began sewing the binding. As I write, I am less than one full side away from completing the binding. You might ask, what on earth am I doing here, when I ought to be finishing up that quilt? Well it turns out that spending hours on end hand-sewing quilt binding, even when supplemented by music, online documentaries and podcasts, tends to lead to a cooped-up feeling of crazy that no amount of quilt-completing satisfaction (or even procrastiknitting) would cure. But I know it’s going to happen, either today or tomorrow, and I am feeling very chuffed about that. I never finish quilts!
Other than that, I’ve also casually turned out a sock over the past week, and embroidered half a hand towel. I love it when things don’t take forever. It’s far more exciting, and a more energising, inspiring process making things fast. I know I’ve got one more sock and another half a towel to go, but I think a significant difference about life in Germany is, at least so far, that I feel like I have a lot more time to myself. Before I moved, I was doing three jobs in the space in which normal people do one, which really meant that I did a lot of working in the evenings and at weekends, which was really boring, and it made me feel underproductive (craft-wise, that is). But here, now that I only have the one job, all of a sudden I have tons of time on my hands! I am also especially pleased this week, as never before has a making week been so successful (cast your minds/eyes back to this one, where I think I mostly unravelled a lot of knitting). Sometimes I think the freedom of having a whole week to do nothing but make things is too much, and I panic. But not this time. All I would lament this time is the lack of cassoulet, and the company of my mama – my favourite making companion – but I have confidence that we will sneak in more duck-and-crafting sessions in not too long. Duck en croute, anyone?