Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Ort Bag That Was: A Knitting Project

Ort Bag that Was by R de Heer
This knitted cap, what in Australia we call a beanie, was meant to be an Ort Bag. Apparently an ort is the useless little bit of thread left after you have finished sewing something up. People save orts to use as stuffing, for example dolls legs.

The pattern was originally for tunisian crochet but I needed a quick project to experiment with tweed stitch. Pattern by Robynn-El Ross. It  was in a magazine in a waiting room. 

My bag/beanie is made with four pieces of knitted fabric, of 8ply yarn, each 21 stitches wide, length 4x the width.

You need two colours. I used two variegated colours per rectangle, resulting in a green-, red-, yellow- and blue-flavoured panel. For line 1 knit colour a, b, a, b, a, and so on to end, carrying the yarns at the back of the stitches. .........For line 2 knit colour b, a, b, a, b etc. again carrying the yarns at the back of the stitches. Both sides of the work will be the same. 

Sewing the project up can drive you a little crazy because it seems very contradictory when you have it about 2/3 done. At the end you may have a little ort bag, or you may have a beanie with fold up flaps. The flaps can be up or over your ears, good for cold weather. 

Pattern by Robyn-El Ross

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Celebrating First Times

Half-finished Ceramic Installation for Front of Garage
R de Heer
Sixteen weeks after breaking my wrist I was finally able to resume this half-completed ceramics project. The width/height is fifty centimetres, the length will be about two metres. The sun shining over the local landscape. Mt Chincogan in the middle. The Mt Warning/Wollumbin volcanic plug in the left-most as yet unglazed tile. The Brunswick River estuary, Nature Reserve, mangroves and beach in the righthand unglazed tile.

The ten weeks since the cast came off have been a long sequence of private little celebrations of achieving this that or the other for the first time.

First time eating right handed with a fork.
First time brushing my hair right-handed.
First time driving again.
First time cutting up vegetables.
First time brushing my teeth with my right hand.
Etc etc

The break made me conscious of the amazing dexterity of our hands and wrists. How much we depend on them. How weak in comparison our non-dominant hand is. Before the accident I could lift a full kettle of water with my right hand with ease. Left-handed, I discovered, I could only lift the kettle half-filled.

I could type with two fingers, but not click, drag and drop. I did no knitting or any kind of handwork this winter. Hardly any photography. Even a phone-camera was difficult. First time using the mouse was only two days ago.

Bottle tops, jar-lids and zip-locks continue to present almost unsurmountable frustrations. I've taken to cutting zip-locks from the bags and using clothes pegs to reseal. Jar-lids get stabbed with a knife to break the air seal. Bottle tops? No thank you!