I made this beret (a lovely pattern from Toft Alpaca) and decided that Noggin would be ideal for modelling this. He's always been a show off and feels very disgruntled (which you can tell from that grim set expression around the mouth) that he's left to act as a doorstop in a flat in south east London, rather than being out in the world and expressing himself more freely. So in many ways, the beret is also appropriate for the creative inner life that he feels unable to fulfil.
Lordy, now I've written that I wonder if it's a metaphor for my own frustrations. Not deliberate I assure you. I have been pondering recently about what's driving the modern making phenomenon. It can't be natural that people thrive in a service culture when we are naturally creative animals who enjoy the tactile experience of building, constructing, inventing and putting to use things that have been crafted by our hands. All of those skills that took evolution to put to great use shouldn't be allowed to die out because we've invented ourselves into automation. Honestly, am not sure I can use that excuse but it seems to strike a nerve with a few people I've talked about it with.
So I'm still a bit unsure where all this craftiness is taking me but I am confident it's going somewhere. I've just taught my first beginner knitter to cast on and knit and purl and am thinking about trying a half day workshop at a really lovely venue in south west London. It's getting together a group of seven or eight novices that worries me - where to start, how to do it etc. I'd really like to, just to see - I'd bake cake and make tea - but now I have to take the plunge.
The certificate at the Royal School of Needlework is signed up for, and I can't wait to start. In preparation, I'm kitting out my spare room so that it is no longer spare - instead, come Christmas, it will be a lovely sparkly craft room with organised yarn, fabric and embroidery threads, and a general feeling of creative well being. This is where insomnia comes in very handy - pinging awake at 4.30 on Sunday morning, unable to get back to sleep, I was able to make great progress in sketching out and designing the layout of the room so I can't wait for work to start on that. Does pose a bit of an issue about clutter clearance in the meantime - the worst part of any revamp surely.
And in the meantime, I have a very nice, very warm beret to wear in the middle of a last minute heat wave. Perhaps a sign that I'm on the way but not there yet...