Progress and Pinterest

Despite having other things on my mind in the past week, I have found some time to work on construction of the Masterpiece. Not only that, but today has offered a rare opportunity to photograph my progress outdoors:

so far, so good

so far, so good

If your square isn’t there, it means it’s in the pile that I either haven’t bordered yet, or haven’t sewn in! I’ve had some lovely contributions recently (check out the Masterpiece page) and I know that there are squares coming soon from Canada, Australia, Ludlow and Aberystwyth… it sure is a cosmopolitan creation!

I’m also working on a Pinterest board for the project, which you can check out here; but remember, it is a work in progress.

A whole heap of friends

Hello, friendly snail!

Hello, friendly snail!

As it’s Valentine’s day, I thought that I would celebrate love… in particular all the love that is coming my way in the form of friendship squares. This morning I was particularly touched to receive a snail-themed square from my wonderful blogging friend  ‘Young at Fifty’ (Things I want to create before wrinkles overwhelm me). In the accompanying letter, she says that her square is “a small contribution to a sustained friendship” – how lovely is that? As this is a slightly larger square than most of the others, I am planning to add a wide border to it decorated with flowers that will mark its arrival on Valentines day (you may not be aware that I hate cut flowers… but I love crochet ones).

A whole heap of friendship squares (all with edges)

A whole heap of friendship squares (all with edges)

As for the others that have been arriving steadily, I have spent most evenings this week putting borders on them. So that I now have a whole load that need to be stitched into the blanket. Up until now, most of my sewing has been done whilst watching (well, mostly listening to) the 6 Nations Rugby on the TV, but there is no rugby this week, so I will have to find a film or two to (not) watch.

Once again, sincere thanks and much love to all of you who have contributed or who are planning to contribute… if you don’t see your square below, that’s because I haven’t edged all of those that have arrived yet.

All these are ready to be sown together

All these are ready to be sown together

Over to you

I have now completed edging and stitching together the central twenty-five squares for the masterpiece – these are all made by me and you can read about the significance of each one on my masterpiece page. Overall, they represent nine permaculture designs, the permaculture principles and ethics plus some aspects of design work in general.

The Masterpiece so far

The Masterpiece so far

I do have several more squares in hand (mainly meditation squares – made when I wanted to do something with my hands whilst my mind was otherwise occupied), but I’m not adding these just yet. The next additions are going to be yours… some are here already, some are on their way, some are not yet made, but will be. If you would like to contribute, but can’t crochet or knit, then I’d love you to write something for my scrapbook… the details are here if you are interested. I’m planning to collect contributions up until about Easter time. so there’s no rush. And many, many thanks to those of you who have already sent a square or a piece of writing… I am deeply touched.

A written record

I have spent quite a lot of time over the past few days getting started and up-to-date with the masterpiece scrapbook. I realised that if I didn’t do it as I went along, it was going to be a mammoth task at the end.

I selected an album covered in recycled sari silk and with pages made from cotton waste sourced from a company who specialise in Fair Trade paper (and other) products:

The scrapbook and squares so far

The scrapbook and squares so far

The first pages have pictures of the squares representing the designs that will form my portfolio, along with a bit of text:

Squares representing my first two designs

Squares representing my first two designs

Then I go on to the twelve squares representing the permaculture principles:

Principles squares (there is tissue paper between pages, hence the ones on the right appearing through a mist)

Principles squares (there is tissue paper between pages, hence the ones on the right appearing through a mist)

And them I moved on to other squares I’ve made and ones from all my friends:

Squares from two friends, along with their messages

Squares from two friends, along with their messages

I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along, and I’ve had messages telling me there are more squares on the way so I’m sure it’s going to be a lovely record of the project. Oh and I should mention that a few people who can’t knit or crochet have just written (or are going to write) something to go in the scrapbook, so there is no need to feel left out if you can’t make something from yarn.

My principles are a bit woolly!

There are twelve principles in permaculture design (at least according to David Holmgren) and as a result of my masterpiece blanket I now have each of them represented by a square:

The twelve principles in wool

The twelve principles in wool

You can find explanations of my thinking on my Masterpiece page, but I thought that it would be nice to show them all together.

I teach an introduction to permaculture course about once a year, and last summer I was challenged to teach one completely based on knitted/crocheted props…. it looks like I’m well on my way!

Circle of friends

Received this morning!

Received this morning!

My masterpiece is reminding me of the variety of good friends I have. Two squares arrived today – one from Mrs Robinson, who has been my friend since 1985 and one from Snuffkin, who I first met face-to-face less than a year ago. Both squares had lovely pieces of writing to go with them too. So far, all the squares are from the UK, but I’m very excited that some will be coming from overseas… it just goes to show how the internet really does turn us into one big community.

My most recent creations... and one WIP

My most recent creations… and one WIP

One of the nicest things about this project  is that, unlike interaction via the internet, I have something tangible. I am able to touch something that my friend touched – that they worked to create. When I hold one of the squares in my hand, I feel a physical connection to the person who made it. I particularly like the fact that, the yarn is linked to the maker too – left over form another project or, like Snuffkin’s cream-coloured square, created from the wool of sheep nurtured by the person who sent it… that’s just magic! I also like the personal touches – a little patch of darning, or the use of my favourite colour (purple).

So, a big thank-you to all of you who have decided to contribute… no rush, I’m planning to construct the blanket in April. And if you want to make your own blogging blanket, I’d be happy to reciprocate. This is craftivism in action – bringing us together as a community through creativity. And if you don’t knit or crochet, what about sharing seeds, or fabric, or books as well as words?

It’s hip to be square

The post this morning was very special: the first square arrived for my masterpiece… so soon. What a lovely warm feeling I got inside.

This one is from Jennie, who attended one of my introduction to permaculture courses in 2012. As you can see from what she wrote, she thought about several of the principles used in permaculture design as she made her square.

A square representing many permaculture principles

A square representing many permaculture principles

I love the colours in this square and the thought that has gone into it. Thank you Jennie!

Remember, though, you don’t have to know anything about permaculture to join in… just tell me what it is about my blog, writing, teaching or our friendship that inspired you to contribute and why you chose the yarn, design or colours. And if you can’t knit or crochet, then just write something (by hand) for me to put in my scrapbook!

I’ve also added two of my own squares to the Masterpiece page today.

%d bloggers like this: