Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is a knotted rug that I've been working on for ages, probably 7 years or more. I always wanted to make a latch-hook rug, even as a child, but the kits were so expensive that I could never afford to do one. About 25 years ago I found a bag of pre-cut wool in an op-shop, dark brown and white, and so I grabbed it and squirelled it away in the dark recess of my craft cupboard. Many years later I bought some rug canvas cheaply; later again I found tapestry wool at a going-out-of-business sale. Then I bought a latch-hook, and finally I began to make this rug.

I'd like to say I loved it, but I didn't. It hurts my hands to do the knots, and it's slow and cumbersome and I don't like it as much as a hooked rug. But I had waited all those years to do it, and once I'd started I just had to keep going. Last winter I gritted my teeth and gave up hours and hours of valuable knitting and spinning time to get this finished. I even bullied Mereth into doing some when my hands complained too much. Then I ran out of the brown wool, and it's way too small, but that's all there is folks. Last Monday I put the final knots into the border, threw the thing on the floor and glared at it.

I couldn't believe how much time and effort had gone into it, how many years of storing all the bits and pieces, and the burden of knowing I had to finish it. I'm so relieved it's done, but it will be a while before I can look at it without a shudder. Some things just cost too much. I doubt I'll ever do another one!

So why did I buy this gadget at the gift shop next door? (Rotary cutter included for scale)It's a bakelite thingummy-jig, and obviously designed to be a labour-saving version of a latch-hook, with a cutter and all. I've had a play with it, and I can't work out a way that it would be quick and easy to use. I wish it came with instructions! Never mind, it can go in the collection of widgets that I have, all amazing contraptions for craft work.

It's a great tennis match tonight, Safin and Federer. I'm going round Mereth's to watch it on the big TV, and we're having a beef curry with lots of veggies. I bought a Tagine this year, and it's the best investment ever. It's a middle-eastern cooking pot, and the odd shaped lid keeps all the moisture in and cooks everything beautifully. I just cut up a heap of meat and veggies, throw them in the tagine with 3 tablespoons of whatever curry paste I prefer and 1/2 cup of coconut cream. It goes into a moderate oven for a few hours and that's all there is to it. And those are homegrown green and orange capsicums in there; I'll throw in some homegrown chard half an hour before we're ready to eat.

It's probably hard to get Patak's in the States, but luckily it's in all the supermarkets here. On my trips to the U.S. I only ever saw curry spice once, a tiny tin that cost $5. I would hate to live without curry, it's my favourite meal.


Tazzie 2:35 AM  

Enjoy the curry - I can't wait for the tennis - it's going to be a ripper game between Safin and Federer, and I have my fingers and toes crossed for Dokic right now. I think it's going to be a late night for us both!

Joanne 2:10 PM  

I understand those projects that you can't stand by the time you finish them. Thankfully they are rare. But it does look lovely from here. It reminds me of a stained glass window?!

mckie2 8:50 PM  

You can get that curry paste on in the states. It's getting so you can buy most anything you want on there these days. I remember when they only sold books. I think I still have a latch hook rug from the 70's packed away - still not finished. Congratulations on the finish.

Dineke 11:57 PM  

The rug story sound so familiar to me, I have a blue rug just a quarter part finished. Good for you to get yourself to finish yours.

Connie 11:40 PM  

Your rug is beautiful. The colors are so rich, yet inviting and happy. Am glad you finished it so others could see and enjoy.

Quilty Cat 1:37 AM  

Thanks for the education about the Tagine. Never seen one before. Where do you buy one? Am a lover of Patek's products too. DH is an ex RAAFie and spent time in Malaysia on exercises. I think his love of curries comes from that time. C

Jan Mac 1:38 PM  

I love the rug but then I don't have the sore fingers needed to achieve it. Maybe you'll be able to enjoy it more when the memory of those fade LOL. The curry looks great too and I love all the vegies. I don't usually comment but still check your blog daily and enjoy the lovely quilts you make. Hugs JJ

Jenni 12:03 AM  

I'm interested in buying a tagine - do you have to soak the pot each time you use it? Have you made much in the way of moroccan food? I'm looking for ways to make moist fall-apart meat.

Helen 3:15 AM  

Hi Keryn

Do you think your latch hook thingamyjig is for using with uncut wool from the skein (now there's an old-fashioned word)? I have never seen anything like that before.

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