I don’t like having my hands idle.
It’s not that I have any illusions about them being the devil’s playthings (atheist, right here), but I just don’t like it. Nick and I are adherents of serial story-telling (read: we watch a fair bit of telly), and if I’m just sitting there with my hands in my lap, I become restless and bored, not matter how good the actual episode or program is.
Like the fact that they took the dagger out of Elijah! So now Elijah’s back!
So I make my own rugs (both braided rugs and clippy mats), which has the added advantages of both recycling fabrics that aren’t really wearable any more and keeping some of the old crafts in play. I taught myself Viking knitting, and then promptly never did it again, despite really liking the effect. I knit, though not well, and I cannot crochet. I make little felt Santa hats for Daleks.
And lately I’ve been making little felt dolls.
You see, Nick was exceptionally clever this Christmas, and showered me (bless him) with an array of really lovely, thoughtful presents, including a little book on making steampunk soft toys.
This book on making steampunk soft toys, to be exact.
And one quiet Sunday, I thought I’d have a go at making one of the simpler patterns—one that didn’t involve too much brass or leather or ageing fabrics with wax.
I only had felt to hand, but felt is cheap and fairly easy to work with (albeit a bit on the stiff side), and though I couldn’t actually make any of the steampunk accessories with the materials I had to hand, I did manage to hand-sew a couple of little Victorian ladies who worked out well enough to please me:
Of course, they haven’t any arms, but then they are Victorian ladies. (And at least they have mouths. That’s my main problem with Hello Kitty—what kind of role model for girls is a creature that doesn’t even have a mouth? All the best women are a bit lippy, in my opinion.)
And then I had a thought. The kind of brilliant thought that led to my making tiny little felt Santa hats for my Daleks.
I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought, “you might be able to make a reasonable facsimile of a Weeping Angel out of this pattern.”
So I did:
Of course, felt is the worst possible fabric to try and make flowing robes out of, so there’s that. But for an experimental pattern (where I had to ad-lib both wings and arms), he hasn’t worked out at all badly.
Of course, now I spend my working days being loomed over by a little felt psychopath and compulsively glancing at my bookshelves to make sure he hasn’t moved closer.
And I still haven’t worked out a way to attach the arms in a way that would let me cover the eyes. But for a first attempt, he’s a pretty satisfying Weeping Angel.
Now I just need to make another half a dozen before Christmas.
Oh, and make them all little Santa hats, of course.