Saturday, 25 June 2011

A beautiful book

Something is afoot.  Peony has been lingering in the shade more than usual.  She can be found lurking between our overgrown lavender bush and a painted fritillary.  Her haughty demeanour has given way to a more cautious, worried look.  This is most odd.  What can have happened since the summer solstice to cause such concern?

Could it be that someone else has taken over the limelight?  Yes, that must be it.

This is my eldest daughter, Héloïse's, rabbit.  When he first arrived in our garden we were somewhat perplexed to behold his more nautical appearance.  Infact it would be true to say we were worried he might feel more at home by the seaside among the crabs and seaweed than with carrots and lettuce.  His name is (Saint) Malo and he is such an affable little creature that he has become a firm favourite in these parts. So kind is he that he happily accepted to pose infront of these glorious painted flowers.  Malo certainly has taste.

So much so that he has taken a shine to our little mouse who now shares her patch of shade with him and instructs him on the language of flowers.  Since getting to know her long-eared companion she has become partial to red roses.

This beautiful book's format - 30cm x 38cm - is the perfect size for the forty-eight flower paintings it contains.  The story, which accompanies the artist Martin Jarrie's work, is about Rose and Hyacinthe, an elderly couple who have nothing in common but their shared passion for gardening.  Through their grandson's words the reader gets a glimpse into their world in which a talkative priest, foxgloves, and nylon flowery dresses feature.  The story is beautiful and although it targets children it is just as suitable for adults.  I love the passage in which the grandfather teaches his shy grandson about girls and the language of flowers.  Sadly the story ends with the death of the couple.  The flower garden however lives on and with it the boy's growing love of horticulture.

I would love to find a British publisher who would agree to a translation of this book.  I would feel honoured to do it.

Peony and Malo's clothes were made this week without a pattern.  It is wonderful to see how manageable this is after eighteen months of knitting.  There are no surprises as far as the yarn used: oh, beloved Rooster!  I shall be for ever faithful to you!

Have a lovely, sunny week!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Meet Peony

Peony is my youngest daughter, Angélique's, mouse although, to be honest, she spends far less time playing with her than I do.  I believe that the passions and hobbies one has as a child come back and slap you firmly in the face as an adult; "relish and enjoy us" they seem to say.  I used to love making clothes for my dolls and now, ever since Peony arrived in my Angélique's life, I have become obssessed with creating all manner of garments for her.

 As you can see from the photograph this mouse has an unusually regal posture for such a humble animal (please note how she has had a cushion made for her delicate posterior) which is why the family chose such a lofty flower name for her. To launch her into the flower kingdom it felt only right to find peony coloured yarn to knit her tunic and trousers.

I chose Rooster's Almerino Aran both for Peony's outfit and cushion.  This, in my humble opinion, is yarn heaven.  Rooster makes the softest, most squishy wool, which is a delight to fondle.  I love Rooster so much that I have ordered more colours which goes against my 'use your stash first' policy.
As for the pattern.  I was inspired by Leanne Prouse's Knitting at Home book - recently reviewed in Never Not Knitting - however I adapted the pattern to suit Peony's comely figure.

Needless to say I am dreaming up some more horticultural outfits for mousey.... Although I should also think up some clothes for her owner.  
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