Thursday, 22 October 2009

Impossible things...

I don't mean I'm going as far as believing "as many as six impossible things before breakfast". For a start, I've had breakfast already, and to be fair to myself, it's only a couple of forays into uncharted territory, but somehow the White Queen's words are echoing around my head...

Firstly, I appear to have agreed to make a couple of horses' heads for the English-speaking theatre in Frankfurt. Drinking beer at lunchtime in exceptionally congenial company can lead one down very strange paths. Now, I'm a dab hand at dragon-making, discussing which is, I suspect, how I got myself into this. It involves chicken wire, papier mâché and an awful lot of blood. That said, of course, I have absolutely no idea how to make theatrical masks which don't end up poking anyone's eye out... it will be interesting to learn!!

Secondly, I am crocheting myself a hat. See photo above for the first hesitant steps - the vaguely circly sort of black thing behind the ball of wool is my hat-seed. I just need something to keep the rain off my hair en route to the theatre. All the really expensive hats in the department stores I padded around looked home-made to me, and, as you do, I thought, OK, and headed for the wool shop. I chose the wool because I'm fond of black and purple, and because it was called Tosca. The kind lady in the shop said I needed a No. 7 crochet hook - so I am now the proud owner of one No. 7 hook, rather excitingly constructed of clear acrylic with gold sparkles throughout. Very cheerful. She also, I think, mentioned something about double-thicknesses if it was for a hat. I bought two balls, just in case, but didn't like to tell her I couldn't actually crochet...

I first picked up a crochet hook last year after visiting a fabulous exhibition in the South Bank featuring hyperbolic crochet (further explanation here, or pretty pictures here; I was fascinated by the thought of a terribly clever maths bod saying, eh well the equations for hyperbolic planes are pretty damn complicated, but if you hang on a second, I'll crochet you one...). I wandered out of that strange and wonderful exhibition slightly obsessed, bought hook and wool, thought about the equations for a bit and spent the next few weeks creating coral fantasies and brains. If I can crochet a brain, surely I can crochet a hat; it's all just maths, right?

Luckily these are nice sedentary occupations; I am rather aching all over at the moment, having accidentally done the splits, then (more deliberately) the can-can, and having shins full of bruises. I'm sure there are opera singers who don't end up battered and bruised by this point in the rehearsal process, but I've definitely never been one of them!


  1. Crocheting is fun! I've now done several blankets and a couple of scarves. I haven't tried anything as ambitious as a hat. Good luck with that!

    As for injuries on stage, I injured myself during the run of a show a couple of years ago, and my shoulder still twinges every once in a while (mostly when I haven't been to the gym in a while). I blame it on the adrenaline.

    Be well!

  2. I LOVE black and purple! I want a black and purple hat like yours made with a sparkly crochet hook!

    I just bought a black and purple sweater that looks like your hat. (I read your blog posts backwards ... the one with the finished hat first).