I spent a lot of time in a very good bookstore yesterday searching for a suitable book to encourage my seventeen year old son to actually read. He seems unhappy to pick up a book (or even think of reading a book on an ereader- I tried offering a gadget!) He exists with words read only from short onscreen articles (a quick wiki search, for example) or from onscreen games (tactics, etc). His current education, which doesn’t actually include English as a subject (he chose other A levels) is suffering from his lack of word knowledge which should be helped if he actually read the written word more. I know he is not alone in his lack of interest, having asked friends how/what their teenage boys do and also from being in more than one bookstore lately and interrogating the staff.
Why is there a complete lack of inspiring books for teenage boys/young men? Why do so many boys give up on books at this age? Is it that other things takeover (specific school work, computer games, girls?!) For my son, I count the quantity of school work (though surely he should have been encouraged to read books off the curriculum to become a well-rounded adult or even just because they can be fun?!) There is a massive gap in this book market – who do you know who’s going to fill it and how? Maybe I will try myself, though this could be a huge challenge as I have never been a teenage boy …
As a little boy my son just couldn’t get enough books, stories and facts, he craved stories we made up, he even wrote his own. What happened? He became a teenager and perhaps we took our eyes off the ball. I am a great book lover, so is hubby, we blames ourselves in part. There is nothing much out there that screams ‘read me’ to your average British teenager, from what I can tell. We have a couple to try but look forward to finding more, going down the route of ‘interesting facts’ rather than ‘here’s a huge novel, you have to read it!’.
There was one book I liked in particular, seeing as I am a knitter …. something along the lines of ‘Boys Don’t Knit ….’. It made me smile but I think it would have to be a very specific boy to actually read this one. I guess the message there was ‘it’s ok to be different and not fit in with your peer group’. I wonder how sales of this one have gone so far…. Hubby thinks there was a huge pile of these still in store for a reason!
Wish us luck. Anyone with a teenage son will understand why I might need it.
You know that thing that people say about ‘never having the time to exercise’? I’ve said it myself in the past, though I think that was just a lack of willpower and general laziness! I think I’ve started to say it about my craft making. I have too many knitting projects unfinished and sewing projects not even started. I have a stack of patterns, yarn and fabric, enough to set up my own store, well, almost. The half finished projects are often those that I started and got bored of, or stuck on. The sewing is a reflection of my keenness to begin something slightly out of my comfort zone.
Who can resist the lure of new patterns? I love the world wide web but by bringing it into my ‘world’ how do I resist all those free downloads? Those lovely photos and the instructions sound so simple, so easy, so quick, so tempting. (I won’t even start on about how I got all of my beautiful yarns and fabrics. I am sure many just jump into my shopping basket spontaneously. When I look at my stash I remember most of how I got it, but can’t always remember what I planned to do with it!) How do I get over this? Am I slightly overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? (It’s a bit like looking at all the housework and chores sometimes and deciding just to go out and ignore it all as it will be there when I get back! Anyone just like me?)
I think I might need to launch myself right in, put on my ‘sensible head’ (when am I ever going to use all those bags if I make them all?) I need to reassess if I am actually going to finish/start each thing. I have been known to start a summer project in the summer, not finish it, seasons change and I think ‘oh well, I shall leave it there and take it up when the same season arrives next year’. Is this something many of us do? What’s the point of finishing a little summer shrug when you need something warmer with long sleeves? This is not the first year I’ve made this mistake. I sit in one of my recent successes (my crafting is not totally a disaster). This is actually a skirt made in July 2014 (photo to follow, camera out of reach this present moment). It’s possibly the last time I wear it this season as autumn is fast arriving. It still looks sunny this weekend but there’s a definite chill in air.
I really must knuckle down this week. Rather than talk about all this ‘making’ I must get on and ‘make’.
So much to do in what little leisure time I’ve had recently. Look what I made the other day! Summer is here and it’s time for a little funky top or two. One down, more to go, but that’s after I’ve finished the two skirts I have also started creating. There’s a lot of pink going on in my house – which is pretty weird as I don’t usually wear pink. The sewing bug has re-surfaced. Hurrah! (That’s a bug I am happy to celebrate.) The only ‘problem’ is that it leaves less time for knitting. I even watched an old episode of The Great British Sewing Bee last week – which of course made me want to give up sleep to gain some more creative time!
Last weekend I planned two long car journeys. I am mid way through a difficult lacy wrap and it just wasn’t the right thing for a portable project, especially as I’d had some issues with the pattern which had involved ripping and reknitting. I just had to start something new and more simple (knitters will know there is rarely a ‘need’ just a ‘lust’ to start something new!). So this week I have a sleeve and a half of a new PINK shrug. Like I say, ‘pink’ has made it’s way into my life. It could be that my hair is almost back to it’s natural colour so I can wear pink without my strawberry blonde/ginger hair looking odd and washed out. I have been battling hair colour for a while, but that’s a long story to tell another time.
Back to the machine to find out if my next project looks like it will fit ….. I seamed my skirt a couple of days ago but at first sight it looked a little narrow for my hips! I turned off my trust Juki, went to bed, ready to tackle it today on my day off work. Let’s see!
So, again it’s being a while since I blogged. Dare I say I am back on track and intend to be back on WordPress more often? I was having a mini cupboard sort out (that’s a mini sort out, not a sort out of a mini cupboard!) and found these little star quilted patches. I put them together, added the long strips either side then ran out of steam …. I think when I made them (a few years ago now), as well as having a play with fabric and a new craft book, I thought I would make a quilt. Ha ha ha, say those who know me, rolling their eyes skyward. Another over ambitious project. I absolutely love blues and whites together so this time I thought maybe ‘a cushion cover’, then realize i do not have a space in a room where blue and white would be shown off to effect. I am now thinking of either a knitting needle case, making sure the stars are uppermost so I can see them every time I go into my craft room or maybe a sewing machine cover. I am learning not be over ambitious with my crafting. I may have many projects but none are large and many are portable.
In the last month my crocheted granny square blanket has grown, though the aran wool is warm to work with so that has been put aside in favour of a DROPs cotton shrug or wrap – I say either as it is being created as I work on it. For non knitters that may sound weird, but there may be other knitters who will understand! It began as a tunic top, though working from a girls pattern rather than a ladies, despite sizing it upwards, it has not grown enough and I know it will not fit me as a tunic top. I love the colours – teal, raspberry and lime green (sounds ghastly, watch this space!) and I will not rip it back, so I shall get to a certain point and decide what it will eventually become.
I have also nearly finished a fabric summer top. You see, I have been busy making rather than blogging! I have also been getting stuck into a new ‘real’ job, travelling up to London three days a week. I knit or crochet on the train and bus, get a few strange looks along the way, and have only been approached with interest once! I don’t think there are many fellow travelers around my way who craft or maybe there WIPs are too big to bring along! Who knows?!
I like this too! It would make me feel I had accomplished something rather than just have a handful of half finished projects!
I haven’t blogged for a while… oops …. Life, eh?! New job and all the stresses so far …
My knitting has come to a halt. My sewing has come to a halt. I am going great guns with a little crochet at the moment though. I think it was the need for something portable that fuelled this and last weeks granny square frenzy. I was wondering just what to take whilst travelling on the bus and train recently. I have a purple cardigan on knitting pins which kind of called out to me but I decided it was just too bulky to carry every day. I’d gotten to the sewing up stage and I know that is something I can never contemplate whilst travelling! Sewing is probably the worst part of knitting to me. I put it off time and time again!
A ‘lifetime’ ago I used to have a daily commute of 90mins and I went through a phase of enjoying hand quilting. I remember the pile of hexagons in my bag, on my lap, falling on the floor, the hunt for the missing sewing needle ….. I must have been a nightmare fellow traveler but in the bliss of youth didn’t give it a second thought! Then I moved onto knitting (hurrah), resurrecting a craft I had neglected for years. It was so fab for me – all that time just sitting in one place – happily knitting away – chatting to friends around me (I was one of those who commuted the same long distance regularly, collecting fellow commuters as friends along the way – oh it was a ball some mornings! I even gained a boyfriend on this journey, years before I was married of course! He and hubby are not one and the same, thank goodness.) The knitting was definitely more successful, though the occasional dropped knitting needle was a real ache! Of course, the days the needles went were those when I was sat next to strangers, those usually grumpy middle aged men in suits who were not impressed to be asked to stand up whilst I rooted inbetween our seat cushions! As I said, I was probably not a great fellow passenger then but didn’t realize it. I apologise if you were one of those asked to move on the 06.37 Hastings to Cannon Street train in the early 1990’s.
So, recent train journeys are much shorter and so far I have not made ‘friends’ with others, but I have noticed some surreptitious glances my way – whether this is wonder or horror at what I am doing I have yet to work out. Sharing this with my teenage son he reckons it was horror, but then he reckons his mum is just not ‘normal’, ha ha. I shall not change who I am, I love living in a woolly place and to sit idle is just not ‘me’.
A pile of granny squares in the pic … this is just the beginning.