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Rejection: degrading? grounding? just life?

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I read a blog post today that made me think about how being rejected helps to shape you as an individual. Unfortunately that post did not allow comment, thus my musings here.  It spoke not of romantic rejection but of the rejection of a personal creation.  In that instance it was something turned down by a publisher.

Luckily I have not suffered the same rejection, I have only dabbled when writing. I have had the odd letter published in newspapers and when I was in my 20’s I wrote to a magazine with my views on infertility wishing to remain anonymous.  When asked by that magazine to be named I turned it down and thus rejected them.  At the time remaining nameless was absolutely necessary for me.

I have encountered job rejection, though not too recently. When younger, I moved on quickly and easily.  As I got older it took longer to get over it but eventually one does and often it can lead to something better.

I had my fair share of romantic rejection in the long and distant past (who didn’t?).  At times I thought my love life would be over forever (woe oh woe!). I kissed a few frogs before finding my prince unexpectedly, and we are still together many, many moons later.

I had never particularly thought of having something I’d made (or created) being rejected. Yes, I have knitted, sewn, painted things for Table Sales or for gifts.  Some things haven’t sold and I understand others weren’t as appreciated as I hoped they would be.  I guess you could of call those as being ‘rejected’. In fact sometimes the things I loved most were the things others didn’t like at all!

Rejection is part of life.  It happens to us all.  It’s how we deal with it that makes and shapes us.  Family, friends and a strong word to oneself helps.  There is no time limit to picking yourself up and feeling better.  It’s understanding why it happened and how you get past it.  It’s embracing the new opportunity you have been given.  It is a lesson to be learned at any stage, at any age.  We can all flourish after rejection.

 

 

 

 

 

No 1 Knit Top Down, More NaKniCromo and Calorie Free Doughnuts too!

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Busy few days. Inspired by https://shirleycyeung.wordpress.com/  amongst others I have started by first top down knitted item and I LOVE IT ! Having tried once before and failed badly, I choose small, a new baby project from Ravelry.com –  All-In-One Sleeveless Baby Top (6 months) & (9 – 12 months) by marianna mel    With a little help from a YouTube video on understanding construction I totally get it now.

Here’s a little bit of my progress.  topdown2It’s small but more projects going on at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

I have also finished another baby top – bottom up construction – needs a little steaming and a button, not as pleased with the button band as I should be, hopefully that will steam out a little.

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NaKniCromo on Ravelry.com – it’s take a lot of thinking about my dream project (Day 16) – not sure I have just one, just an image of several.  I guess premium yarns, dreams to knit without hiccups, perhaps at least one repeat of an item knit a few years ago. Oh, and of course, the price of the wool would be irrelevant or it would have been free!

Day 17 – Dream Tools – I favour Knit Pro Symfonie needles, rainbows even when knitting with boring yarn!  Day 18 – Technique I would like to master – I would like to be more adventurous with cables, though at the moment I have so much I want to knit that I choose more simple patterns that seem a lot quicker than the fantastic complicated cables I drawl over. Day 19 – More Yarn or Less yarn – More yarn, always more yarn of course. I am working on reducing my stash, whether knitting it or selling some to buy more.

Day 20 – Today – Favourite Tip or Trick – It’s ok to rip something back, don’t consider it wasted time, consider it a learning curve.  Also, mattress stitch, once learned I have never gone back to running stitch or oversewing seams.

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And a little sewing – remember the last post – beige and pink circles with sewing pins. They turned into these doughnuts! And now they are available to purchase at a little lovely cafe, The Teashop at Downe, Kent.  I hope customers popping by for a tea and cake will fancy taking a Calorie Free/Sugar Free cake home for later!

So as you see, a busy few days here.

 

 

Knitting a log cabin

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It’s been an odd week and my crafting has been rather neglected. I was unwell for a few days and muzzy headedness is not conducive to sewing or knitting. I’ve been feeling a little nearer to ‘normal’ the last couple of days so my green sparkly jumper is, at least, wholly knitted though not quite sewn together (therefore not ready to show off here!). It’s difficult to sew it in poor light so I am being picky about when I work on it. Can’t wait to finish (said with actual glee rather than despair).

Alongside the green, a first size baby hat popped off my needles yesterday. I thought I’d try knitting a little log cabin blanket to compliment it. I have always loved fabric quilts in log cabin style. I started one many years ago when I knew little about which fabrics worked best but it made it no further than the first ’round’, pretty much a similar size to what you see below. Wish me luck this knitted one doesn’t go the same way! Both the hat and the blanket are using up yarn stash, this time Rico Baby DK (not a yarn promo, it’s what I have to hand). It’s sometimes lovely to use yarn and actually remember what you purchased it for in the first place. All these were for baby sweaters or a striped car seat blanket. Over the past six years or so there have been many baby gifts gifted. Perhaps my favourite was a pale green and white hoodie for my hairdresser’s little boy – I made a first size – he arrived rather large and couldn’t wear it for long! Oh talking of babies – remember last week’s cute grey jacket and hat ? The little chap who’s hopefully going to be snuggly in it arrived just before midnight yesterday, mother and son doing fine.

Looking forward to seeing more blogs with ‘show and tell’. Bye for now.

A cute kind of grey

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I was asked to knit – quickly – a new baby gift. Luckily, during the pandemic there is a lot of down time, aka knit and crafting time. Also, luckily I had just found a ‘pause’ with my current project on two needles, waiting for some extra yarn to arrive. So I picked up new sticks, dove into my yarn stash and ta-dah – here’s a little grey and cream jacket and hat ready for a new baby boy due next week. Mum and Dad had been told to expect his arrival a little earlier than first quoted. They aren’t panicking more than they were already, first baby and all that and during an international health crisis! For me, it’s nice to know I’ve added a little warmth to the occasion.

Now back to my green sparkly knit on the needles. The extra yarn arrived a couple of days ago and happy to say it’s not a bad match so I think I’ll be able to finish what I’d started (and already blogged about). I shall post pics here when it’s finished!

What did anyone else make in January? Can you believe it’s already the 2nd month of the year?

Playing chicken

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Knitters might take a guess at what ‘Playing Chicken’ means. Others might just think I am as mad as a snake and log off now …

So, my last post showed this gorgeous green glittery yarn and a plain green yarn together, mentioning I was going to add a little sparkle to January and beyond Christmas. Well, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I have been progressing speedily with a jumper, the back and front finished, cuffed sleeve too. Now I realise I will may run out of yarn. I am carrying on knitting without knowing if I will have enough to finish it – otherwise known as ‘Playing Yarn Chicken’. The idea of continuing to use up my yarn stash was so attractive, I thought I had enough. I am knitting two strands together to make the correct yarn weight. Solution might be to undo part of the one finished full length sleeve and make two three-quarter length sleeves. Do you know how difficult this yarn is to disentangle? It’s wool, alpaca and a synthetic fibre. The wool and alpaca fluffs and grabs onto each other on it’s own strand as you knit, let alone how it clings onto the second strand. It’s a nightmare! Of course, the yarn is discontinued and I can’t get any more despite scanning the web for supplies, including from other’s stashes listed on knitting community sites. This could be a difficult lesson learned. I still need sparkle in my life though, so I shall continue with fingers crossed, though not when actually knitting!

Photo taken in the evening in poor light, compared to the daytime one from the last blog post!

I have also been doing a little sewing for a family member who is soon to be 2. Oh to be an innocent age! I have been reliably informed that 2 year olds still play with rag dolls. My take on it is that a sleepy ragdoll (with her eyes shut and a quilt) may help bedtime routines!

Love to see what other crafters are up to. January, dark, dreary, we need to ‘do’ nice things to make the days go quicker!

A little sparkle can continue into the New Year

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For many people the start of any New Year is difficult. Loved ones are missed and despite good intentions, new plans can be challenging to make. 2021 is harder than ever for some. The coronavirus pandemic has affected people in different ways, some of which are truly devastating. Whilst we all continue to try to stay safe, we stay home and socially distance when out, we try to look forward to the end of all the restrictions and traumas around the world.

As we know here in the UK, January can also be a dark, dull month. Today it hasn’t stopped raining for hours, the second in a row. The Christmas decorations have been packed away, we’ve eaten or given away all the extra treats we had in, we’ve thought about diet and exercise plans (thought about, not always activated). However there can still be room for just a little bit of sparkle, can’t there?

Trying to keep busy, my next knitting project will be with these. I reckon if I finish the jumper I can wear it all year round. Glitter is not just for Christmas!

The sewing machine has to come out too. A family member is soon to have her 2nd birthday and I am working on a gift for her. Here’s the start of a quilt for a little rag doll. I’ll show and tell when both have been finished, if they come out well. I think I am better at sewing small projects right now (and always to tell the truth), my knitting successes are definitely more satisfying.

I enjoy reading about other people’s current crafting. What’s everyone’s next creative plans? Am here to admire and be in awe!

First knit of 2021

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Carrying on my intention of getting rid of/using up my yarn stash, I started this cowl just before Christmas and finished it a few days into 2021. I love the yarn (Drops Nepal and Drops Karisma, it knits up quickly on 6mm needles). It was in my stash and apart from striped hats or cushion covers I couldn’t think what else to do with it. The cowl is worn as double thickness, the ribby bit snuggles next to your neck on the inside. I had thought perhaps I could in a chilly emergency pull it more to a tube and wear it up over my head – it looks ridiculous and would indeed need to be an ’emergency’ ! I popped out today at lunchtime and wore it as you can see it here – the weather was freezing, barely above zero – and oh my, it was so hot I was gasping to take it off when I fell back indoors! So, it works then.

I already have another new project on my needles, again using up my stash, but I have already given into the January sales and bought more yarn. Currently counter-balancing this with putting a few lots of yarn I will never use on a popular auction site. Life feels woolly in 2021 already.

I decided as 1st January arrived not to think about New Year Resolutions or Intentions. Life around the world is so unstable with the Covid 19 pandemic it is enough to get through each week, each month and there will be goals along the way anyway.

What are you other crafters up to? Anything finished in the first 7 days? DO show and tell!

Revealing knitted gifts

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I waited until after Christmas to post pictures here of gifted knits, in case recipients saw them before 25th.

I now realise 2021 will be the year I sort out a better phone with a better camera (prompted by my son who telling me mine has been out of date for a long time!). I may also take myself to task about becoming more organised next year. I didn’t take photos of some gifts when they were actually finished, thus you may see the odd woolly end that hasn’t been sewn in, which was, before it were wrapped and gifted.

The blue triangular wrap is now with my Mother In Law. She seemed please and despite her being an octogenerian I had to call it a ‘wrap’ rather than a shawl as I know it would make her feel elderly!

The next two photos are a mega chunky cowl made for a friend I have known since we were little children. It is actually a lovely green, like the middle of an avocado. I made it as she has dogs she walks in the the early hours of morning, often through local woods. I almost didn’t gift it as I like it so much I wanted to keep it!

The red and pink cowl was made for a good friend’s birthday which happens to be the same day as Christmas Day. The pattern called for one strand of chunky yarn, supposed to be knit as a long scarf with pockets and tassels. However, I used 2 different coloured strands of double knit, joined it as a cowl, added the fringe for a nod to the original pattern. I also made similar fingerless gloves but didn’t take a photo of those. Oops!

So those, alongside four glittery baby/toddler hats were my knits for gifting in December. I blogged about the glittery hats in October – they were very well received. I was even sent photos of two of the little ones playing in the snow wearing them today – the first snowfall of winter where they live in the Midlands.

Other knitting already on the sticks – to show here another time.

Not much show and tell ’til after Christmas

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It’s not that I haven’t been making. It’s just if I ‘show’ this time of year then someone may see something here before they are gifted it. Thus my absence from blogging for a while. I have had a busy season present making and fiddling about with existing craft materials. I have loved most of it and have often been happy filling long, sometimes tedious, days trying to stay safe. It hasn’t been plain sailing every day of the pandemic, ups and downs, but crafting is something that keeps me sane(ish, some might say) and encouragement and enthusiasm from my crafty friends and family has been fantastic, albeit at a distance. There has been a lot of Zooming – thank goodness for the internet and thank you to those who haven’t already been thanked.

So a snippet of what’s been going on chez moi. The box at the top of this page was a little decoupage project using some beautiful handmade papers in my stash. I used to enjoy papercraft but I hadn’t dived in for a while. No plan, it just evolved, very therapeutic tearing up paper and sticking it randomly on something – including my fingers. Hubby remarked it looked kind of Christmassy so it has been on the dresser in the dining room ever since. The candy cane was an origami project. It wasn’t difficult but the paper was too stiff really – my plan to make several finished after making one!

Then there’s been a fair amount of cooking and baking (and eating and overeating). I don’t post food pics often but I was rather proud of last weekend’s yorkshire puddings – these were leftovers – in our house they go quickly.

Of course there has been knitting – there’s always something on my sticks. A dear friend had sent me a lovely bundle of yarn a while ago which I recently turned into a poncho. These are not flattering pictures of me, but you can see the yarn and it is lovely and warm. Funny enough it started as a poncho for a four year old and as it grew I realised she’d have to grow an awful lot to fit it. I liked the yarn so much I wanted to keep it so knitted it longer and added a rolled neck to fit me! Lucky little four year old will get her own poncho in little girl colours next year. She is already getting a different hand knit this Christmas.

One of my resolutions for this year was to use up more of my yarn and crafting stash. Here’s the start of a new little knit project. It will be a cowl. I’ve made this one before in a plain beige years ago – never wear beige now – so it’s a dinky pink and purple this time. Hopefully to be finished over Christmas/New Year and I can ‘show it off’ in a January blog post.

Last but not least I am sharing a lovely handmade Christmas card from my talented sister in law. The fabric is stitched into the aperture. I sometimes think the more simple the project the more effective it is. She is a clever woman.

So for now, all that’s left to say is to wish others A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. I sincerely hope you can all celebrate, be with loved ones in person or via a phone call or video link. This year will be very different to others for many. Stay safe. Be kind to one another.

Fruitless or Fruitful?

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Readers of my most recent post may have wondered if my last few weeks have been fruitless, craftwise. I am happy to say not completely. There has been a large smattering of thinking about doing stuff. There have been some unsuccessful moments. There hasn’t been much completion but however, there has been some tinkering.

I first mentioned this quilting project in summer 2018. Since then it has hardly been touched, till last week. So a little accurate cutting out, a little dismay at previous patches, some stitching together, a day or so with a dining room floor covered with design plans. I am a little further along. It has grown. It has far to go. However, there IS progress. When it ‘grows up’ it will be a quilt for a single sized bed.

There has also been a little knitting, a Christmas gift, a shawl for MIL. I actually enjoyed making this, and it is finished, the threads have been tidied up. An aran weight cotton mix yarn with sequins. Sadly, the photo doesn’t show it off as well as in reality.

There is also WIPs on other knitting pins to be shown another time. I hope others are out their crafting too.

Autumn arrives beautifully, and important things

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Mabel, a friend’s dog, enjoying autumn too

There’s been a bit of a gap since I last blogged here. I think the dullness of the pandemic stemmed my online flow of words and I have been a little self-absorbed. On the other hand, perhaps I was just lazy not to share and didn’t think anyone would be interested in what I was doing. Are both ‘excuses’ or ‘symptoms’ of one another? I believe so. Now back on track and what a wonderful autumnal day to lift the spirits. I hiked around a local country park this morning, so so pretty, golds, reds and greens, I love this season before all the trees become bare and the days too short.

Today I read an article online in Psychology Today by Leon F. Seltzer about being self-absorbed, how focus can become narrow and vision blurred, self-criticism, unhealthy rumination, how one can compress life into something beyond comfort (his words written in my layman’s terms, not a direct quote here). So interesting once having read facts, that some of these ‘negatives’ can be turned to ‘positives’, how being narrow visioned can be good on occasion, how rumination can be specific thinking and how you can be kinder to yourself.

A few years ago I may have thought this was all mumbo jumbo, hogwash, claptrap. Not now. The pandemic, for me and others, has allowed focus on things of importance. Many things in my current life remain important. Some things I have let go. My walking buddy this morning told me of a book she’d read, Spark Joy by Marie Kondo (I had previously dipped into this but only reorganised my lingerie drawer!). It’s about organising your ‘things’ and only keeping those that make you happy. Perhaps that has happened in many homes since March 2020.

A day for revelations.

‘Easy’ little crochet made me a little crochety

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On a mission to use up some of my yarn stash and recently inspired by a successful completed crochet project I decided to go for a new project/new stitch. In a magazine I found a lovely selection of ‘new’ square crochet samples and chose some that were labelled as ‘easy’, thinking once I’ve done those I could move onto ‘intermediate’. I wasn’t kidding myself that I’d be on the ‘advanced’ ones for a while though I did get carried away looking at crocheted lamp shades and toilet seat covers much to the horror of my non-crafting hubby (which look fun but will never actually be my style). However, I was stumped again. Reading a crochet pattern does just not come naturally to me. Maybe learning more crochet will just take time – is what I said to myself after Version #1. Versions #2 and #3 made me crochety, stick and cotton yarn being cast aside for a few days …

But Version #4 I stuck with and eventually I had 9 samples of #Version 4. I have no idea what am I going to do with my new piece. Perhaps it’s a mat for under a plant pot or fruit bowl? It’s not perfect, need to work on tension but the stash of my cotton yarn is now less at least! It’s a learning curve this crochet lark. I admire the skill of all the crocheters out there.