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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.

babywhitecardi1

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.

scissors1spool

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.

 

 

A very little post

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I think the title of a blog post is the thing that catches someone’s eye. It’s a bit like the cover of a book – if it looks interesting you might pick it up. So now I’m wondering if you are reading something from me for the first time what you thought this might be about. Enlighten me if you wish!

A letter in the post? A friend this morning stated that since Covid lockdown she thinks she is receiving less post and rarely sees her postman. Unlike a different friend who is receiving a lot more as her internet purchases increase and she almost feels sorry for her postman when he arrives some days staggering behind the latest stack of packages.

Maybe you thought this might be about an interesting looking post coming out of the ground somewhere. I myself love a bit of metalwork designed to be pretty not just functional, usually gates or fencing though. Sorry not this kind of post.

Then there could be a ‘post’ about the after of covid, what might be different, what might be the same. There’s food for thought and something I am sure many of us have thought about.

My very little post is only this – my latest tiny finished knit. We have a new baby boy due in the family next month. Just in case he arrives early I made a preemie waistcoat so he’ll have something nice to wear. It will only fit a preemie or a teddy! It was fun to make. I had already made a larger size hoodie but I just wanted something smaller just in case. Still using my stash so feeling a little smug and who doesn’t love a quick result?! Still working on other things, knitted, crocheted and sewn.

Stashbusting and Flowers

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A couple of weeks ago I blogged about finding a mini stash of textured squares and making a little doll’s blanket. As I offered to send it to a grandma for the grand-daughters’ dolls pram it was hinted that as there was more than one grand-daughter they might fight over one new thing – I hadn’t thought of that! So, I raided the stash again and came up with doll’s blanket No 2. Now there’s one each but they may squabble over who has what colour. Am not going to make any more and I am feeling pleased there’s a little (a smidgeon, very little) less in my stash.

On the same post I had started crocheting a new cotton/bamboo top. Since then it’s been ripped back twice and redesigned. It was supposed to just be 4 big squares joined at angles and with shoulder straps, like a floaty vest. Sometimes things aren’t simple, are they? I chose the wrong pattern as I don’t think I would actually have worn it finished, plus I struggled to understand the initial stitches (that’s just my mistake UK terms vs US terms). I am happy now with the current progress and have been sitting in the shade today (so hot out there, 30degrees+) hooking and planning to add a border. Will share more than this next time hopefully. This is just my ‘design area’ .

As I sit I can see a few geraniums. It’s not a pretty spot in my garden but they brighten up that space and I can’t get a good panoramic one of the rest of the garden, lawns, trees, etc today.

And talking of flowers I felt very lucky as yesterday a neighbour’s daughter gave me a lovely bouquet as a thank you for putting her in touch with someone who has offered her a job. She felt lucky but so did I, so nice to be thanked for doing a good turn. So amongst the stresses of Covid 19 there are nice things happening. I think it’s going to be a good week.

Whilst waiting for the world to end, another yarn

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At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic it helped to be actually doing something rather than just waiting for the world to expire. The immediate shut down of the country and the curtailment of life as we knew it was a shock and amidst feeling scared and nervous creating things became urgent and necessary. I churned out one craft project after another. I finished knits, made new ones, crocheted, cut and stitched fabrics, made presents and created things to use myself right then. I indulged in my love of making things but it was also a lot about tidying up in the home, validating items, it even crossed my mind about what loved ones might have to sort out if I didn’t make it through Covid 19. I wanted to enjoy what I had whilst I was able to. I wanted others not to have to sort through half done projects and wonder what on earth I had ever planned with the bags and boxes of (in their eyes) ‘stuff’. I am not sure I even voiced this, except to myself. Days merged into one another.

As the weeks have gone by my craft progress has declined. Not gone away totally, just slowed. Making things seems less pressing. I was talking (online) to some crafting friends and most of us agreed we are all in less of a crafting frenzy. For some, trying to get back to anything resembling ‘normality’ is now more urgent. We have mostly settled into some kind of rhythm. We are all still creating – even if something is in a planning stage rather than physical. In my own house I look around the areas where I usually craft and there again are the carefree signs, half used balls of yarn, snippets of fabric, piles of things not being used and not put back in any order (yet).

One little project just finished. A baby blanket for perhaps a crib or travel seat. This became my knit to hand when I watched tv. I am still working on last week’s crochet top which is being redesigned as it progresses. More next time about that.

Please know, I am not undermining the care we all have to continue with in our daily lives, be it in the home or outside, be it no change at all for now. Stay safe.

A handful of squares

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Many years ago, possibly more than six and less than ten, I remember playing around with textures and knitting a few odd squares. I never did anything more with them and they were lost into the ether of WIPs (Works in Progress) and UFOs (Unfinished Objects) – long lost, until recently. So rediscovering a few that complimented each other, I turned them into a small blanket for a doll’s pram. There are three little girls in my extended family who weren’t even twinkles until 4 years ago and I hope one of them has a dolly who needs to keep warm on chilly days! It wasn’t an exciting new project, the squares aren’t perfect but it means one less guilt trip when I dive into the mystery cupboard of yarn and sewing projects.

Having had more time at home recently I’ve had the inclination to sort out cupboards. In the kitchen those chipped pots have been chucked, the plastic tubs now have matching lids and I have stock of store cupboard herbs and essentials. I’ve found a few things to cook that I didn’t even remember buying! I know I am amongst the many who have taken the opportunity of lockdown to take stock of many things in their lives, sorting cupboards is just a very little of it.

My enthusiasm has slowed a little, I guess the ‘novelty’ has worn off, but I am still trying to go through my craft projects and use my stash as much as possible. As I am making decisions about what to finish or abandon it has been beautifully warm here in the south east of the UK, like summer come early. I was tempted to start a new summer project and thought perhaps it was a little deserved after my sorting and stacking. If I learned something new along the way then it counted as ‘improving my mind’ and not ‘wasting my time’ and I reckon that’s ok as a little reward.

Thus, a crochet top has become a new WIP. I have patiently learned The Magic Loop. There’s been trial and error with pattern reading (US vs UK crochet terms) and keeping tension. Crochet is still quite a new hobby. This is the beginning of what I hope will become a droopy top to be worn over a summer vest.

During the coronavirus lockdown I try to think of positive things to keep busy. I value my family more, I value what we have and I think about the future, being kinder to each other. I hope others are finding similar solace.

Goody a hoodie and somewhere new to sit down

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Just showing and telling today. I am so happy to have finished this latest project. I’d almost forgotten how much extra knitting there is when you are making a hood, it felt like it went on forever! Then, there’s the button band. I have to say I love the result (complete with 5 perfect buttons sent down to me by a good friend, Tintin, love to mention you here if you are reading this!) but I was glad to be done with this one. It’s a gift for a new baby to be in the family in August – for once I am ahead of the game and am finished on time, even early! I can’t believe there’ll be two new babies this year.

I’m not certain I ‘showed and told’ about what I did with the rest of the fabric I rediscovered and made a peg bag with either. This was two weeks ago. I recovered 5 dining chair seat pads (two in this pic) and then with another complimentary fabric made another pad to complete the dining room set of chairs. I had been putting up with horrible old and stained seat cushions for years! It’s only in lockdown I actually got on with this job!

I am not sure if my mind is just going into overdrive during lockdown or it’s just I can’t settle to one thing days. I seem to be more prolific, churning out things I’ve made, but sporadically – if that makes sense. I work hard on one or two things for a few days then sit and vegetate and watch rubbish tv for a few days. Bizarre times! I am discovering half finished projects, some make it to the ‘to be finished’ pile, others are resigned to the ‘not sure’ pile and some even make it to the ‘ripped back or thrown out’ pile. I am talking knitting, sewing and crochet here. On Thursday I found another bag with two half knitted girls’ cardigans. These were only from last autumn. They’ve been ripped back and will turn into something different. When I looked at them I know why I’d stopped – just didn’t like the colour combo nor the drape of the yarn. Why do I give up so often?

Anyway, hopefully more newly created items over the next few weeks. Please come back and take a peek.

Yarn and Fabric Stash Shrinking

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I am still using goodies I have at home to make useful (and not so useful but fun) things whilst in lockdown.

I was making a knitted mermaid for a little girl in my extended family but it beat me! The original tail and the reknit of the tail were a disaster. I now have something resembling the beginnings of a 1960’s toilet roll cover (think of a dolly with a skirt, this could be the ‘dolly’ as you don’t need to see legs or tail!).

With the little girl’s birthday now looming, emergency hooking took place. I knocked up a retro crochet cushion in 2 days. Then I made a round fabric cushion pad, crocheted some flowers, appliqued the first letter of her name on a bag and ‘hey presto’ – a pretty gift without leaving the house. Though now I do have to leave the house to go and post it!

The front in more detail
And here’s the back

This week I’ve also made several face masks. Mine are the pretty ones, the men in my house requested ‘plain’. Should we all be called to wear them whilst out in public we are prepared.

My last blog post mentioned a baby hoodie on the knitting needles. I am three quarters the way along. I shall return to that tonight once I’ve had a break.

So I’ll be off for now. Things to do. More stash to attack after a P O trip and a sit in the sunshine. Byee!

Today should have been a different day

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I should have been having surgery today. It was postponed in this current crisis. I totally understand why it’s not going ahead. I am glad not to have to risk being in a hospital perhaps rife with coronavirus and staff over stretched. I am glad not to have to face recovery without visitors coming in to cheer me up. I am glad I don’t have some life threatening condition that has to be ignored.

However, I am also a little sad. I am sad that this week isn’t happening the way I’d planned. I am sad that the recuperation at home with my husband to hand isn’t going to happen, although my husband is actually at home and working. I am sad that the mid term future might mean a holiday cancelled, surgery rebooked, help at hand different than expected. I am sad that my life will not change for several months, my condition won’t be fixed for a while.

I needed to say all this but I am fine. As the day progresses I shall craft a little, spend time with family, thank my lucky stars we are all safe. These few weeks have made me value some things a lot more.

It is perfectly acceptable to admit if you aren’t happy about everything. I am a woman, with many female friends, locked down in a house with a husband and grown up son. I know I, and friends too, use each other for sounding boards, to as I like to say ‘put the world to rights’. We are all in acceptance of what is going on right now and look forward to life after Corona and what it brings us, even if life is a little different from before.

So hopefully over the next few days they’ll be more posts with photos of knits and sewing projects, just maybe not today. Today there’s just a selection of needles ready to be donated to a second hand shop. One tiny part of my sorting out my craft stash!

Using the stash

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I keep thinking I’ll have a huge sort out of my fabric stash as well as my yarn stash. It’s not quite happened yet. However, as I am thinking about it, idly looking through boxes, moving things about mostly rather than having a ‘keep it’ or ‘lose it’ pile. I am discovering fabrics I’d forgotten all about. After this lockdown I will truly be reconsidering my buying habits. Much of my stash was acquired when I worked in either haberdashery or yarn companies – treats to myself, usually at discounted rates – well, who could resist?! I also love a knit and/or stitch fair and there are bargains to be had or things you have never seen before – with a little encouragement from friends I often come back from one of those with treats too (who am I kidding, I don’t need encouragement).

Last week I was enjoying sunny weather, bestowing the fact it was a good day to dry laundry on the clothes line (little things make me happy). Sadly the bag that holds my pegs decided she’d had enough and fell apart leaving pegs strewn about the lawn and me scrabbling around picking them up. I’d made it several years ago, decorated with my first attempt at free motion embroidery and I remember it had been a nightmare to construct to not get the pocket with it’s picture inside out. So what better time to make another one – use up some of my stash perhaps? It’s not as if I have plans to go anywhere right now (ground hog day, going a little crazy at times).

I had a pile of upholstery/thicker than cotton/non stretch fabrics. I bought this one at the Alexandra Palace Stitch and Knitting Show two years ago. Perfect! And for once a project worked first time and I love it. It was simple I know, but making something inside out and pulling it through a hole from one side to another often phases me, especially if I’ve then still got to insert something inside to enhance it- on this occasion a hanger! I have had chronic bag making fails which involved a lot of unpicking seams.

Perhaps not the most interesting ‘show and tell’ but I have used some of my stash and it’s useful too!

Then there was a dive into my yarn stash. Another new family baby due this summer. You might not be able to see the subtle differences in this photo but there is a pale grey and pale minty green hoodie on it’s way for a baby boy. I possibly would not have selected these two together but they work nicely.

Looking forward to seeing everyone else’s lockdown makes. I have a good friend involved in a community project making a quilt during this corona virus lockdown – they are searching for a name for it that sounds inspiring and thoughtful rather than sad and depressing. Any thoughts anyone?

New life still arrives during lockdown

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There is one sure thing that can’t wait. My niece is due to give birth shortly. If she could she would put it off til the world feels a little safer, but there is no going back. I wish her and her hubby well. I hope they can enjoy their newborn when she arrives, show her off to friends and family virtually before everyone can visit for a cuddle. It will be lovely to have something good to celebrate amongst the horror of this dreadful coronavirus.

I made a baby quilt. Not quite knowing her preferred taste it has a ‘traditional’ and a ‘contemporary’ side. For the first time ever I ‘tied’ it rather than quilted it. I am definitely going to use this method for another one. I hope they like pink!

Crafting an NHS rainbow, and more

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Saying ‘THANK YOU’ to the NHS

Still crafting during the lockdown? I hope you are. Here’s my something to show a little gratitude to the NHS. For those readers who know nothing about this, perhaps those not in the UK, many households are encouraging children/others to design a rainbow and hang it in their window, be it a painting, a banner, a collection of stickers, something handmade, anything bright and memorable. Mine is a wobbly attempt at crochet – I am not very proficient – but I thought there was no better time to try to improve on something. Thanks to https://www.kerryjaynedesigns.com for the free pattern.

Across the country every Thursday night at 8pm the nation stands in its streets and clap in appreciation of the NHS. I felt very proud as our family members and neighbours were out there too last night. I live very near to a major hospital, I hope they could hear us. I also know there are several healthcare workers living in the vicinity, you are all very appreciated.

Trying to not think about Covid 19 all the time, I have managed to finish one other project too. This was a stash buster of aran weight yarn (one of my promises to myself – stash bust – perfect opportunity to make inroads right now). I love the way this is constructed, from the start with a square in one corner. I hope you enjoyed seeing progress as I’ve blogged. Finally – ta dah!

That’s all for now. Looking forward to seeing what others make during this bizarre period. A little normality keeps us all sane, hopefully.

A rainbow of hope hangs in my window as the sun shines in