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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.

 

 

To see the sea and discovering a castle

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At the weekend I saw the sea for the first time since last autumn. It was wonderful! I was brought up at the coast and despite this week’s location not being where I am from it was like going ‘home’. This was a trip to Whitstable and Tankerton Beach in Kent, one of my favourite places. I’ve blogged about here before, it probably won’t be the last time now but I hope a little bit of what I like brings a smile to others.

A visit to the beach is like therapy. Boy, I was in dire need of a remedy to the blues, the pandemic has definitely tested me lately. Being at the coast is not just about enjoying fresher air and seeing somewhere different to the norm. The views out to the horizon/the distance without buildings/seeing people playing on the beach or in the sea (too breezy today to sit on the pebbles or play in the water for me!)/people sailing boats and kites/children fishing for crabs from the harbour, lowering buckets into the sea and squealing with delight or horror when they see a crab coming up. Put it all together and it just feels terrific!

Today we also discovered something new. We usually meander the same part of the promenade, admire the beach huts, visit our favourite fish and chip stall and in a non Covid world pop into favourite pretty little shops. This time we did most of the usual lovely things (avoided the shops), but we also wandered into Whitstable Castle gardens for the very first time. A little history is in the following link but basically it was a family holiday home, been owned by several notable families and used in various guises and is now owned by the local council. The castle itself can be used for events, such as weddings and the general public can enjoy the gardens. What a relaxing place for a sit down in the sunshine, the sweet smelling plants around us. Next time we’ll make sure we’ve room for coffee and cake when we get there. http://www.whitstablecastle.co.uk/history.

Tea anyone?

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Spotted at Etchingham train station in East Sussex. Someone has fun with a little topiary!

Knitting neopolitan ice cream and a day in Sussex

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Not exactly the same shades as neopolitan but as I knit this hoodie it sure does remind me of it. The pink is strawberry-ish, the cream is a creamy-cream not vanilla, and the green is not chocolate at all (more of a pistachio, my favourite flavour of ice cream). I can remember when I was little we had the odd family treat of neapolitan bought from the ice cream van as it drove and parked up in the roads around where we lived. It was sold in a cardboard sleeve and you had to make sure everyone got a taste of all three flavours even if you intended to stir it all together in your dish to make a pale brown mush, as my Dad did.

So that’s enough about food. My ‘changing dietary habits’ hasn’t been going as well as I’d intended. Now I am even dreaming about treats, and it’s just been Easter and who can turn the Easter Bunny away? Not me!

Onto another note, another something nice as we all still need a few nice things to think about whilst the pandemic is still causing concern and restrictions. Last weekend, Easter as was, we took a little foray into the countryside near to where I am from rather than where I live now.

This is Sedlescombe, near Battle, near Hastings (which is famous for the 1066 Conquering by the Normans). There are resident ducks who just do their own thing along the High Street. There’s even a speed zone for 20mph and it seems drivers obey the rules, luckily for the ducks. There are gorgeous houses, many of which are 15th or 16th Century or similar. The thatch is my ultimate favourite, 1509 it says on the plaque. I dream about living here.

Not much else has exactly been happening in my part of the world recently. Still sitting crafting, though sporadic. I keep thinking about sorting out ‘stuff’, also sporadic. Why hurry when it feels like I’ve all the time in the world? We’re still encouraged to stay home as much as we can. I am getting very bored. How about you?

New knit and new diet

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I started on the new project, a hoodie for a four year old. It’s time-dependent, after all children grow past the size you are making if you aren’t quick enough. For me it’s been a similar thing over the last twelve months or so. Not that it’s age that makes me grow, it’s cake and inactivity!

Anyone else been on the ‘lockdown’ diet or ‘pandemic’ diet? I am slightly worried that when I eventually get round to finishing off the project I was working on (sparkly jumper, sleeves too long) that the whole thing might be a little too snug in places so it won’t be wearable anyway for a while.

So, today is the start of a ‘lockdown’ diet rethink. I use the word ‘diet’ as a change in nutritional behaviour, not compulsive weeks of consuming just lettuce leaves and fresh air. It’s a rethink of what actually goes in my mouth as necessity rather than mindless grazing and over-indulgence of sweet treats. I have done it before, very successfully, albeit with support from a very well known ‘diet and mindset’ company. This time I am going freelance with the odd comfort/treat and an increase in exercise from practically zero to doing some without finding excuses as to why not to.

Wish me luck? I will I try not to eat all my Mother’s Day treats all at once – but it would be an insult to my son if I didn’t eat any, wouldn’t it?

Reflection, Learning, Thankful, Still Crafting

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It’s almost a year since England entered it’s first Covid19 lockdown, a year since most of us really became aware of this dreadful virus, a year since our own little worlds were disturbed and life as we knew it changed. I think back to the beginning when I felt so scared, when daily news reports made me cry easily, so many people started catching Covid19, hundreds, thousands being hospitalised or sadly passed away, the number of predicted sufferers perhaps wasn’t a mistake after all. The medical staff and hospitals struggled to cope. The government seemed unprepared. So much despair. There seemed no light at the end of the tunnel. I gathered close those important to me. I nurtured friendships by phone, briefly meeting but outside only. We became kinder to one another. I washed my hands excessively, I cleaned more than usual, when anything arrived in the mail I worried it would bring unwelcome germs.

Now the threat is still there but with the vaccines offered it is in decline, not gone away, just in decline. I still watch the news. I am still shocked. I am still worried about the future but there is lot less panic. It is a matter of time to see and experience the next step. I yearn to travel further than my own doorstep.

Personally, there are various things I have learned during the last year and some of these I am so grateful for. Family I gathered close have remained close. Most friendships nurtured remain steadfast or stronger (who could ever have predicted our increased use of social media and video conferencing?). We are all much kinder to each other. I didn’t realise we took each other for granted so often. Saying ‘I love you’ is more important than ever. Saying ‘how are you?’ and listening is equally imperative. Some relationships fell apart but maybe they did so for real reasons. Perhaps they would have naturally fallen away by now. I hope those people found solace and companionship elsewhere.

I used escapism as a way of coping. I read a lot more. I watched an awful lot of mindless tv (and lots of not so mindless too). For some time I crafted a lot more. I started projects, I planned more projects and I finished more projects. I am still reading, tv-watching and crafting although the urge to craft and the ability to finish is diminishing. If anything gets a little awry then it is put to one side to tackle another time. I am not beating myself up if something doesn’t quite go to plan on the craft table. I do not worry that there might not be time to ever finish it. I hadn’t clocked that perhaps I was worried I’d run out of time.

For example, this green sparkly top started in January doesn’t seem so urgent right now. It sits here with a lifeline stitched through each arm ready to be cut and the cuffs reknit. A new pile of yarn calls to me, a new project to plan, something easy to start not something difficult to work out. However, I did finish this hot water bottle cover. During one very cold night recently my existing hot water bottle split, soaked my feet and the bed (luckily the water was tepid by then). I had to replace it and gave the new bottle a new cover with some leftover fleece fabric. Since then it’s not actually been cold enough to need a hot water bottle at night!

Ending this post with a cow hottie bottle. I named her Daisy and she makes me smile!

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!