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Charity hat making is good for the soul – not quite sparking joy – it’s also a delaying tactic

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Here are two more chunky hats knitted for a local homeless charity I can not donate time to the cause but I can donate craft and a hat is whipped up in two or three knitting sessions. It’s good for the soul to give something back in any way I can. I admire those who do more.

This hat making is helping me clear some of my yarn stash too so it’s a win-win situation. There’s a lot in the media right now about clearing and cleaning your life which seems to involve sorting out and tidying up and getting rid of things that don’t spark joy aka Marie Kondo styling. This yarn is lovely, nice colours, great to knit with (Adriafil Mistero) but it wasn’t making me smile a lot as it’s left from previous projects and there was never enough to do anything bigger. It was languishing in a cupboard. I am so glad to have re-found it and hopefully it will spark joy for someone else in more than one way.

However …. as much as I am enjoying the hat making I know I am putting off other things, including finishing knitting and sewing larger projects. It is very satisfying to see something grow quickly and then be gifted. I am talking about my recent baby knits and quick projects. This morning I looked at a few half done/three quarters done/tangled/mistaken projects in my craft room. I looked, then ‘hid’ them from myself until another day. I am wondering if it’s not just my crafting that is being avoided.

For now, it’s time to cast on again. I am thinking this is almost my own version of ‘taking a basket weaving class’ with a slightly more fulfilling end.

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Another baby knit for a weeny newborn

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Just showing and telling ..

I loved making this for the newborn in my extended family. It’s the third time I’ve used this pattern, Sirdar 1817.

It’s still a little big and might be for a while. Look at those rolled up sleeves – her hands are in there somewhere! And the bootees I made too – I knew they’d have growing room …

I love an easy knit sometimes. Do you have favourite baby patterns you’ve made several times?

The Mindfulness of Knitting – book review

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Some of you may remember I touched on this book a couple of weeks ago. I realised I hadn’t updated my thoughts, so here goes ..

I was given this book, rather than chose it. It seemed to be a title that celebrated being a ‘knitist’ enjoying the mindfulness of knitting without realising the benefits gained and then expanding that mindfulness by focussing on it. The first few pages were exactly that. I liked the confirmation of enjoyment and contentment. It was not like being preached to – I preach myself about the pleasures of knitting to anyone that will listen (husband shakes head in wonder as he sits next to me, totally does not understand my love of it!)

I loved this extract

There was also a great section about whether knitting is a hobby or just part of life’s necessity. Mention of discovering a late relative’s finished garments made from expensive yarns – the knitter a hobbyist perhaps, lucky enough to have a little money to buy nice yarns, searching them out from various locations and making fashionable items. On another page the author talked of being in a Northern English area where only local, purposeful wool was used and even undergarments were knitted – so perhaps more of a necessity there. It made me think I am a hobbyist but if I need a sweater to be warm I will go for warm fibre over prettiness. Wool reigns over manmade textiles for me but there are so many attractive wools anyway, plus I buy local and wherever I find yarn shops and online too. I am too much of a slow knitter to be make me one purely of necessity – I would be draped in half garments – though I possibly would have a lot of hats!

Sadly, as the book continued I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I had hoped to. I wanted it to be about embracing and expanding skills without stressing about it, and it did say that briefly, however towards the end it seemed to change the focus from enjoying your knitting to drawing patterns in a mindful way, not knitting patterns though, more like mandalas. Over all not quite the book I’d hoped it would become. It is only a little book though, so not much knitting time wasted.

Bye for now.

Little Finished Knits

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It’s been a busy few days, woolly-wise. One baby jacket finished (loved doing the fluted bands!). A pair of booties have hopped off the needles too. The new baby in the family arrived yesterday and the gifts are ready – she was little so she might even fit into the prem baby cardigan and hat I made in a hurry just before Christmas when we were warned she might have been on her way.

So today it’s back to my other WIPs. The weather has turned bitterly cold so I have a great excuse to sit in the warm with pins and yarn and not venture outside too often. I am feeling proud to have finished something speedily (not the usual for me!) and I wish fellow crafters equal success with their current projects.

Crafting success !

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I want to shout from the rooftops – well, from my sofa actually. After yesterday’s failed knitting attempts my mojo came back today, and with it clear thinking. Picking up stitches around the armholes was a doddle. I undid the mega disastrous neckline – something I hadn’t even considered yesterday – repicked up stitches, reknit it, still not perfect but definitely not as ‘cobbled’ together as it was first time round. I even found the perfect buttons. Not blocked yet but feeling proud so wanted to share.

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Moving on, I’ve even revisited my pile of WIPs and organised them into some kind of better order. Here’s the next one to finish this week – a baby cardigan for imminent family arrival, loving the fluted edging. I have to admit it’s the next part that I take a deep breath for – sewing up an button band -but I am on a roll and it WILL be done.

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I’ve started a great book too – this was after my mojo came back – wish I’d read it last week! So far, loving it. If anyone has already read this, think of me as ‘Miss Marple’ today. More about this will follow another day for those who have no idea what that means!

I’ve always known the calm knitting brings – this isn’t a new thing, just sometimes we all need reminding. Signing off for now. Knitting calling.

Crafting ‘expertise’ taking a rain check. Help!

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Having a pile of knitting WIPs that won’t finish themselves I still offered to help a friend with finishing her latest knitting project. She has been unwell and her granddaughter is growing fast. The dress seven eighths completed needs to be finished so she doesn’t grow past fitting into it. My crafting mojo has been flagging, even for my own projects. I wasted a lot of time yesterday thinking I should get on with it then when I finally started picking up stitches at the neckline it bamboozled me and I am not happy with the result. Bah!! I think my expertise (I use the term very loosely!) is on holiday. Currently working on picking up stitches at the armhole and hoping that will be easier/look better. Cute self patterning yarn so at least it’ll be pretty – and there may be a few added ‘extras’ in the end, such as tiny daisies along the neckline to enhance it (to cover the wonky finishing!), approved by my friend of course, not just randomly added by me. Anyone else having the odd few fails with their crafting this year yet?

I have also been passed on two knitting projects to complete from my mother in law – one done, the other pending. Both baby jackets, both kind of time dependent. A new baby in the family due soon, but these were started for her cousin two years ago. The first baby grew past the size knitted. My mother in law is unable to knit now due to ill health. Sadly, I think this will involve much ripping and even reknitting and I am querying the use of the yarn itself, as it has what looks like a ‘tea stain’ on part of the half knitted jacket. Oh, what do I get involved in sometimes? Hints on how to remove old tea stains required. Anyone?

One day I shall have no WIPs – said most knitters, never. I say this because I am dying to start something new. January yarn sales are crying out to be taken advantage of and I am trying to resist.

Sewing and One thing I couldn’t reveal when I made it in December

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I made a few seasonal decorations just before Christmas. There was paper folding/origami stars and pom pom making together with a few Christmas cards. I made a fabric basket to give to a friend for her birthday which is on Christmas Day. I couldn’t show and tell on here as she may have seen it before she unwrapped it!

The fabric I had saved in my stash for a long time – it had been waiting to be turned into something special. I am hoping she may use it to store some of her own craft things. The yarn you see was part of her Christmas present so perhaps a bit of a hint there!