knit

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.

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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.

Intentions new and old, including some crafting

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I realised when revisiting the list of things I intended to do last year that I’ve achieved many parts of that list. What I called my ‘Enthusiasms’, aka as ‘Resolutions’ did not fail for once.

I reached my diet goal and along the way my focus changed to become healthier and happier rather than just a little slimmer.

I intended to sort out my craft stuff.  This year I used up my stash when I could. Just a few samples – I knitted a bunch of hats for charity.

Quilt pieces and bunting evolved from my fabric pile, some of which I’d saved since 1994, I even made a sample dress from a duvet cover found in a charity shop (a challenge from friends, see below!).

I have many knitting and sewing WIPs. One HUGE intention was to finish many of them in 2018 – or rip them back to reknit something else. I did some of this! I hated two cardigans I eventually finished – both wrong shapes for me so I gifted them and they were gratefully received. I ripped back three unfinished knits. One turned into hats. The others await 2019. For Christmas I received a book about how to knit to flatter – I think this may get good use this year!!! I don’t usually make toys but have a bunny fabric pattern – that’s one intention for 2019. Another is to finish at least one quilt (there are two part done!).

I didn’t exactly sort out my job/career.  I haven’t leapt into anything in a blind panic.  I have put my family and my health first this year.  I didn’t juggle all the balls of life and succeed with none. No regrets.

I was supposed to make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date was slightly superceded by two friends giving me a list of things to do over the next year to celebrate my birthday. Most were fun, some were treats, some slightly scary. Challenged to wear something from a charity shop (I do that all the time, my ‘take’ on it was to buy a second hand duvet cover then make it into a dress!)

The last on last year’s list was to become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance.  This was a serious plan for 2018 and is ongoing. I muddle along yet our household finances are still primarily organised by my husband. I wanted to take some pressure off him but we agree he is just better at it. As long as there is ‘change’ after the bills are paid and I can add to my craft supplies I’m happy. I am hoping if he reads this he agrees – happy wife/happy life!

One week’s craftiness, stamp, fold, knit

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Whilst sitting for the last two days, full of a cold, plied with warm drinks and watching a plethora of catch up tv I have been thinking how lucky I am to craft so often and meet with lovely like minded friends, new and old, whilst doing so.

Last week I helped a friend run a Christmas card making class.  We used a dye cutting machine, stamping, glitter dots, ribbons and other embellishments.  I managed to snap just a couple of photos before the ladies headed home.  Most of them loved the cards so much they said they’d find it hard to give them away!

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Then Monday night this week I met with other crafty friends for our final pre Christmas get-together to do a joint project.  This time was an introduction to origami, making these super stars.  There was a bit of wonky folding along the way but we had a good selection of finished ones by the time we were full of wine/cake/the evening was over!

I had my sewing machine out at the weekend but can’t show off what I made yet.  I will reveal all on a later blog post.

Finally, some knitting, quite a bit of knitting since Sunday.  I knit at home in the quiet, when listening to music, when watching tv, in the car, whenever I can really.  I knit a lot for myself and for charity and I love gifting to friends if I think they’ll appreciate it though sometimes you are never sure if people really appreciate hand made presents.

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However, a few weeks ago a good friend  (of nearly 40 years, we met when we used to pull each others pigtails!) and I were out walking and I noticed she was wearing a hat I made for her several years ago.  She loves the hat but it’s losing it’s oomph and she gently hinted it might be time for a replacement. I’ve made the one she wore several times and was determined not to go down the same route.  I chose a new pattern, dived into my stash and .. a lovely new hat is done. I enjoyed making it so much I made myself one too!  I shall just have to make sure we don’t wear them at the same time .

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I also attacked a few more rows with my chunky grey shrug and started a prem baby cardigan as I heard a family member’s latest arrival may be making an appearance sooner rather than later.  Now back to the sofa and onto the next Box Set and if my fuggy head lets me a little more knitting too.

 

 

 

A tranquil weekend with a bit of grey (shrug)

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Adjective: Tranquil – free from disturbance, calm

My tranquil place last weekend, Houlgate beach, Normandy, France.

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There was the odd other person there but mostly just seabirds strutting their stuff.

It was a bit chilly to knit at the beach (well, it is November!), so back to the house for some more calm, a hot chocolate, yarn and sticks.  The basket of grey from last week is growing slowly into a chunky shrug.  Progress so far.

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I feel so lucky to get to France as often as I do.  Home away from home.  Jusqu’à la prochaine fois (until the next time) …

 

A woollen tale: A basket full of opportunity or just another disaster?

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I was going to use up some of my yarn stash, yarn left from blanket making about three years ago. I found a jacket pattern and picked up sticks.   It started well, growing quickly, that was the idea, get rid of it quick then treat myself to another woolly purchase and not feel guilty that my stash could rival a yarn stores’.

Then I noticed a mistake half way down one front panel.  I ripped it back and corrected it.  I knit a little further.

Having made a few things over the years that have either been too small or too big, the wrong shape, the wrong style I decided to try and ‘wear’ the panels to gauge how this might turn out.  Urgh! It was so bad that this is now what it looks like …

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So I still have that part of my stash and who knows what it may turn into.  The world of knitting patterns is vast. My own imagination runs riot.  One day this will make one or several successful items, maybe just not this week. I am sure I am not the only one who has the odd disaster. I would love to read about others so I don’t feel so alone, though I do look at is as an opportunity rather than a complete disaster, at least I hadn’t finished it then found the mistake or realised it looked so horrid!

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As a stop gap, I finished another hat for a friend’s charity sale.  Baby size, quick knit, scraps from my stash.  You could say I am slowly depleting my yarn stash, SLOWLY being the word.

Did anyone else here go to the Creative Craft Show at Excel in London last weekend.  Lots to admire, some Christmas treats purchased, lovely people met and business cards taken away for future shopping.  I resisted adding to my yarn stash – I guess that was another success for the week.  Thinking positive!

Bowls not necessarily full of cherries per se, idioms, proverbs and misinterpretations

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English is a funny language. I was meandering around the internet and was going to blog saying ‘life is like a bowl of cherries’ as I was having a good day, had enjoyed great company and so on.  Then I decided to actually do my own mini research about the saying and I realised someone could misinterpret my words.  You see, those actual words, ‘life is like a bowl of cherries’ are often used sarcastically or humorously as an idiom or turn of phrase whereas I have always used them at face value.  I don’t think I have ever turned them around.

cherriesYou see, I would think it is akin to taking from a luscious bowl of juicy fruit.  If you dive in then you take a chance on something nice.  Dive in once, one chance, dive in twice, two and so on.  So, if life is like a bowl of cherries then life is good. It is good today – if my earlier companion is reading this!

 

seventiestrousersWhat about ‘honesty is the best policy’? Is it? I tend to think so but I can waver on this one.  When asked ‘does my bum look big in this?’ I might not answer exactly, but if I did think the vision unflattering I would suggest a change of outfit as the person may look better in something different.  I wouldn’t say they had a big rear, but would be kinder with my words.  Remembering a recent shopping trip with a friend makes me giggle. I picked up a pair of trousers and asked her if she thought I could wear them.  Her answer was ‘not when with me’.  We roared with laughter so much the shop assistant frowned at the disturbance of her peace!

 

At another angle, I am definitely a ‘glass half full’ kind of person.  I have been told I have a sunny personality,  I hope I think in more positive ways than negative.  Even saying ‘glass half full’ could start a discussion about proverbial phrases and are you a ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’ type.  Which, if any, is correct?

Proverbs, another whole host of sayings that can get confusing.  ‘A watched pot never boils’ – yes it does if it’s on the correct heat source and you don’t take your eyes off it! ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’ – yes it can (in my family it does) but sometimes it makes you realise you aren’t looking forward to that person coming back! You see, just a couple of strange examples here.  I could spout for hours.

I enjoyed English at school, one of my favourite subjects. Perhaps I need to go back to learn how to use it properly.

As I finish, I shall end with a favourite of mine

A little of what you fancy does you good….

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Now sitting knitting ..