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.
Another hectic weekend just done and dusted. There were several hours of gardening and today I ache practically all over! We visited the mother in law too which is exhausting in other ways but I still managed to get a bit of knitting done. A few rows on a car journey and a big stretch one evening. There would be more but it’ been ripped back twice after discovering extra yarn overs in places there shouldn’t have been.
Knitting is my reward – this time making the weekend better after having to do chores. There has been a lot written about the therapy of knitting. Your brain is made to work in different ways, one way to work out a pattern, another to count, it is tactile, physically feeling the yarn feeding through your fingers, hopefully enjoying seeing the colour and shape of what you are uniquely making, to calm you without distraction, to switch off from the thrusts of today’s modern living. All these have been described as being ‘mindful’ or ways of ‘mindfulness’. I subscribe to all these and add ‘to teach you patience’. You sure have to be patient when ripping and reknitting!
I often throw down WIPs in frustration if they go wrong. I have been known to hide them from myself for days, years even. Today I shall revisit at least one and see if I can make progress on it. I will be working two projects together, not giving up on one nor the other.
What’s been the progress in your world, crafty or otherwise?
I have taken a little break this week from lacy knitting and ‘rediscovered’ an ongoing patchwork project which I have been dipping in and out of for about eight or nine years! This started off in my head as a cushion but I actually love making these these carded hexagons (reminds me of my grandmother teaching me how), so it’s progressed to a sofa throw and is now to become a bed throw, though it will be a while before it is finished and that’s totally ok for me. I like organic crafts and a change is as good as a rest. It uses mostly fabric from my stash with a little added here and there. I am sure I will be back to knitting soon.
I visited a friend’s mother yesterday. She has been stitching for most of her 75 years. I envy her houseful of patchwork throws and cushions. She even has one that was her own mother’s. Maybe one day someone might envy my own houseful of handicrafts. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?
It’s still decidely tropical here in Kent in the UK – I think we are entering the fourth week of our heatwave now. Everyone seems to be suffering in one way or the other. Personally, I am not sleeping well (too hot and sticky) and most of the day I feel quite lethargic (overtired, still hot and sticky). I am struggling to craft much – so my creative ‘me’ time has been mostly absent and I have little to show off here. My New Year plans were to finish more of my knitting WIPs and to use up more of my stash. Very slow knitting progress this month. I have a cotton WIP top to finish, hoping to be able to wear it this summer. The pattern was free from Tahki Stacy Charles but I am using Paintbox DK cotton from Loveknitting.com and it will be mostly spearmint green with a little white in the edging. You may think the pattern has been scrumpled a bit! This piece of knitting too – luckily it’s rather forgiving! Hubby thinks I will look like a Pacer sweet packet – does anyone remember those from the 70’s/80’s? They were minty treats, now discontinued, made by the makers of Opal Fruits (now called Starburst).
I love a bit of warmth but I prefer it when I am on holiday. With that in my thoughts, perhaps it’s why I recently chose a tropical theme for my hallway decorating. This was done during the first two weeks of the heatwave.
Hopefully the next post will have more creative news. Meanwhile I shall enjoy my green day.
I’ve blogged about Whitstable before as it’s somewhere I love to go. This week’s visit included a pop into a tiny antique shop which really appeals to me with my crafting hat on. Vintage sewing patterns, haberdashery and linens (not the same ones!) – it’s like a walk into my late mother’s sewing room, or seeing my grandmother’s linen collection of hand embroidered table cloths and antimacassars. If you are ever in Whitstable you must visit Anchors Aweigh Vintage at 63 Harbour Street !
Whitstable town has a selection of independent traders, an arty vibe, some great eateries, but it’s also a working fishing harbour. Another time I would have stopped for a plate of something freshly fried. At Weekends during the summer months this harbour area is a hive of activity with stalls selling edible treats and tasteful seaside trinkets.
After my jobs this time, I parked at Tankerton Slopes, just beyond Whitstable. There is a huge expanse of shingle beach and an uninterrupted view out to sea. Midweek it’s very quiet and peaceful. I took out my knitting and worked a few rows before heading home. That was my treat for my trip and it certainly topped up my yearning for being beside the sea more frequently.
No blog posts for a bit as I’ve been on holiday and chose to remain away from tech for the duration. My adorable husband booked us a surprise trip to Mauritius – I celebrated a special birthday whilst we were there and it couldn’t have been more perfect! It’s been such a treat to escape the winter chills of the UK.
I rarely go anywhere without a knitting project , even on a flight. Unfortunately I can’t have been thinking straight (blame it on excitement about the trip. I have plenty of experience of knitting whilst on the go). My yarn, pretty, black with silver sparkles .. what was going on my head? Why didn’t I pack something lighter and brighter?
Night flights both ways. The general plane lighting was switched off, my overhead lamp was poor, mostly the only light I had was from the tv screen. I didn’t exactly get much done outbound – about an inch of ribbing for a sweater! I didn’t even bother to try knitting on the flight back. True knitters will despair (like I did), 2 flights 12 hours each, all that wasted ‘knitting’ time. At least the movies were good though!
I’ve actually been back a few days now, the tan is fading fast and reality is starting to kick in – especially as here in Kent we have a snow today. I plan a stay-home knitting day! hurrah!
Working towards the end of the first month of the year I am happy to report that I am still enthusiastic about my Enthusiasms for 2018 (aka Resolutions to some people).
Last week I rediscovered parts of a summer cotton top in my craft room. Thinking why I may have put it aside I am guessing reasons – got bored with it/was keen to start something new/change of season. I discounted ‘gone wrong’ as I still could work out where I was in the pattern, notes and needles were all there. I had the two fronts, two thirds of the back – so near, yet so far from completion! So it’s take a few knitting sessions and two turns at picking up stitches on the neck (167sts!). I love working with this cotton too, King Cole Cotton Soft DK. Still kicking myself for being a serial starter over the last few years!!!
Updating of 2018 Enthusiams: diet on track, wip counted as ‘sorting out craft stuff, slow progress on job/career/bucketlist, a little better on household finance decisions. Roll on February and more progress.
Further to some Mindfulness reading this week, I have been taking the time to appreciate the things and people around me. A little ‘therapy’ like this could do many people a lot of good. Have visited two friends this week, one not seen in several years. Both times we had quality time, put some of the world to rights, had a giggle and promised not to leave it so long until the next time. I had been missing a trip to the see the sea and one trip visited windy and raining Hastings – seeing the waves crashing and bashing onto the beach was pretty amazing, watching only briefly before diving into the pub for lunch! Photos just did not come out well – so nothing to share, so sorry! Pub – amazing food – oh my – The Crown, All Saints Street! http://www.thecrownhastings.co.uk/
I also made a point of telling someone very special how much I love them. Now that’s something we are often not so good at. Currently feeling warm and glowing, I’d recommend it.
I have been working on finishing WIPs, particularly yarny ones. This one in Drops Andes 65% wool, 35% alpaca, purchased when visiting a lovely little local yarn store Little Woollie in Beckenham, Kent, UK. I love an independent wool shop. I always find the customer service so fantastic and you can’t beat a good natter about woolly things! https://www.littlewoollie.co.uk/
I had time for a little sewing project too. Fabric selected from my stash a few days ago turned into a the most useful storage system for circular knitting needles. The pocket at the bottom is perfect for spare needle needle tips and cables. It has made me think about what circulars I prefer – possibly KnitPro Symphonie with fixed tips for their smoothness and attractiveness = I always say the rainbows make even black knitting pretty! I like the interchangeable ones but have had a bit of bad luck with rough fixings and occasionally the screw has unwound despite all my efforts with regularly fixing the tips on.
So two projects down, still numerous ones to be tackled, but this is progress, yay!
Today I was going to have a huge sort out of my craft room – oops – that didn’t quite happen again. Am I the only one who is tempted to leave the jobs for another day when a social engagement calls? (An overdue catch up with a friend in this instance.) I will return to the crafty chaos at a later date.
After a very little sort out (more of a dive in, then a rummage in a crate of leftover baby yarn ..) I found this pretty green DK yarn, Sirdar Snuggly Baby Speckle. I feel a mini knitting project coming on. About 80g in weight. A hat with a bobble perhaps? I know of a new boy baby arriving shortly. I also have a friend frantically knitting hats for a hospice Christmas Sale. There may be competition for the finished item. Still, it will be a quick knit amongst the other WIPS. I need a break from the two projects next to my sofa (the ongoing DROPS project and also something for work).
If today you are knitting/stitching/hooking/sticking/painting/sculpting/designing I wish you a Happy Crafting session!