knitting

Knitting progress over a busy weekend

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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?

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Patchwork pit stop, knits on hold briefly

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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.

Tacking card onto a few hexies! This is something I can easily do away from home, no fiddly sewing.
A larger pile of hexagons starts to turn into four rounds of stitched together hexies.
A few sets of four rounds that will become part of the bed throw. The colours are autumnal. The prints are flora and fauna. I still debate with myself what colour will join them altogether – possibly a deep shade of brown – still looking into that for the future (for fabric knowers, Moda plains are a-calling to me!)

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?

Tropical temperatures, tropically decorated, green leaves not green sleeves

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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.

 

Whitstable and Tankerton and Knitting by the Sea

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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.

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Still working on a baby dress, it’s slow going due to a hand complaint! I am itching to get it finished.

Knitting in the dark at 30,000 feet

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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?

kcgllitteryarnNight 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!

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Last week …

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Today !

Woolly Enthusiasms and a little Mindfulness too

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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).

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Knitting WIP

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.

Interpreting one way or another, discuss ..

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I start the week with a different type of post compared to the last few.

Over the weekend I’ve been thinking about how we each see things. It sometimes depends on if what we see is of personal interest.  It also depends on our state of mind.

For example, my husband is an avid football fan.  He screams and shouts at matches on tv.  He jumps up out of his chair with distress or happiness at decisions and goals. If I am in the same room, all I see is 22 men running up and down with a ball – to me it could be the same 22 men from the last match, and the match before, etc.

I love to craft, knit especially.  I admire yarns, patterns, textures, have always a project to hand.  To my husband, a non-knitter, they look practically the same.  In fact I can sit and knit right next to him and he won’t recognise that during one evening one project in my hand has been switched for another.  It’s just me sitting knitting.

On Saturday, we drove past a local church and I read their noticeboard out loud.  I am not a religious person at all and I hope I offend no-one by talking about this here. It said ‘Friend Request’ ‘Jesus’, with an icon as if it was a popular social media site.  It made me chuckle and comment that this particular church is always trying to attract members, perhaps this time from the younger generation. My husband thought totally the opposite.  He said it was alienating younger people, being sarcastic that if they were on a social media site they wouldn’t consider the church as it was old fashioned.  There followed a good discussion between us, one with no conclusion, but it did make me think we may sometimes see things a lot differently.

This is more than ‘Men are from Mars/Women are from Venus’ (John Gray, 1992). We’ve been together a long time and I think we read each other pretty well.

I also read In the Moment Magazine, a fairly new publication to me. This was an issue from October last year, passed to me by a friend who thought I would love it – and I do!  There is a lot of mindfulness discussion within this magazine, suggesting we take time to enjoy life rather than miss it.  In a hectic world I think so many people run fast and don’t see the important things let alone the less important.  I read a couple of articles to my lovely husband.  At first he was dismissive, saying it looked like a lot of ‘happy, clappy rubbish’, then he agreed some things I was saying actually made sense.  He does have a very busy work life, perhaps there isn’t a good work/life balance at the moment and it needs to change.

http://www.calmmoment.com/magazines/in-the-moment/

I took a hint from that magazine, contacted a friend who I hadn’t seen for several years (social media contact does not give the same satisfaction as face to face, quote!).  Today we meet up for the first time in ages.

That’s me for today. Have a good one!