The Ravelry challenge is over today. To finish what I started –
Day 30 – 30th March 2017 – what crafts would I like to learn? There must be a whole host of undiscovered crafts out there, ones I have never had a whiff of! I can think of a few I am not interested in but there must be so many more and I look forward to finding them.
Day 31 – today – end results – two completed baby jackets, both photographed recently, three quarters of a cardigan for me, also photographed in progress – that’s one thing I had really hoped to complete! I have sewn as well as knitted – I made felted doughnuts – 10 large, 10 small, 4 embroidery hoops with freehand machine embroidery and hand stitching, a french stick bag – oh I haven’t photographed that yet – that’s for me to take to our house in France. It’s taken 10 years of saying ‘I really could do with some kind of long bag to keep our bread in! I have semi-sorted my yarn stash, been shocked at how much I had and why I purchased a lot of it. I’ve sold 11 lots of yarn in online auctions and gifted two bags of crafting things to charity. All in all my crafting world at home has been attacked and it felt good.
Spring has sprung here in the UK. Perhaps a lot of this sorting out has been a little bit of a Spring Clean! I made an awful mess along the way!
I knit, I sew, I am a wife, mother, lover of France and French things, I like to cook, I also love to read and belong to a book club. My book club is not high brow. Is my book club unusual? I don’t think so. I meet friends once a month, we talk about a book or two, we talk about life as well. We take it in turns to choose the book. We usually avoid biographies and we definitely avoid science fiction.
Over the years we’ve delved into a large handful of titles, sometimes with a similar theme, sometimes not. We have loved some, hated some, been on the fence about some, wished we hadn’t read some, been embarrassed about some (!) We all agree sometimes the title/blurb isn’t one we would personally opt for but we all read each others choices. Well, we all try to read them, very occasionally someone is beaten, either because they are struggling with content or running out of reading time. (We are all human, no one gets beaten up for not finishing or enjoying a book!) I took offence at some of the words in Virginia Ironside’s article about book clubs. Thank goodness the world and it’s inhabitants aren’t all the same!
I go to two craft clubs. One is knit-only. One is for whatever craft you are enjoying at the moment. Nobody criticise’s each others work or enjoyment of it. Are crafters more complimentary to each other? As Ms Ironside says ‘you get something at the end of a knitting bee’. I get something at the end of a book club meeting – a good feeling inside that I spent some time with friends
Don’t criticise something somebody else does just because you don’t like it yourself. Respect other people.
I just read Jenny Stilwell’s blog and it made me think how I didn’t keep up with my own 2016 plans. https://jensewsandknits.com/author/flickchickknits/
I quote ‘Sewing has really fallen by the wayside in 2016 and in the coming year I will be sewing a minimum of 4 hours every week. This will be put in my calender as a normal appointment and I plan on treating it as a work date so cannot be cancelled unless I am away.’
What a great idea. I have often felt guilty to put my creative time above other things and although I have crafted a lot over the years, I have never formally made time for it unless it has been at a club outside the home. I have for 2 years given myself ‘me time’ at a lovely craft and coffee club on a Thursday morning – it’s a great meet up of like-minded crafters and we have crafted together and sunk many a cappucino whilst putting the world to rights. However, it isn’t intense crafting time, distractions are indeed welcome and indeed meeting the others during that time in part is for companionship and inspiration is plentiful. I do not give up my Thursday mornings unless there is an emergency! However, I just don’t seem to get enough actual crafting done some weeks. I shall seriously think about popping formal crafting time into my diary just like a work appointment. Thank you Jen, I feel almost like I have had permission to do so! Thursdays may become the day for myself and my needles, be it knitting or sewing ones.
Saying that… I haven’t been idle since 2017 began. Last weekend I made the most gorgeous baby blanket. I loved it! I loved the yarn! I loved the pattern! I love the finished item! I feel I have found delight again in knitting. I have knitted for years, have many WIPs, have had successes and disasters, but this one project was such a pure pleasure to make. It was quick, it worked, it is a gift ready well before the gift date. It is the first of many new projects for 2017.
What a shattering week it has been. A week of disappointments and frustrations. I am over tired, have been over-wrought and thank goodness the week is almost over itself! (It’s now Saturday afternoon. When do you say your week begins, Sundays or Mondays? For me it is Mondays. I digress…)
A frustrating week: buses were late, trains cancelled, colleagues absent, work extreme, teenager a ‘stroppy’ teenager. The weather turned cold and chilly, the skies were grey all day and to see photos on line of my hubby in the Dubai sunshine enjoying his holiday (oops, business trip!) added to the despair of the week. Disappointments briefly: work ethic not being appreciated, being a good mother, being a successful wife. There were a few bright lights, namely a morning spent with friends on Thursday and a satisfying parents evening giving praise to my teenager (no strops that evening from either of us, wahay!).
When I am a lone parent for a few days I revel in the chaos of my life and home. I rule the roost, I tidy when I want to (usually half an hour before anyone else comes over), I craft more and generally have a ‘break’ from week to week routine. This week it just has not worked out that way. The knitting did not take off – I kept running out of time to knit – my time management sucked. The sewing remained on the dining table space, left neglected and unloved.
So thank goodness for this morning! Look what I made – mine is the navy spotted one. Four friends met and sewed together. The lovely Carrie helped us make a padded coathanger (one friend popped in to say hi, sup a coffee and did not stay long, so did not sew). This has been a project on the back burner for months. Twice we had arranged to meet and make it but with all of us and our chaotic lives it wasn’t until today that it actually happened. Friends, sewing needles, fabric, girl heaven. Therapy in a couple of hours.
Husband has been away for a few days. He returned this morning, trying to gain entry to the house when the bolt was still up on the door. I ran downstairs to let him in and there he was, travel-weary, unshaven, barely able to stand up straight, obviously shattered from the journey. I’d been looking forward to having him back. I have been home whilst he’s been away. I have local jobs, a very local life this month, and the phone conversations we’ve been having have been quite mundane and hurried (him: between meetings/on a different time zone, and me: whilst cooking dinner/mid laundry/being domestic). Our son is in the middle of GCSE exams so I am at home making life a little smooth and easy for him. It’s been difficult with my own two jobs and in effect being a single parent but we’ve managed. One giggle of the week has been an email exchange with hubby. He sent a lovely photo of the view from a restaurant where he ate lunch. The vista was sparking sunshine bouncing off a Dubai beach and palm trees. I zapped back a photo of our lounge, saying it was where I was having lunch that day. It brought him back to earth and life back ‘home’.
We have a strange life together. Hubby’s in bed for a nap but will be waking in a while, then he will head up to London for a meeting and dinner later. (I can’t believe he keeps going like this, worried he will burn out soon!) He will rest at the weekend, whilst I will be ready to do something interesting! Occasionally we are on the same wavelength, but not this week.
Husband travels a lot with his job. I would like to say I stay home to ensure the household runs smoothly, but it isn’t like that. Yes, we seem to have clean clothes and food (not always what we want to wear or eat, according to our son!) but we muddle along. I craft a lot, which leads to a little chaos. Take, for instance, one of my latest projects (did I say I craft a lot?!). I sewed a bag. I then left the finished article, fabric scraps, pins, all the sewing paraphanalia on the dining table and I have ignored it for more than a week. I guess there was just no need to clear it up. My son and I have been coping with half a free table! I keep running out of time to do everything. My mind moves onto the next thing, be it work or fun so some things I let slide. Now husband is back I guess I really should have a bit of a tidy up – he was too tired to notice everything remained the same with my craft chaos from last week but there again if he says anything I shall remind him at least he will find clean shirts when he opens his wardrobe!
First job of the day, to tidy up sewing ….. or is it? No, I have come onto my blog instead. You see, temptation is everywhere. I craft, I write, I work a bit, I relax. Life is too short to get stressed about things that don’t matter. I love the saying that dust comes back even when you’ve dusted, so things like dusting are a low priority. I now sit in my office, looking at the grey (yes, grey!) summer skies outside. I have my 2 plaques in here which say ‘Sing like no one is listening’ and ‘Keep Calm and Eat Cake’. Later as I do a bit of vacumming (I can’t do it now as it would wake hubby up!) I shall sing along to whatever cd I decide to play, then I shall sit with a coffee and a cake and get out my knitting. Oh that’s one thing I’ve been doing. I am half way through a shawl for a friend. It’s her birthday in August. I promised her a knitted gift last Christmas but was disappointed at how it was turning out so I am making something else and I am determined to finish it soon. Photo attached is WIP.
There must be a fair few people staying home and supporting the family whilst their partners whizz off to distant pastures. This is just how I cope. Thank goodness for the support of good friends.