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.
A busy busy time for weeks and weeks, with work, home, crafting, being a mum, generally juggling life.
I now work in London two days a week – it was three short days, now it’s two slightly longer days. It is exhausting but sometimes can be fun. One of the best things, oddly enough, is walking from Charing Cross station to the top of Oxford Street. I wiggle my way there through Seven Dials and often admire the shops and cafes. It feels very continental with pavement tables and chairs and little boutiques. At the moment there are flags strewn across the main road and it is quite festive – think of summer fetes, though the sun isn’t always shining! A few weeks ago there was a lovely display outside Gudrun Sjödén Ltd at 65-67 Monmouth Street (in fact their windows and displays are often fabulous!). This one was so nice I had to take a snap. A garden in a chair – a great idea that I would like to emulate one day too.
When I have had time I have been sewing and knitting to my heart’s content. There are still many WIPs but I have actually finished a few things too. I shall pop pics on here soon. I now work for a knitting online retailer – can you imagine what a ‘sweet shop’ it is for me?! So many yarns, so many projects ….. colleagues are now suggesting a KAL called After The Rain. I might just join in, though what colour to choose to make it in…. Perhaps something cool for next summer, like a cotton/linen mix.
So away to click the needles on my current project that needs to be finished by the time No 1 son starts Uni in September. One more UFO becomes again a WIP which means I can consider a new project!
I’ve returned from my second awe-inspiring new craft group. I can hardly believe it’s been a week since the last one! Since I have been home I have moved my sewing machine table and sewing things into an area with better light to get on with my unfinished sewing project. I have read a few wordpress crafty blogs which made me smile. I have contacted the ladies within my sewing group about our next session. Plus I’ve even imagined what my next knitting project will be when I finish my current WIP and ordered more yarn on line Last week I said these ladies were encouraging – this week they did not disappoint. I so admire a lovely lady who is doing a textile course and who was showing us a little piece she is working on to reflect her interpretation of reptiles …. photo, if allowed, will be here one day. Three of us were knitting this morning, all different styles, all different tastes. One was cross-stitching. A few ladies did not come along today but there were enough of us to chitchat and make plans for future projects. Wow!
A little pic of the last mini project my sewing friends and I made together. Mines the pink one with roses. I thought if I show off a sewing project on here every time I see it I WILL get into sewing more.
A little pic of a lovely little hat pattern by garnstudio (aka DROPS) number 150-40. I have just finished one of these in DROPs Nepal, in bright pink – no photo to hand as I left my hat at work – but you can see the pattern at least! Fab little yarn shop in Bromley, Kent (littlewooliebromley.co,uk)
How come the last couple of things I have knitted haven’t turned out quite the way I’d hoped they would? What’s going on? I am trying to put it down to experience and learn from it but it is soooo annoying and I groan about the amount of hours put into something I just don’t like. I don’t think any knitter or crafter has always loved every item they’ve ever made. I think it’s all part of the learning process, but at this rate I will still be ‘learning’ when I am 94.
My newly finished aran weight top just doesn’t look right on me. I’ve tried it with different clothes/layers/colours. I’ve held the shawl collar up at different angles to see if I could wear it as a crossover front top. I’ve even wondered about adding another rib to the waistline. I don’t think anything will work – so I’ve ‘hid’ it in a cupboard until I can decide what to do with it! I can’t bear to undo the whole garment and might even gift it to someone just to be rid of it. There is nothing wrong with it, per se, it’s just not ‘my’ style and it doesn’t fit ‘my’ shape. My second item, again newly finished, is a simple baby cardigan. I gave myself a non challenging knit to do as I watched the tv – completely in garter stitch which I haven’t tackled in years. Now I know why! Every slight wiggle in tension shows up, my picking up stitches for the neckband looks gappy, the sewing up could have been neater for the raglan seams! All in all, I really don’t think its up to my usual standard. I have thought of decorating along the neck border, perhaps with some kind of flowery stitch, as if it’s supposed to be there. Not sure if that will work, so it is joining the aran top in the cupboard …..
Needless to say, I’ve been cautious about starting something new for a week or so. It is really difficult when I am surrounded by such yummy yarns and the season is changing to Spring. I start thinking about new things and chucking out the old (in my case this means putting away any winter WIPs and panicking that I haven’t begun any summer projects!). I go into my spare room, view my stash, I visit a friend in a wool shop, I belong to a knitting forum , you could say I live in a rather woolly world. There is a lot of inspiration out there, I admire so many peoples skills, and I itch to begin a new project which I am sure WILL work out. So, latest new project began yesterday. It’s a petrol blue mercerised cotton shrug, for me. If I get to wear it this summer I will be happy, yet as it’s a little lacy and each row takes a little longer than my usual chosen style of knitting, if it doesn’t make it as a finished garment until next summer that will be ok too. After all, this knitting lark is supposed to be fun, isn’t it?
It has been a busy stressful week so far, and it’s only Thursday! There is still not much crafting going on in this house – well, I am not crafting in reality, but I am in my head, which still ‘counts’ and keeps me sane.
I have a new knitting WIP, a chunky hat which will be a gift for a friend’s birthday on the 25th December – she always seems to miss out on her birthday treats what with it being Christmas Day too. I shall endeavor to finish this, pop it in the post, extravagantly wrapping it in Birthday Wrapping Paper! Unfortunately I have steered off the pattern and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next couple of inches look ok and that I don’t have to frog it. I tend to do this, and have had successes and failures galore!
Yesterday I read something which made me smile – a fellow knitter said she didn’t count her UFOs as WIPs. She was acknowledging the she had various woolly projects on pins that she wasn’t actually going to finish. I do not stress about my own projects not finished, but I admit I have started more things than I have completed. I might just have to admit that some of them won’t make it to fruition now – so WIPs become UFOs and that makes me feel a lot more comfortable! One in particular I know has a fault in the first few inches and I had thought it would not bother me when it was finished – but I know it will really – so I haven’t touched it in months. It is one thing I shall RIP out and turn into something else now. It cannot be finished and gifted as the error screams out at me!
I am also sewing, but only ‘in my head’ ! The first meeting of my new sewing group will take place at the end of January and before then I shall have to have a craft project planned. Something very small, something manageable and fun, and of course in the right venue. Watch this space!
As for family life – what a week that has been. My son has had a better couple of days, without actual taunting from the guys who picked on him the other day, but I know he has been worried, as have I. He has good friends who are looking out for him, all of them are passive rather than aggressive. He is avoiding getting in the same physical situation and being very strong and brave. I am proud of how he is dealing with it but inside I am still incensed that there are people out there who dare to fight their corner physically and in a crowd! I have reassured my son that his intelligence is a much stronger tool than those bullies who use their fists.
Aside Posted on Updated on
Finished my latest WIP – a lovely chunky crochet cowl (20mm hook!). This is my first crochet beyond a granny square. It wasn’t as if I needed a new project, yet the yarn and mystery pattern was given to me so I felt obliged to start it – and then actually finish it in double time too! Wow
Now sitting here in my lounge I have forced myself to ‘rediscover’ a chunky knitted wrap I’d been working on in September. I had the yarn very cheaply from an ‘end of bin sale’, started, then realized it wasn’t going to go as far as I’d hoped it would. Of course (just my luck) it was out of manufacture so I searched on ebay and came across more, yet a different colourway. I have put the two together to see if I like it, and it’s growing on me (and growing today in reality) yet I am not sure it will really be ‘me’. I can’t bear to undo so much so I shall continue and hopefully finish it this week or at least by the weekend.
Having said that (I kind of promise myself to finish another WIP again ….. ha ha ….. so much temptation out there and so many other things I should be doing), I have a couple of projects I need to start and complete as gifts before Christmas. My teenage son is desperately nurturing his furry upper lip, hoping a moustache would grow for ‘Mo-vember’ this year – it didn’t – so I want to make him a finger-tache for a jokey Christmas gift so he doesn’t worry next year! Also, I fished out a lovely oldish pattern for a baby set from a charity shop the other day and fancy giving it a go. If I ever get round to it I shall try and sell some homemade on line, rather than do them for myself and for gifts!
So today, knit a bit, tidy a bit (hubby might be home a day early from a business trip – I must try and be more housewifey!), after another cup of coffee that is….