wool

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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The Mindfulness of Knitting – book review

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Some of you may remember I touched on this book a couple of weeks ago. I realised I hadn’t updated my thoughts, so here goes ..

I was given this book, rather than chose it. It seemed to be a title that celebrated being a ‘knitist’ enjoying the mindfulness of knitting without realising the benefits gained and then expanding that mindfulness by focussing on it. The first few pages were exactly that. I liked the confirmation of enjoyment and contentment. It was not like being preached to – I preach myself about the pleasures of knitting to anyone that will listen (husband shakes head in wonder as he sits next to me, totally does not understand my love of it!)

I loved this extract

There was also a great section about whether knitting is a hobby or just part of life’s necessity. Mention of discovering a late relative’s finished garments made from expensive yarns – the knitter a hobbyist perhaps, lucky enough to have a little money to buy nice yarns, searching them out from various locations and making fashionable items. On another page the author talked of being in a Northern English area where only local, purposeful wool was used and even undergarments were knitted – so perhaps more of a necessity there. It made me think I am a hobbyist but if I need a sweater to be warm I will go for warm fibre over prettiness. Wool reigns over manmade textiles for me but there are so many attractive wools anyway, plus I buy local and wherever I find yarn shops and online too. I am too much of a slow knitter to be make me one purely of necessity – I would be draped in half garments – though I possibly would have a lot of hats!

Sadly, as the book continued I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I had hoped to. I wanted it to be about embracing and expanding skills without stressing about it, and it did say that briefly, however towards the end it seemed to change the focus from enjoying your knitting to drawing patterns in a mindful way, not knitting patterns though, more like mandalas. Over all not quite the book I’d hoped it would become. It is only a little book though, so not much knitting time wasted.

Bye for now.

A wiggly pompom, making a Christmas garland

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Just a little snippet of my woollen week – I am making a Christmas snowball garland. I can’t resist sharing a recent wool hiccup – I had no idea if you tried to make pompoms from yarn previously knitted you ended up with balls that look rather like this!  Did anyone else?  pompom mess

Will post a pic of the finished garland later!

Such pretty fabric, mystery project ..

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Following on from an earlier post this week I am still creating a gift for a friend. For now, here’s a little snapshot of fabric to tease anyone interested. bunting1

Using up some of my fabric stash has been a delight.  Not only does it make way for more purchases (ssh, don’t tell the bank manager or the hubby!), but it has been so lovely delving in, finding cottons that complement each other and even remembering where some of it was bought and why.  There was at least one project that never materialised, some is remnants and some was bought with no plans (so pretty, I had to have it). It’s a lot like my stash of yarn and wool, plentiful!

Who else will show and tell this week?

Snow days meant knitting days and 50 things …

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Dare I tempt fate and suggest the worst of the UK winter weather has come and gone?  I do hope so.   It was a shock to the system, coming from a sunny holiday and 30 degrees then coping with minus 7, and a broken boiler with little heating, brrr!

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My garden early morning last Friday

The silver lining meant staying home and knitting and sorting out stuff. Another WIP was fished out. The sewing up is the bit I dislike – and perhaps that’s why I have too many WIPs!

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Back, 2 fronts, 2 sleeves. A cardigan in Cascade Chunky

Taking a break from the woolly project I delightedly re-read my recent birthday ‘gift’ from two dear friends.  I hinted at this on my last post.  I’d been taken out for lunch and presented with a gift box.box

Inside were 50 wonderful ideas on how to celebrate the next year.  My friends had had a ball working these out for me!  Some nice and girly and not challenging, some a little challenging, some a little scary!

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Here are a couple to whet the appetite!  I am truly going to enjoy this year!!!

challenge1challenge4

 

New Year Enthusiasms, a Woolly Beginning

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ryedoor

I am renaming ‘New Year Resolutions’ to New Year Enthusiasms.  That way, if I decide not to carry on with something then I haven’t failed to keep a ‘Resolution’. Not that I have beaten myself up in the past for doing just that, but I know I’ve felt slightly guilty when things didn’t quite go to plan and by the end of each January good habits have fallen by the wayside. So entering 2018 …

Enthusiams:

  1. Keep on track with the diet started in October
  2. Sort out craft stuff all over the house
  3. Think seriously about the next step jobwise/careerwise and make good choices
  4. Make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date
  5. Become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance

andesgreen2First woolly UFO, must be about four years since I started to knit this and about two since I peeped in the bag where I’d stashed it. Love the wool.  Loved that it knit up so quickly. Hated the stepped shoulder joins and the poor sewing up.  Put on weight since so know finished item won’t fit….

Satisfyingly ripped back to balls (remind anyone of Christmas brussels sprouts?). Enthusiasm 2, one tick.  Many more to go, craftwise, but it’s a start!

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For others with new year plans, hope they are going well and you have not given up on any yet!

 

Christmas Reveal – 2 for 1

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I promised to reveal what was made with this

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I gifted a finished item it to a friend and couldn’t show off here before Christmas (or her birthday!)

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Ta da!  Just a hat, but a great knit. I loved making it so much and I had enough yarn left – so I made another one exactly the same for myself.  We live about 180 miles away from each other so there is little chance we will bump into each other wearing it – though maybe that would be fun!

I hope you all had a good Christmas.  I know I overindulged with foodie treats, chilled out a bit and knitted little.  Who was able to knit or craft a lot? I hope some of you.  Between chopping veg, peeling sprouts, dashing in and out of the kitchen, topping up glasses and plates that there was little time to think about picking up pins and yarn, though I did fix a little error on one WIP Boxing Day evening, more of that to be shown off here later in the week hopefully.  Loving working with DROPS Nepal wool (there’s a hint of more to come.)

I am already thinking about the changes I shall make for the better in 2018. There will be more organised crafting time for one thing.  There will be a little entrepreneurial thinking, some work will be sorted and I shall spend more time with loved ones far and near.  I shall be glad to see 2017 gone.

If you are on a mid Christmas/New Year break then I hope you are having fun.