I’d like to think there’s always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. My ‘gold’ or my ‘reward’ is that I now have more time to work on other WIPs. Fellow crafters with mountains (or hillocks at least) of projects on the go may understand just that.
It took a few weeks but at last my mega kingsize crochet blanket is finished. The first photo was taken one morning, sun streaming in, the second one is not the best I admit, but this was taken in the twilight of the same evening and my cats had already dived onto the bed and ruffled it up. Now here’s a question – how do you stop cats padding and pulling on a woollen blanket??? This is not to be a precious blanket, after all it was a project to use up lots of my stash and is to be used, but it might be nice if it wasn’t snagged too much too quickly.
Due to other commitments and a winter cold too, I’ve not been here for a little while. I have had a few trips out enjoying others’ crafts, amongst which was one lovely little Quilting Show in Detling, Kent. There were a smattering of stalls and fabric jumped into my basket (more about that another day, one of my own quilt projects is already nine years in the making ..) but the exhibition showed some amazing skill. If I could have bottled a lot of it I would have, but here is just a little to share.
The Scandi Star was just amazing, enhanced by the simplicity of fabric colour, and the quilting was spectacular,
The more colourful quilts or panels hung as quilts were amazing. The creator made them as memories of places she’d been. You might recognise somewhere yourself, just like I did! My favourite over all was ‘Portugal’ – the tins of sardines! And I hate myself for not taking more details of the person who made these – I cannot scan in nearer and read her name, I obviously was just blinded by her style, I stood admiring for ages before the friend I was with dragged me off to see more. One day, I could be as talented as this (she says, maybe never).
Off to sew now for a little bit. I hope somewhere out there there are other crafters stitching or playing with knitting sticks or crochet hooks or felting needles or glueing with guns or pegging with nails (and so on and so forth) and they share their creations with us.
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?
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!)
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.
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?
Will post a pic of the finished garland later!
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.
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?
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!
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!
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.
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!
Here are a couple to whet the appetite! I am truly going to enjoy this year!!!
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 …
- Keep on track with the diet started in October
- Sort out craft stuff all over the house
- Think seriously about the next step jobwise/careerwise and make good choices
- Make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date
- Become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance
First 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!
For others with new year plans, hope they are going well and you have not given up on any yet!
I promised to reveal what was made with this
I gifted a finished item it to a friend and couldn’t show off here before Christmas (or her birthday!)
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.
A treat of a weekend – I actually knitted for myself! I have the back and half a front of a chunky pink cardigan just for me, yay! I had been putting other projects first for a couple of weeks. If I switch between little hats to sell and this one big project I might actually finish it in time to wear this winter. I love the colour but I am not loving the wool, sadly. I hope it grows on me as it grows on the needles. It was a reasonable priced yarn and I thought I would give it a try based on the colour alone, not something I would usually do (Cascade Pacific Chunky). That’s the one thing with shopping online for yarn and textiles. I like the convenience of shopping on line and do it a lot, but I also like visiting stores to stroke and squish wools and fabrics. Thank goodness I am lucky enough to be able to do both (and often do which leads to a stash to rival knitting and haberdashery shops!).
This weekend also confirmed I don’t much like knitting on long, plastic needles. I haven’t knitted on plastic needles regularly for years, usually opting for bamboo or rosewood from my collection. The pink yarn cast on needed quite a long needle and at the cast on stage these 35mm Pony needles were just handily poking out from one of my needle rolls (having had a slight accident knocking the needle roll off the shelf the day before). I quickly switched to birch for both the smoothness, weight and also these ones are very pretty too, being a rosy pink to match the yarn! The yarn just didn’t travel along smoothly for me on the plastic needles. Knitting needles are an item of choice for everyone and it is not for me to tell anyone to avoid them, however I know I will not choose plastic ones if I can help it for future projects.
So, no photo of the pink one yet but here’s a taste of a current hat – this one will be for a 6-12month old baby, rather vintage don’t you think? Using a Knitpro circular needle here.