giving · Knitting · Life

Spending time, not money.

knitting pile1Today our American Friends are celebrating Thanksgiving. Tomorrow many people in Europe and American will go on spending frenzy. I like the idea of being Thankful. I don’t subscribe to the whole Black Friday spending frenzy. I don’t do it. So please don’t expect any ‘Black Friday’ deals. I’m not doing any.  I don’t buy anything on Black Friday other than groceries and other essentials.

So tomorrow I will be spending my time doing the things I love with the people I love. That’s all.

Designing · giving · Home · Knitting

Never too early for a free pattern!

We don’t put our family tree up until December sometime. This is my Market Stall tree, complete with my lovely little knitted decorations. I’m making some new ones for this year too. If you’d like to have a go at knitting some glorious decorations this year click on the link below for the free pattern. It’s a great stash buster … what’s your preference, colour scheme or mix it up?

Creative Christmas

CLICK LINK FOR FREE PATTERN

Designing · giving · Life

Knitting for Nikki

I’ve knitted a hat for my friend and yoga teacher. It’s a lovely soft hat in a vintage heathery Aran. I hope she likes it. I certainly do which is a relief after the run on ‘Bad idea knits’ I’ve ended up with of late…

Today is about writing up the pattern so I can knit it again. I didn’t keep any notes while knitting except the bare minimum eg number of stitches cast on, when the pattern repeat started etc so it’s best I write it up quickly so I don’t forget.

I’ve got to be honest, it’s a flaming ball ache… it involves counting – lots. Have I mentioned before that I hate counting. I lose track all the time and so have created all sorts of weird and wonderful methods of annotating the work prior to writing it up in more traditional knitting terms.

Then in the middle of it all, just when I wanted to print off what I’d got so far (I’m not very good at reading from a screen) the internet went down and the printer is one of these wireless affairs. I get so cross which is I know is counterproductive and anyway it’s not like it’s a surprise; technology breaks down all the time. Why do I expect it to be faultless?!?!

Anyway I’ve done it now. Time to do some knitting and relax I think!!!

Ommmmmmmm!!!!!!

advice · Creativity · giving · learning · Life

Just say NO!

When I was growing up the cast of Grange Hill released a chart topping song warning about the perils of taking Heroin. ‘ Just say NO!’ They sang while horrible images filled the screen. Like falling into quicksand, I thought avoiding heroin dealers would be a much bigger problem than it turned out to be. I guess I’ve been lucky. Not once however was there mention of the perils of unwanted knitting requests (UKR) during any textile and fashion class.

There are things I really do not enjoy knitting. For example, you will never hear me say “oooh I can’t wait to get started on the floor length lace poncho” not unless I was on some desert island, mysteriously washed up with 101 balls of lace yarn, some needles and a pattern. Actually I’d be more likely to try and fashion some sort of raft with it…

We all have our NO list. Mine includes anything thinner than Aran weight yarn, anything with more than a 6 row repeat, blankets, baby clothes and scarves. The thing is I have quite a strong aversion to knitted them as I discovered when my Mother In Law asked me to knit her a nice long scarf.

My first response was ‘F**k NO! I’d rather poke my eye out with a Sh***y stick’. Luckily I managed to keep this response in my head as, while there are some people would I could say this to, my MIL isn’t one of them. However that fateful pause while I tried to articulate a more appropriate response was taken as tacit agreement.

So that’s why I’m knitting a ‘nice long scarf’ and why? Because never role played what I would say when faced with an UKR. I didn’t have a response ready. If you belong to a knitting group I’d recommend regularly role playing your responses to UKR’s. if you’re a solitary knitter you’ll have to make do with practicing on your own but believe me it’s time well spent.

Even better, let your friends and family know what you ARE willing to knit (and how long it takes) and whether or not you’ll supply the yarn (gift yes, random knitting request, no) which will also avoid the perils of being hoodwinked into knitting with alpaca yarn, spun on Peruvian mountains by elves at £50 a ball ….. this might seem a bit mean spirited but think about it… if your hobby was betting your life savings in online poker games and a friend or family member asked you to bet your house on their behalf, you’d probably say no. This will also avoid those awkward request which will either involve ‘letting someone down’ or staying awake for 3 days straight to knit a bridal shawl for her coming wedding that weekend….

anyway, best crack on… I’m knitting a ‘nice long scarf’…. 🙄🤢

Creativity · Designing · giving · vintage

Vintage!

A super successful trawl through the charity shop button box! A bit of a clean and they’ll look good as new. These are quite different from the buttons in the shops right now and often things like this inspire the designing process.

Next time you’re out why not nip into your local charity shop. They often have all sorts of haberdashery items and knitting needles at a fraction of the price, saving precious world resources AND you’re helping a good cause.

A friend of mine buys pure wool jumpers and unravels them to make new ones, now that is commitment! The only thing I steer away from is old balls of wool which could be riddled with moths etc. Having said that I take yarn in that I know I’m never going to use rather than it sitting in my stash reminding me of my bad yarn choices!

Also, lots of the charity shops have knitting groups making things to sell in the shop. Often they’ll stash the yarn that people bring in and dish it out to the knitting groups to use. Everyone’s a winner!