Designing · Knitting · learning · Life

Making up

Today I finished knitting the parts of my open tank. I know I’ve been going on and on about it (especially if you follow me on instagram (@ohmymakery); that’s because it’s the largest pattern I’ve worked on for a while and at times it was a bit tricky as I was doing new things.

I’ve learned a lot, and I’ll need to change a few bits a pieces.  For example, the side edging I thought would stop the stocking stitch curl didn’t. Instead I will include some garter or moss edging. Then there’s the quantity of yarn required. Just over 600g and I mean just.  I can lose 4 rows without changing the design; I’ve got a really long body so I shouldn’t have measured it on me (lesson 3)! That will ensure that the knitter can be confident that they will only need 6 balls of yarn to complete the project. I changed the neck design as the roll neck didn’t sit well, but doubling it up looks great and gives it real structure.

I would be lying if I said it’s been easy or particularly relaxing; that’s been strange. The whole point of knitting for me is to be meditative and for that I’ve always thought relaxing.

It was stressful at times because I was having to write pattern notes as I went (there was no way that I would be able to work out what I’d done by just looking). Other times I could just sit back and knit.  Where ever I was in the pattern however, I noticed a kind of stillness in myself. That I needed to be completely in the moment with the knitting. I’m looking forward to trying it again in a different yarn. A man made fibre this time. It behaves quite differently sometimes but I’m sure it’ll work.

I know some people don’t like man made fibres and there are arguments both sides. Those of you who are familiar with me know that I’m allergic to wool and so I favour man made; also it is much easy to wear and wash etc. I’m also conscious that knitting can be very elitist at times; not everyone can afford £10 a ball yarn. The diversity choose are soft and durable like so many other man made fibres.

advice · learning · Life

Love it when a plan comes together!

red and geen maxi headbands.JPGSo AGES ago (like nearly a year ago)I bought a DSLR camera. Naively I thought ‘How hard can it be?’ well pretty hard, in fact so hard that I then didn’t touch it for ages! Thanks to my wonderful and supportive husband, I went on a course at the weekend where I learned the basics. I came home brimful of enthusiasm and confidence that I would be able to take some nice pictures and then BOOOOM! Suddenly nothing worked and my confidence was somewhat bashed.

Still not to be deterred I switched the camera from Aperture Priority to Manual and took some photos anyway…. some of them came out ok too.  It’s a steep learning curve but one I am enjoying.  Anyway today I popped into Jessops (other camera shops are available!) and got some help.  They were lovely and sorted me out …. Exposure Compensation thingie had been accidentally altered … well now I know!

So this evening I took a deep breath and shoved the memory card in and managed to get the photo off the card onto my laptop and then here! I love my Levano yoga book more and more! BINGO! check out my GORGEOUS maxi ear warmers. Soon to be on Etsy so watch this space!

Creativity · learning · Life

Things that make me smile

This line always makes me smile. Especially on days like today which has been particularly s****y 💩.

So anyway lots of really annoying stuff happened all day and I kept moving forward. I feel like a champion!

Anyway, I’ve promised the little one I’ll knit her a top the same as the one I’m knitting now. Apparently I NEVER KNIT HER ANYTHING!!! That not true, she just loses the stuff I knit so it probably feels like that. She wanted to know what the top will look like … I drew this. She likes it. Fingers crossed I’ve got enough yarn as I only have 400g and they’ve sold out. I’ll work. Something out I’m sure!

Knitting · learning · Life

Two steps forward, one step back.. that’s what learning looks like

This afternoon I settled down in my Makery and had a go at adding an edging. I’d not done it before and was quite excited.

I realised fairly early on that my usual relaxed knitting style was too loose. That rectified, I was happy with the result but it didn’t do what I thought it would. My intention was that it would stop the ubiquitous stocking stitch curl edge. It didn’t. Lesson learned. Well 3 actually.

1) I tried something new and as a technique I was pleased with the result.

2) I discovered that the edging doesn’t stop the edge curling.

3) I learned I was brave enough to undo my work rather than try and make good…. I know I’m not alone in being reluctant to do this!

So going forward, the next version will have a garter edge and I’ll knit it in one piece with contrasting yarns. I’m looking forward to that. And now I’m going to make a start on the back; some lovely cable work there to get stuck into. Oh and resist the urge to buy more yarn…. I’ve made this sign for my makery…😂😂😂

learning · Life

#3 BS ideas about mental health

Today is mental health awareness day. Tomorrow is just another day where mental health can go unnoticed. I hope these awareness days do raise awareness for longer than a day; I suffer with mental ill health at times, I have to work hard sometimes to stay well. Most people are cool about it, others are not. Here are 3 of the best (least helpful) BS ideas about mental health I’ve come across…

#1 Taking medication is an easy option. Say that again out loud, nice and slow while thinking about a diabetic or someone with epilepsy… if medication works and helps you feel better then take it.

#2 There are plenty of people worse off than you. Yes, we know. That doesn’t make my pain or your pain any less debilitating.

#3 Have you tried…. [insert here any unsolicited advice] chances are if I’m telling you about something I don’t want advice, I want you to listen. I know that’s super uncomfortable seeing someone you care about unhappy and feeling like you’re not doing anything but you are .. the time to give advice is when the person asks for it.

On that note, I’m not going to give any advice on getting better, I’ll tell you what works for me, in no particular order

#1 exercise any sort really depending on how much energy I have

#2 creating something, anything. Cooking, drawing, knitting, playing music, even if it only works while I’m doing it.

#3 medication – prescription

#4 meditation

#5 naming – identifying out loud to myself the feeling(s) that are swamping me.

#6 quality sleep

What do you find helpful? ❤️🙏🏼

learning · Life

Do the math

Tonight is about knowing my limits and respecting them. I’m really enjoying knitting the glorious tank in Erika Knight’s Artisan, I just want to keep going and going with it. Trouble is I’ve got to a bit where I need to work out EXACTLY what needs to happen.

It’s been a lovely but long day that started with me dropping off the little one early at a friends house so I could teach spin. A wonderful day with my friend followed out and about with the little ones. Now it’s late, I’ve got to learn some choreography for some other classes I teach and my brain is just fried.

Now is NOT the time to be working on the pattern, especially with my imaginative grasp of maths. Now is not the time for multitasking or trying to get MORE done. Now is to consolidate what I know and leave what I don’t know until tomorrow.

For years I’ve tried to fight this, tried to squeeze more out of the pint pot. On the surface it seems like it can be done. We get lots done, we meet deadlines, achieve, achieve, achieve. Long term we are just stealing from ourselves.

I’ve spent more years than I care to remember being chronically tired; why? I was robbing myself of sleep, by staying up too late, being so wired when I finally turned in my sleep was long jn coming and patchy. Why? Because I felt this level of activity, of getting stuff done could somehow validate me. Prove something; I never actually got as far as thinking what exactly I was proving.

So, I’ll be going to bed in a bit, snuggling up under my glorious weighted blanket (wonderful birthday present from my husband) my sleep is so much better! And I’m working on letting things wait. Not rushing to get things done while missing out on the enjoyment of doing. Knitting has taught me that and I am so very grateful 🙏🏼

Designing · Knitting · learning

Accidents will happen!

Remember yesterday I said my pattern was still in my illegible shorthand? Hmmm… I forgot to write down the increase at row 40. So that’s why I’m unraveling stitch by stitch … ho hum.

It could be worse, I’m sitting by a fire in my makery den with only the sounds of the trees and passing trains. Did I mention the fire?

Anyway, I sewed up the first leg today and it fits nicely. Some leg /ankle warmers are made for skinny Minnie’s. Not here. Remember strong is the new skinny. I’m catering for calf muscles! I’ll work out a narrow version, in the interests of diversity!

Anyway having just one on made me want to break out my cool roller skates… yes, I think these are mine!!! All mine!!!!

learning · Life

Seven happy days

#100happydays

This place gives me peace and the space to think. We are so lucky. Today I started writing the introduction to my knitting book. I feel like I’ve been treading water for most of the year and unable to write anything but today I felt a shift. A

I think spending a bit of time getting the Makery sorted has helped a great deal. The more observant among you might notice that’s it’s a big ole van that’s been converted. My husband is so supportive and he put the fire in and laid the floor and so on. He is a wonderful man.

Knitting · learning · Life

Best laid plans of mice and men….

The market I’ve been working towards has been cancelled due to bad weather. I’m sad about that. However every cloud has a silver lining.., ok, some don’t, some come with an extra lining of poo 💩 but it’s not the end of the world.

It made me get my s**t together instead of just merrily knitting stuff, and it focused my mind. So this morning I took a load of stuff to the tip (I love going to the tip) and things are looking a bit less like Steptoes Yard. And now here I am in my lovely makery, with the fire roaring again, not because it’s cold but because I like lighting fires. To be honest I’ve got the door open as it’s sooooooo hot! And I’m planning, thinking and having some quiet time.

Creativity · Knitting · learning · Life

Like mother, like daughter

Hmmm after my last post about how I’d made a new winter trio (gloves, hat, scarf) for my daughter on account of her losing them all… ummmm I’ve lost mine too… ahem.

So this glorious autumn day, in between my Les Mills quarterly updates I’m making myself some new mitts. I’ve got a plan so the little one and I keep better track of our stuff… watch this space….!

There’s something so lovely about knitting at the start of Autumn, feels like prep for the season ahead! Just look at these colours!