Creativity · Knitting · Life

Sewing vs knitting

Today I thought I’d have a go at making curtains for our camper. Nay, better than that I thought I’d get the girl involved. I had a couple of pillow cases and planned to make some nice kitch curtains.

While I was hatching this plan I had completely forgotten that my sewing machine is completely bleddy temperamental. So fast forward a bit, the needle is way over to the left, there’s no way of getting it back where I want it, the top thread keeps breaking, even though the tension is where it normally is add to that 3 needles broke and the girl lost my needle threader (‘look Mummy it’s got a head on it I’ll put it somewhere ……’)

So, my perfect little curtains turned in to that’ll do let’s just get them done and in the van curtains…..ho hum. The girl quickly escaped leaving me in my own to let out some truly colourful language. I bloomin hate sewing right now. I learnt on an industrial machine, maybe I expect too much of my domestic model. I like hand sewing much better. So now I’m going to soothe my soul with a bit of knitting …..

Cooking · Home · Life

Om nom nom nom

I’m not much of a ‘joiner’, not one for being on committees and such like…. I’m just not that sociable. I don’t like big groups, I’m socially awkward or inappropriate depending on how you view chortling and doodling through meetings and I don’t like socialising, did I mention that.

Having a kid however changes things … she goes to school that has a PTA and there’s a PTA meeting tonight and I said I’d go. I’d rather be home KNITTING ON MY OWN!! Actually I’d rather be at home licking the bathroom floor clean… but I said I’d go, I want to make a contribution etc blah ….So to make the whole thing more manageable I’ve made brownies… they have nuts in, I don’t care, we’re all adults and I promise not to touch any nut allergists… actually the truth is I completely forgot about nuts until after I’d added them… please no body die.

I’m going to try and convince another mum friend to come with me so I don’t have to walk in on my own and maybe chortle with, yes I’m that immature…

I have to say, these brownies are bleddy ansome (unless you don’t like almonds and rose water) I’ll post the recipe later…. time to pick the girl up…

learning · Life

The eyes have it

I love these little Om charms and, in between booking markets and other admin I’ve been trying to keep up with sewing them on the things I’ve made so far this year (more than I thought!). The sewing on of the charms has been a bit of a challenge; I can no longer thread a regular sewing needle. There, I’ve said it! A definite sign of ageing!

For a while there I was just getting all bad tempered and huffy about not being able to thread the needle and / or find my husband’s reading specs.  Like that was helping any but it’s the sort of stuff we all do I’m sure. And then, like any shoddy workman, I started blaming my tools; the eye was too small. So while searching for a needle with a bigger eye (which by the way wouldn’t go through the little hole in the charm,) I found the ‘pointless needle threader’ that came with the ‘handy’ sewing kit in my Christmas Cracker.

I remember my Great Gran using one of these needle threaders, I remember her saying she couldn’t see the eye of the needle and as a child I didn’t get it; I could see it clear as day so I’d thread it for her. Suddenly that ‘pointless needle threader’ isn’t pointless at all.  So much of life and how we perceive the things we come across and up against is dependant on perception and context and by changing how we look at things we can change how we approach them. Also that so much of the emotion and frustration and effort we put into that emotion and frustration is ultimately pointless.

So after taking a nice big swig of Calm the F**k down tea and taking the time to accept the situation and then find a solution to the problem, I wonder why I so frequently start my ‘problem solving’ in such an unhelpful way.  The answer is easy, change doesn’t happen over night.  In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, ‘Practice [or change] becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time without break and in all earnestness’.

Just as in anything, we don’t get things ‘right’ straight away. we fail, we struggle, we reflect and attend to that which needs to change.   Slowly but surely with a kind eye the fact that now I know I’m being totally unhelpful in achieving whatever it is that I’m trying to do and then attend to the what it is that needs to be done means that I am on the way.

Life

Leap of faith

I’ve been tidying up with the girl and we came across this blanket. I knitted it while I was pregnant; it took a long time to make but then let’s face it, so does growing a baby!

I’d had 2 miscarriages and spent most of my pregnancy fearful and anxious that it might happen again. Knitting this was a leap of faith, that my little bean would grow strong and be make it to term. The knitting also helped calm me.

I had no idea how big the blanket would be. I cast on 250 stitches and made a start; and then I just kept going. Each row took 10 minutes to knit… I didn’t care. Each stitch was an affirmation that all would be well. Each stitch is imbued with love and hope. And I am very lucky, I don’t know how I’d have coped if my worst fears had been confirmed.

And now I have a 6 year old, I’m so very very lucky. She loves the blanket, it’s huge… she’s currently wearing it as a cape…. little blue riding hood ❤️

Creativity · Designing · Knitting

Life in colour

I’ve really enjoyed knitting these loose fitting hats. The pattern is for an Aran weight yarn, or any yarn that works well on 5mm needles. That means some of the more interesting DK yarns can work well too.

The hat suits long or short hair which is unusual as hats are usually either or. Also multi-coloured yarns work really well, I’m not usually a fan of yarns with a wide variation of colours but I love these. And they use around 50g of yarn which is ideal for using up stash yarns. This hat pattern is a keeper for the book I’m putting together.

With summer just around the corner (ok we we shin deep in snow last weekend with more forecast for Easter) I’m turning my attention to some lighter weight knits. Let’s be honest though, it’s a rare day in the UK when you don’t take an extra layer ‘just in case’…

So I’ve done the tension square and sums for a loose and lightweight jumper. Now we all know my sums can be a bit off so I’ve checked and checked again and I’m pretty certain it’ll be a nice fit for a UK 10- 14 …. watch this space …..

Life

Reasons to be cheerful

Today is International Happiness Day. There’s a whole website about it with some really interesting stuff, click on the link above.

Happiness is a funny thing, it’s not a thing to be possessed, nor a destination. It’s a state of mind. All the while we chase it, we miss it. For most of us going though the ordinary ups and downs of life we have the opportunity to be happy; whether we chose to take up the opportunity is up to us.

So what did I choose to do on International Happiness Day? I finally got round to doing a stocktake. Boy I have knitted a barrel load of stuff! Also, I sorted out my yarn. I even sorted out a bag of ‘never going to use this!’ yarn ready for a yarn swap. In between that I did the washing because it was only a stoke of luck that the girl had any uniform this morning. My husband was getting his van fixed and made the best coffee ever when he got home.

All very mundane, not glamorous in the slightest but I’m happy. I have a wonderful family, I knit lovely things and hopefully get others knitting too. All that and much more. Plenty of reasons to be cheerful, and for that I am grateful .

learning · Life

This made me hoot with laughter!

We took the train into town for passport photos for the girl and Faraway Tree books, then onto the library….

While the girl pottered around looking at books completely unsupervised (because I’m that sort of mum – she chooses her own books) I looked through the handful of knitting books I’d picked up on the way through to the kids section.

Looks like I’m going to have to up my game with the Halloween decorations I came up with last year! I laughed much too loudly when I noticed that the ‘how to’ drawings were hands from zombies and wearwolves! 😂😂 Such a clever book. I didn’t get it out. I came over all sensible and chose the cable knit books instead. I’m getting it out next time!

Anyway now I’m home, we cut the trip short as it was snowing and I didn’t want us to be stranded. There are some really lovely designs I’d like to try in the books. Seriously thoughtI do not get the cable charts…….not in the slightest! I can cable, it’s just that I worked out how to do it on my own. I don’t know how to write a chart for what I do. So, I’m going to pick a simple one, one that looks like what I know how to do, and work through it. I’m sure there’ll be a YouTube tutorial to help? Not tonight though. I’m feeling really ropey, sore throat, fuzzy head and my mantra is ‘gentleness in all things’. Time for some super simple knitting with my feet up before an early night.

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Shhhhh!

I LOVE this yarn. I’ve knitted the cable ear warmer and am making a start on the hat.

My brain was jangled after a busy day and I needed some quiet after the girl went to bed. In the quiet of the living room I sat on the floor and worked out how the decrease might work. I say might because things can sometimes change in the actual knitting. Feeling already quieter, I did some yoga with my favourite YouTube channel yoga with Adriene …. and now I feel positively serene!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE this yarn. The picture doesn’t do the colours justice ( I’m all about colour). The cable looks amazing and I’m actually inspired to knit a jumper… anyway now to keep the quiet in my soul with a bit of knitting ❤️🙏🏼

Creativity · Designing · Knitting

Great expectations!

This is a wonderful Italian chunky wool/ alpaca/ acrylic yarn on 6.5mm needles. I’ve knitted the tension square to help me with my design for a close fitting hat with detachable ear warmer.

I really love the definition of the stitches and the soft mossy colours. It’s funny, I react strongly to colour. A while ago I was using some brown chunky yarn. On the face of it the yarn was attractive, and I’d knitted other items in differences colours of the same yarn. Once I started with it I was disappointed but I just couldn’t put my finger on why. Eventually I realised, there just wasn’t enough warmth. So anyway I’m really looking forward to working with this yarn.