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 ❤️

advice · learning · Life

Unravelling Recovery.

Ooh look, it’s me! Enjoying a coffee with my husband, in the sun. I’m only wearing 2 layers; a far cry from last week!

I know I look like I’m scowling but I’m not; I’m concentrating. A bunch of stitches had fallen off the needle when I shoved the knitting in my bag; I’d just got them all back on! Yey for me!

Thing is stitches don’t really want to unravel. If you’re careful and deft you can recover them. If you go all crazy like “Oh my f***ing god, look!!!” While yanking on the work to get a better look then chances are you’ll ladder back loads of rows.

Even this is recoverable, but chances are by the time this has happened you’ll probably be spitting blood and losing the plot all over the place. If this happens PUT THE KNITTING DOWN CAREFULLY. Walk away. Have a cup of tea. Come back to it later, you know, when you’re calm.

So, I’d gently picked the stitches up, one by one. I didn’t worry if they were on the needle the right way – you can sort that out later… ommmmmmmmmmmm

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Knitting natters…

IMG_5562I want to share a lovely story with you.  A gentleman visited my stall in a Wells. I was knitting and he was interested in what I was knitting. we started chatting. To my amazement, he told me that he’d been knitting for 70 years.

A very spritely 81 years young, he’d been bombed out of London in the war and had gone to live with his grandmother in Epping. She’d had 14 children, he was the son of her eldest. He told me they used to go for walks in the forest and that she had taught him how to knit.

He said he knitted mittens kike a demon throughout the war, and she taught him how to knit Fairisle. He commented  that it was a sort of therapy for him after being in London during the bombings and that his Grandmother was a very kind woman for teaching him. Later in life he knitted jumpers for all of his grandchildren.

I’d love you to share your knitting stories with me by contacting me below

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Phew!

One of the things I love about knitting something new is that I’m never sure how it’s going to turn out. I’m pretty pleased with my most recent creation.

This top down cape takes 400g of yarn. I must admit to holding my breath as I was casting off as it was a close call with the yarn. Some changes here and there but nothing major. Of course I didn’t make any notes so I’m going to have to sit there and work it out but never mind.

Now if only I had 4 buttons I could finish it. You’d think in that ubiquitous button box you’d have 4 the same…. nope. I have a selection of suitable candidates but only 3 of each. I did think about a mix and match but it needs to be right.

So after busking tomorrow I’ll have to go to John Lewis’ or somewhere to get some sturdy wooden buttons. Note to self… take the thing with you as you won’t remember how big they need to be! Oh and I’ll try not to buy any more yarn…. ahem.

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Nothing is wasted … ever.

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Today the house is quiet except for the gentle hum of the fish tank. I’m beginning to feel calm after a number of days feeling a bit ‘stabby’; I’m starting Beaky, a puppet; a beautiful birdy-style puppet.

I’ve made the foam head. I’ve burned myself on the hot glue more times than I can count. I’m smiling  I’m making first pattern for the covering out of carrier bags, and I’m smiling. Let me tell you why.

When I was 14 I found out that a friend’s brother was going to Falmouth School of Art and Design…. the most interesting fact was that in those days you got a grant to live away from home.  Yep the local authority gave 16 year olds money to go study art…. CRAZY!!!! Anyway, I wanted to leave home, at the earliest opportunity and so a plan was made.  I could draw, the deal was sealed.  Fast forward on a couple of years and there I was, living away from home at the tax payers expense doing a BTEC ND in Fashion Design.

I didn’t pass the course. None of my work satisfied the ‘commercially viable’ component and I didn’t have any money to put on a final show. I didn’t really care.  I was my own (utterly irresponsible) person, living on my own I had loved every minute of the life drawing and finding out about different media and I had learnt about pattern cutting. So, what! I didn’t pass!  move on to Plan B .  Not that I had a Plan B… Let’s be honest, I hadn’t really thought Plan A through that well!

So many years went by during which I developed a CV that looked like a Yellow pages. I mistook being good at something as a reason to try and make it a career … including jobs that involved wearing suits and taking responsibility for stuff I wasn’t interested in (not my happiest epoch), I enrolled on a music degree course only once again to run out of money, I applied for jobs for which I was totally under qualified and gained them due to my creative writing skills on the applications.  All the while I felt like a failure.  I felt like I never knew enough, like I had achieved nothing and would never amount to anything. However, I realised during many dark nights of the soul that in each of my incarnations, I learned something, I gained skills. That I was luckier than most in that I had experienced so much and had so many opportunities to learn new things.

Fast forward loads more years.  My baby girl loved the muppets… ok I loved the muppets and it was a good reason to watch them again.  She loved puppets.  I decided to have a go at making them.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I thought – it was this thought that was behind many of my creative job applications.  And it was hard but I didn’t care because when you want to do something you don’t mind, and I started to remember my pattern cutting and I smiled. It was a light bulb moment.  Truly, nothing is wasted.  Everything I have done or not done has taught me something. Sometimes the lessons are harder to spot than others.

So anyway I have no qualifications in making puppets other than I make puppets. I use skills that I have learned my whole life. Surely that’s the most important thing.  The Doing Something Because You Love It.

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Sometimes we all do…

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People who know me know that sometimes I can get a bit ‘stabby’, They know that I am far from being some kind of serenity guru.  So if you’re reading and enjoying my blogs, thank you, I appreciate it and you need to know that things get under my skin… first world things. Like……

  1. People who don’t say thank you – like how hard is it? Two. Words.
  2. When people seem to go out of their way to be unhappy, like the guy who used to come to my  Body Pump class, stand directly under the speaker and then complain the music was too loud Every, Single. Class
  3. When people wait until the lights have turned green before even thinking about getting into gear.  Seriously, it’s not a surprise is it?!

Now some days these things don’t bother me,  other times they do. And then I have to have a word with myself.

  1. Sometimes I don’t say thank you.  Some times I have so much on I forget those 2 words.
  2. Although I have NEVER been able to send something to my printer and then walk away and come back to it being printed, I still merrily click print, walk away and then get really cross when I come back and for some mystical reason the thing has stopped printing.
  3. Sometimes I don’t get into gear on time, Sometimes I’m miles away, in a world of my own.

While I’m having a word with myself, I remind myself that all of this is so petty anyway, none of it really matters. What I also remind myself is that underneath we all have our struggles, I am no more or less flawed than anyone else. When it comes to sharing ideas as to how to live a calmer and happier life, I am in as good a position as anyone.  I know how it feels to be a bit ‘stabby’,  I know some things that can help.  And then I reach for my knitting.