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.

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…😂😂😂

Life

Small things and big deals

I’m not going to lie, today has been tough. Nothing big or bad happened just a shed load of little things; like a snowball just getting bigger and bigger as the day went on. A long list of things that I didn’t want to do but were necessary alongside dealing with other people.

Days like these I prefer to be alone. This is the real world; I rarely get to be alone and it drains me. So today has been an exercise in celebrating the small things; the swans on the river, the sun on my face, holding my daughters hand. An exercise in reminding myself that these are the important things, the thing to give my energy to, even when I feel I have nothing left. To notice, to be aware. And these small things become a big deal.

I’m alone now. It’s quiet. I have a cup of tea. So do I knit, read my new book or simply just go to bed and restore my energy levels?

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!!!!

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Extreme Knitting

Today we wound up a family weekend away with a trip to Taunton to see my in laws. And very lovely it was too!

And here’s me, knitting cable in a moving van while playing eye spy – how’s that for extreme knitting! I also worked back stitches through several rows where it became evident I got the stitch wrong. Knitting like a Boss, that’s how I feel (I’d strongly recommend Fearless knitting from Craftsy). It’s rare I feel accomplished at anything. I usually I dismiss it as being easy or meaningless when ever I could feel accomplished so I’m super glad to be able to acknowledge not only the personality trait but also revise it.

Anyway, I finished this gorgeous extra wide ear warmer… I love this yarn. Gutted it’s no longer available; I’ve traveled through all the knitting sights and ebay to no avail. I’m not sure this one will be for sale.., always a good sign when I get possessive…

Knitting · Life

#100happydays

Apparently it’s 100 days until Christmas – I’ve been reminded by several emails all promoting a wide array of bargains.I think I supposed to be panicked into starting shopping or something! 100 days is actually quite a long time.

About 4 years ago I took a challenge of posting a picture for 100 happy days. Sometimes it was easy and obvious while others I really had to work hard at finding something positive. It taught me a lot.

So it’s 100 days until Christmas; I’m going to enjoy each one, after all, I enjoy the build up as much, maybe more. There’s the knitting for a start. Yes, I’ll be knitting gifts for friends and family; some have put in requests which makes things easy. Then there’s the cooking, I love making mince pies and my husband and I both like making the cake so let’s see who gets it together this year; last year neither of us did!😂😂. Then there’s letters to Father Christmas, knitting more stuff for the stall as I have a few markets coming up. But first we have several family birthdays Halloween, Bonfire night and a whole host of other stuff. And ticking along the whole time is the daily stuff, housework, shopping, homework, Netflix binges.

Let’s fill those 100 days with love and meaning. Let our best gifts to those we love be ourselves. Let whatever we can do be enough. To come from a place a love and integrity is all we can of ourselves and each other. Let the better days fill our cup so we can weather the harder ones when we have to look for the chunk of sunlight.

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 …..

Knitting · Life

Tell me why… ( I don’t like long metal knitting needles)

I don’t like metal knitting needles AT ALL. My lovely bamboo interchangeable 5mm snapped at the weekend; I know, tragic!

I rooted through my needles and found some needles… it felt like knitting with oars they felt so long. And then my knitting technique of working really close to the tips proved problematic as the bleddy things are so slippery that the stitches were sliding off. The yarn is quite fluffy so when you drop stitches it’s a devil of a job to see what’s going on. So anyway the rib isn’t quite right in places but I’m ok with that, it’ll be near the back and today isn’t the day for perfectionism,

So thats why I knit with circular needles; everything feels so much more manageable and the stitches stay on … also I wasn’t able to shove the work in my bag as I was pretty sure it would have all have slipped off / lost a needle / some other knitting disaster. Anyway I’ve got one more row of rib and a cast off to do, I’m saving that until I get back from teaching tonight. Then tomorrow I’ll have a new hat and the pattern will have been quadruple checked. Yey for me.

Life

Let’s hear it for the girls!

It’s International Women’s Day. We get a whole day dedicated to us and the wonderful, brave, resourceful beings that we are. Yes, these are all qualities that men have too but today’s about us…❤️

So anyway I’ve spent today with some pretty awesome women, like the beautiful ladies in the aqua aerobics class I covered today, giving it their all. It used to be my class before I gave it up to pursue my Oh My Makery dream pretty much a year ago. It was lovely to see them all again. You know if I’m honest I really do not enjoy teaching aqua aerobics; jumping up and down on concrete in a humid 30 degrees C, the acoustics of a biscuit tin and a head mic with an intermittent fault …. Yey.

Each Thursday I would teach spin followed by aqua, and each Thursday I would be filled with dread and loathing of the coming aqua class and then the magic happened. The ladies would turn up. Contrary to popular opinion they were not all in their 60’s in skirted costumes and flowery swim hats, however the ones that were rocked! No, ladies if all ages, shapes and sizes would come along and that dreaded 45 minutes would be transformed.

Where am I going with this? Well for me, this proved week after week that you could be happy even though superficially you were doing something you didn’t think you enjoyed IF you choose to see the beauty in others, the light that shines in all of us and connects us…

And today on International Women’s Day I have had the opportunity to reflect upon this in the presence of wonderful women and also to feel proud of myself and how far I have travelled this year,

Namaste 🙏🏼