Uncategorized

Let it snow

Ok, my friends in Canada and Eastern Europe will be slightly bewildered… the schools are closed yet there is barely enough snow on the ground for s snowball… the little one however has never seen snow so she’s easily impressed,

So far a cosy day by the fire knitting and arguing with the little one about her world book day costume (Matilda-and apparently we have the wrong sort of dresses not that it matters because school is closed).

I’ve started a lovely Aran leg warmer.., I’m 2/3 of the way through. Let’s hope I can keep my mojo going long enough to knit the second! I will make sure I start the second as right after casting off the first… see how that goes!

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’…. 🙄🤢

Uncategorized

Mmmmmmm!!! Delicious

The little one and I are en route to a family birthday by train! Exciting times! We have our magazines and newspapers and we’re waiting for our connection.

Looking at the live information from the train company it’s standing room only so I’m grateful we have seats booked. We’ve got felt tip pens, paper, colouring books at the ready and that’s just for me!!! Haha! The small one is in love with Moana at the moment and is pouring over the Moana magazine; and me?

I’m enjoying a Starbucks decaf flat white in my mug muffler prototype… I love the matt black finish. What do you think?

Uncategorized

Time for reflection and celebration.

This time of year is a time for reflection for many of us, a time for stopping and taking stock. We had a wonderful family celebration in our woods. It was magical and a complete contrast to the run up to Christmas where both my husband and I had been working at such a hectic pace. It’s the nature of our work so the quiet of Christmas is most welcome.

I have such plans for 2018; so many it feels like sometimes my head is spinning. There is so much I want to do and achieve it would be easy to get lost. So it’s a time for planning, reflecting on what is REALLY important, what resonates. To go with the heart. I have never been terribly good at doing things that don’t resonate, and the times I have I’ve just become terribly unhappy and ill.

So before I start, before we step through the door to 2018, I have stopped. I have become my own still point, listening to what calls me, draws me the most and for me it’s important to always be learning.

Top of my list is deepening my Yoga and Qi Gong practice. Somewhere on the list is the rapid induction / street hypnosis course. And of course most important of all, my wonderful family. Which brings this to a close, it’s nearly 6, my husband has built a fire outside, I’m waiting for the chips to par-boil, and we’ve got friends coming over for New Year Celebrations.

So let’s take the learnings from 2017 into 2018 and have a wonderful 2018

Uncategorized

We’ve turned the corner’

My wonderful little angel shrieked with joy when she opened the front door this morning. “Take a picture!” She insisted.

Just look at that sun on the bare winter trees! Moments later it was gone but how welcome! We have officially turned the corner towards longer days. Also I’ve finished work now for Christmas 🎄😃😃.

Last market✔️

Last busking ✔️

Last project✔️

All done.

And now is time to kick back and enjoy the Christmas preparations with Alice. The shopping is mostly done, the woods is just about ready so it’s mainly wrapping and finishing touches. Jerri, my husband will be back Christmas Eve and then it’s properly the holidays! Family time. Time for friends.

And then it’ll be time to reflect on the year. The progress made, there’s plenty to be proud of. But also what’s important for the coming year, what I want to do more of, what I want to change.

If I don’t get around to blogging before Christmas Day, which I might not have a wonderful time. 🎄❤️🙏🏼

Uncategorized

Great Expectations

xmas-decs-on-stall.png

Christmas is just around the corner. A is literally bouncing off the walls in excitement. She’s changing her Christmas list every hour it seems which is unfortunate as none of the gifts we’ve bought her are actually on it…. maybe Santa will do some magic….

I am mid flow with my Christmas knitting working on the side panel of the floor cushion.  You know I’m going to add to the pattern to maybe knit this first …leave the more interesting circle bit to the end….having said that it’s been perfect for me as I’ve been ill and it’s been good and straightforward. My Husband keeps asking me what I want for Christmas and I can barely think of a thing…. Pistachio Turkish Delight, Warm Socks (I have those already)…ummmmmmm.

I remember as a kid asking my aged relatives (ok they weren’t that old, they just seemed it) what they wanted and they’d say ‘Nothing, I have everything’ and I would think they were insane…. seems I’ve turned into that aged relative. Except I don’t feel insane as I know I’ll have everything that’s important on Christmas Day. We’re having it up the woods. It’s going to be magical because it’s about people not stuff.

That’s not to say we don’t get swept up in the whole Christmas Frenzy…. today we’re going on a steam train to see Santa… but shhhhhhh it’s a secret.. A has no idea! So best get on… it’s not going to wait for us!!!!

Uncategorized

The small things…

My wonderful husband bought be these socks for when I do markets as I am the Queen of being cold. And then last night I had to admit that no, I didn’t have DOMS from training I was actually ill and was in no fit state to do the market. This was a disappointment as I’d knitted some lovely stuff up ready.

I’ve spent most of the day in bed with a raging temperature drifting in and out of sleep. Wonderful husband has been bringing me hot vimto and flu tablets at regular intervals and our little girl did some wonderful tucking me in before school… I really am blessed.

I’ve got up … that’s an achievement for today – later on I might even get to finish the revisions of the Fern hat pattern. Some days you just have to appreciate the small things!

Uncategorized

Spinning plates!

So this is the second day of frankfurter sausage casserole with dumplings and very tasty it is too. I’ve been busy all day but it feels like I haven’t achieved much. My husband and I are both super busy at this time of year as many people are.

I’ve fallen behind on so many home jobs, not gotten very far with my things to do list and in 20 minutes I’ll be waiting at the school gates. I’m feeling like I’m going backwards and I’ve misplaced my special green hat to top it all! Feeling a bit sorry for myself. 😒

I have managed to make space to hide the boxes and parcels that are mounting up resulting in several bags to go to the charity shop. Done some shopping so A has a packed lunch tomorrow and celebrated the season with the ladies and gent who come to my Pilates class. So actually quite a bit accomplished. Maybe my list is just unrealistic!

When we are spinning lots of plates sometimes some will drop. Sometimes I focus too much on the dropping rather than the ones that are still spinning. Sometimes I don’t have to spin so many plates in the first place.

Uncategorized

Home Spun – capes and family capers

I’m really enjoying knitting with the Erika Knight Maxi wool… a few rookie errors

1) don’t rub your eyes while knitting if you’re allergic to wool….

2) don’t try and wind the hank in to a ball while standing up at a windy market…

3) don’t let your five year old ANYWHERE NEAR IT when trying to untangle the mess you made at the market

Yesterday I discovered that an extra pair of hands ‘Little House on the Prairie’ style works wonderfully especially when said 5 year old happily playing elsewhere and a you have a nice cup of earl grey and some malted milk biscuits on the go!

I’ve also taken to knitting in the kitchen because the spirited 5 year old wants to learn to knit and has decided that the cape I’m knitting is the ideal place to start. Me: let me start you off with these needles here [offers some nice child friendly needles and yarn] no mummy, I’ll finish that for you. Just no.

I’m starting to shape the shoulders and debating how I’m going to do the neckline… I’ve plenty of drawings but being quite kinaesthetic I’m not entirely sure how to do it until I get there so that’ll have to wait until later when I’ve got some quiet time.

In the mean time the little one and I are having a slow day, watching Annie and eating toast thinking about getting dressed ( her not me… not yet mummy I’m drawing). It’s a busy time of year for us all so it’s nice to have some downtime, well for us anyway… my husband is working hard delighting the folk of Bath with his busking and won’t get a proper break til after Christmas 🎄

So I feel very lucky. ❤️🙏🏼

Uncategorized

Grateful not hateful!

Sometimes its hard to feel grateful, Sometimes it feels like the world is gunning for you and all you want to do is curse and stamp your feet…. or is that just me? Like the days when everything you do goes wrong, things break, take too long, aren’t what you expected…. ahhhh expectations… the constant companion of the let down and disappointed!

Just to be clear here, I’m not some kind of guru of calm. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, anyone who  knows me knows I’m as messed up as the next person, but mostly they like me anyway and for that I am truly grateful.

So when I’m struggling with life, this short meditation is like a semi colon in my internal ranting and raging. Sometimes I listen to it while I knit, other times I just sit. And it never fails. I might not be a pool of calm at the end but I have perspective and I’ve had a few moments to consider what I am grateful for – having my wonderful husband in my life, a wild and spirited daughter, friends I could call on in the middle of the night and find a warm welcome and the opportunity to pursue my talents. I am very lucky. And I am mood lifts from hateful to grateful.

Thank you.