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 🙏🏼

Knitting · Life

It’s in the bag!

I know I’m not alone when it comes to having a bag crammed full of useful things. I’ve got this useful little inner thing so in theory I can transfer all my stuff from one bag to another. In reality I only use one … my gorgeous Dr Marten rucksack🤩🤩🤩. Enough room there for everything and the knitting! So what’s in my bag ….?

Snakes and ladders / playing cards – good when waiting for food to be served while out with the little one

Make up – sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t

Note pad and pens – for ummm notes and stuff

Earphones – actually mostly pointless but just in case you know…

AA Battery – ummm not at all useful I’m not even sure if it works

Crochet hook – well, mistakes happen🙄😱

Hand sanitizer – folk can be really disgusting

Wool needle – for sewing up; don’t mind if I do, I’m finishing off a birthday gift for a good friend. A fellow Virgo.

Creativity · Knitting · Life

Getting my knit together

What gorgeous weather we’re having!!! So knitting these summer bright soft storage baskets and plant pot covers in readiness for my first market of the year. I’m really lovely looking forward to it – I’m not entire prepared but that’s life. Don’t wait until you’re ready!

I’ve not yet managed to knit any easy light weight summer tops… the one I was working on ended up being dragged behind my van and ended up in the bin if you remember!

So anyway, I lovely easy day with the girl and some good friends today so better get on and ready for the day …🙏🏼❤️☀️☀️☀️

Knitting · Life

An inauspicious Day (for knitting)

I’ve been worked on a summer weight top in Aran. I’ve knitted the back and started on the front… so far so good. Except that I’ve been finding it a bit dull as it’s the same pattern and there’s many many of the 4 row repeats.

So I’ve been popping it in my bag so I can pick it up at the drop of a hat. I find it can keep the knitting mojo running rather than it getting stuffed in to corner for me to lie about finishing one day. As such things were progressing nicely.

What happened today I hear no one ask? Well since you asked, a friend and our kids who are also friends were going on a beach trip. As such I packed my old lady trolley with wetsuits, towels and other beach paraphernalia along with my knitting. The loading of the van took a while as some grumpy old bloke parked next to us made it clear we were in his way. Also he had parked way too close so actually we had no choice but to wait at the back of the van. As he drove away we loaded the van and were off!

We arrived at the beach only for me to realise I had not in fact loaded the trolley. Worse still I knew that I had left it at the back of the van so I had probably reversed over it. Yey, oh how I laughed.

Leaving my friend at the beach with the kids I went to retrieve what might be left of the trolley. And there it was! Mangled some mile and a half up the road from where we started, I was strangely impressed… I had been towing my old lady trolley… it had done rather well, perhaps this could be start of a new sport?! Anyway I did a quick u-eeee put the hazard lights on and gathered up my belongings.

Initially I was delighted, I gathered up knitting and realised not a single stitch had been dropped… however tyre marks are never a good look and the knitting had become detached from the ball of yarn which will never be seen again, along with one of the girl’s wellies. Ho hum. That’s the end of that then. When you run over your knitting project it’s time to call it quits!

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I know how to partay!!!!

No really, I’m just some kinda wild child. Somebody hold me back …. yeah!!!!

Because only the coolest, badass party animals take blondies, knitting and decaf tea bags to a party….oh and did I mention, we sorted buttons into colour tones. I was dressed like some one out of Dexy’s Mindnight Runners and believed (while stone cold sober) my host when she said she’d been out with Ant from Ant n Dec- I had a BRILLIANT time!!!!! THANK YOU!

It reminds me of the parties I’d have back in Cornwall when, come a certain hour people would start sorting the bottles and stuff into the recycling and start washing the dishes…..

Designing · giving · Life

Knitting for Nikki

I’ve knitted a hat for my friend and yoga teacher. It’s a lovely soft hat in a vintage heathery Aran. I hope she likes it. I certainly do which is a relief after the run on ‘Bad idea knits’ I’ve ended up with of late…

Today is about writing up the pattern so I can knit it again. I didn’t keep any notes while knitting except the bare minimum eg number of stitches cast on, when the pattern repeat started etc so it’s best I write it up quickly so I don’t forget.

I’ve got to be honest, it’s a flaming ball ache… it involves counting – lots. Have I mentioned before that I hate counting. I lose track all the time and so have created all sorts of weird and wonderful methods of annotating the work prior to writing it up in more traditional knitting terms.

Then in the middle of it all, just when I wanted to print off what I’d got so far (I’m not very good at reading from a screen) the internet went down and the printer is one of these wireless affairs. I get so cross which is I know is counterproductive and anyway it’s not like it’s a surprise; technology breaks down all the time. Why do I expect it to be faultless?!?!

Anyway I’ve done it now. Time to do some knitting and relax I think!!!

Ommmmmmmm!!!!!!

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’…. 🙄🤢

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The Power of One

Today I was delighted to give these beauties to my good buddies Sonia and G. I think they liked them too, well they certainly liked the cans of G&T inside!!

I’ve enjoyed working on the ‘Cup Cosy’ (purple) and the ‘Mug Mitt’ (brown). The cup cosy is a simple sleeve while the mug mitt comes with little pockets to keep your fingers warm. I’m going to knit one for me next.

I know some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own cup but even if they don’t you can just enjoy the knowledge that it’s one less cup to landfill. Now I’m sourcing bamboo reusable cups…..

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Going back to my roots!!!

After a challenging but rewarding yoga class I feel calm enough to attempt bleaching my roots ready for some colour…it’s long overdue so fingers crossed I haven’t messed it up and it all falls out in the bath tub when I rinse it as using a new product 😳

It’s always interesting going to a class – something I don’t do so often … it energises and corrects my home practice and reminds me how twisted and off balance I am… physically not mentally, well not this week anyway!! Thank you nikki😇!

I’m still musing over the coming year.. what will my priorities be? A commitment to address the environmental challenges we face is right up there, if somewhat frustrated by my allergy to wool.

My hair is at the slightly worrisome ‘custard’ stage and I am reminded of one Sunday years ago. I had washed the bleach off too early and ended up calling my good friend, Debs to ‘sort it out’ …. she did. Miracle worker! Anyway I digress, but then I think… all that bleach, all those Chemicals..

I will be posting a questionnaire online soon and I’d be grateful if people would fill it it and share to help we with my planning.

🙏🏼❤️

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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. ❤️🙏🏼