Creativity · Designing · giving · vintage

Vintage!

A super successful trawl through the charity shop button box! A bit of a clean and they’ll look good as new. These are quite different from the buttons in the shops right now and often things like this inspire the designing process.

Next time you’re out why not nip into your local charity shop. They often have all sorts of haberdashery items and knitting needles at a fraction of the price, saving precious world resources AND you’re helping a good cause.

A friend of mine buys pure wool jumpers and unravels them to make new ones, now that is commitment! The only thing I steer away from is old balls of wool which could be riddled with moths etc. Having said that I take yarn in that I know I’m never going to use rather than it sitting in my stash reminding me of my bad yarn choices!

Also, lots of the charity shops have knitting groups making things to sell in the shop. Often they’ll stash the yarn that people bring in and dish it out to the knitting groups to use. Everyone’s a winner!

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Making as meditation

This two sided knitting lark really is a meditation! It really is terribly simple, you just have to keep your mind in the moment, on the task.

You know when you’re meditating and you wander off thinking about this and that…. and then you catch yourself and bring yourself back to the breath or a sound …. Only with the two sided knitting my little wanderings are all too evident as the wrong coloured stitch waving at me!

I’m getting really good at undoing stitches vertically and reworking the them the right way. Well I thought I’d give it a go after undoing several whole rows which had me in a real pickle!

And the work is giving me so many ideas, how I could use this fabric, and has set me wondering how I can develop it. Of course there’s colour work, textures etc etc. Of course I’ll be looking to the YouTube community for help and ideas but also the ‘making it up as I go and seeing if it works’ method that serves me well (even if it doesn’t work).

I’d love to hear what other people are working on 🙏🏼❤️

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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?

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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

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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. 🎄❤️🙏🏼

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A family affair ❤️❤️

Well Christmas is the season for giving and I’m working on some free patterns for glorious little festive decorations. Some might say it’s too early but I like to take the stress out of things and anyway they make nice little gifts. You can’t have too many decorations at Christmas.

Anyway I was drawing them and my gorgeous girl came over. “Can I design one mummy?” Of course. “Can I use your special pen?” Yes. And here it is, a parcel. She’s 5. I’m one of those super proud mums and I don’t care! I’m starting this one first!

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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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Enough is a feast – part 1

IMG_5286I will start with a story

I was lamenting that I needed to go shopping for clothes, something I really don’t enjoy and a friend suggested I go to a well known budget fashion store as everything there was so cheap you could buy more.  Like some how it was better to have three of the same top.  I’m not going to go into how well made the stuff might be, or how they come to be made so cheaply, the real question is ‘for what purpose?’  What do we achieve by collecting more of stuff we don’t actually need?

That is one of wonderful by-products if you like of making.  It brings us closer to the truth of things. If you a have knitted each and every stitch of a sweater, it is thus imbued with a value.  If a small hole appears, you fix it, you don’t throw it away.  Once you have hand knitted a thing, other, non hand knitted things can also hold that value.  That’s not to say I don’t buy a cheap sweater, but I do so with knowledge, I buy only what I need, I repair things.  In addition, once you have hand knitted something, you don’t usually go knit half a dozen more because the yarn was cheap.  You spend your time wisely, knitting stuff that you will love.  And it doesn’t stop with hand crafts.

Another story – I was having a tea party and  decided to cook some millionaires shortbread, you know, shortbread, covered with caramel, covered with chocolate. It took 2 packs of butter, over half a large bag of sugar and a of couple cans of condensed milk. They were lush. I enjoyed every mouthful.  But each mouthful contained a truth.  After physically putting all the ingredients together it was impossible to not realise, to not know exactly how full of fat and sugar these wonderful little sticky melt in the mouth  moments actually were. That’s not to say you don’t eat them, but you eat them knowing, really knowing the truth of them.

Modern day life means that we are often disconnected from the truths of our life, the clothes we wear, the food we eat.  We buy throw away clothes,  eat pre-prepared meals, have the heating on full in winter so we can wear a t shirt around the house, we waste stuff, we lie to ourselves about the impact of this on our lives. By getting closer to the truth of things we can better know ourselves, which may not always be comfortable, but it also brings with it a freedom. Making stuff, not just knitted stuff, brings with it the opportunity to get closer to these truths and with that a simpler life. And for me, that has to be a good thing.

So that’s one of the many reasons I make things I love, why I unravel things to make more things I love, that I think others will love.  It makes life better.

 

 

 

 

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Things I love about knitting

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I was in Wells today with my stall. I really enjoyed myself.  Standing there, knitting, chatting to people about knitting, finding out what sort of knitting people like to do.  One lady told me all about her lace knitting, imagine the many millions of stitches that involves.  Another lady told me she’s bought herself a spinning wheel. I can’t help thinking of sleeping beauty when anyone mentions spinning wheels.

Even when I’m not on my stall (I often knit before I start busking)  I find myself talking to people I would never have normally because I’m knitting.  Quite simply, Knitting brings out the ‘Social’ in people; and you should know, I’m probably one of the least sociable people I know…. until you put knitting needles in my hands.  So that’s one of the many reasons I love knitting

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ENS….Don’t suffer in silence…

IMG_1184Do you, or someone you know suffer from ENS (Empty Needle syndrome)? The feeling of emptiness at the end of a project, the fidgeting fingers…. have you run out of yarn or simply inspiration?

Suffer no more! Relax with one of the Oh My Makery kits. They are a cure in box with everything you need to complete your project.  All kits come with links to YouTube tutorials.

There is something for everyone so visit the Oh My Makery shop and look forward to a swift recovery.  Get Knitting!