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.

advice · learning · Life

Love it when a plan comes together!

red and geen maxi headbands.JPGSo AGES ago (like nearly a year ago)I bought a DSLR camera. Naively I thought ‘How hard can it be?’ well pretty hard, in fact so hard that I then didn’t touch it for ages! Thanks to my wonderful and supportive husband, I went on a course at the weekend where I learned the basics. I came home brimful of enthusiasm and confidence that I would be able to take some nice pictures and then BOOOOM! Suddenly nothing worked and my confidence was somewhat bashed.

Still not to be deterred I switched the camera from Aperture Priority to Manual and took some photos anyway…. some of them came out ok too.  It’s a steep learning curve but one I am enjoying.  Anyway today I popped into Jessops (other camera shops are available!) and got some help.  They were lovely and sorted me out …. Exposure Compensation thingie had been accidentally altered … well now I know!

So this evening I took a deep breath and shoved the memory card in and managed to get the photo off the card onto my laptop and then here! I love my Levano yoga book more and more! BINGO! check out my GORGEOUS maxi ear warmers. Soon to be on Etsy so watch this space!

Creativity · Designing · Life

Making it

Today while having a tidy up I found the drawing of the Maxi Ear Warmer. I love drawing. And look how it turned out! I reflected, rather smugly, that I am achieving much of what my teen self wanted; although I wondered if my teen self would be particularly overjoyed. True, I am a designer, musician and fitness professional, however my teen self would have wanted ‘famous’ to preface those professions. That fame was as important as the actual thing that earned it. I guess it’s part of being young. Now in my 40’s I’m delighted I can pretty much do what I like. We have enough.

This got me thinking about the idea of ‘making it’, you know when people say they want to ‘make it’ as a singer/designer/artist/whatever. The idea of being a celebrity/household name/whatever for doing something. How hollow, how temporary and how little it has to do with the act of creating something. There are many many artisans /artists etc who pretty much do what they like and have enough to live but whom few people have heard of.

Our little girl has recently started playing ‘pop stars’ with her friends at school. I’m not entirely sure what this entails. And so it starts again. I hope I can help her see that it’s the act of doing that’s the important bit, not the fame that might or might not come as a result. And why is that important? Because when ‘Making It’ is measured by fame and mass recognition by oneself and others it’s too easy to be encouraged to have ‘back up plans’. My back up plans sucked and brought me very little happiness; I wish I’d had the confidence at the time to accept my own judgement as valid enough rather than relying on external recognition.

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…

learning · Life

Seven happy days

#100happydays

This place gives me peace and the space to think. We are so lucky. Today I started writing the introduction to my knitting book. I feel like I’ve been treading water for most of the year and unable to write anything but today I felt a shift. A

I think spending a bit of time getting the Makery sorted has helped a great deal. The more observant among you might notice that’s it’s a big ole van that’s been converted. My husband is so supportive and he put the fire in and laid the floor and so on. He is a wonderful man.

learning · Life

The eyes have it

I love these little Om charms and, in between booking markets and other admin I’ve been trying to keep up with sewing them on the things I’ve made so far this year (more than I thought!). The sewing on of the charms has been a bit of a challenge; I can no longer thread a regular sewing needle. There, I’ve said it! A definite sign of ageing!

For a while there I was just getting all bad tempered and huffy about not being able to thread the needle and / or find my husband’s reading specs.  Like that was helping any but it’s the sort of stuff we all do I’m sure. And then, like any shoddy workman, I started blaming my tools; the eye was too small. So while searching for a needle with a bigger eye (which by the way wouldn’t go through the little hole in the charm,) I found the ‘pointless needle threader’ that came with the ‘handy’ sewing kit in my Christmas Cracker.

I remember my Great Gran using one of these needle threaders, I remember her saying she couldn’t see the eye of the needle and as a child I didn’t get it; I could see it clear as day so I’d thread it for her. Suddenly that ‘pointless needle threader’ isn’t pointless at all.  So much of life and how we perceive the things we come across and up against is dependant on perception and context and by changing how we look at things we can change how we approach them. Also that so much of the emotion and frustration and effort we put into that emotion and frustration is ultimately pointless.

So after taking a nice big swig of Calm the F**k down tea and taking the time to accept the situation and then find a solution to the problem, I wonder why I so frequently start my ‘problem solving’ in such an unhelpful way.  The answer is easy, change doesn’t happen over night.  In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, ‘Practice [or change] becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time without break and in all earnestness’.

Just as in anything, we don’t get things ‘right’ straight away. we fail, we struggle, we reflect and attend to that which needs to change.   Slowly but surely with a kind eye the fact that now I know I’m being totally unhelpful in achieving whatever it is that I’m trying to do and then attend to the what it is that needs to be done means that I am on the way.

Creativity · Designing · Knitting · Life

Shhhhh!

I LOVE this yarn. I’ve knitted the cable ear warmer and am making a start on the hat.

My brain was jangled after a busy day and I needed some quiet after the girl went to bed. In the quiet of the living room I sat on the floor and worked out how the decrease might work. I say might because things can sometimes change in the actual knitting. Feeling already quieter, I did some yoga with my favourite YouTube channel yoga with Adriene …. and now I feel positively serene!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE this yarn. The picture doesn’t do the colours justice ( I’m all about colour). The cable looks amazing and I’m actually inspired to knit a jumper… anyway now to keep the quiet in my soul with a bit of knitting ❤️🙏🏼

Uncategorized

Ooops I Did It Again!

I finished the leg warmer yesterday but once off the needle it looked a little too wide. Hmph….

Let me explain… I have what can be generously described as ‘strong legs’ I wanted to make sure my calves weren’t busting out like some Incredible Hulk so I added a few stitches… Hmph…

I had planned to cast on the second before sewing up the first but I thought I’d better check the fit before making a start on the second…..And BINGO! Leg warmers for a baby elephant…. Yey.

Unlike the glove I recently made fit for a giant, there was no alternative use for it…. champagne bottle warmer…. vase warmer???? No. Nothing else for it but to frog 🐸.

By the time I’d done that I’d lost my leg warmer mojo. My husband suggested we watch Gravity because Sandra Bullock is my favourite actress…. good film but not at all relaxing in fact harrowing so I started knitting this Peter Pan hat.

The snow finally came in properly yesterday and was still there today so we built an igloo and I finished this little hat. I like it. I need to improve the decrease but apart from that I like it… what do you think?

Creativity · Designing · Life

FLASH! …aaaahhhhh!

I’ve just finished the second of the fairy tale cosy collar – still working out the fastening when my husband comes in the room….

“Oh look” he chuckles “Ming The Merciless” …. Oh. I guess he might have a point if it was red and black…. which of course I am going to have to try now, I’ve got some red, I’ll get some black next time I’m in town.