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.

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 🙏🏼

Home · Life

What a tangled web …

I was winding this skein into a ball… it was going well. Then I realised I’d lost an earring – it was an anniversary present and I love it so I and got up to look for it .. I’m hoping it’s in the house somewhere but I didn’t find it. I came back to the yarn and LOOK!! What the actual flaming flip happened here! I would blame the cats but they’re outside. Honestly it wasn’t like this when I left it!

Funny thing is that I don’t mind untangling yarn… especially when I’m feeling a bit jangled, like when, for example I’ve lost my special earring. It’s almost as if the physical act of unravelling, following the yarn helps me straighten things out and find a quiet place.

Creativity · Designing · Life

Delicious Decisions….

Just look at this lovely yarn….. LOOK AT IT!!!!!!!!!! So good you could almost taste it!!! I can’t decide what to do with it…. it’s just so lovely. It varies in thickness and knits up on 6mm needles….

That red and orange; it’s like a fire right there. I don’t normally go for the hot colours like this, I’m more of a green and blue kinda person but this yarn sang to me…. it shouted YOU NEED ME!!!!! I guess that’s what reds and oranges do huh!?

This is more my style, not so easy to knit with as its got little sequins in but it makes up a luxurious fabric …

Both are from my favourite yarn shop in Bath. It’s an Italian Tailors and they sell Italian yarn, it’s great to find different things…

Anyway I’m thinking lightweight summer wrap for the cool evenings (and let’s face it, days in the UK!) …..

advice · learning · Life

Unravelling Recovery.

Ooh look, it’s me! Enjoying a coffee with my husband, in the sun. I’m only wearing 2 layers; a far cry from last week!

I know I look like I’m scowling but I’m not; I’m concentrating. A bunch of stitches had fallen off the needle when I shoved the knitting in my bag; I’d just got them all back on! Yey for me!

Thing is stitches don’t really want to unravel. If you’re careful and deft you can recover them. If you go all crazy like “Oh my f***ing god, look!!!” While yanking on the work to get a better look then chances are you’ll ladder back loads of rows.

Even this is recoverable, but chances are by the time this has happened you’ll probably be spitting blood and losing the plot all over the place. If this happens PUT THE KNITTING DOWN CAREFULLY. Walk away. Have a cup of tea. Come back to it later, you know, when you’re calm.

So, I’d gently picked the stitches up, one by one. I didn’t worry if they were on the needle the right way – you can sort that out later… ommmmmmmmmmmm

Creativity · Designing · Life

Keepin it loose…

I’ve had this lovely black and green yarn for ages, my husband bought it for me. It’s DK so I’ve not been sure what to do with it.

Anyway I’m trying out my Boho hat in DK on larger needles that the recommended 4mm. The trick here is to keep the tension consistently gentle…. let’s see how it works out….

In other news I sorted out some of my yarn stash…..

Cooking · Designing

Tried and tested

Im a bit of a perfectionist…. if it’s possible to be ‘a bit’ of a perfectionist! I test each design and patten I come up with The first time I make something I rarely write anything down, apart from the occasional scrappy note.

Once it is made I write a pattern based on what I can see and then knit to the pattern checking whether I’ve written it out correctly.

Sometimes I give the pattern to someone else to try out, sometimes I don’t. Then I try it out with a different yarn to see how it works. Sometimes I decide that it’s not something I want to pursue, other times I do.

It’s a game of wait and see. I’ve knitted more duds than not! Life is like that, frustrating as it is. We all want to get things right first time – well I do. But that’s unrealistic and actually there’s a great deal of enjoyment and learning in the mistakes.

Uncategorized

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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Never too young!

I had a lovey time at the market at Bovey Tracey. It was a great atmosphere and dry!

A family came to look at my stuff and one of the young boys was really into sewing and was also interested in the knitting. He said “I have a really good question, how do you start from nothing?” What a good question!

I was delighted to be able to show him how I cast on and I hope he finds my YouTube tutorials helpful. I love how many young people, boys as well as girls are interested in knitting – a whole new generation. I’m honoured if I can be in some small way a catalyst to inspiring a love of creating and making things. 🙏🏼❤️

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Black Friday – not in this home

I had an appointment first thing and was planning to go busking after. When I drove into town however I could not get a parking space; town was rammed with people probably looking for a bargain.

Good luck to them, but I don’t do Black Friday. I don’t like the rampant consumerism. All the images of people climbing over each other to get a bargain are probable hyped but based somewhere in truth. And because I don’t agree with it as a consumer I cannot in all integrity offer ‘Black Friday Deals’. True enough if you were going to buy it anyway then it’s nice to get a discount I guess, but then that’s not really the rationale behind Black Friday.

I’m happy to offer discounts, for example if I don’t have the yarn you like available on a market day I will happily take off postage when you buy online. If you really love my stuff and make a fair offer at a market, again I’m happy to consider it. Just not some random discount just to satisfy some big business consumerist drive. I’m a small business, I work from home, my home values are in my work.

So today I’m at home, not buying anything and catching up on admin and housework. Oh and making a leek, broccoli and coconut Dahl. I’ve made stacks and I’m going to freeze some of it. YEY!!