Knitting · learning · Life

Two steps forward, one step back.. that’s what learning looks like

This afternoon I settled down in my Makery and had a go at adding an edging. I’d not done it before and was quite excited.

I realised fairly early on that my usual relaxed knitting style was too loose. That rectified, I was happy with the result but it didn’t do what I thought it would. My intention was that it would stop the ubiquitous stocking stitch curl edge. It didn’t. Lesson learned. Well 3 actually.

1) I tried something new and as a technique I was pleased with the result.

2) I discovered that the edging doesn’t stop the edge curling.

3) I learned I was brave enough to undo my work rather than try and make good…. I know I’m not alone in being reluctant to do this!

So going forward, the next version will have a garter edge and I’ll knit it in one piece with contrasting yarns. I’m looking forward to that. And now I’m going to make a start on the back; some lovely cable work there to get stuck into. Oh and resist the urge to buy more yarn…. I’ve made this sign for my makery…😂😂😂

Knitting · learning · Life

Best laid plans of mice and men….

The market I’ve been working towards has been cancelled due to bad weather. I’m sad about that. However every cloud has a silver lining.., ok, some don’t, some come with an extra lining of poo 💩 but it’s not the end of the world.

It made me get my s**t together instead of just merrily knitting stuff, and it focused my mind. So this morning I took a load of stuff to the tip (I love going to the tip) and things are looking a bit less like Steptoes Yard. And now here I am in my lovely makery, with the fire roaring again, not because it’s cold but because I like lighting fires. To be honest I’ve got the door open as it’s sooooooo hot! And I’m planning, thinking and having some quiet time.

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.

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Best Laid Plans….

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Today had an appointment first thing and then was going busking in town. Later on I had intended to do some weights after  the little one was in bed.  That was before I woke in the middle of the night from a weird dream with such a jolt that something went twang by my shoulder blade.  It’s happened once before so this time I didn’t think I was having a heart attack, I just hobbled downstairs, took the last dose of cocodamol and tried to get some sleep.  Luckily for me I am blessed with friends who will take the little one to school as I can’t drive the heavy old van like this and also that our village, however tiny has a pharmacy.

I got overtaken on my way to the pharmacy by a gentleman in a mobility scooter. I bought coffee and a newspaper from the Spar Shop…. Today my body is less like a temple and more like a Dystopian theme park.  When it hurts less to breathe I will do some gentle stretching and if I can find a tennis ball anywhere I’ll do some rolling against a door frame as I can feel a knot as hard and bumpy as a walnut by my shoulder blade. In the mean time, the best policy is to keep moving and keep busy as what I really want to do is just moan a lot and maybe cry a bit …. neither of which will help as much keeping mobile and anyway there’s no point moaning if there’s no one to hear you do it!!!!

Onwards and upwards.  I now have the day to finish off Beaky. My shoulder means that any proper housework is out of the question but a bit of cutting and sewing, a bit of knitting maybe later or maybe even starting to make Bo, the basic head puppet will keep me busy and be food for the soul….. I’ll see how I get on.

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Nothing is wasted … ever.

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Today the house is quiet except for the gentle hum of the fish tank. I’m beginning to feel calm after a number of days feeling a bit ‘stabby’; I’m starting Beaky, a puppet; a beautiful birdy-style puppet.

I’ve made the foam head. I’ve burned myself on the hot glue more times than I can count. I’m smiling  I’m making first pattern for the covering out of carrier bags, and I’m smiling. Let me tell you why.

When I was 14 I found out that a friend’s brother was going to Falmouth School of Art and Design…. the most interesting fact was that in those days you got a grant to live away from home.  Yep the local authority gave 16 year olds money to go study art…. CRAZY!!!! Anyway, I wanted to leave home, at the earliest opportunity and so a plan was made.  I could draw, the deal was sealed.  Fast forward on a couple of years and there I was, living away from home at the tax payers expense doing a BTEC ND in Fashion Design.

I didn’t pass the course. None of my work satisfied the ‘commercially viable’ component and I didn’t have any money to put on a final show. I didn’t really care.  I was my own (utterly irresponsible) person, living on my own I had loved every minute of the life drawing and finding out about different media and I had learnt about pattern cutting. So, what! I didn’t pass!  move on to Plan B .  Not that I had a Plan B… Let’s be honest, I hadn’t really thought Plan A through that well!

So many years went by during which I developed a CV that looked like a Yellow pages. I mistook being good at something as a reason to try and make it a career … including jobs that involved wearing suits and taking responsibility for stuff I wasn’t interested in (not my happiest epoch), I enrolled on a music degree course only once again to run out of money, I applied for jobs for which I was totally under qualified and gained them due to my creative writing skills on the applications.  All the while I felt like a failure.  I felt like I never knew enough, like I had achieved nothing and would never amount to anything. However, I realised during many dark nights of the soul that in each of my incarnations, I learned something, I gained skills. That I was luckier than most in that I had experienced so much and had so many opportunities to learn new things.

Fast forward loads more years.  My baby girl loved the muppets… ok I loved the muppets and it was a good reason to watch them again.  She loved puppets.  I decided to have a go at making them.  ‘How hard can it be?’ I thought – it was this thought that was behind many of my creative job applications.  And it was hard but I didn’t care because when you want to do something you don’t mind, and I started to remember my pattern cutting and I smiled. It was a light bulb moment.  Truly, nothing is wasted.  Everything I have done or not done has taught me something. Sometimes the lessons are harder to spot than others.

So anyway I have no qualifications in making puppets other than I make puppets. I use skills that I have learned my whole life. Surely that’s the most important thing.  The Doing Something Because You Love It.