Slowing down

With the hustle and bustle of Christmas behind us and the reflection and anticipation of leaving one year to start afresh this year. Perhaps I should come back to read this blog before we start all over again to consider the stress we inevitably suffer when we think we have to be part of the Christmas ideal. I was setting up two journals and stopped to consider the values I needed to take priority and why I was feeling exhausted with the whole concept of social networks. Perhaps being offline and having to rest I was sitting on the sidelines wondering how I could ever keep up and would I ever have the energy to participate. Everywhere has become so active, busy, noisy and I was drowning in silence. I can’t cope with a busy city or shops but now I was struggling with this online.

I wasn’t alone with my feelings and this emphasised to me the importance of close social networking friends. They are precious and we can all help each other through times of doubt or times when we feel we are spinning around in endless limited edition, exclusive clubs, knitalongs, stashes, wips. Is this the reality of our creative world when time and patience to complete challenging projects or enjoy a simple pattern are drowned because we can’t keep joining in or we feel lost amongst so many voices. I appreciate I am not the best with joining in and know this is a fun part to many and am pleased not everyone is like me as the creative community would shut down if everyone hid in a corner! I stumble so often and revert back into myself but I am grateful that there are people who understand and who actually know and have experienced how difficult things can be.

 

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Denali dad’s sweater : front has been completed after this photo was taken but I still have two sleeves to knit

I posted a photo on Instagram noting that I was aware I typed to much on a photo sharing network. The replies made me sit up as I didn’t realise people didn’t mind reading my words about my projects as I really am emotionally involved in anything I do and often express this when I post a photo of my knitting. I mentioned before about knitting for others and I will keep this as part of my plans for this year. I have set this aside to focus on finishing dad’s sweater. I have to knit the sleeves and hopefully I will be back on track before the end of the weekend. I also need to keep knitting a very simple sweater for myself as it will be warm and our forecast is for colder weather next week....I doubt I will knit that fast! Sometimes simple projects are therapeutic and necessary to help us through times when we have to think, make decisions and recover from the previous months of endless planning.

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Simple but classic : my easy knit/WIP  

This year may see a big change to the things for me. Last year I recognised that I needed to stop adding random skeins of wool, just in case the limited edition wasn’t available or everyone is buying this...the list goes on. I made the change and sold some stash and sent some to people I knew would knit with it and make more use than I was doing adding it to a box. I have a few skeins left which I hope will go to a good home as I know I will feel a lot better if someone who needs yarn can enjoy the purchases I made in haste.

I was adding to my journals and then it struck me that I was adding plans to knit everything and anticipate how many kals I would participate in. How many clubs I would join. Would I keep purchasing limited editions of books, magazines, patterns. Was this the way to make me feel part of a creative community? I have deeper thoughts but they aren’t for a blog as I want to share my plans and hope to continue to share my projects with the online community even if I have to stop typing too much!

 I won’t be completely and utterly strict with myself but I would like to keep a meaningful aspect to my knitting and any necessary purchases. It’s impossible to keep up with all the books and magazines that are being published. I bought a lovely book last year with a little more fancy small projects which I haven’t even looked at since I added it to my library. This is the type of thing I need to remember and plan to knit the fancy socks; I was full of good intentions to knit last year.

I will keep adding to my Knitworthy collection with heartfelt gifts in mind even if it means asking friends to choose. I completed three at the end of 2017 beginning of 2018. Dad’s is next and must happen. 

I am going to set myself a few major challenges with patterns I purchased recently. One of which will be a very slow knitting project, involving a lot of concentration and notes. I swatch for needle size but this project means that I am also swatching for a colour as I will be investing in wool and time to accomplish this design and colour plays a big part of this journey. I will be keeping an easier project on the go as I know I wouldn’t have full concentration at night or some full days. I should should still have a WIP or two to share but a challenging knit will bring meaning to slow fashion and take me out of a wip race, which just adds stress to the way I feel. I am also going to try knitting something I would never have dreamt of knitting for me before as it is knit on big needles, something I don’t even have but I was inspired by a friend who has knit the pattern and loves wearing it. I was very impressed with how it looks on her, stylish, yet cosy. A few friends have really inspired me which I appreciate and to realise I wasn’t alone in wanting to slow down and focus was refreshing to my mind. I was encouraged by lovely replies on Instagram and hope to add more to our blog. We still aren’t out with our cameras but when spring arrives I hope to share the joy of nature and our little corner of the world via our blog.

 

Focus is everything - caring - knitting - creativity - photography

Friends are essential and it’s important to me to be a friend too, Beverley

 

 

Surprise post

I wasn’t expecting to have a blog post as I haven’t been anywhere as my leg is refusing to get better. It may be one week into the new year but to my utter surprise the postman brought me a bright red parcel, lovely gold printed bow, what could it be? 

I had my usual stop, wonder but there was a big clue on the padded envelope, this parcel had arrived from Florida and from a regular reader of our blog. I didn’t open it immediately, I had to take time to appreciate the distance travelled and the fact my dear friend Laura had sent a mystery parcel without any hint or asking if I had received a parcel in the post.

My surprise feelings turned to tears when I opened the gift and saw that Laura’s needles had been busy. I had to take photos as Laura’s knitting is impeccable and to think how she themed the colours, blue being a favourite colour of mine. The beanie is as perfect inside and out. Laura’s colour-work is exceptional! Please take time to look at the knitted angel. This is one of Laura’s own designs which she has a pattern on Ravelry for. Laura offers the pattern for her angel free to anyone who wants to knit it but Laura didn’t even ask me to knit it, she knit this one for me. The tiny stitches and details show how skilled Laura has become in knitting, which warms my heart as Laura is self taught and doesn’t fear making mistakes as she learns, unlike me!

Laura's knitting : Laura’s angel - designed and knit by Laura  

The knitting emphasised to me again how knitting for others is a treasure to receive and to give. I have sent off two of my knitworthy late gifts and admit to feeling very nervous waiting to see if the recipients like my knitting. Laura's knitting has helped me to share more than a distant friendship and seeing her knitting in reality really brings our friendship closer. I don’t think I have any words left after all the surprises before Christmas, the postman had this on a plane before Christmas as the date shows Laura knew about this when she added a comment to my last blog. Laura works so hard knitting for her siblings and parents. To think she had spent time knitting for me has left me speechless. I will have to rest after this unexpected surprise. Thank you Laura for all your comments on our blog and for these gifts which show how talented and thoughtful you are. 

I have to add that I am still overwhelmed with the friendships I have made over the year and how close I am to friends I have never met. We have fun chats mixed with inspirational chats. No matter where my friends are living their skills and care have helped me to feel part of the greater creative community. I don't need gifts as friendships and support are things money cannot buy. I love to give and hope to gain the confidence to send my knitting to more people and maybe feel less nervous waiting to see if I pass the knitting test. I am currently working on dad's sweater and a little simple red warm sweater for myself before going back to my knitworthy projects for smaller items on my needles. I feel my new shawl pin will be ever so nice on my rock red sweater, thanks to my dear friend Heather.

Laura has changed Monday’s memories and was the reason I had to add a blog post today. Monday blues are happy ones. Angel pattern on Ravelry