Project planning

Today seems like the perfect time to update my blog as my current knitting projects are very close to completion which was something I had added to my planner as I didn't want to add any more WIPs as most friends know I am very strict with the way I view and cope with my knitting.

 Planning in progress : slow but meaningful projects ahead

Planning in progress : slow but meaningful projects ahead

I uploaded several photos to my Instagram account and typically I started to type far too much as my heart opens up and I have to remind myself, most people just want a photo to 'like' or 'not' by passing it by when it hits Instagram's crazy non-chronological, advertisements full stream. I realise I am quite different in my approach to my knitting projects although I have a lovely friend who could be my twin as both of us feel the same way when we contemplate a new project and this includes our hesitation to join in with a trend. This can isolate any of us but I am thankful to have a friend who really understands how much time we dedicate to the whole process and why we don't want to end up with endless wips or unfinished projects. 

I am typing this from my personal decisions although many of these are shared with a few friends. I have always loved projects, in many forms and hand crafts have always been part of my life. We are in the midst of a week of memories which further highlighted to me the meaning behind one of my planned projects. The little swatch in the golden colour is only one of the complex cables of a Brooklyn Tweed pattern for a cable cardigan. I am sure some friends will remember why I knit Kildalton and Svenson (for dad) and towards the end of 2017 I started Denali for dad which is almost finished now. Geiger is part of Brooklyn's Winter 2018 collection and it hit my heart as soon as I saw it. My previous cable work hasn't been difficult but this pattern will challenge me with every stitch. It really is appropriate that I add it as a project this week as it was mum who taught me the basics of cable knitting. This week would have been a wedding anniversary for dad and mum but the date they were married turned into a sad memory many years later. The complexities of my life and thoughts will emerge in those cables and are another reason I will not rush to any finish line. The cardigan will also have happy times knit into the design as friends are part of planning to knit this along with me. We want to knit along, share advice and progress and most likely on my part I will throw the odd frog into our friendship pond!

Choosing a colour has been part of my friendship journey as we became involved in helping each other and buying different skeins to see how different our cardigans would look. I felt a little somber trying to knit in the evening with black fig although I love this colour and would consider it for another project. Geiger was speaking golden moments to me (and to dad) swatching one of the many charts is teaching me a lot more than gauge as some of the cables are very different from any I have knit before. Don't expect to see this in the near future! Swatching is still in progress with my extra skein to really help me to learn as I wouldn't want to use the actual wool and end up playing yarn chicken.

Stepping aside from this being a major project I felt I could blog with full confirmation that I really can't hide my eyes to mistakes or a project not going quite as planned. My endless knitting of 6 sleeves in a row was almost at the finishing line when I realised my purposely 'oversized' Bellows cardigan (another Brooklyn Tweed pattern) was a little too much on the generous fit. I was seaming and anticipating being able to wear this soon when I decided to clip the sleeves into the armholes and my hands disappeared, in fact my arms disappeared! It wasn't a boyfriend look or even one of dad's sweaters, the sleeves were just to wide and dropped down even further as my arms weren't taking up the width. I knew I didn't have any option, I couldn't just sew in and hope I could roll them up. Dad was more than candid with his opinion and was first on the scene to wind my wool and catch the frogs when I ripped right back. I had to step out of my comfort zone and modify the sleeves but this is only because I am an odd size and nobody will find this as I have sad memories of how much I loved another sweater as it had slim sleeves but others found them to slim. I can't knit another one of that sweater which I had planned to do as I felt responsible for being excited about the design which didn't work well for everyone.

I was feeling a bit sad this morning and dad was trying to help me with some housework. I also think of cooking, baking and house type things when I plan my knitting time. This is another reason I found it difficult to be online all of the time plus my lack of energy recently has emphasised even more how I have to think and appreciate how much dad does for me and how much I want to care for him by baking and cooking although I think I am safe to say I would have more work if I let dad loose in the kitchen! Dad is a good old fashioned man, he can't cook but his knitting knowledge is a surprise to me. Oops maybe our coffee time is too full of me chatting about knitting! We had a really good chat this morning, dad is like me in setting high goals and he knows when there is a mistake in knitting we have a frog party! I was chuffed this morning when dad started the conversation to help me plan for my next projects. He knew about Geiger, he didn't have much choice as he was involved with all of us. He also realised I needed full concentration for a project like this and would need a 'night time' project alongside a few special projects I have to knit for others. Our chat went on and dad has chosen which one I will knit as a project I can leave at any stage but still have something warm to wear eventually and I definitely need more warmth than I have ever needed. I won't mention how many layers I have on right now.

Projects will always have deeper meaning for me but I also understand the fun that can be experienced when resistance to join in takes over and I enjoy watching from the sidelines but know in my heart I cope better with meaningful knitting. Designers wouldn't have much fun is everyone was like me. I know I lack confidence and often feel my work isn't good enough. I am thankful when people add a comment on my projects in Raverly and some of them are unexpected from people I don't even know. I wish I could remember this instead of 'did I fail?' 'Is my work not the best standard?' I know each of us face putting ourselves online challenges, I only wish I could feel like so many of my friends and feel free to upload photos, even if it is like judgement day. It is easy to feel lost but I also enjoy watching on as people knit in big KALs even if I don't join in.

 getting to the point of this blog

getting to the point of this blog

I have just realised how much I have typed and how long it has taken me. I don't know if anyone will read to the end but I best stop my train of thought and hope I have given an insight into how I feel about projects I have knit and will knit. Last year I was conscious of stashed wool but this year I am focussing on projects with meaning. No races, no pressure, slow fashion. I have a lovely new set of needles. I love my Chiaogoo needles but for Geiger I feel I would like to knit with wooden tips as Arbor is a smooth rounded yarn. My cable needle is wooden too and from my swatch I found my hands aren't suffering as much with the tactile feel of the wood compared to steel. As a lot of my projects are knit flat I can use the longer tips to rest my stitches and keep my gauge even, well that's what I hope.

I haven’t knit one stitch today, project planning was necessary plus cooking and other things we all have to do. This blog post has taken a long time and I am not even sure if anyone will understand the way I think and plan. I am actually looking forward to knitting the last sleeve cap of dad’s truffle hunt Denali tonight. I think he deserves his sweater soon and this will fulfil my planner goals before I can think of anything new on my needles. Thank you for reading, even a tiny bit of my blog.....Beverley




Post from Canada

I have different meanings of the word ‘post’ today, the first of which I can hardly find the words to describe. The last one I will mention at the end of this as although it was unexpected too, the surprise isn’t as joyful but at least the first post more than lifted my mind. How do I start to try and make typed words translate into the feelings I experienced when a large parcel arrived with a Canadian postmark this morning....I don’t think I can! To add to my reaction, dad’s was one of unbelief too and both of us are still trying to comprehend the kindness and generosity I have received from a lady who reads our blog and contacted me just after Christmas via Instagram. I didn’t know the lady read my blog and only realised the lady had added hearts to my Instagram photos of my knitting. I never take likes/hearts for granted as Instagram or any social sharing can be platforms sensitive people like me feel vulnerable sharing photos of knitting. When this lady asked for my address as she wanted to post a gift to me, I hesitated but I knew the lady was genuine. All I knew was it was wool I liked and this was more than kind to even think of sending a skein to me from Canada. 



A skein - no please add 1+9 = 10 cakes of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Blanket Fort

This is why both of us could not believe the contents of my post from Canada. Marsha’s  generosity didn’t end here. The cakes were packed in sets in ziplock bags, ready for me to take out and has been given a cake winding holiday! Included was three patterns and sets of buttons, I am still in shock as I type this. One of the patterns is a Brooklyn Tweed design to knit a sweater with this wool, a cable sweater, my heart was jumping and it is a design by Michele Wang who I have just discovered as a favourite designer when knitting Bellows, the cardigan which I am knitting right now afte being inspired by another lady on Instagram and Ravelry who kindly permitted me to knit the same one in the same colour. I have really enjoyed knitting the cardigan and had mentioned to dad that I would be looking at more of Michele’s designs. Marsha didn't know this but she included a pattern for Cardova which takes exactly the amount of Shelter that was in my post. A pattern booklet of one of Kate Davies designs which I didn’t have plus a pattern for a beanie to use up my bits of left over Shelter in a colour-work design - I cannot express how much emotion I have been through after opening my ‘little’ gift from Canada. The thank you card isn’t from me, it is from the Marsha to thank me for our blog! If ever I needed to feel supported recently I have been swept of my feet as things like this never happen to me and from people I don’t even know from any of my groups is, and I don’t use this word frivolously ‘amazing!’

I didn’t have time to take photos of the patterns and buttons as I had an emergency appointment with the dentist, another bit about this post soon. I have been a bit out of sorts with my leg and then a sickness bug decided to visit me over the weekend and to add more fun to the way I felt my back molar decided to part company with me on Sunday. I went along to Loop London online this morning, to look at buttons for Bellows and sneak a peek at Shelter as I have really enjoyed knitting with this recently. Dad’s sweater and my cardigan plus previous projects. I was comfort shopping before going to see the dentist with my wish list and one of the colours I had added was Blanket Fort. I think I know all the names off by heart but had never seen Blanket Fort apart from online photos. As soon as I opened my mail, even through the ziplock bag, I knew which colour it was! The reality of all of this I am still trying to comprehend but after my appointment I really felt I wanted to take time to add a blog to mark this day and thank Marsha. 

The not so joyful post is another post my tooth needs to fix the top of it. Apparently it has one post and will have another one in February. I think I best start back on my calcium tablets which I stopped as I thought maybe they were affecting my foot/leg issue as I started to use magnesium (because I Googled) Blanket Fort was my comfort blanket today and I came home with a dressing on my tooth, who knew my tooth wanted a dress :) I glanced at dad while we were in the waiting room only to see my mind must have been thinking blue and gold as both of us were wearing gold cord, dad had his navy Svenson on with a blue jacket and I had a blue shawl collar sweater on....I choose dad's clothes and didn't realise I dressed both of us alike! I am very tired right now but really wanted to add this blog before I retreat under my duvet.

The saying 'if it isn't broken, don't fix it' didn't work for me today as my tooth is broken and Jim will fix it!

Waiting room - not suited but booted! Here I rest my feet