Knitting

Fresh start

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Today marks a series of fresh starts. And of course, some knitting plans.

My first working day not in the NHS.

My first 10 minute commute (on foot)

My first time ever with a proper lunchtime break - which of course should be more properly referred to as a midday break for knitting.

A new job needs a new notebook of course and this week marks the start of me using my new Strickplanner in earnest - as opposed to keeping it neat and tidy (and empty) for fear of spoiling it. My cunning plan is to have 3 or 4 projects to work on each week with the rest stored safely away out of sight. These will include: a long term WIP (this week it's my Mdina cardigan by Purl Alpaca Designs), a plain sock (obviously), a design in progress and something garter stitch (log cabin blanket fits the bill right now).

Enough variation to keep me happy. Enough restriction to make some progress. That's the plan anyway - I'll let you know how it goes.

Twixtmas

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Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love Christmas. I love the anticipation, the twinkling lights and the smell of a real Christmas tree. I'm not so keen on the queues and the crass commercialism but on the whole I think that Christmas has a lot to commend it.

But, for me, the real joy is that period that I've recently seen referred to Twixtmas. That special no mans land between Christmas and New Year when no one knows (or really cares) what date it is, and it's perfectly acceptable to eat mince pies and cream for breakfast. 

For our family it's made even more special by the fact that after the festivities are finished, we pack as much leftover food as we can into our car and head for the hills. Literally. We make our regular pilgrammage north to the Lake District and hole up for a week in our favourite cosy holiday cottage. 

I'm sitting this watching snow fall outside the window, looking out over the valley. We have all our essentials (it's surprising how much knitting you can pack into a family car) and nothing to do for a week. I'm planning on spending the time knitting, writing and reading.

One thing I am absolutely not going to be doing is making any sort of resolutions or Grand Plans. Out of interest I brought a few of my old journals with me and one thing I was really struck with, was how repetitive they are - and not in a good way. My last 3 years journals show me here, in the same cottage writing much the same list of resolutions. But somehow I haven't transformed into that magical creature who rises at 5am, writes in her gratitude journal for half an hour and then greets the day with yoga, body brushing and a green smoothie.

So, this year I am embracing being me. I'm not going to be destashing, cataloguing my Ravelry inventory or making knitting plans for the year. I'm not going to be reviewing my 2017 knits - because, really - who cares? And it goes without saying that Cold Sheeping is never going to happen in my house.

I'm embracing my knitting, embracing my stash and embracing me.

If anyone wants me I'll be sat in the window seat with hot coffee, my knitting bag and the last of the mince pies.

12 days of Christmas

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I'm sure it won't have escaped your attention that Christmas is hurtling towards us at the speed of light and knitters everywhere are frantically burning the midnight oil to finish those holiday gifts.

This time of year can feel stressful and hectic, often I just want to bury under a pile of blankets (handknit of course) and emerge in the New Year. Last year I was inspired to try a Random Acts of Kindness challenge - doing something for someone else every day in December.

This year I thought I would step things up a little by running a series of 50% pattern discounts - one per day - for the first 12 days of December.

The final line up is still in draft form but I will probably try to alternate a shawl pattern with a sock pattern. I know that many of you lovely, loyal folk might already have some of the patterns that I offer, so in that case you could always consider having your own random act of kindness event and gifting a discounted copy to a friend. The ever helpful Ravelry makes gifting a pattern really easy and it's always lovely to get a gift message in your Ravelry inbox.

Each day for the first 12 days in December I'll send out a short email notification with the pattern and the discount code and each promotion will run for 24 hrs (please note that I am on GMT, London time). If you don't currently subscribe to my email list - this might tempt you to sign up.

Please feel free to share the code with others and on your own social media - and I'll also announce it via the other usual channels - Instagram, my Facebook page and Twitter. Although I might need a fortifying glass of mulled wine to get all that scheduled.

So, tell a friend, set your reminders and get ready to celebrate a bit of seasonal giving with me. And yes, mulled wine is absolutely encouraged.

Knitting and the gender wars

Pattern is Autumn Leaves by Nikky Van De Car

Pattern is Autumn Leaves by Nikky Van De Car

Unless you've been living under a rock in the UK this week you can't but help have heard the social media rumpus that followed an announcement by major retailer John Lewis. It was nothing earth shattering, nothing ground breaking. Just a simple statement that they were relabelling their children's clothing ranges and would from now on have a gender-neutral range.

To those parents who would dearly like to buy little dresses for their girls with dinosaur prints on, or trains this was welcome and long overdue news. I am parent to two boys but as someone who feels strongly about this issue I'm not averse to reorganizing the clothing racks in department stores and relocating the Space/Science themed T shorts into the "girls" section.

To others though, this move signals the end of the world and that time honoured catchphrase "Political correctness gone mad". Twitter feeds full of rabid, ranting objections and ill-informed opinion abounds. Those who are so quick to label others for taking offence seem to have gone off the deep end and are claiming to be morally outraged that the "left wing PC brigade" are trying to force little Tommy into a dress and won't be happy until the mandatory wearing of fairies and glitter is enforced across the genders.

As a child of the 70s this is all quite amusing. The vast majority of my clothing was bright primary colours (well the bit that wasn't brown corduroy, anyway) and much of it was unisex - often handed down from family and friends. Quite when we started to segregate Mothercare into pink and blue I'm not entirely sure, but surely it can't hurt to give people - and their children - choices.

As knitters ( and also as crafters, sewists etc) this debate can rage on but we are safe in the knowledge that we can create whatever we want. If we want to make a tunic dress for a little girl with a dinosaur motif or a rocket we can. If we want to make a rainbow coloured sweater for a little boy, we can. Our only constraints are our imagination and our budgets.

As an aside, I'll share an anecdote from a few weeks ago. I made a little purple cardigan ages ago and finally a baby girl arrived in the family who I could gift it to. I shared a photo on social media and some of the comments were pretty funny to me. Lots of comments along the lines of "oh, what an unusual colour for a girl". I truely hadn't given it a moments thought that it was in any way a controversial colour. I love purple and it goes with a ton of other colours. It's also dark enough to hide a multitude of baby-related stains and it was superwash yarn that I had in my stash - win, win.

After consulting with a few knitting friends it seemed that they had also experienced similar reactions. Some family members seemed to be of the firm opinion that it was one step away from pink and thus wholly unsuitable for boys. Equally others felt that it strayed dangerously close to blue territory and could not therefore be countenanced by baby girls.

How strange. That a colour can provoke such interesting reactions. So if a purple cardigan can cause ructions I guess it's no surprise that a dinosaur dress has people talking. The John Lewis PR department must be jubilant.

For me though, this whole debate is clearly missing the wider issue. Never mind about pink for boys or purple for girls. There is an urgent and pressing need to readdress the Great Pockets Divide. Now I know there is no rational reason why a baby boy need pockets - what after all is a 3 month old going to stuff in there? But why should baby girls trousers not have them? And for busy pre-schoolers who lets face it, have a wealth of interesting uses for pockets, why should little girls be denied them.

And don't even get me started on women's clothing. For me one of the chief selling points of a dress or skirt (beyond the fact that it's machine washable and non crease) is that it has pockets.

So bugger the colour or the print, let's start a campaign for Pockets For All. Or failing that we can just make them outselves.

Being brave

Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath and go for it, whether it's applying for a new job, making that dreaded phone call or tackling your next big project.

If you've followed me for a while you'll know that I'm no stranger to the fine art of procrastination. In fact it's probably fair to say that I could procrastinate for my country if it were ever to become an Olympic event.

For ages now I've been wanting to do a Facebook Live in my group (Everyday Knitter). I've planned it, rehearsed it, imagined it but never actually taken a deep breath and done it. Various excuses have included "I'll just wait until I've had my hair cut" and "I need to find the right shawl to wear".

Yesterday I listened to the very inspiring Making Good podcast with Jen Gale. There was a whole episode about making more out of Facebook and using it to best advantage. Jen is so down to earth and practical that I just thought - "why the heck not".

I was going to wait for the right time (I even scheduled it in my diary) but then I found myself with 10 child free minutes and just took a deep breath and went for it. I was very nervous but people were very kind with their comments and I'll definitely be doing it again. I'd like to do a weekly slot where people can ask questions and each week I'll pick one at random to answer.

Sometimes you need to take leaps of a smaller scale too. This skein of gorgeous yarn from Goldings Yarns has been sitting patiently in my stash. It came in the Mystery Gems package from The Little Grey Girl a while ago now and I've been saving it for that "perfect project".

But in the interests of "just going for it" and as an antidote to the horrible grey weather we are having at the moment, it's going on my needles today.

Bright, cheery, fearless socks are on the way.

 

 

3 tips to power up your knitting

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Now I like a nice meditative knit as much as the next person but there are times when you do just need to power through something. Whether you are knitting to a deadline or whether you have 10" of plain, grey, stocking stitch sweater to plough through there are times when you just want to put your "foot to the floor" and knit as fast as humanly possible.

The next time you find yourself in that situation why not try these few simple tips to speedier knitting?

Use super slick and shiny needles: As slick as you can get away with without your stitches flying off the needles. I like Addi Turbos in particular for lots of stocking stitch. The points aren't the sharpest but they really are super speedy.

Front load your stitches: Scoot as many stitches as you can to the tip of your left hand needle. That way you don't have to pull the next stitch to the top of the needle - it will already be there.

Knit at the tips: Knit each stitch right at the tip of the left hand needle - but be sure to wrap the yarn fully around the wider part of the right hand needle as this is what determines the tightness of each stitch.

Set your timer for 10 minutes. Eyes down and why not see how much you can knit when you really put your mind to it.

 

 

Yay for new socks

Toe-up socks in yarn from West Green Loft Yarns 

Toe-up socks in yarn from West Green Loft Yarns 

There's truly nothing better than new socks, finished just in time for #FOFriday and the weekend. Being able to gift them to a friend is an added bonus. This is one of those projects that I'm almost sorry to see finished.

The yarn was from the summer yarn club by West Green Loft Yarns and is a joyous mixture of bright pastels. I really love knitting with this type of yarn where you have more colour than just "pops" but not enough to have longer colour runs and cause all types of issues with pooling. I have no idea how Vykky does it, but I'm just pleased that she does.

These socks have been riding around in the car with me for weeks now as my in-car travel project and we've become good friends. But I know that my friend will love them and I get to rummage in my stash for my next plain vanilla pair of socks in waiting.

Happy weekend one and all

X

A new monthly challenge: Cables

This month over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group we are all about the cables. Whether you are a complete cable newbie or you are planning to embark on the world's most epic cable sweater I hope you will pop over and join us.

I'm going to be doing a few blog posts and mini tutorials on the subject of cables with the first one being how to do simple cables without a cable needle. This is a super handy, nifty little technique that will leave you feeling like a total knitting ninja. And it's also useful when you have lost your one and only cable needle down the back of the sofa.

If there is anything about cables that you've always wanted to know or learn please let me know and if I can do a tutorial or anything to help I'll certainly try.

I'm also in the process of creating a Pinterest group for the Everyday Knitter. A place where we can put popular patterns that we talk about regularly and a place to browse for inspiration and ideas. I'll create a cable board too so that you can see some of the great cabled projects that folks are trying out.

Whether you are working on a cabled sock on a beach or getting ready for winter with a cabled afghan I hope you join us. Cables are one of my favourite things in knitting and I'm excited to be chatting with you about them this month - it's going to be a good one.

 

Whoosh

There are times when the fates align as if by magic. You have the time and space to work on a project. You have a simple project lined up and you have perfect yarn that is fun to work with. And I'm pleased to report that this is one such project. Churning out a shawl in 4 days isn't my usual modus operandi but everything about this project was perfect and exactly summed up the name of the pattern - Knit Me.

Now the eagle eyed among you will note that the Knit Me shawl is knit in stocking stitch with a garter border. Me being me I can't leave things alone so I opted to knit the whole thing in garter stitch. Which of course makes it into the sister version of this shawl - Knit Night. Still that's how I set it up in Ravelry and that's how I'll leave it.

My stash dash goal of 10K has been looking a little bit distant given my recent lack of progress on the WIP front but churning out almost 400m in 4 days has given me renewed optimism. Obviously the secret is to knit nothing else but garter stitch shawls from now until August! Three guesses what folks in my family will be getting for Christmas this year?

How to create a slipped stitch shawl edge

If you have knit the Fuss Free Festival Shawl you will have noticed that it has a slipped stitch edging which helps to give it it’s distinctive relaxed crescent shape. Whilst it is isn’t difficult to work a few people contacted me for help as they found it hard to visualise how the stitches should look.

So to help I thought I would just create this mini tutorial just to show how the stitches are slipped.

To start with, all slipped stitches in the pattern are slipped purlwise, by which I mean that you insert the right hand needle tip into the first stitch on the left hand needle as if you were going to purl it.

The instructions say to Sl 1 pwise wyif - ie to slip 1 stitch purlwise with the yarn in front. To do this you start with the yarn hanging down at the front of the work. Leaving the yarn where it is, insert the right hand needle tip purlwise into the first stitch on the left hand needle and slide it across to the right hand needle. You don’t knit it or do a yarn over - the stitch is simply slipped, unworked to the right hand needle.

Then, move the yarn between the two needle tips to the back of the work ready to work the next stitch.

The next stitch is an increase - where you knit into the front of the next stitch, pull the loop through on your right needle tip but don’t slip it off the left hand needle. Instead, insert the RH needle tip into the back of the same stitch. Pull the loop through onto the RH needle tip and then slide both stitches off the LH needle. This creates an increase.

The next stitch is slipped purlwise in the same way as the first. So bring your yarn between the needle tips to the front of the work and then slip the stitch purlwise.

I hope this helps you to visualise the beginning of the shawl. Once you get into your rhythm you will find it to be a relaxing and fun knit - I promise.

Project overload

Too much choice?

Too much choice?

It was inevitable. Yesterday in a fit of pre Stash Dash planning I pulled out all my WIPs and neglected projects and piled them up in a heap on my bed. And then I sat back and looked at them. 

I'm not going to outline them all because to be perfectly honest with you I felt a sense of shame and overwhelm that I find quite hard to put into words.

In my house I have, let's be frank a lot of money tied up in projects that have lain untouched for months and years. And in an age where austerity and very real hardship is a problem for so many people I have to say it made me feel incredibly sad that my WIPs had got to this level. I am lucky enough to be able to buy beautiful yarn and yet some of it is yet to see the light of day and again.

I have no wise words or cunning plan today I'm afraid. My tried and tested list making skills failed to help as itemising it won't make the problem better. Equally, shoving it all back under the bed won't help either but that was the solution I opted for.

One day, when I have steeled myself I will go back and pick out a few projects at random and make a decision on them. Frog it or finish it. I'm not going to number them or set goals for myself right now but by the end of Stash Dash I'm hoping to have considerably fewer bags under the bed and hopefully a lighter heart too.

To finish or not to finish...

It's a dilemma that most knitters will empathise with. I have at a conservative estimate 5 pairs of vanilla self stripe socks in various stages of completeness. Most of them are toe-up with an afterthought heel and at least 2 pairs could be finished in an evening if I put my mind to it.

My problem of course is that Stash Dash starts in just 3 weeks - on May 26th - I think (but don't quote me on it). Under the rules of this annual event all yardage from a completed project counts towards your Stash Dash total - no matter when it was started. So I could wait until May 26th and then whip a load of afterthought heels in and easily get the first 1000m or so under my metaphorical belt.

But then, I'm feeling the urge to finish a few things and free up some project bags. Oh.. and I've run out of sock needles too. Decisions...

 

Saying goodbye

Today seems the perfect time to wear one of my favourite pairs of socks I've ever made. Simple toe-up socks with a fish lips kiss heel and made from yarn from an outstanding indie dyer.

Today is the funeral for our friend Heather aka Sparkleduck. Appropriately enough for such a big Star Wars fan, on May 4th. I was lucky enough to meet Heather at shows and events over the years and we both shared the same LYS - The Sheep Shop in Cambridge.

Visiting the shop was always a great treat but made even more so by the wall of gorgeous Sparkleduck which greeted you when you walked in. Rifling through my stash after Heather passed away I was struck by how little of her yarn I had. And then I realised that was because I have most of it away. Sparkleduck yarn was always reserved for special gifts because, Well, it was special.

Whilst the news of Heathers sudden passing has shocked us all I take a lot of comfort in knowing that her work will continue to spread happiness and joy for many years to come. As knitters, dyers and other creative folk the work that we do lives on long after we do. Cherished blankets and shawls provide a tangible link between the past and present in a way that other material goods cannot. People years from now will still be treasuring the things we make today and that is such a warm and happy thought. 

So, on this difficult day why not take a few minutes to work on something special and weave a few positive thoughts and happy memories into it as you go. In years to come you never know who might find comfort and happiness in it.

 

Fickle Steps - a new sock design

Fickle Steps by Louise Tilbrook Designs

Fickle Steps by Louise Tilbrook Designs

After months of keeping it under wraps I am really pleased to let you know that I have a new sock design published - in a fabulous new magazine called Rib.

Aimed at men who knit and those who knit for them this is only the magazine's second issue but it has already built a considerable following on Ravelry and on Instagram. They have a wonderful clean and pared back aesthetic and the designs in this issue all have that immediate appeal that makes you want to grab your needles and cast on immediately.
I was so pleased to be able to work with them and also to have to chance to work with some fabulous yarn -Nomade - from Julie Asselin

Fickle Steps is a pattern for a unisex cuff down sock with a design that is fun to work and easy to remember.

There are some great sweater patterns in this issue too and I can see them appealing to both men and women. The Survey Pullover for example would make a great addition to my wardrobe!

I do hope you pop over and take a look at the magazine and I'd love to know what you think.

 

May Sweater Challenge

May is the perfect month to concentrate on a little bit of sweater knitting. Never mind “Summer knits” and wafty linen tops. We know that the british weather is fickle at the best of times and you can be very glad of a warm woolly sweater on an August bank holiday in this country.

Even if the weather gods smile on us and we have a glorious summer, by starting a sweater now you have a great chance of having a fabulous new addition to your autumn wardrobe.

Sweater knitting also ties in very well with the #memademay challenge. Predominantly an initiative started by sewists this also extends to anyone who makes elements of their wardrobe by hand. There are some inspirational blog posts on the subject and this is a hashtag I love to follow on Instagram, along with #handmadewardrobe and #slowfashion.

If that wasn’t incentive enough there is also #milomay - an annual KAL for the super cute and very adaptable Milo vest - a pattern by Georgie Nicolson. This has been running for a few years now and there are some wonderful examples on Ravelry of knitters who have taken this fabulous pattern and really made it their own.

And just to add the cherry on top of the cake, starting a sweater gives you are great boost on your Stash Dash total. I’ll talk more about Stash Dash in the coming weeks - a lot more as it is a real favourite of mine - but for now just bear in mind that it starts towards the end of May and runs until August. Seasoned Stash Dashers will be already planning their summer knits with this in mind.

So, what are you waiting for? Just a suggestion but these are a few ideas for how you can participate in the #maysweaterchallenge.

  • Dig out your unfinished sweater projects and either rip them out or finish them.

  • Challenge yourself to knit your first garment - baby knit totally count.

  • Cast on a brand new shiny sweater project - yes I know - this is my favourite option too.

  • Organise your stash and pair up your ‘sweater quantities’ of yarn to patterns in the queue.

As ever, there are no knitting police. Set your own challenge and be sure to head over to the Everyday Knitter Facebook group to join in the fun and chat. Hope to see you there.

Hurry up...

If force of will alone were sufficient this shawl would have been finished days ago. It has reached the point where I am willing it to be finished. Willing those last 20 to 30g of yarn to form themselves into neat little garter stitches just so that I can whip the thing off my needles and wrap it around my neck.  As the end of a project approaches there are usually a variety of emotions which include, but are not limited to relief, frustration, joy or pride.  With some projects you are having so much fun knitting them that the end almost creeps up on you and catches you unawares. Some you finish with a sense of relief, a sense of duty done and you can finally set it aside and work on something more joyful. But never, I don't think have I wanted to cast off a project so badly.  Not because I'm not enjoying it - it is fabulous easy and soothing knitting. Not because I don't like the yarn or the project - both are lovely and a delight to work on.   It's just that this shawl sums up everything about this fleeting season that I love. Bright sunny days (sometimes), beautiful cherry blossom, fresh vibrant green buds and slightly grey, misty mornings. All summed up in garter stitch goodness just waiting to be wrapped around my neck.  So, armed with strong coffee and a packet of chocolate digestive I've set myself the task of getting to the picot bind off by bedtime tonight. Wish me luck...

If force of will alone were sufficient this shawl would have been finished days ago. It has reached the point where I am willing it to be finished. Willing those last 20 to 30g of yarn to form themselves into neat little garter stitches just so that I can whip the thing off my needles and wrap it around my neck.

As the end of a project approaches there are usually a variety of emotions which include, but are not limited to relief, frustration, joy or pride.  With some projects you are having so much fun knitting them that the end almost creeps up on you and catches you unawares. Some you finish with a sense of relief, a sense of duty done and you can finally set it aside and work on something more joyful. But never, I don't think have I wanted to cast off a project so badly.

Not because I'm not enjoying it - it is fabulous easy and soothing knitting. Not because I don't like the yarn or the project - both are lovely and a delight to work on. 

It's just that this shawl sums up everything about this fleeting season that I love. Bright sunny days (sometimes), beautiful cherry blossom, fresh vibrant green buds and slightly grey, misty mornings. All summed up in garter stitch goodness just waiting to be wrapped around my neck.

So, armed with strong coffee and a packet of chocolate digestive I've set myself the task of getting to the picot bind off by bedtime tonight. Wish me luck...

Vernal equinox

The weather today hasn't quite got the memo, as today starts off grey and gloomy but today marks the official 1st day of spring. The Vernal Equinox when night and day are of equal length and from here on in the nights will be getting noticeably shorter.

Extra daylight is always a boon for the busy knitter who wants to actually photograph their knits in something approximating natural light. Even if it does mean crouching in the hallway with the front door wide open trying to get enough light onto your project. Perfectly normal behaviour as far as I'm concerned although I did startle the postman the other week. Fortunately he has delivered enough squishy parcels to be well aware that I'm a knitter and thus, given to activities that non knitters might find be musing. 

I'm fairly certain that being greeted by the sight of me sitting in the open hallway with my feet in the air falls into this category. The knitters amongst us would know instantly that I was attempting to take photos of my finished socks and that the 'feet in the air' technique is a well established means of achieving this. It also helps to have everything abs of steel for this maneuver which I definitely don't. The non knitters might think I had fallen over or be attempting a weird yoga position maybe.

My postman just smiled, said 'Morning love' and deposited the latest squishy parcel on the doorstep.

Stolen moments

As much as I'd love to have a peaceful and relaxing weekend this is definitely one of those times when the Knitting will have to take a back seat. A busy programme of family events and general 'stuff' means that the Knitting 'du jour' needs to be simple, portable and with absolutely no counting needed. I have events to take the kids to, shopping and the usual weekend stuff but the saving grace is several hours of rugby watching time.

I've learnt the hard way that I can't do complicated stuff and even hope to follow the pitch side action but this version of my Fuss Free Festival Shawl is perfect for that. I'm thinking I might make this larger than the original single-skein version by adding in some grey stripes at the end. I just need to dig through my stash for a suitably darkish grey and see if I have anything that will work. If not, I may just have to do a little online shop later - never exactly a hardship.

Whatever you are doing today I hope you manage to squeeze in a little knitting too. I'm going to pop a progress marker in my shawl now and see how much I can add to it in the odd minutes that I get to pick it up. Will report back...

Don't be a flat squirrel

As knitting blogs go - you’ve got to admit that the title is a bit of a strange one.

A favourite saying of an old college lecturer of mine - this one has stuck with me over the years and never has it been more apt than now. Whether it is deciding on which new sweater pattern to buy from Ravelry to picking a new logo for the web site I can be guilty of the most horrible procrastination and over thinking.

The end result is predictable of course, I don’t do anything.

The worst thing that can happen to a knitting project is that it stalls at a point where a decision is needed. Do I have enough yarn to make 2 full length sleeves or should I cut them short? Should I stop and turn the heel now or turn them into afterthought heels?

A quick inventory of my WIP basket(s) shows that all of them - apart from an interminable grey sweater for DH - are stalled pending a decision from me. And the daft thing is that in most cases a quick 10 or 15 minutes of quality time with that particular WIP is enough for me to assess it, work out what needs to be done and to make a decision.

Indecision struck again this weekend during my #bedinburghyarnfest. I was determined to cast on a new sweater for myself and my task was simple. Pop on to Ravelry and find a suitable pattern. Predictably though, the more patterns I looked at the more indecisive I became. Having a time constraint didn't help the sense of pressure either.

My learning point from this was that my queue is in desperate need of a good sort out and a matching up to yarn in my stash. That way, next time I can make the process a lot more straightforward.

For this week though, my task is simple. Just make a decision. Whether I am faced with a WIP or an issue on my website. Make a decision and move on.

 

Not now, I'm counting

I'm currently enjoying working on a fab colourwork project - a kit from Lucy Locket Land - and it is a sheer joy to work on. Lovely, sheepy wool, bright colours and the sheer joy of two handed colourwork knitting. When you are in the zone it's a great feeling and you hum contentedly to yourself as you work your way along the rows and see the wonderful pattern emerging.

Except if you are in my house. In the same way that kids can sense the opening of a fridge door or the fact that you are embarking on an Important Phone Call, my two have an unerring knack for knowing when I'm in the middle of a knitting project that requires counting.

Any requests from "have you seen my trainers" to "the cats have brought in a mouse again" is met with a renewed focus on the work in the front of me and the muttered response "I'm counting". It's like they have a sixth sense and without fail, they know exactly the worst possible time to interrupt me.

They are pretty quick learners though, I'll give them that. By the end of the weekend they were wise enough to realise that if I had the 'grey woolly thing' in my lap then they should just back away quietly. My eldest boy even went for extra brownie points for sidling back into the room, quietly depositing a jaffa cake at the side of me and then leaving again.

I think I know what happened to the rest of the packet of jaffa cakes but it was a small price to pay for getting some uninterrupted time with my new favourite project.