Channelling Elaine

I have read The Land Rover Owner’s Wife blog ever since I started writing mine. She knits beautifully, but actually it’s her gardening posts I love. To me, it’s like a whole other world, one that I’m not part of, and I’m fascinated by the time and effort she spends every  year bringing her garden from dormant to harvest. 

Now, I like my garden and I do want it to be nicer but the chances I’m going to be sowing a load of vegetable seeds or indeed scrubbing my green house are slim. (I don’t have a green house!)

I talked to my Mum, who offered to help me, and I think she was rather bemused when I said I didn’t care what we planted as long as it looked tidy. I honestly don’t. It’s like a car, who cares what it is as long as it always turns on first time and doesn’t break down. With plants I want them to grow and make my garden a nice place to spend time. Or in other words a nice place to knit. 

Saturday morning we dug over one flower bed and created another two small ones before heading to Homebase for plants. 


Excuse the grass. We’re in the process of dealing with the weeds. 

Saturday morning during the sleet (I am not joking) we planted most of the new plants, and then this morning I did the remainder. 

Next up, filling the pots and sorting out the lawn. My friend Sam is coming with a scarifier next weekend! 

I don’t think anyone is going to call me a gardener but I’m making an effort to channel my favourite gardening person! 

A calmer weekend

On Saturday I picked my new glasses, took a very brief trip to Trowbridge (25 minutes) and spent some time with my friend at her yarn shop!   

I spent the last of my Christmas voucher from D on these two skeins…   

Which I promptly made into balls and cast on!   

      
     
 

I did a little more crochet…     

I helped my sister start her second crochet project, a mermaid tail blanket for my niece:   

We crocheted together! 

Mollie looked cute!  
  

I bought a new reindeer mug 😊 

 On Sunday we took our niece to see Yeovil Ladies FC play Millwall Lionesses:  A happy uncle and niece enjoying their half time cookies and hot chocolate! While I added to #placesyoucanknit 😄
 
Jess was a bit bored in the first half, but in the second she watched every minute and got very excited about the goal, and missed goals. She wanted to meet the player, Sarah Wiltshire, who scored Yeovil’s goal: 

 Yeovil FC have a good policy for both their teams, that the players are available to meet fans and sign autographs/ have pictures taken after the match. I love that Jess is able to meet women that are successful in areas traditionally dominated by men. She told me that she wants to put this picture on the wall in her bedroom, and to come to lots more matches. It was very sweet to hear her telling her football obsessed uncle about the three times Yeovil ‘hit the post’ so could have scored loads more. 😄

No more 1+1+1

I have been turning this blog post over in my mind for a couple of days.

I realised on Sunday that I had started treating my crafting, my knitting and my crochet, like a chore that I had to get done and consequently I was feeling stressed if I wasn’t achieving or finishing items or parts of items by my own preset deadline.

I looked in my crafting notebook and saw that I hadn’t made any items this month for the advent calendars I had decided I wanted to make my godson and stepgrandchildren for this Christmas. I have made a couple of items but I hadn’t enjoyed the knitting and because I don’t enjoy the knitting,  it was feeling like a chore. I just didn’t want to make any. 

A few years ago I consulted a psychotherapist over an issue I felt residual anger from and I found it incredibly helpful. One of the things I recall the psychotherapist said is that I’m prone to make rules in my life of how I think things should be. 

This trait is very useful in my working life! I do have a reputation for being efficient and I manage it with lots and lots of lists.   

However it’s not good with a hobby. I never used to be like this with my crafting but it seems to have crept in the last year, like setting myself deadlines for things I must make. 

I think Knitting Sarah’s 1+1+1 project is a really brilliant idea – it just doesn’t work for someone like me, who uses it as an excuse to corral myself, rather than treating it as a way of managing projects. The idea is you try not to work more than three projects at once but I decided that I would make three projects  a month! Nowhere was it suggested this was a good idea, but it seemed like it to me. Sadly it just exacerbated my tendency to default to ‘rules’ 

Equally, joining in with a mystery knit along is not the best thing to do when you are inclined to be a bit pedantic – I just have to accept I don’t always have time to do 30 rows of lace a week and not pressurise myself into doing it! I love knitting lace but at my own pace. 

I conciously realised I’ve got into this mindset when I was talking to my sister Gayle last Sunday about her 40th birthday blanket. From when I started it until before her birthday (yes I’ve missed the deadline by 9 months so far!)  I just worked on it whenever I felt like it but Sunday I found myself writing out a timetable of how much I have to make by when, which is ridiculous. 

Anyway this has been a long way round of telling you that I realise I need to actively enjoy my hobby in a stress free way  and if that means only making certain things, and not working on things for days at a time, and having 20 works in progress, and generally not being obsessive, then that’s fine. I still have the calendar idea but until I find a way of doing it that doesn’t feel like a chore well then I won’t do it… I know you’ll understand. X

PS: Crochet on trains (16.15 London St Pancras to Nottingham, 21 April 2016). 

A cheerful colour block blanket

Back at Christmas my daughter in law told me how much my stepgrandson likes his baby sister’s crochet blanket and he would love one for himself.  It’s always flattering to know someone wants something you’ve made and I discussed with him what colours he wanted (pink and purple were must haves!) and also how he wanted it to look.  He wanted it to be squares not stripes, so before the yarn ban came into force, I bought some nice colours of Stylecraft Chunky online.  I wanted something that was washable… I also wanted to choose colours that while they reflected what he liked now, would continue to be used as he got older… 

 (Here’s me using a bit of the yarn for the blanket that got turned into a cowl…)

I reckon that with a base colour (either beige or navy or dark purple or dark green – to be decided) that will tie the colours together, I need 77 squares to cover a single bed. That’s 12 or 13 of each colour.  It feels very achievable to be able to do this in a couple of months, giving me time to crochet them all together over the summer and add a border in the autumn!  

    
 

April 1 + 1 + 1

I wasn’t very disciplined in March, flitting all over the place with crafting items, so for April I’m trying to get back on track to being focussed. 
So, my projects are:

  1. The Boo Knits MKAL – Danse Macabre.    
  2.  To make 4-6 squares for my stepgrandson’s Christmas blanket each week  
  3. To make a couple of the decorations needed for the advent calendars I have planned for my godson and my stepgrandchildren. This is the item I have neglected the most over the last few months.  I still only have two finished…