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). 

Ends

I’ve *just* finished sewing in all the ends on Dad’s waistcoat. A job I wouldn’t have had to do if I were disciplined and did them as I went….

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I’m a big fan of Hiya Hiya sewing up needles with a curved end for jobs like these…

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Tomorrow I will block the waistcoat and when dry, will sew the buttons on. I’m starting to see the end of a mammoth task!

In other news, the insurance assessor has been, filmed everything as well as taking photos and writing a report. She’s recommended a structural survey… Keep your fingers crossed they find nothing… While Damon is a bit pants not talented at DIY, his army training has left him quite logical so he then fully removed the stinky carpet, without moving all the furniture much (no I don’t know how, it involved cutting it into bits – the stinky carpet not the furniture obvs), as well as the underlay and took the whole lot to the dump. Yay! When I got home I just had to hoover and steam mop. Although my Mum’s steam mop is not the revelation my colleague claims hers is…

EDIT: D didn’t leave these jobs for me (we share the household chores absolutely 50 50. It’s a key thing of mine but luckily his Mum was an early ’60s feminist so he expects to), he had to go out on a council appointment and I was home first. Sorry to bore on but I didn’t want to give the impression he leaves housework for me to do.

I also blocked my sister’s shawl. As its huge and we have a large unused office at work I did it there!

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And without further ado, goodnight.

Crafting, Westminster and Jigsaws…

I haven’t posted for a few days. Not that I haven’t been crafting, I have of course! I have finished all six of week 5’s squares in the Scheepjes CAL; knitted another couple of wedges in Wingspan and knitted a little on my newest project (will post on this over the weekend).

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On Wednesday I went to Westminster as my Dad and StepMum were having a tour of the Houses of Parliament and attending Prime Minister’s Questions. I met them in Central Lobby afterwards and took them for lunch; we then met my boss who took us onto a rather chilly House of Commons Terrace for coffee, which was a really fabulous end to their visit, as the Terrace is a very iconic place.

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You can see how like my Dad I am! Every time I go to Westminster I’m conscious of how lucky I am get to go there. I will miss it when my boss retires next May.

On Thursday Damon managed to utterly surprise me. We’ve been together for nearly 11 years and it’s been a while since he came up with something about himself that I don’t know… But he told me he loves jigsaw puzzles! I can see why he would, he loves doing mental puzzles, but how he’s come to never mention it… He said he got out of the habit when his sons were younger and there was no space! I was absolutely delighted because Damon is very hard to buy gifts for and this just adds another possible option for Christmas & birthday gifts. Although we have no space either, folding jigsaw boards are available (thank you Amazon), as are jigsaw puzzles with Spitfires on them. *Grins hugely* and Damon’s Christmas present is sorted!

However this new interest has spawned a potentially negative time wasting thing – you can of course get jigsaw apps for your iPad – and I downloaded one too. No, I don’t know why, and this has interrupted my crafting time. Turns out I like jigsaws too. Hmmmm…….