I am trying to make sure I finish at least one thing before starting on something new but it's hard! Picked up the half-done crochet baby jacket last night and have started the second side - really enjoying it but still have the urge to cast on something new. Have my eye on some cute little knitted brooches - kitsch and cool. Knitting is so therapeutic and so creative. My job lacks creativity at the moment and knitting is one way of getting some back in my life. To anyone who is feeling low or stressed I would really recommend knitting as a way of getting things in proportion. It can be a real motivator and a destressor as long as you pick something that is within your capabilities and that you can finish fairly quickly. People love being given something hand knitted so it benefits everyone. If you can't knit ask someone to teach you. There are also lots of lovely tutorials on-line, http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/learn-to-knit or join a knitting group, you would be very welcome.
Writing is my other big project and one which I just love once I get started. I've finished a couple of short stories, some flash fiction and have mapped out the ideas I have for a novel. I had a very creative day when I decided that as I was going on a novel writing course in the autumn I better have some idea of what my potential novel was going to be about. I had some vague ideas in my head and spent about half an hour getting them down on paper. I was amazed at how far my thoughts had progressed and how much of a framework I actually had. It was really useful - a bit like picking up lots of bits of knitting and sewing them all together. I'm not sure what the finished garment will look like exactly but I know the general shape now and the colour of the yarn.
I'm getting on well with Scepticism Inc and hope to finish it on the way home tonight on the train so I can put some knitting in my bag for tomorrow's commute. I am so glad I don't drive in to work - I would lose so much recreational and creative time. Sorry to all the people who ever get inconvenienced by my knitting but I try to keep my needles out of your way.
Here's to reading, writing and knitting.
Feel all knitted out having completed the wedding gift (photos as soon as the happy couple have been given it). Read on the train this morning for the first time for weeks; very strange book -story is narrated by a supermarket trolley. Scepticism Inc by Bo Fowler. Echos of Ben Elton's books in style. Have finished The Book Thief and absolutely loved it. Read it slowly (unusual for me) as wanted to savour it. Didn't want to finish it as knew it couldn't end well - being set in Nazi Germany - but I got there and it was worth the sadness to have read it. Also recently read Devotion by Nell Leyshon which is one of the best things I have ever read. If I had to choose the book I wish I'd written this would be it. Such wonderful characterisation and amazing empathy with four completely different people. Another book I read really slowly as I just didn't want it to end.
So back to the knitting; found some lovely patterns while browsing. Downloaded some from Alan Dart's site http://www.alandart.co.uk/ I never imagined I would be doing this sort of knitting but these creations are so cute! I have also found a pattern for little brooches which are also cute so will be having a go at some of those. As well as the jumper for my husband, the cardigan that my friend Viv is still waiting patiently for, the half crocheted baby coat, the nearly-finished-the-back Aran jacket .... and some other things I've started, hidden away and forgotten about. And still the wool keeps coming. I renewed my subscription to Yarn Forward and they sent me two balls of Shetland 2 ply and a pattern for a hat. Thanks Yarn Forward.
Spent some time yesterday downloading photos from my camera and sorting them into folders. Felt very organised. Now I need to do something with them so they're not just sitting there. Will post some on this site as I've realised I like looking at blogs with photos on them.
Have had a difficult year and so not posted much (not since August!). Had a fantastic trip down to Guildford for our son's wedding. Crocheted the shrug to wear over my dress but not sure anyone took any photos on the Sunday when I wore it. Very pleased with it. Have also finished several pairs of socks, a pair of fingerless gloves for my journalist daughter who gets cold fingers typing away in her Dublin apartment. Plus a shopping bag from plarn (which is what yarn made from plastic bags is apparently called). Haven't quite got the handles right but I love the material that is created. Have lots of ideas for other uses.
This weekend I have been to Dublin to see my daughter and we spent the whole of Sunday on a secret project that took 8 hours to knit and then 20 hours between us to assemble! We are both so pleased with the finished result but as it is for a wedding that is coming up soon the details and photos will have to wait.
Big projects I have finished include a blanket I started several years ago - knitted in cream arran weight, each square is a different stitch with a sea/beach motif. I'm really pleased with it but it needs a border to finish it off. I have used up all the original wool so am keeping my eyes open for something suitable. In the meantime the blanket still looks good, the border will just be the final touch. I started a cardigan for my mother at Easter and finished it a couple of weeks ago. As usual with my projects I had completed 80% of it and then abandoned it for something new. However she was really looking forward to it as it is a lovely modern pattern in a soft dusky pink. So I made the effort to get it out again, found out what I still had to do and just got on and did it. And it looks really lovely on her. She is in a care home and several of the staff and residents said they would go on a waiting list! No chance, I am off on something else already, as well as the several other projects that are still on the go - including that sweater for you Viv! I'll get there one day.
Will post some photos when I get them off my camera and will keep posting, and knitting.