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Now is the time …

to come to the aid of the Party.  The Labour Party, that is.  Now is the time to get out onto the streets, to stop the destruction of our society through the NHS, by draconian benefit sanctions, by homelessness … all ills promoted by the present government whose sole aim seems to be to destroy anything that helps the 99% of society.  Now is the time to meet people face to face rather than sitting at the pc console.  Now is the time to vote for parties not personalities.  Now is the time to demand policies not soundbytes.  So, I will not be here too often as I’ll be rather busy.

Let’s hope we get the government this country deserves on 9th June, and not one intent on destroying the beauties of the country and people who live in it.

Cannon balls are flying …

… in all directions because I always end up setting myself impossible targets. 

Does that sound familiar?

I crocheted a Christening shawl for a friend, but it went pear shaped … almost literally! … when I washed it.  So not happy and decided to make another one, knitted this time, and to get it done in just five days.  Impossible, you might think and you would be right.  It’s going well, but it will take at least another week and a bit, if not more, as I’m designing parts of it as I knit.  So yarn balls are flying as I pull off ever more supplies with which to keep the needles working.

There is a danger in all of this, that you can get so engrossed, so tunnel-visioned, that the world passes you by and you miss other enjoyable things.  Most people say life is too short, but I would argue that life is too long to miss out on things.  You look back and realise that what you saw as vital at the time was, in reality, only slightly important and other things being included can make the whole experience so much busier but give you amazing memories to look back on.  A short life of long memories is far better than a long life of tedious greyness.

I think what I’m trying to say, and doing so badly at saying, is that it’s great to make things for other people, it’s great to do things for other people, but you must not forget yourself in the meantime.  Allow yourself to take a minute to (literally) smell the coffee, smell the roses (like the ones I had for Mother’s Day, along with the other flowers that also smell so sweet), smell the casserole in the slow cooker simmering away for dinner … it was gorgeous, by the way.  Give yourself time to talk to other people instead of keeping your head down in case you become distracted … small distractions feed your brain and allow you to remain alert.

So now it’s time to load the Nespresso and enjoy good coffee, to snack on cheese and biscuits for lunch, and to refocus the mind back to the task in hand, while I’m ticking off the five things on my To Do list for today that I’ve completed.  Just the vet’s to visit to replenish the cat food supplies and my list is finished.  There’s is never more than five items on the list because I can cope with five, rather than the endless list of things I used to have.  Now to start ticking off some of the five things on my Want To Do Today list, starting with Season 4 of Grimm …

Bye for now.

annec

I mean to work hard …

… but I keep finding things that are more fun to do.

I’ve just discovered Victorian knitting patterns through the Knitting and Crochet Guild (and yes, I’m a member).  So I decided to research Berlin Wool and Andalusian Wool.  Nothing!  However, other people have also decided to do the same thing and by piecing tidbits of information together I’ve come to the conclusion that Fine Berlin Wool is 1 ply, meant to be made on size 15 pins or, in new money, 1.75 mm needles.  There was was no standardisation of sizes so size 15 in one make could be size 18 in another.  I think that today I’d use laceweight yarn, which is roughly 2 ply more or less, depending on spinner, and 2 mm needles.

I haven’t seen size 15 needles for years, although my one remaining size 14 is the dibber for making holes in my Christmas cakes, to feed them through.  Quite naturally, how could one research Victorian crafts without coming across receipes (not all from the infamous Mrs. Beeton) which make your mouth water at the thought, and your heart sink at the input of labour and time to make.

And it’s a knitting and crochet week, this week.  On Saturday it’s the monthly meeting of the KCG in Birmingham, so my train ticket is booked, my hooks and cottons are packed (except for the ones I’m already using), and my appetite is duly whetted.  It’s crocheting Irish lace this month … I already have a use for these skills.  There are some really gorgeous patterns out there but Google’s translation package does not bear any relationship between the original Russian instructions and any form of English, whether it be the UK or US versions.  I’ve resuscitated my Spanish skills by listening to and watching an excellent YouTube video on a pattern that’s new to me.

So, I’m wandering into the territory of considering how many of my skills I actually learned at school originally – and it’s most of them.  It was only the original sewing, knitting and crochet basics that my Mum taught me that weren’t.  And I considered what I’m good at:  reading, problem solving by adaptation, number work, languages, music, writing (well, I think I am … are you still awake over there? lol), cooking when I can be bothered, and some craft things.  Which made me consider what I’m NOT good at:  geography, maths (algebra in particular), art – no sense of perspective.

The butterfly mind is dominant at the moment, as you can see, flitting from one unrelated topic to the next.  That means I feel as if I’ve actually completed lots of work when, in fact, I’ve done absolutely nothing except write this blog page.  I’ll finish here so I can at least say I finished something today.

Would love to hear from you.  Bye for now.

annec

Busy, busy, bang!

It’s been a while since my last posting and there’s a reason for that … I’ve been properly diagnosed as having bipolar disorder now that my psychiatrist has seen my manic phase in full flow (and heard it – I don’t stop talking). And it’s an amazing relief that all these contradictory emotions I experience have an underlying reason.

Anyway … back to the cannon. Last week I had such a weird dream: my friends and I were all rounded up and put in a prison camp. We escaped but were soon recaptured and put into cages made up of rusty iron bars. The Commandant came to see us and said we would be released when we’d finished our task … to knit a cover for the whole of the Great Wall of China.

I recounted this dream to my knitting friends and it seems one of them is definitely on my wavelength when she suggested we could also make jumpers for all the soldiers in the Terracotta Army lol. So we’ll see you in about 50 years!

It’s the season of Lent and traditionally a time when people give up treats, or even fast, for the forty days leading up to Easter. This year, coincidentally, a request for knitted hats for the local Maternity Unit landed in my inbox on Shrove Tuesday. So, this year, rather than be negative, I decided to donate one hour of skill plus the required materials each day to making these hats. So far I’ve completed seven hats, with an eighth on the needles from yesterday. Imagine smaller versions of the one in the picture in pretty greens and pinks.

So it’s less ‘cannonballs’ rolling around the house and more actual items completed. Bang! and they’re done.

Then there was the Yarn Club at the local library. I wasn’t on my own this week as a new lady came to learn to crochet, and the young student left her studies for a couple of hours to try it as well. Thankfully I had enough resources with me for them. (Note to self … take the ‘cannonballs’ bag, my brass monkey, with me next week!)

Next resolution is to post more often, to bore you with my busy life’s amazing activities.

A little behind …

… and that’s on my wish list lol.

I need to regiment myself a little more and post on here regularly but, as you all know, life has a little habit of getting in the way.

So far, over the past few days, I’ve found my passport, done some washing and washing up, designed and made the Man’s Utd Beanie (pattern posted in the Projects section – it’s a freebie so please do help yourselves), and even cooked a few meals.

Now I’m planning for two people’s special birthdays, one a 60th and one a 70th. I believe that birthdays are a very important time for people. Time to reflect on achievements (or lack of them, in my case) and use that reflection to plan for the future.

Normally I’m a go-with-the-flow kind of girl, but now I want to shape my own end game and achieve at least one small ambition of selling my craft works, not for huge profits or a killing, but to show the world I value myself as I value the items I make. More patterns to come soon …

 

Enough introspection! Some very happy news on a huge scale: Mel Brooks received a Lifetime Award at the BAFTAs last night … and he is 90 years old. It has been far too long a-comin’ because the man has brought great films and television shows to audiences across the world.  My two favourite films of his are  The Producers, the remake with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and To Be or Not To Be that he made with his late wife, Ann Bancroft. If you haven’t seen these, you’ve really missed something special.

Just one thing I would add … if you’re willing to stick with me through this journey of self-discovery, ignoring your boredom levels, please do get in touch via the Contacts form so that I may add you to the mailing list.

Time to …

… come out of the cupboard – there’s really no more room in there.  I did take a pic but I haven’t yet learned how to upload it and include it in a post.

I’ve decided that it’s time to stop being ashamed of my house, as bad as it is (why does everything arrive in such HOOOOJ boxes? ) because being ashamed of my house,  by extension, means I’m ashamed of myself and I’m not. I’ve decided I like me, so that’s at least one member of my very small fan club lol.

On the creative front, I’m busy getting ideas down in a notebook for making the things I’m hoping to sell. My ‘cannon balls’ are taking definite shape although the materials and skills needed are quite different for each design. It’s a secret for now until I can get into proper production mode. I’ve included a list of what I think needs doing to do that:

1. Throw out the rubbish.

2. Make a proper space to set up equipment to work in.

3. Gather all resources into one place, and remedy the effects of the loose cannon syndrome I’m living with … use a modern version of the brass monkey.

And perhaps the most important of all …

4. Unpack the new equipment.

New (expensive) set of circular needles arrived today and it feels like Christmas again. I’m sooo excited … woo hoo!

I shall be happy to share what equipment I do use and give my opinions as to why I bought the items, but I won’t endorse any particular brands. I’ve found over the years that my likes and tastes have changed considerably. What I loved using in my 20s I now find irksome. Experience teaches us what we should use to make our tasks pleasurable and efficient … because that’s when we do our best work, work to be proud of.

If you have any constructive comments or advice I’d love to hear from you. This is all so new … and  FUN!!!

See you soon,

annec

The cannon is being primed

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

My first ever blog … my creativity cannon, but hopefully not a loose one.

After 65 years of making things with yarn, card, flour and other things I thought it was time to focus and let the world know.

I no longer spend hours in the kitchen so you won’t get (many) recipes; I’ve given up cardmaking because I know I just don’t have the flair for it … but if you come to my house you’ll find I’m a hoarder and you might just get buried under an avalanche of yarn once you’ve tripped over the sewing machines, the knitting machine (that I’m still trying to get to grips with) and various containers full of bags for storage, knitting needles, crochet books and hooks, and naturally all the WIPS (works in progress).

It’s time to organise! And this blog, very much a work in progress,  will invite you to come with me on this very new and exciting journey to try to achieve what my dreams have always been. So please do get in touch as I’d love to hear from you, to get advice and maybe even give it sometimes.

As a point of interest, and perhaps thus augurs well, today is St. Blaise’s day. According to Wikipedia:

Saint Blaise, was a physician, and bishop of Sebastea in historical Armenia. According to the Acta Sanctorum, he was martyred by being beaten, attacked with iron combs, and beheaded. He is the patron saint of wool combers. He died in Sivas, Turkey, in 316 AD.

Bye for now.

annec