Monday, 30 September 2013


Feel like I'm getting somewhere now I've introduced the contrasting colour and made a few stripes! 

Enjoying an afternoon of knitting and catching up on the X factor. Terrible taste I know. 

I also re-potted my plants so fingers crossed for some big juicy peppers! 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Happy hobbies

I found another 6mm needle so baby blanket production continues! It is slightly odd knitting with one rubbery plastic needle and one slippery metal needle. I hope it doesn't mess with my tension!

Gentle Giant and I, side by side, working on our very different hobbies. Perfect Sunday evening... despite the hangover! 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Relapse

Any of you who have liked my Facebook page: 

will know that my decision to release the pressure from my hobby lasted all of 24 hours. 

On the afternoon of the day I started back at school I took an entirely unplanned and unscheduled trip to a fairly new gift shop in town, Crafty Mums: 

There had been rumours that this was a shop which sold only locally handmade goods. 

Deep down I knew that my resolve could be compromised.
I knew I should turn on my heel and flee. 
Flee, I did not.

Within seven minutes I had agreed to apply for a shelf in the shop and that I would have stock ready by the following thursday.  


That evening, whilst starting small fires with the sheer speed of my knitting needles, I admitted my relapse to the knitting group. My confession was met with silence, a cry of dismay, tentative encouragement and an onslaught of questions:

- How much will it cost me?

- How will I afford it?
- What will I make?
- How will I cope?!?

"I don't know..." Came my quiet response, beads of perspiration gathering under my sticky fringe. 

The gentle yet persistent clacker of their spinning wheels seemed to turn eery, almost sinister as panic settled over me. My fellow knitters peered across the cramped living room at me from behind fluffs of fleece, half-knitted yokes, niddy noddies, genuine concern stretched across their faces. I swallowed down a stubborn lump in my throat, presented with the friendships that had grown, stitch upon stitch, almost unnoticed until now. 

Aunty A and Aunty K's reactions, on the other hand, were of the "Lizzy, you're nuts." variety. Having said that, they seemed to have no doubt I could manage this over-ambitious task and were soon on board offering many a brilliant suggestion. 

Two weeks on, with little sleep and Repetitive Strain Injury in both hands, I have my shelf, it is fairly full and I am very proud of it.


Going forward, I am going to be posting short, regular blog entries, with a longer essay here and there, so I can keep you updated in this busy time without getting too snowed under. I hope that's ok!  

Monday, 2 September 2013

The knitting wall

I took a break from knitting. For the entire summer.

I broke up from school with six weeks off ahead of me, an abundance of free and quiet knitting time. What did I do? I put my knitting in a basket in the furthest corner of the spare room, turned my back on it and, with a cocktail of emotion fizzing in my chest, shut the door behind me. A shot of guilt, a twist of confusion, an aftertaste of uncertain relief. Shaken. On the rocks.

Every now and then I went back to it, picked it up, whispered my feverish apologies, carried it about a bit, even took it on two holidays. It sat in the bottom of my suitcase, forgotten, like a comfort blanket you no longer need but take everywhere with you out of habit. Occasionally, I did actually knit a couple of rows but my heart just wasn't in it. My heart was decidedly elsewhere.

At first it was pretty unpleasant, I love knitting, it's what I do, it's the only thing I can do well. What am I going to do if I don't knit? I'll just bumble along being mediocre at everything.

After a while I realised I wasn't convinced. This was not a departure, this was merely my motivation having a good old sulk. And why not? I have been pushing and pushing, laying down unrealistic deadlines, forcing myself to knit and re-knit the same pattern over and over, throwing every tick of the clock I have spare into knitting, every single last penny and none of it out of love. All of it because of the unnecessary pressure I have layered and layered over my hobby, my hobby!. 

I sucked out all of the joy. I turned it into a chore. I hit a wall. I pushed and pushed until my needles, sparking from the sharp ends, stuck themselves hard into the ground and screamed "ENOUGH! Just sod off will you?"

Fair enough, I thought and sod off I did.

I went to Galway in Southern Ireland with the family, some friends and The Gentle Giant. We ran down the cobbled streets with handkerchiefs tied on sticks yelling "We surrender!" It was a Medieval tour, I hadn't completely lost it. We saw some fantastic live music, acrobatics that made me feel shamefully lazy, boat tripped, ate ourselves silly and played a lot of Uno in many an Irish pub. Encountered rain so torrential it felt as though some great being had up turned the sea.

I read books with actual pages, I saw all of my friends, went to the cinema (twice!), failed my driving test and cried a lot. Consumed tapas and wine with my mum, who always knows what to do, and felt much better.

I went to Greece with The Gentle Giant and met up with his family. Sunbathed, swam, shopped, explored islands, played a lot of Uno and ate ourselves silly.

I went to End of the Road Festival. I danced, I drank, I laughed a huge amount.

I am now browner and rounder and probably a lot nicer.

And I am ready to pull my needles from the earth, dust them off and knit. When I want to, what I want to. Otherwise, is there really any point at all?