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Tag Archives: Knitting to keep yourself sane

comfort of a sort

You know that feeling when you’ve lurched to the last working day of the year and what you haven’t done is not done but you can’t dredge up sufficient energy to care? That happened to me halfway through December. In my previous job, the obligatory holiday during the Christmas shut-down could vary greatly, so I mostly made mine long to enable me to cope with all the family, cycling and rowing events that clustered round that part of summer. It wasn’t the sort of job where the work you hadn’t  finished would be waiting when you returned. Jobs didn’t hang around or hang over for that long. You might find yourself typing later sittings of the same matter, but it would have moved on.

In my present job, almost everything I hadn’t done was awaiting me when I returned, plus a few extras I hadn’t anticipated. That’s a distinct deterrent to taking long breaks, because it means that the return workload is crushing and you need a good life-jacket. But I had a holiday, anyway, during which I managed to tidy my sewing room somewhat.

2017 will be challenging. The sector is changing and in order to survive and flourish, organisations have to not only change but come up with new ideas for growth. I feel remarkably inadequate in that scenario. I’m still reasonably good at thinking on my feet, and quickly, but I have no business background at all. This is, I suspect, a shorthand way of saying that I need to enrol in some suitable units at a local TAFE, or within an undergraduate degree, if I’m to have any hope of not going under. My problem is that I don’t know what I need because it’s difficult to intuit what shape the future changes will take with regard to my job. I often feel now as if I’m close to drowning because of the workload, so perhaps I need to invest in a better life-jacket because that feeling is unlikely to lessen.

As near to drowning as I might be, something I do know is that I’ll need to knit and sew more, or I’ll be too grumpy for words. I also know that I’m going to have to do a l-o-t of work to get my photo app to talk to my blog. Lots to work on this year, and not a resolution in sight! All the best with all of your plans, resolutions or just general intentions for this year’s crafting. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Knitting, Musing, Sewing

 

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annual cycle of feast or famine

Still going, though perhaps not strong. I made it in 1988.

Dr B’s cabled jumper is still going, though perhaps not strong. I made it in 1988.

You know how it is. After the busy-ness dies down and life gets back to normal, you want to knit, but don’t have a project in mind. You can’t quite bring yourself to get back into the swing of tinking the existing projects (there are several, as I said last time). And then, into your email inbox – right on cue, just like last year – pops some irresistible temptation from Bendigo. Last year it was sock yarn that lured me. This year, it’s their latest, lovely, special yarn. The variegated colourways are attractive and there’s a black-grey mix. YoungB’s birthday jumper – in some pattern suited to the yarn, of course, not the original choice over which he dithered so much I gave up – looks like a winning option again. Quickly, before you change your mind, you dig out a fast, easy pattern and order the yarn. Well, that’s what I did, anyway.

Then Dr B and YoungB returned from visiting a friend, who continues to be remarkably impressed by the – now very old and falling to pieces, but too nice to throw out – jumper I made for Dr B during the first year we were married, and which he still wears because he loves it. As you can see, it’s riddled with cables, albeit at the lower end of complexity. Otherwise you die of boredom. Right? It is a nice jumper and I think it’s beginning to influence YoungB (who once refused to borrow it for a ski trip because of the cables; but who’s now experienced a truly chilly, Northern-hemisphere winter and has doubtless seen others wearing handmade jumpers of similar design).

YoungB then suggested that he’d quite like a beanie. With cables on it. I hauled out my trusty old Patons Book 483 Winter Warmers that I’ve been using for ever, and showed him a couple of patterns. He chose a Fair Isle one, pattern 17, as well as one with cables, pattern 18, after also considering pattern 22, which is the one I made for Dr C a couple of years ago. He and I shuffled off to our LYS to choose some yarn. I’ve been knitting for enough years to know that, as long as you buy reasonable quality yarn and ensure that it’s all from the same manufacturer – as well as the obvious colour and dye-lot matches, if it’s a single-colour buy – then you don’t have to buy the yarn specified. After looking at and comparing several different brands of pure-wool yarns, we picked out four different shades of blue for the Fair Isle beanie, and a grey wool and alpaca mix for the cabled number (I see it more as an obvious grey, he sees it as having a strong teal hue).

Now all I have to do is think of something quick and appropriate that I can make for a colleague’s birthday on Thursday, though I’ll start the knitting immediately and, fnigres corsesd, hope that I don’t get too many interruptions. Realistically, I’m likely to come to grief on the jumper but it IS a quick and easy pattern. The beanies will take time, but when you commute for the best part of three hours, five days a week, then time is not your main problem. It’s finding the dedication. Given that YoungB specifically asked for a beanie, and chose the pattern and yarn himself, then I dare say the dedication will be easier to find than it often is.

Have you reached the annual point where you simply have to have some knitting to keep you sane?

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2016 in Knitting

 

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