Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Getting a little attention

I am making a very serious bid to reduce my stocks of yarn and fibre this year.  Stock sounds so much more business-like than stash, don't you think?  I have begun by listing my entire collection on Ravelry. But I'm not avoiding yarn buying opportunities altogether and last weekend was my local knitters event Unravel (sorry it's over now but it will be back again next year).  I know I have been associating with the people of the knitting world for a while when I go to such an event and the first thing I do when I arrive is to go looking for friends amongst both buyers and sellers. 

This year I also had a couple of sweaters to show off to some yarn and fibre sellers and pattern designers.  I wore one...

Angelus Novus

and carried the second (the handspun I blogged about last time) in my bag.  

My 'Very Green' cardigan is from a pattern by Renee Callahan of East London Knits called Angelus Novus  The only mods were to work out where to place the colour changes as I wanted to use a set of fabulous yarns I had bought a little while ago from Caerthan Wrack of Triskelion Yarn and Fibre

I was childishly excited to be showing off my cardigan to Renee and Caerthan (and my hand spun to Rachel of Porpoise Fur who was not only exhibiting her wonderfully coloured fibre but also one of the event speakers) but I did not expect to be stopped by so many people and asked the name of the pattern and where I got the yarn - of course I was glad to oblige!  

I have to pause for a moment to say how happy it made me feel to have so many fellow knitters say nice things about my work. Then again how could one fail to make something gorgeous from these colours

Triskelion Idris DK

wound and ready
I achieved a gentle colour transition between the greens by using a simple gradient technique 

The pattern construction is so so clever, beginning at the centre back hem with a garter tab, continuing as for a triangular shawl till the point meets the neckline - then... well you need to read the pattern, its really clever and totally seamless (by that I mean no actual sewing up)

I have quite a lot of the two darker, petrel shades left so last weekend I added one skein of red to my stash and I am spending a lot of time dreaming about what I shall make.  I need to do some maths but I might just have enough for a second very special cardigan.

there's aprox 800m here, that's enough for something, surely...
On other things I have just had time to run up a hat for my daughter Ez.  Its a fairly simple shape with a fancy cable design and a furry pom pom from Toft Alpaca.  You can buy the pattern from my Ravelry shop, it's going to be chilly at the weekend, but the hat is in Aran weight so there would still be time to make it.

In the end I came home from unravel with a little more yarn (only a very small amount!) and a few other lovely things.  More about those in a later post



Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Scene shifting

The tectonic plates of my life have shifted. I seem to no longer to be a part of things but a spectator.  Sure my life is full of busy, I attend classes, of the sort other retired people attend to learn something new, when in reality who am I kidding? I have begun to volunteer, at a local school and as an advisor at the citizens advice bureau. I see the occasional friend for coffee or lunch, even have people over for supper but I seem not to be engaged as others are but an onlooker, and generally only occasionally included in things by others out of habit.

Despite all this I am still spinning, sewing and knitting

Spun fibre, skeined, soaked, and wound ready for knitting (Death to MRSA and Broad Bean)

But while others have moved on (or simply kept moving) I can only watch and clutch at friends' and family's coat tails as they fly by living their busy lives.  One dear friend is even about to move even closer to the centre and I already feel the sadness of loosing her back to the life we once both enjoyed.  I was going to say happy, not busy, lives but I know this is not the way it is.  Everyone's life (if they are lucky) is filled with good and bad but it's stuff they feel, both the anxiety and the joy, the laughter and the sadness. Somehow it all just runs past my eyes these days like a reel of silent film.

Perhaps I'm turing into a Miss Marple type of woman (without the crime solving) an onlooker sitting in a corner, knitting.  My latest finished object is this sweater, my own work from fabulous fluff to jolly jersey, begun during the Tour de Fleece and finally finished a week ago

I can already see that that neckline is a little too wide

When the Off The Shoulder shape stretched and became a little more Down The Arm I had to pull a thread and add a bit more on top!

Thread pulled just below the knitted hem, two inches added and re hemmed, the neck now sits at my collar-bone

Is it possible to regain that sense of involvement once it's gone? Once one has retired from the salaried world, children grown, parents died and the buffer zone lost? There was a time I felt involved, present at people's tables, in the conversation of their lives because I was as essential as the person I sat next to. I shared my thoughts, feelings and opinions as much as that other person. Now I have moved to the margins of the lives of people I love, in danger of growing invisible, going out or taken out, literally or figuratively when it is thought I have not been included for a while then returned to my box. Like so many pictures in an art collector's basement, still notionally valuable but just not enough space for us all at once.

In all this I still make plans. This beautiful skein of brightly cashmere and alpaca sits on a side table as I consider what it will be

400 metres of heavenly softness - a big squishy cowl perhaps?
I accuse no one of unkindness but I just don't feel needed very much any more. I wonder if other women feel like this?  Did our mothers? I seem to have followed mine in taking up spinning, it's very time consuming, it it displacement activity?

Although I am still not sure that it will be worth continuing to spin some chocolate brown fleece from a small local flock of black Welsh mountain sheep. 

Perhaps I should stick to the glorious colours of porpoisefur fluff

Dark Lady on BFL

But what shall I do? I think these thoughts but have nowhere to express them (except on here). I fear that to do more than hint to family and friends will just burden them, perhaps lead some to consider whether they feel the same and be the cause of spoiling their peace too. Or do I flatter myself? Do I already bore and worse depress others, are they already holding me at arms length? Is it possible, not just to fill the time but to feel life again and perhaps make a new life without loosing the old? And yet, I have husband, children grand children, home, a few friends, more acquaintances, it's not that. I just need to find my place, I've lost it somehow

Will it pass I wonder?

I just don't know