From Start to Finish

I am a very good starter of things.  I start projects like the ADHD (which I have genuinely being diagnosed with, as well as a mild case of OCD) person that I am.  My concentration flits from one thing to another with astonishing ease and speed.  As I’ve blogged about before, this results in a rather large number of WIPs.

I must, however, digress and tell you about my word for the year.  My word for 2019 is less.  Less everything.  I’ve been decluttering for years, but toward the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 I really got stuck in and did some pretty brutal decluttering.  Even my yarn stash wasn’t immune to my fervour.  You see, 2018 was a dreadful year.  My husband had an intestinal issued that nearly killed him, eight times. He had eight surgeries in four months.  He spent nearly five months in ICU and most of the rest of the year in hospital and then a step-down facility.  The doctors were quite astonished that he survived, and said it was quite miraculous.  It felt like the year was out of control.  I really got some practice in how to manage my feelings about being so totally out of control.  I got to face the possibility of loss head on, and made friends with people who ended up not being as lucky as I was.  And we really leaned on each other.  I learned about the kindness of strangers, the disappointment in people I thought would be there and weren’t , but more importantly the huge number of people who were so incredibly kind and stepped up when I needed it most.  Back to the decluttering.  I think that with everything feeling so uncontrollable, I felt the need to exert some measure of being in charge of my life, so as a start I took control of my things.

Our home is pretty minimalist.  Despite this, there was still a fair amount of stuff in cupboards, drawers and the store room.  I was getting tired of it.  It starts to feel like possessions own you and not you them. I got stuck into books, clothes, papers, yarn, absolutely everything.  I first read “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying” and “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo, when they first came out in 2011 and 2012 respectively.  They made an impact at the time and I started and stopped the process many times.  During my decluttering I came to realise that there was a series based on her books on Netflix. I really enjoyed that, and the timing was simply perfect.  It spurred me on further.  All I have left is the kitchen and some sentimental items (which isn’t much at all) and I’m done.  Having said that, I don’t think you’re ever completely done.  You will likely revisit your things many times in your life, but the process gets easier, and the base from which you begin gets smaller.  Decluttering yarn was pretty difficult.  I’m generally not very materialistic and rarely get attached to stuff, but I really liked my yarn collection.  I had to fess up to the fact that there were yarns in there, bought on impulse, I was never, ever going to use.  Lovely though they may be, off they went.  And I actually felt more motivated than ever afterward to use yarns in my stash for projects rather than buying new yarn.

So, with this being the year of less, I thought I could extend that to fewer WIPs too.  Keep just a few WIPs about:  one complex, one easy and portable for out and about, and one for the list of gifts I’ve made.  And I’ve been pretty good.  These are my first three finished projects for 2019, not bad for nearly the end of Feb.  Furthermore they were all made with yarns from my stash:  Win!

 

I’ve been battling a little with the rheumatoid arthritis in my hands (not to mention the lupus everywhere else), so there are a couple of lovely projects in the works, but they’re taking longer than I’d hoped, but hey, I’m doing better than expected.

Our evenings in Rosendal are beginning to cool, as are the early mornings.  We are slowly but surely heading for winter, and I reckon it’ll be a cold one.  Not a bad thing since it means cosy crochet in front of the fire.  That sounds pretty awesome to me as the blanket projects come out then.  Yay.

The nostalgia of knitting and Tunisian Crochet

When I was six years old, my grandmother taught me to knit and Tunisian Crochet. I remember it clearly, because that is when my love of fibre arts was born. Catch them while they’re young, and all that. My real love affair with very special yarns came much later, but at that young and impressionable age I remember feeling the wonder that is the creation of something tangible with a stick and some stringy stuff.

Bullet Journalling and Crochet

Hi everyone.  Today I want to talk about another hobby of mine:  bullet journalling.  I use my bullet journal to keep track of all sorts of things, from how much water I drink daily to my crochet projects.

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I currently use a Moleskin journal with dotted pages and have an embarrassingly large collection of pens, washi tape and other decorative things.  I’ve also just ordered a Leuchturm journal from the USA.  Things are getting serious!

Since this blog is about crochet let me share with you my crochet pages.  First up my list of WIPs.  I have this habit of starting WIPs at a near constant rate, so putting them in a list brings home just how many there are, and makes me feel accountable to myself to get them finished.  I even have a knitting WIP.  I also have a list of techniques I’d like to try so that they are not just wishful thinking.

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Next up is my list of crochet projects I have managed to not begin, but do want to list so I don’t forget about them.  I buy so many patterns I find the number I have too obscene to share, but largely I forget about them unless I actually scroll through them when looking for something new.  This list keeps the projects I want to do first front and centre.2018-03-19 14.05.28

There are so many ways to bullet journal, and the beauty of it is that it can be as creative (or not) as you like.  You can keep track of whatever you like, put in your favourite quotes, pictures, whatever really.  I find I don’t really use planners all that much, but this has proven a very useful tool.  I even keep track of medical issues so that when I see my specialist I am able to share with him exactly how things have been that month.

There is an immense body of inspiration out there. Pinterest, YouTube, and SkillShare all have excellent ideas and tutorials.  All you need is a dotted or grid journal, some pens, a little imagination and you’re good to go.

Go on.  You know you want to give it a try.

 

 

Hello! It’s been a while…

Good morning to you all from a sunny Free State in South Africa.  I haven’t been around for a very long while.  It’s been quite the roller coaster.  I started my shop The Funky Sheep Shop and am loving the interaction with customers.  It’s hard work, but really worthwhile.

What I haven’t had so much is a chance to chat to you as regularly as before, which really needs to be righted.  I’ve got so many gorgeous products in my shop, but the one that really has my eye at the moment is the Stylecraft Batik Swirl.  It is a divine cake made up of colours from the Stylecraft Batik collection, and I can’t wait to make something gorgeous.  Not too long ago I used the Batik yarn to create a Willow Blanket, which came out wonderfully.

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Now I need ideas for something a little different.  The Batik Swirl is 200g / 550m of 20% wool and 80% premium acrylic in DK weight.  It is lovely and soft, and I love how the colours are muted.  They come in six colourways at present.

They are Blue Ocean, Foxglove, Poppy Field, Purple Mist, Rainbow and Stargazer.  I hardly know which to choose first.  I’m mostly drawn to the Blue Ocean and am thinking a scarf.  The 200g ball should make a rather nice scarf and the wool content will ensure it is gorgeous and warm for winter.  It’s the dog days of summer at the moment, and we are having some pretty warm days, but the mornings and evenings are just cool enough to suggest that winter is not too far away.  Here in the Eastern Free State it can get to -16, so lovely woolly accessories are never a waste.

What have you made with this gorgeous yarn?  Please share your makes.

That’s it for today folks.  Wishing you all a super day.

G