Sometimes, when you talk to the universe.....it answers you back.
I had planned to write two blog posts before this. One for Autumn, and one for Winter. It was my plan just to write up a post each season. Posts to just catch up and remind myself what had been happening in my life. I'm not so sure anyone actually reads blogs any more. The fast paced world of Instagram, Twitter and TikTok leaves blogging pretty much a thing of the past now. It saddens me, when I think of blogging in its hey day and what an incredibly lovely community it was. But I write. I continue to write for me, and if anyone happens to read it and even remotely enjoy it, then that's a lovely little bonus I guess.
Nothing really has been happening in my little world . It feels like months and months of nothingness be honest. Lockdown, after lockdown it seemed and I just found myself being cooped up in my own little space in the house with everyone else crammed in too for good measure. One thing I realised whilst we were all stuck in the house day after day together, was that my life just became one big Groundhog Day. Cleaning, cleaning.....and more cleaning. Oh, and food shopping because everybody seemed to be hungry ALL of the time. No sooner was the kitchen blitzed, it was a mess again. There actually never seemed to be a break when someone wasn't eating or using every dish, pan, cup, plate there was. It actually became really quite depressing. Forever cleaning, and having to walk around on tiptoes everywhere in case I disturbed a conference call really just drained me of being able to anything creative and visual.
The frustration that I was starting to feel was getting bigger and bigger inside.
Autumn 2020 had been a tale of two halves. A difficult one. One where I had felt alone, tired and frustrated. One where I had felt no desire to do anything other than just 'get through the day'. Eventually the turning point did arrive. I had been waiting for it for such a long while. That moment when I woke, and suddenly felt ready to tackle all that I had previously not had the mental capacity to tackle.
It felt so good. It felt like a thousand tonnes of weight had been lifted from my overladen shoulders. It felt like peace had once again been restored in my whole being. Weirdly, serendipitous events happened to help bring it about. Do you believe the universe has plans for you? Well, I felt like everything that I had been feeling these past 15 months had come full circle and I could begin see the clear road ahead.
It was suddenly very clear in my head what I wanted to achieve. The year had been one big write off and suddenly I felt like I could move forward.
I have felt over the last few years that I have been wading through some very thick treacle. Ever so slowly, the world has been closing in on me. Not knowing how to deal with it and just putting it to the back of my mind has been my 'go to' method. Clearly not the best solution, and the longer you leave it, the bigger it gets. With loss and grief big, big factors in my life also this last year, that helped to just not want to deal with anything.
Finally waking up and the fog clearing was such a blessed relief. Finally feeling ready to tackle happiness and what I need to do to achieve it was such a nice feeling. Deep soul happiness, not just on the surface happiness.
So, the latter part of Autumn I felt a great positivity.
The second and third lockdowns slight dampened all that positivity that had flooded within me. Like I said, everyone crammed in at home working, eating and just generally making mess I couldn't keep up with......well.......I have just been silently keeping my head down and making do until such time as I feel I can begin to spread my wings again.
I don't think I realised just how much I value and crave my own space. That quiet. Just yourself and your thoughts. Not being able to freely potter and be as creative as my mind has wanted me to be has seen the frustration grow within me. It has taken everything in me to keep it contained. Sometimes I have thought how great it would be to go to some remote location and just scream my little lungs out. I think that might have made me feel a little better. However, even being all crammed on top of each other, I am grateful for many, many things. I appreciate it all.
In creative news, I did things that pretty much could be done compactly. I was lucky enough to be given the most gorgeous coat for my birthday.
The most perfect pink. I wanted to make a scarf or shawl to compliment it. I decided upon the Victoria Shawl by Sandra from Cherry Heart Blog
I used Drops Baby Alpaca Silk in Powder for the main body and off white for the edging. It's so pretty a delight to wear.
Once again serendipitous moments happened, which resulted in a new blanket being born. I thought I was really over blankets.......silly me for even thinking that really.
During the annual retrieving of the Christmas decs from the loft, I came across a crafty tub with a much beloved crochet project in it.
Started many, many moons ago, it was a project that was put aside. When it was retrieved, I sadly realised that, with my usual lack of planning, pretty much all of the yarns had been discontinued and I couldn't carry on with it in the way that I had wanted to ( a decent sized blanket). I couldn't stop thinking on it though. I was absolutely in love with it at the time. It was made of tiny hexagons, that I was planning on sewing together by hand. I wanted sort of a vintage patchwork piece. Anyway, for reasons explained, it didn't come to fruition (when I ever get round to it, it will become a big floor cushion). However, it really would not leave my head. I had loved working with the pastels in my last Irish Chain Quilt blanket and had some left over, so the thought started brewing. Then, over Christmas I watched The programme 'When Roald Dahl met Beatrix Potter'. Oh my gosh, I adored it. Having long been a Potter fan, this was just a delight to watch. Suddenly the idea was born. A small hexi patchwork blanket using pastel shades that were used in the drawings by Beatrix Potter.
Pretty much like every other blanket colour way that I use, but a good excuse. Literally as soon as the lightbulb went on........
All the hexies are made. I have sewn together half of them with needle and thread. I don't know why it was so important for me to sew them up this way. I don't even think it's such a good idea. Yarn works well to sew yarns together, thread works well to sew fabrics together. I don't think it's the best combination to put together, but I have been determined that it should be done this way. Stupid me and my stupid ideas. We shall see how much patching together will need to be done at a later date. For now though, I am loving it. I did take a break half way through to make myself another shawl. Life events needed me to make something quick and rewarding, and also give me something deep to focus on for a short while.
So, I decided upon this......
It crocheted up in a couple of days. It was a simple pattern repeat, but it took me ages to get going. I really am not a fan of patterns which don't provide any charts of any sorts. I had to try and read the pattern to try and make up my own chart just to try and make sense of the beginning. I did finally get it and once the first couple of rows were done then it was a fine repeat. It was an aran weight hooked on a 9mm hook so it worked up fast.
Typical me to make something Autumnal just as Spring arrives. I just adored the wash of colours. The pattern is available on Ravelry if anyone is interested. I used the yarn recommended, Lion Brand Landscapes. I love it so much, I'm actually thinking on another one. I made a very very long scarf a couple of years back which I named my Dr Who scarf. I love it so much and the yarn was just so beautiful.
This was in a Cygnet yarn I believe. Totally my colours and I think it would make for such a beautiful Denver Sunset Shawl pattern. Always me, to keep on making something in a billion colours if I like it. I don't need any more shawls, but, like that ever stopped me.
I seem to be drawn to these colour wash yarns now. I bought the Landscapes yarn and immediately had to text my mum with a picture. Throughout my very early years, my mum knitted me jumpers. Think 70's where everything in that whole era seemed to be made in brown, orange or yellow. My whole recollection was not one of fondness for that era. Otherwise known as #jumpergate, My mum never liked to knit in one colour yarn. She always maintained that it was so boring, so she would buy variegated yarn in brown and yellow or brown and orange. She would knit up a jumper........and not once would the damn things ever fit over my head! I shudder at the memories of my mum trying her hardest to pull them over my head. There would be yelling from me about how much it hurt my head, and there would be yelling from my mum about how she followed the pattern and my head must be incredibly large! I don't think I actually ever wore the jumpers she made me. She never ever managed to get her tension right on the necklines, and I was actually glad. Brown, yellow, orange and ANY yarn that was variegated in any way has been a no no for me for pretty much most of my life! My mum still maintains to this day that my head is a funny shape and she was never in the wrong with her tension........AND......her yarn choices were very lovely! She laughs at my choices to buy any yarn that is not plain and tells me she always knew I'd come around to her way of thinking! I still won't go near anything with just browns and yellows!!!!
I'll leave with a few camera reel photos of the past few months. Mainly dog photos on my camera feed these days. Through lockdown, she has been my permanent companion, my little sidekick and partner in crime. I am desperate to get my big camera out again. Hopefully, with lockdown nearing its end and spring well under way, there will be the opportunity to snap snap snap away to my hearts content.
I lost the dog one morning. Couldn't find her anywhere. She blends in well with my house decor. The Bears have almost sat on her a couple of times when she is curled in a teeny tight ball on the sofa. She becomes almost invisible.
We have a routine on the days I'm not working. If I haven't left the house and she sees me walk past the living room with a coffee in my hand, she knows I'm off to my bedroom banishment for a couple of hours. Either laptop maintenance or crafting of some type, but the coffee in hand is her cue to whine to be with me and settle down for the morning next to me. I love it actually. She really has been my ray of sunshine on the darkest of days.
I've become obsessed with wearing berets throughout the Autumn /Winter months. I even made a couple of crochet ones too. I don't particularly suit hats in any way shape or form......but I guess I've hit that age where I simply don't care if I look stupid. Bobble hats on the dog walks are essential and berets for general walking. Turns out I like a warm head.
I made a start painting my stairs (Farrow & Ball Light Blue). Very difficult in lockdown with everyone home wanting to go up and down all day. Weeks on and it still needs another couple of coats. I fear it's going to be one of those projects that will take a year to complete........sigh. I like the colour though and it has brightened up the hallway.
Dog walks have helped enormously in lockdown. Getting fresh air......space and a few quiet moments of alone time have been essential.
I was out one sunny, but very foggy morning and I saw the most curious thing. A white rainbow......otherwise known as a Fogbow. Seriously, I never knew such a thing existed. It was pretty spectacular. I have never seen one in all my years, and probably won't again. That made it all the more special. I truly love Mother Nature.
I'm still baking bread. I seriously should stop. Bread is my Achilles Heel. Love, love love it. The Bear's love it too. I tell myself I'm making it for them.....really it's just for me. They have to be quick to get some. I love them to bits, but it's seriously a close call between them and bread. I kid you not!