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.

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

 

 

Spicier Life CAL is nearly here! 🌶

I can truly say that I generally don’t follow CALs other than to admire people’s work. Reading about the new Spicier life CAL, starting tomorrow, I made a decision to finally participate in a CAL. This one is by Sandra Paul of Cherry Heart and Black Sheep Wools. Check out the details on her website: http://www.cherryheart.co.uk. Even though I’m a more advanced crocheter, I sometimes find easy to intermediate patterns fun and soothing.

My decision led to a flurry of activity this evening. I leapt out of bed, where I was reading, to haul out my massive 180litre tubs of Stylecraft Special DK. This was no small feat considering I have a gimpy shoulder from a recent injury, and the other is stubbornly arthritic. Nevertheless I ploughed ahead with fox- terrier determination (two of my seven dogs are fox terriers, so I can attest to their stubborness). At first I toyed with using one of the predetermined colourways, but I wasn’t really drooling over any to be honest. Bollywood was a maybe…but no, I decided to make up my own. I needed 14 complementary colours. I was thinking some blue, a little green, and cream and a few other neutrals to tie it all together.  I know it doesnt fit with the “spicy” theme, but it’s what works for me.

After working through an enormous number of delightfully squishy balls of fabulousness I arrived at my final choice.

14 balls in total of Stylecraft Special DK in:

Cream | Cloud Blue | Gold | Aster | Lobelia | Lime | Petrol  | Bluebell | Camel | Turquoise | Parchment | Sage | Buttermilk | Storm Blue

I used the chart that comes with the downloadable PDF on Sandra’s website (see above). I also added snips of each colour to the chart for instant recognisability. Excuse the messiness.

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And that’s it. I’m all ready for tomorrow. Yay!

Ģoodnight and sweet dreams from a rainy Rosendal in South Africa.