Filed under: the Captains Cabin | Tags: country, knitting, wool, year resolutions
So this weekend I got really excited about moving to the country. This is not because we don’t live somewhere nice now, but I had this random vision in my head of long winter nights in front of a real fire knitting away to my heart’s content with a big cup of proper coffee and snow falling in an attractive way outside. There would probably be candles and maybe some hearty soup on the stove made from local ingredients from our friendly local bakers / butchers / grocery store and vegetables grown in the garden.
What I was not of course considering was that this would not happen in real life – in real life I would be snowed into my car half way home on ungritted roads having left work late and got stuck in rush hour on a commute twice the length of what it is now. There would be no real fire as we would have been too busy to chop wood (or do you buy it like that?), so the radiators would just be on full blast, there wouldn’t be any dinner as the local shops would have been shut by the time we got there and by this time we would be so grumpy about the whole thing I suspect a quiet evening knitting would not be top of mind and a row would brew about who’s fault everything was.
It’s a bit like my remaining resolution. In my head it was going to spur me on to produce more beautiful things through the year making sure I spent a little more time on something I love to do. I envisaged a huge pile of lovely knitted things all finished at the end of the year while I sat in the middle of it with a smug sense of achievement.
Of course, this isn’t what it’s been like at all. We have already established that I essentially cheated in week one and in week two I have knitted furiously to complete a Möbius wrap spurred on by how much I had enjoyed wearing my existing one recently. It’s not finished. I am now totally stressed that I have spent all of my time on this and not on my cardie and resisting starting a wrap which I am dying to re-knit with new perfect wool. It has in fact taken all of the fun out of it. It is to knitting what moving to the country is to people who live at the seaside.
So I have decided to stop stressing about it. I took a deep breath and put it down and played with wool last night instead. It felt good.
So did I manage it? Well – sort of! To be fair I cheated a bit – I knit the obligatory flower brooch which we can all knock up in ten minutes, but it was really a last resort as I couldn’t face the failure of being unsuccessful at another resolution so early in the year.
Resolutions to already hit the wall include
1. Go running twice a week – complete fail (its COLD outside!!!)
2. Have a immaculate house at all times – my family turned up yesterday and I had to sweep everything off the coffee table behind the sofa, ‘stack’ the dishes so it looked like there were less of them and randomly throw some bleach round the bathroom, so that’s not been a success
3. Leave work at 5pm – I can’t believe I even set myself up with that one
So I have emerged from week one with my ego bruised, but intact(ish). I really need to plan this, so I am intending on queuing up some weekly projects tonight so I have the chance to make a better fist of next week! I also think that when I finish something ‘big’ that item will count for the week involved otherwise I am going to end up with 52 flower broaches by the end of the year! I guess it might sort Christmas.
I have however got some great knitting done this week in the van on the way up to Kielder to check how our boats were surviving the recent weather. This is our pride and joy – we went in the van (named ‘the Exception’ for reasons I might get into at some other time – but for the moment just run with it!) for no other reason than that my hubby loves to drive it and lord it over other smaller vehicles, and the fact that it’s just cost us an absolutely fortune to have some light on the dashboard fixed so we felt we had to get our monies worth…
I like to travel in the Exception however, as it is ideally equipped for ‘travel knitting’ and in the couple of hours of driving I cracked on with my cardie. The passenger side door has a drop in pocket which will handily hold your ball of wool, there is a net just in front of your knees for the pattern and as it’s a double seat lots of arm room. This extra space is becoming increasingly important as the cardie I am knitting is becoming enormous. I still think I am going to run out of wool. I finished the first sleeve and it took just under two balls of wool. That means by the time I have knit the other sleeve I have only three balls left to finish the body. This is not enough. I therefore spent some of my time in the van imagining what knitters what know what to do would do, I then wondered if there was a hall of fame for ‘great knitters through history’ and if not, would this be a good idea. I then spent at least twenty minutes trying to work out how you would identify things knit by a great knitter if they hadn’t put a name tag or similar in. I think it was at this point I realised I really needed to get back to the job in hand…..
I have debated cutting off the (giant seeming) hood and re-knitting it in a smaller size and then grafting back on, but this could spell total disaster and I have no idea how to work out how much actual wool this would provide. I might go to all the effort for a half a ball – still not enough and the possibility of just ending up in a giant pile of unravelled wool and cardie is just too high.
When we finally got to Kielder the wind had dropped to marginally manageable levels, but some of the boats had definitely suffered from some of the brutal winds that have been through here – our boats are fortunately fine, but one boat was off its trolley and others were full of water, so a bit of emergency remedial work was needed. I was entirely inappropriately dressed for this having built my whole wardrobe selection around a lovely Möbius scarf I had knit last year – gorgeously warm and really pretty, but doesn’t match anything but my best coat – which I had therefore worn… and is therefore now covered with mud and what I think is actually slime – urgh. It was good to feel that we were moving towards the new season however and we are now planning a weekend of fun towards the end of the month up at the lake in which I plan to fit my new (Christmas present) toe straps and get wet!