Year of Projects – week 17/52

This is a brief post, as we have visitors from Michigan that arrived today.  26 years ago I was an au pair looking after their 3 children and this is their 1st visit to see me 😁. Beyond excited!

I don’t understand what has gone wrong, but my pairfect pair socks have different heel stitches?!?!  No idea which is wrong.  I am proceeding anyway, this yarn is too splitty to unravel.  

Heel mistake!

Merino and silk scarf

I made the above scarf with merino and silk, check out me using colours that aren’t purple or pink!!  Yep that’s right its a gift for someone else.

At Loch Ness Knit Fest yesterday, I tried my hardest to not by more purple yarn…honestly I really did try!  But look at these 2 beauties…impossible to resist.  I also bought a yarn bowl, spindle, shawl pin, and some other skeins.

 

 

That’s it.  It has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life I think and of course now I have some bug just in time for my guests.  Hopefully things will improve now.

Year of Projects – weeks 15&16/52

After a lovely week away at a holiday cottage on the West Coast of Scotland, this week has been so stressful and depressing.  I need to keep up with my projects to keep me sane and keep me from slipping back into depression.  

I have put up lots of unused craft supplies on Facebook Marketplace and already have sold some things.  This was prompted by me having too many warning signs I was teetering on the edge of being a full blown hoarder.  For anyone interested here’s a link to that post.  I think its important as a community we show that life has ups and downs and that’s ok and normal.  Electronic lives can seem like everyone is living perfect lives.

A quick update on my nuno felted scarf that I was unhappy with; I re did it adding more fibre around the edges and the roses.  I am so much happier with it.  It is so light to wear but warm!  

Nuno felted scarf update

Last week I finished Allistar’s first sock and I am doing the heel of the 2nd at the moment.  Already I spot they aren’t ‘Pairfect’…as per the yarn name.  My long tail cast ons were different tail lengths and despite re-doing the cast on 3 times it wasn’t perfect, so this has had a knock on affect at the top of the foot!  Typical as thats the bit people will see when he sits down.  The yarn was really splitting though so a 4th attempt wasn’t possible.

Allistar’s first sock

I wanted to see what the sari silk looked like felted, so made a weird shaped scissors case!  I love the silks and wish I had loaded more on! 

Scissors case

I joined the Brit Spin marathon on Ravelry, in team ‘More enthusiasm than skill’.  Our team each received 100g of Shetland fibre from our sponsors Curtis Fibres.  It is now the morning of the 4th and final day of the challenge and I have only managed to spin a third of the Shetland so far, partly because I am trying to spin very fine so that I end up with a 3 ply fingering weight yarn, but mostly because I am frantically dashing from one priority to the next, not sleeping well and really feeling the physical signs of some stress I am under at the moment.  My fitbit says my heart rate was in fat burn for 15 hours on Friday despite me not actually exercising! When I did some spinning at 6.30am, having been awake for hours, you can see my heart rate drop.  It drops again when I did some spinning about 2.30pm…the final drop is when my husband tried it on!   I wish I was better equipped to manage stress, but at least I know the spinning makes a physical positive difference.

Stress affecting my heart rate

 

 

 

 

Hoarding!

I have been recording the series ‘Hoarders – Buried Alive’ and watching an episode each morning over breakfast.  I started off watching it because it made me feel like in comparison I am tidy and organised and not a hoarder. Despite the size and eclectic nature of my crafting stash…everything has a place in a drawer or cupboard or bookcase…so its not piles everywhere.

However, what I have realised is there’s a common theme with many of the people who hoard…

  • They have always been collectors of things.  ✅ that’s me, started with egg cups when I was about 8, then Winnie-the-Pooh, then Minions and now yarn and fibre.  Can I part with any of my Pooh Bear or Minion stuff…nope!
  • They keep things with the intention to fix them up or the thought they may come in handy.  ✅ that’s me too…I dismantled our old sofa and kept all the sponge and pillows and fabric and zips…to be fair I did use a lot in doing up my grandparents old chairs and footstool but why have I kept the rest?  Although if I’d thrown it away I wouldn’t have been able to do a matching seat for my spinning chair!  But why all the foam???
  • They are creative and like to make things and think one day they’ll make something with it.  ✅ no surprises here, but on mentioning basket weaving stuff in my stash, I know I won’t make anything really…and what about all the paints I have…acrylic, watercolour and oils, pastels is what I am most drawn to so why am I keeping all the other types, plus the different pallets, brushes, canvases/paper.  But what would I make with all the foam?
  • They have lost a family member, whether that be through estrangement, death or divorce.  ✅ my mum cut me out of her life nearly 3 years ago…uh oh that’s 4 ticks so far.
  • They are unemployed, often due to ill health. ✅ I am taking a career break.
  • Their parent(s) were prone to hoarding. ✅. My dad’s collection of glass coffee jars filled with rusty nails and screws from my childhood springs to mind.  My mum is crafty too, so has her own craft stash. 
  • Oh and did I mention they also often have previous mental health issues!  ✅ I have battled with depression, stress and anxiety in the distant and recent past.
 
Yikes I’m thinking…I have all the ingredients to become a fully fledged hoarder! 
 
My yarn and fibre and associated equipment isn’t a hoard, I use it weekly, its where I have at last found my passion and for every skein of yarn I own is assigned to a pattern in my queue or has a pattern marked favourite that eventually I will by and use the yarn.  Hmmm….think I saw an episode where a lady said something similar.
 
Today when the panic set in I started clearing out my landing cupboard!  I threw away tablets, inhalers, ointments, cough syrups etc etc etc.  Some with best before dates of 2002!!!  Next stop is the garage.  When I first went off sick I did donate masses and masses of stuff, but another round is needed.
 
What do you think?  Does the gene that makes you creative pre-dispose you to hoarding?  Is your stash just craft supplies?  When does a stash become a hoard?  Will I be on a future episode of ‘Hoarders – Buried Alive’?????  Or is there hope for me having realised the warning signs are there?!?

How craft making and Scotland rescued me

Life before…

My life was consumed with working hard and very long hours to earn money for a few weeks a year of international travel.  We went to many fabulous and breathtaking places around the world including Hawaii, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Australia, various US states and parts of Italy.  I also travelled to Peru and Bolivia for 31 days as a mix of holiday and unpaid leave (Follow links to see photo highlights).  And so I thought my blog was turning into a travel blog…

The breakdown…

At the end of 2016 I started to burnout and lose control of my mind, I wasn’t coping at work despite (or perhaps because I was) working almost every waking hour and not making enough progress to satisfy my own high standards. By early 2017 I was a jibbering wreck, unable to stop crying all the time and was eventually signed off with anxiety and depression.  When my sick pay ran out I couldn’t face returning to work, stressed at the thought and afraid that my resilience was too weak and I would return to old habits of working every hour and so I requested a 12 month sabbatical (unpaid leave).  So I am due to return in September, unless I resign.

My new life…

Whilst off work I have started doing more craft type things, I have wet felted a hat and a handbag learned how to knit, made some sea glass jewellery, bought a spinning wheel and I’m now learning how to spin.  We bought a tent last autumn and instead of international travel we have been exploring the North of Scotland and some of its many Isles either with the tent or renting small cottages.
I have been blown away by the scenery that we have seen…and with my calmer mindset I can actually be present and fully enjoy being in the moment and after walking 20k steps enjoy an evening sitting in our tent with my husband and dog and knitting another hitchhiker scarf! Scotland has white sandy beaches and turquoise water, okay you need to wear layers, not a bikini…but then you often get a beach to yourselves!
As for my future…we shall see!
October 2017  
Isle of Eriskay, Western Isles, Scotland
 March 2018
Coral beach, Isle of Skye 

 

June 2018
Sango_Sands_beach_Durness.jpg
Sango Sands beach, Durness
Balnakeil beach, Durness, North Scotland