Friday, 27 November 2015

Woolful

November has been hard for me this year. Despite immersing myself in the ethos of Wovember, I've struggled. Life is always a learning process and my own quirks are can really bring me down sometimes. We all suffer from perfectionism but even trying to think about the last day that I haven't cried at points throughout the day brings me to tears so I know things are not right.

Wooden heart from the Black Forest

I like the switch in acceptance that is creeping into society. I'm not a massive fan of supermarkets but it makes me smile to see the shelves filled with mindful colour therapy. If it weren't for art, colour and creativity, November would be a very dark time. It doesn't legitimately have the delightful glitz and sparkle of December (although I know Christmas is in the shops).

My exploration into yarn, fibre and podcasts that provide a wealth of information inevitably led me to Wooful. It's a wonderful insight into a whole new world that has opened up for me. I will be forever grateful to people like Ashley Yousling, who spend their time gathering information to share.

I woke up and wiped the tears of disappointment away, greeted by another morning when I did not feel better and there on my iPhone screen, waiting to be played was the latest episode of Woolful. This was the serendipity I needed, just the right people at the right time. The episode featured my guardian angel, Tif Fussell who I now wish to adopt as a big sister. She talked of her own creative journey, dark days and self acceptance. I walked through the last of the lingering autumn leaves with Sherlock, listening to her experiences and relating them to my own. It helped. The fresh air, the natural autumnal beauty of the landscape and her insight.


 Embroidered fingerless mittens and crochet pocket on my Dotty Angel dress

It's time for me to allow myself to be not quite ok. To recognise that I need to take a step back, unbusy myself and be Woolful. I can just be how I'm feeling and remember always the words of wisdom spoken to me through my headphones by Tif...

It will be ok in the end and if it's not ok, it it's not the end

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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Wovember

Even as a kid, November was never my favourite month. There's the rain, the darkness and after bonfire night, it held very little excitement. The older I got, the more I disliked my flowers going into hibernation and all my beloved outdoor activities become impractical at this mostly grey and dreary time of year.






Then two events happened in November that changed my life. After difficult pregnancies, Charlie arrived safely in November 2006 and devastatingly I lost baby Jack in November 2009. This makes November a huge roller coaster of emotions. Until this year, I have dreaded it but year after year I have developed ways to cope. Of course being able to focus on Charlie's birthday has always been a positive but the pain and sadness remain.






Immediately after Jack's death, I turned to craft for comfort. The process of thinking through projects and the useful purposefulness of creating lovely things helped fill the void and feelings of hopelessness. The original intention of this bIog was to ensure that I spent time reflecting and recording all the wonderful things in life. When there was darkness in my mind, I made something in order to write about it. I carefully nurture, propagate and grow crysanthemums which bloom in gloriously bright colours as the rest of nature fades. Last year we got our dog, Sherlock who has filled every one of my sad moments with overly enthusiastic concern. I adore his loyalty and the fact that I can't leave a room without him. On dank November mornings when all I want to do is disappear inside the duvet forever, he's there wagging his fluffy tail with his "let's go for a walk" eyes and I'm happy to take him.



2015 has been the year of the sock for me. I was rubbish at knitting but unsurprisingly, practicing all year has taught me so much. I'm addicted and I just want to learn everything. And there really is so much to learn. That's how I discovered knitting podcasts and ultimately, Wovember. Podcasts are a whole new journey of discovery for me. It's such an adventure and as a nature loving, eco inspired, sheep dog owning crafter, I'm drawn to indie, handmade and British. Here's a list of my favourites so far in the order of discovery and I know this is just the start:



Truly Myrtle- I love Libby for her handmade wardrobe, country lifestyle (she's got chickens and sheep both of which I'm not allowed) and she lives in New Zealand. I always feel that because half my family live on the other side of the world that somehow anyone from that time zone connects me to them. Also brilliantly, Josie likes her too ( the Auntie Zoe link) and listens to her podcasts which means Libby is practically part of our family.



Pompom mag podcast - during the toughest week of the year for me when I was haunted by the memories of week that broke me beyond repair , I discovered Lydia and Sophie. For a week Sherlock and I set off for early morning walks in order to avoid fireworks (he's scared of them and for me the sounds take me back to that awful night of 5th November 2009 - even the date makes me cry). I listened to nearly all of the episodes in that week, bought 2 issues of the magazine, knitted my first shawl and felt better. Thank you ladies, you will never know how much you have helped.






Over-sized pompom on a crochet hat


A playful day - my slow craft guru, promoting sustainable living and nature loving



Curious Handmade- who wouldn't love Knitvent



KnitBritish - thank you for providing me with the ability to self diagnose cast-onitis and the obvious cure, tea hat collection



Shinybees- anyone who supports sock knitting and is a fan of mohair is alright in my book