Feeling Woolly

The Chronicles of a Dropped Stitch

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Month: September 2018

Feeling Cool with The Gang

I love September.  The changing of seasons with the Autumn beginning to creep in with all her colour, sun beginning to lower and allowing all below to bathe in such beautiful light and shadow.  The weather almost in two minds as to know if she should cling on to those last few days of summer warmth, or let go and allow the autumnal chill to set in.  Cooling us down, and so pushing us to delve into the depths of our wardrobes, or blanket boxes, to pull on our winter woollies.

There is another reason for me feeling cool though!  It is because I have just finished knitting my Chief WIP (work in progress was whipped as they say!  Sorry, once again never can resist a pun on words).  In my post of the same name, I briefly touched on the nature of this project, but now it is completed I can share and elaborate a little further.  Bet you never thought that you could feel cool by knitting a cardy did you!  Actually I retract that very brazen comment.  Of course those knitters amongst you will have felt the same on your own projects.  There’s a very warm tingling inside (whilst of course feeling very very cool!!)

It is not hard though when you’re knitting a Pop Life Cardigan by Wool and The Gang.  Just browsing through their website, you’ll know what I mean.  Such very beautiful kits to make your ‘own’, simply presented and very contemporary.  ‘Handmade’  here looks very slick indeed, but their appeal for me lies in their welcome to all attitude, to learn these crafts for yourselves and become one of ‘The Gang’. There are video tutorials to help you on your way, and I found them very quick to respond to a query I had.  For me they seem to be doing a great job putting the ‘cool’ back into ‘wool’.

This sloppy cardigan is knitted in their Billie Jean Yarn, which I really loved.  A mixture of 60% Upcycled Denim and 40% Upcycled Cotton, it is soft to the touch and hangs beautifully.

Billie Jean Yarn

It became a bit of a full on family affair in the making!

Preparing for blocking by spritzing!

Spritzing the cardy

Then someone else has to join in….note determination on his face.  Not sure he was aiming at the cardigan!

Under attack!

Of course there’s another fella never too far away from the action.

Mr Lumpford looks on

After a soaking (more me than the cardy I think!) we blocked and all that was needed was the body for whom it was intended.

Blocking Billie Jean

Being for my sister Em, it winged it’s way by post the 325miles from Guisborough to Swansea, and was gratefully received mid week.  I think she looks happy!

My gorgeous sister

…..and very cool!

Looking good missus

For me seeing Em in this cardigan feels so important.  Not because I want to see her in something I have made.  But because it connects us, and as I have said before draws us closer, squeezing the miles in between.  When you miss people, these small things really do matter.  You can’t beat a cardigan cuddle can you!



Adventure of a Lifetime

Looking for milestones?  I am sure we could find one everyday if we thought hard enough. However, for me there are two in particular that have taken place today.  Firstly, our eldest son Ewan started secondary school.  For the remaining days of his summer break, we have been preparing for those steps into independence.  Yes, the steps I am sure many mothers and fathers will dread, and yet know, that these are rites of passage that every child needs to take.  Catching a bus.  Going swimming.  Walking into town.  Going to shops.  Paying for goods.  Crossing roads.  Talking to people…..the list goes on!  All this on their own, or if lucky with the odd friend or two, who are equally finding their way in the world.

What does this bring for parents or guardians?  Sleepless nights.  The thought processes.  The thinking ahead.  The million and one possible outcomes of these seemingly simple scenarios.  In short let’s face it ‘Worry’, with a big fat ‘W’!  As guardians of these precious souls, we are excellent at thinking about ‘what might happen?‘  Believe it or not, we are highly trained navy seals in this very activity.  I suppose it is inevitable, seeing as for 11 solid years we have ‘thought‘ for them and ‘done‘ everything.  Been one step ahead as it were.  Now though, almost taking us by surprise, these small individuals (because they still are!) begin tackling these situations – with gusto!

Embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, they will make their own choices, now becoming decision makers and standing on their own two feet.  During these small preparations for Ewan’s first steps into autonomy, it has made me think back to when I was his age.  And I remember loving it!  The excitement, the wonder and that feeling of complete freedom, allowing us to go anywhere.  That journey, taking us into teenage years, then young adulthood, where confidence swells and the world really does feel like your oyster.

This young boy of mine, it turns out is just like me (I guess the apple never falls far from the tree).

For big kids too!

He reminds me of ‘me‘.  The ‘me’ which was so thrilled by experiencing the world, and the girl who had quiet passions and ambition.  I think for a long while , especially since giving up work to look after my children, I have been guilty of slipping into a world of safety.  I believe that has happened subconsciously because we want to create a safe universe for them.  Alongside safety, has sat confidence, which in my case has decidedly taken a back seat.

And so they say our children teach us, which is the truest of true.  Here is my child reminding me that it is OK to take chances, to go on adventures, to ‘have a go’.  Thank you my boy, for you have awoken ‘me‘ again and a sparkle has been ignited inside , that I feel is here to stay.  That tingling, which you feel deep within your tummy, wriggling to get out and explore.

But adding to this, it is the second milestone which has taken place today which really compounds this feeling.  You see my father turned 80 years old.

And you really don’t look it Dad!

Mum and Dad…..an inspiring pair!

He too is a man who takes on adventure all the time, walking out independently and taking on those high peaks in the Black Mountains of South Wales.  Feeling free, taking paths of his choosing, confident in his independent solitude…..regardless of age.

So from the young boy to his grandfather, their resolute self determination, is there to not only be admired, but to encourage us all to go find our own adventures wherever they may be.  I believe if we all took a look at the people around us, we can all be inspired to do the same.  Adventure is out there! Now who’s going to hold my hand?