This is a month when slowness needs to be celebrated – and what better way than with tea and Yorkshire curd tart by the fire after a bracing walk in the freezing cold…
The change of pace from December to January
The Christmas holidays were a busy, busy time with my children and their respective partners home from university. That meant a house full, lots of cooking, nice meals together, snuggling in and watching films and tidying, washing and organising. Normal family stuff.
It will be two weeks tomorrow since everyone left to get back to their uni friends, classes, lectures and exams. The house became very quiet and this is always a bit unsettling until I get back into my own routine again. This seems more of a challenge in January when the days are still short, the weather is cold and often grey, and spring seems ages away.
Aside from the day job to keep me busy, I have multiple Crafternoon Treats projects on the go. Too many WIPs, too little time… But I find I get bored if I stick at the same thing to the exclusion of everything else…
So, although the evenings are long and seem to offer plenty of crafting and project time, somehow nothing around here is happening very fast.
Slow progress of my seascape ripple
Since I photographed my ripple blanket on January 11, I have done half a stripe. At this rate, the remaining 50 stripes are going to take me until next Christmas.
This blanket began its life in Northumberland when I had a week’s break there in October. I am still really excited about it but have just got distracted by other things.
Chunky hexagons inch ahead
My autumn inspired chunky hexagon blanket is coming on pretty well but now its getting bigger, it needs quite a lot of new hexagons to make progress worth showing. The light today looks quite promising so maybe I will be able to take some nicer pictures and post about it at the weekend. Five rows of eight hexagons are complete now, so 40 motifs done and joined.
The chunky hexagons have taken up a lot of my evening time but I’ve also been distracted by little projects that should be quick but, of course, take time to think about as well as to make.
Joining in with two collaborative blanket projects – one with Heather at The Patchwork Heart and one with Penny and Lisa of Planet Penny and Bobobun, respectively, has been very interesting but its amazing how much time is eaten up designing and making a single flower granny square! I’ll tell you more about both of them next week and will have some pictures of the squares I’m contributing.
Knitting a few rows a night
And then there is the knitted scarf I’ve started for my daughter who is in Boston where the winter is a lot more severe than the north of England. I am not an experienced knitter but have been pleased at being able to master moss stitch and at the texture it produces.
This project requires a bit more discipline as it will be no good once the weather improves, so I have a strict schedule of 20 rows each night at least. So far, I have kept up, not without a struggle I have to say. Some evenings all I have had time to do is knit the 20 rows and then its time for bed! I am not a fast knitter and its hard to knit and watch TV, so if there is something I need to look at the screen for, scarf progress stalls.
The scarf also needs to be very very long. My daughter wants it to wrap around her neck twice and then for both ends to hang down below the waist. I’m estimating three metres and, as of today, I am half way there with 260 rows complete. If I stick to the schedule I will be at 300 on Saturday, two weeks after I cast on my stitches and I am hoping that another 2 weeks should see it done.
Celebrating slow crafternoons
My mind keeps going back to an exhibition last year at the Number Six studio gallery in Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire, a village in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. It was entitled, ‘Make it slow’. The focus of the exhibition were beautiful structural pieces of art made from natural materials and textiles and each made the point that the creative process can’t really be rushed. I try to think of this when I get impatient with projects.
Going slower will make for a better end product and doing the project slowly and mindfully has its own benefits. Like the old saying goes, its the journey that counts, not just getting to the destination.