I had a day off on Wednesday, and couldn’t believe my luck with the weather. And while I was due to spend most of the day inside at the Garden Media Event, I did manage to find some time to spend some time in a couple of my favourite Islington shops and spend some time just sitting on the green (on a bench obviously) enjoying the weather. It was so, so good. I’ve realised that in the everyday busyness of getting things done, I’ve somehow lost the space to think, for ideas to percolate and filter through and my day at the Business Design Centre provided lots of inspiration, as well as some time to just be.
To notice the small things in our environment - like the patina on these chairs outside a restaurant in Islington. They’re the type of thing I love, and the type of thing that MOH would immediately start taking some wire wool to and rubbing down. Seriously. Remember this is the man that dusted a wine bottle that was purposely meant to have dust on, in the shop, much to my amusement.
It’s also probably not a coincidence that this day off was the day that I rediscovered my Gratitude Journal. The one I’d diligently been completing since our break in Norfolk. Of course I found it under a pile of papers too, all of which I probably should have done something with, but I can deal with them another day! You might have seen it in my Instagram stories, as this week I’ve also decided to explore those. I’m not convinced I’ve anything much interesting to say, but i’ve already noticed an increase in activity and engagement over on Instagram.
If you have seen them, you’ll probably also have seen my fight with the knots - all self-made - in this beautiful skein of wool. I’d popped into SMUG and managed to leave without any purchases, which is unusual and then popped next door into LOOP London, where no such thing was ever going to happen. It was always going to be a case of how much, or rather how little I could spend before leaving.
These colours are my colours, and I was keen to get started. I only bought one skein, and that was all I was about to buy, but I needed to be sure I could make something I’d wear. The ladies in the shop assured me it was plenty to make a wrap, and my current thinking is an oblong chevron, lacy kind of wrap. But to use it, it needed to be wound into a ball. The knowledgeable ladies in the shop, also said that these skeins were hard to wind on a wool winder and so winding it by hand was the only option.
And yes, I still bought it. I mean, those colours.
It did remind me though of wool my mum used to buy, that we would take in turns to wind onto cones using her wool winder. Or when the wool winder wasn’t an option it would be my dad who would provide the guide for the wool. Realising that I stood little chance of employing MOH in the same way, I looked for alternatives, and the clothes horse was my best option.
And I was making great progress. I’d clearly not thought this through though and with washing in the machine I was up against the clock. Then I got a bit over confident and the much smaller skein slipped and ended up as a tangled mess.
Eventually I got down to the final knot.
This knot alone took plenty of time to unravel. I’m not known for my patience, and my persistence with this left MOH bemused. He was the one that suggested just cutting it, but from the look on my face he knew this wasn’t going to happen. Had he known the wool cost half the price of one of his more pricey cycling tops, then he might have been a little more on board with the care I was taking, but he didn’t need to know that detail.
He’s already realised that wool is expensive, I took him into a wool shop in Yorkshire where they specialised in locally sourced wool, and so of course it was more pricey than perhaps he thought, but as he’s a man that doesn’t skimp on quality and we both spend money on our hobbies, it was accepted for what it was.
Once I had the large ball wound, I wondered if I should have gone for smaller balls. But even though I much prefer variegated wool crocheted, rather than knitted, I’m still not a fan when the colour changes dramatically, and so having it as a continuous ball works for me and I’m hoping it will work well with the style I’ve chosen. I’ve got two patterns, both of which are very similar, now I just need to work out which I’ll tackle.
I can’t wait to start crocheting, however my head’s still buzzing with all the inspiration I picked up at the event on Wednesday and trying to work out how to share all of that here. It was just what I needed, as it reminded me just how much I enjoy this space of mine on the internet.
It seems it took a day full of garden products, some sun and quite a few knots to remind me of that…