General

Where has all the colour gone?

The changes in my attitude towards colour has been an interesting development. One that when I stopped and thought about it, didn’t really surprise me.

I’ve loved looking at colours and matching them, finding what goes with them, what compliments them and I really loved finding the unusual colour pairings that just seemed to work. Using colour as an expression of a design was something I loved most of all. I loved bright, muted, neutral, each had their place and in being a designer, it was rather helpful having a love of colour.

Now, all those same colours, that months ago brought so much joy, are screaming at me. They are too loud, and garish, and they feel like they are attacking my senses.

But my attitude towards colour was from a designer point of view, and even though as a designer I leaned towards romantic colours, that is not who I am or what truly expresses me anymore.

IMG_5310

This sock, a recent cast on, just seems to sum it all up. I’ve used two colours I loved. I had them picked out to work together, and went to them when I wanted to cast on a pair of socks. All past tense. The one thing I didn’t account for was my changed attitude to colour. I now can’t stand these colours, either singly or combined. I’ve tried to like them, after all I liked them before, surely I should still like them?

But no matter how much I try they just scream at me.

So if I now accept that I just don’t like these colours, and most other colours, what do I do now?

The easy option for these socks is to rip out the pattern, and not knit them with these colours. Easy, decision made, now this is no longer an issue.

But that left me with the question, “Where has all the colour gone?”

If colour is an expression of how we are feeling, and for me right now, my whole world has lost it’s colour, and I don’t feel my world is monochrome either, where on the colour spectrum am I now?

Neutral is where. Colours that while some may say are boring, to me, they are just quietly being themselves. I now crave colours that soothe MY soul, and whisper to MY spirit. I now no longer have to allow designs their expression. Now, I can have colours that allow my introverted self just get on with being my true me.

Only sometimes now, I wonder, if that means colour is gone?

But it’s not really gone, colour has just morphed itself, and is expressing ME as I always have been.

Ruth.

 

General

The Gift of Time

Time is precious, and I think there is no greater gift, than the gift of time. What is the gift of time? The gift of time is what I’m giving myself. The time to have new adventures when I want, because they look like something I’d like to do, or because they are something I’ve wanted to do but thought I didn’t have the time to be able to do.

It’s so easy to forget that you have time to do things, you just have to make it. It becomes so easy to use the excuse of not having time to not do things, that you end up in that circle. When I began this blog, I posted first with a little information HERE about why I was starting fresh with a new blog. I explained a little about what brought me to that point, and what I was doing, and hoped to do. Today though I feel the need to expand on that a little as I’ve made a decision that affects the foreseeable future.

When I took this summer off after the passing of my Mum, it was to give myself some space and time. Some space to deal with my grief, but also to take a step back from my work life while I made some decisions. While my grief is still on going with most days having good and bad moments and it will be like that for quite some time, I have made some decisions. The space I took helped to clarify some points with regards to my work life and it put some things into perspective about what I wanted to do, and what I didn’t want to do.

But first let me give a little more back ground information. You may or may not know me as the designer behind Knitterarium and what I explained in my first post (link above), was how I felt before my Mum died. With her passing, all that happened was it halted me in my tracks, it has made me take stock of what I wanted to do with my time and ultimately what I want to do with my life. All of this I would say is fairly natural, or at least to me it is. While most told me it was only a result of my Mum passing and I would feel different in time, only my Mum, family, and those close friends who I had confided in before my Mum’s passing, will truly know that this was a problem that was there before recent events.

I know I told everyone I’d make a decision by September but I see no point in putting off sharing my decision when the decision has been made now. I won’t be returning to designing or Knitterarium. I’ve closed up my shop and website and while I’m keeping my social media accounts in the unlikely event I decide to return, which I’m not ruling out, the social media accounts will have no activity on them. I see no point in putting off experiencing my gift of time, in wasting any moments in doing the things I want to do. You can of course follow my crafty adventures here on the blog or on my Instagram feed HERE. 

So here I now find myself on the brink of some new adventures, some I’ve already planned but a great many more as yet unknown to me. They may be good, they may be bad, but one thing is for sure they will be an adventure.

Ruth.

 

Knitting · Projects in Progress · Sewing

PIPs (Projects in Progress)

Projects in Progress is later this week than I intended but it’s a post you can see appearing earlier in the week. These projects are not just projects I’m working on but they have brought me joy. Included are, a Fintry cardigan, socks, a summer skirt and some Margot pyjamas.

IMG_5315

The Fintry cardigan is a design by Kate Davies and featured in her Yokes book. For my Fintry I’m using some Rauma 3tr Strikkegarn in the colour 147 which is a dark navy blue. My gauge was off on the stated 3.25mm needles so I went down to a 3mm needle and was nearer but still off. The fabric on the 3mm is dense and lovely so I decided to work with my gauge and the pattern to get a cardigan that will hopefully fit well.

IMG_5317

My socks are a toe up version of My Dearest Loveliest Elizabeth and I cast them on for a trip to the cinema with the children. I’m using some Eden Cottage Yarns Tempo 4ply yarn in the colours Apricot Tulip and Geum.

IMG_5312

I’ve cut out my last version of this summer skirt in a cute navy spot fabric that my Aunt gifted me. She was out in a fabric shop and saw it and thought of me! I need to pick up some binding and a zip and it will be quick enough to make up then, having made the last one in a day.

IMG_5316

Last project that I’m working on this week happens to be another sewing project. I really only like to work on one project at a time but I cut out some Margot pyjamas that I’ve been wanting to make for both my daughter and I for quite a while. My daughters are cut out but the light had faded the other evening when I was cutting out so I’ll cut out my pair at some point this week and I can begin those once the summer skirt is finished.

Apart from cutting out the sewing projects which took up an evening and a bit, most days I’ve worked on only one of these projects and I’ve enjoyed the slow steady rhythm that this has brought my days. My Fintry cardigan having been the main project of the week and its been very enjoyable.

Ruth.

General

The beginning…

There are times when you need to start off with a fresh new notebook, clean and unsullied, and that first blank page in the notebook holds so much promise. It can be anything, can hold anything and can lead to anywhere!

That’s what this post is, the first blank page of this journey. A chance to reinvent and start fresh after recent months, a chance to return to enjoying the fruits of my creative mind.

Loss and grief have a way of making you take stock. Look at where you are and where you’re going and asking yourself if that’s the direction you want to be headed in. These things had been to the forefront of my mind already and I wouldn’t have done anything about those thoughts if life hadn’t stepped in and made me take stock.

While I’ve always had a creative mind, in typical fashion I can’t remember a time I wasn’t creative, and as a creative it invariably starts off as hobbies. The dream is always to then be able to be paid to work at that hobby.

A few years ago I followed that dream and began to design and write knitting patterns. It was finally a chance to let my creative mind flow and expand. Ideas came to fruition and it was a joy to see others take as much delight in recreating those designs for themselves. It will be the thing I think I will miss most. The thing with being a creative in business for yourself is the hours that you put in and at first you don’t mind, after all, you’re just getting started. You are trying to build up your profile, get off the ground and get your designs out there and I did, for more than two years I gave it my all, my profile rose and my designs were out there but in recent months the more I worked the less I enjoyed it. All the hours I worked just seemed to add up with little to nothing in return and in the two years I produced and sold patterns, none of them ended in profit. I was still only covering costs. On the one hand I was feeding my creative mind but as a business I was failing. Not only was I not being paid for the endless hours I was putting in and missing away from family but I was seeing a lot of the same old things. I was starting to feel undervalued and in a rat race of producing more, to be noticed more, in order to make the business begin to pay for itself. I was resentful and I disliked how I was beginning to feel towards my work and design.

Then as I said life stepped in and helped me make the decision I was so reluctant to make, reluctant in fact to admit. When I took this summer off it became quickly apparent how much I’d been tied to the business and how much I’d lost the love of just creating.

At first I didn’t create anything, instead immersing myself in the books I’d long forgotten to read, the books I so wanted to read but had no time to read. Then I slowly began to create just for me again, with no pressure, and with no time frame. There were no deadlines to meet and I could start and finish when I wanted to. I began to once again enjoy the time I spent creating. I thought about what other things I’d wanted to do but didn’t have time to do. Sewing was top of the list. I’d always wanted to learn to sew my own clothes so I set about taking steps to do just that. I took a couple of lessons and started from there. This led me onto being able to realise the other dream of creating a me made wardrobe. With this in mind I finally picked up my knitting needles and chose a garment pattern that I had wanted to make but again, didn’t have time to. This garment fed into my dream of a me made wardrobe and so I started from there.

I’m working now on one project at a time. Enjoying every aspect of each project, from the deciding of the item either knitted or sewn. The materials I’ll need, whether they’ll fit in with my overall aesthetic and how they will work in my wardrobe. I am now able to slow down to a pace I like, a pace that allows me enjoy each of the moments of life and not just count those moments.

So that’s where I am at the moment, just enjoying being creative again, one project at a time.

Ruth.