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Sunday, 21 June 2015


Father's Day and Mother's Day are not things my family does. And now that I have neither a mum or a dad still living, they are events that I am completely detached from. But I've been thinking about my dad this week, and trying to tease out things that I learned from him, directly or indirectly.

The first thing was very definitely, follow your heart. Because he wasn't able to. My dad wanted to play football and work on boats. But his knee was dodgy so the playing of football was short-lived, and my Grandad decided that working on boats was not a suitable career and insisted that dad did his apprenticeship on cars and lorries instead. I wouldn't say that dad hated it, because an engine is an engine, regardless of it's wrapper, but dad wanted to be on and around the water, not in a garage in a town. The apprenticeship was a good thing, and lead to mum and dad being able to get their first mortgage too as dad's employer was also their referee, but it wasn't in his heart.

The next thing is, you are good enough. This I probably learned more directly from my mum, but indirectly through dad's own self-depreciation and long-term depression. Trying to sell a house while the owner is pointing out all the things they haven't yet fixed or even started isn't easy. Allowing someone else to form an opinion of you as you stand, warts and all isn't easy. But it brings with it a sense of achievement, that they want the house, or you, for what is there.

Finally, say yes more than you say no. Or not yet. Or I can't. The more you say no, the more you paint yourself into a corner. Saying yes is a stepping stone on to something else. Of course, you should be careful of what you are saying yes to, but if it doesn't hurt anyone and you can afford it, and more importantly if it takes you out of your "normal" expreiences, try a yes more often. You might only get that opportunity once.

Saturday, 13 June 2015


Saturday 13 June 2015 was World Wide Knit In Public day, and if I had been more organised I would have been at the Bath Assembly Rooms to join the other knitters there. It looked a lot of fun, but as with many things, I only found out about it at the last minute.

Instead I did my own KIP mission around Cheltenham. I packed my essentials and jumped on the bus.

The weather was not helpful; my first location was on a damp bench (I took a plastic carrier bag with me to sit on!) under a tree next to the Neptune fountain. It had just started mizzling again (that misty rain that gets everywhere and for which umbrellas are little defence), but the tree kept most of it off me.

I had chosen to work on a new pair of cotton socks for myself, something that I can knit from memory. Several people watched me knit as they walked past, and one lady did come over and ask me what I was knitting. She said she knits, but she had never seen anyone using 4 needles before.

After about half an hour, the mizzle turned to proper rain and the drips from the tree were finding their way onto my hands. Time to decamp and find somewhere under cover. I walked to one of the two shopping arcades in the town and found a space on a bench there. I alternated keeping my eyes down and looking up and knitting by feel. People are a bit wary of direct eye contact, though many were either glued to their phones or on their own missions to get in, around, and out of town as quickly as possible. I did catch a few people watching me though, and several young children were very curious as they were walked past me by their otherwise distracted adults. I got some smiles, which was nice, and I heard a couple of people talking about knitting once they had moved past me.

I stayed there for about an hour, and managed to convince a nice chap to take a photo of me as proof.

I had hoped to do a final KIP in Boston Tea Party, with a cup of tea and a slice of their wonderful berry yoghurt flapjack, but when I got there they were packed and not a table to be had. So I had to admit defeat, and did a final few rounds of the sock while waiting for my bus home instead.

Next year I shall be more organised ....

Friday, 12 June 2015

Introductory offer

There is a new knitting pattern at Hare's Moon: the "End of September" cowl. Available as an instant download via Payhip for just £1 until 31 August 2015.

It's a loose-fitting, quick to knit cowl, ideal for the first days of autumn. Knitted in the round, using Aran weight / Worsted yarn. Suitable for a beginner knitter, this garment can be completed in an afternoon.

Materials required: approx 100g / 200 m Aran weight yarn; size 4.5 mm double point needles.

It's also listed in the Ravelry.com pattern library here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/end-of-september-cowl so you can link to it and show off your own versions!