Every month I make plans to do a weekly update on my making and things I’m enjoying at the moment ,but then just let that thought slip through the cracks.
We are in level 2 of lockdown.Covid -19 situation has been so much better in NZ than in other parts of the world. I have so so many things to be grateful for , but in this time of uncertainty,I have been quite scatterbrained. While I keep reading and hearing about how we all navigate these surreal times in our own ways, I hate to admit that I have been struggling with anxiety as well.
I am trying , to be productive and positive. Sometimes I win and sometimes I lose. However , I ‘m not giving up and I try to focus on things that bring me joy.
I’m writing down everything, to keep track of my schedules, the things I do ,to keep track of things and slow down and enjoy.
Like I said before, I’m trying and giving myself grace to fall down and get back up again.
Signs of Spring are popping up everywhere in the form of daffodils, cherry blossoms and hyacinths, I just hope we will have gone back to level one normality by the time Spring and Summer rolls by.
Recently I bound off a few projects off my needles, Skyping Beanie , Rafa’s Hat and the Colour Affection Shawl.
Skyping Beanie :
Winter this year has been hard for specially Jacob,after staying away for three years in the middle east. He specially requested that I make him a hat to wear when he takes Amber for her walks and when he works out in the garden early in the morning or late in the evening.
It always is a pleasure to make things for my family because they love it . They have worn whatever I’ve made them proudly announcing to every one that asked that ‘Pearlin/mumma made it’ . Isn’t that enough to make a maker’s heart itch to cast on things all the time?
I could have finished it long back but as per usual, I didn’t have DPNs to finish the crown part. I had order some online, and by the time they arrived , I had lost track of what I was doing and made a few mistakes before I got back into rhythm with the project.
I used the Vanitas yarn I got in my goodie bag at Craft Camp Nz. It is super soft yarn made with baby alpaca and organic merino from Outlaw yarn again.
Project Details :
Pattern : Skpying Beanie by Halldora J
Yarn: Outlaw Vanitas in Nostalgia
Needles: 4mm Chiagoo Circulars and DPNS
Project Notes :
This was a really quick and wonderful pattern to knit.
While Jacob really loves his Skyping Beanie , and wears it often, he is someone who doesn’t like wearing too much colour. He requested another Skyping Beanie in some shade of grey or greyish blue or shades of black . When I saw Outlaw Bohemia Worsted in Ebony, I knew he would love it. I did plan to make a Skyping Beanie, with it but then I wanted to try a different pattern and decided on Rafa’s Hat by Joji Locatelli.
Project Details :
Pattern : Rafa’s Hat by Joji Locatelli
Yarn: Bohemia Worsted in Ebony
Needles: 3.75 mm Chiagoo Circulars, 3.5 mm Dpns
Project Notes :
This was a another lovely pattern
I did not have 3.75 mm DPNs for the crown decrease and so used the 3.5 mm DPNs I had on had , it did not make a big difference .
The yarn was a dream to work with . The result is another cozy , warm beanie for the winter cold.
I also finished the Colour Affection Shawl , I was working on. While it seemed like it took forever to finish, it worked up pretty quickly in the end. My co-worker Ethan has offered to block the Colour affection shawl for me and so its with him, until he can find time to block it and finish it completely.
The past couple of weeks I must confess have been hectic. Things that took a lot of my mental energy and didn’t leave me energy to do much else.
I had a few projects going , but however hard I tried, I just could not make myself to pick them up my needles or my hook.
So instead of just pushing myself to keep going with my projects, I decided to take some time away from it all. Until I really felt the desire to pick up my needles or hook back.
I downloaded an e book on Libby ( which is an app from the Christchurch Library that my friend Louise introduced me to) and read it. Did a little bit of journaling , tried a few new recipes and kind of went with the flow until I got the making spark again.
The break did me good and now I am back to making .
I have been working on my colour affection shawl and really enjoying it. The garter stitch fabric that the Little Bandit Yarn from Outlaw Yarn creates feels so squishy and soft. I love it.
In the first section, I ran out of the first colour , a few stitches before finishing that section. I ploughed through that with my second colour. And then I ran out of the second colour as well!
So, I decided to put it aside until I could go back into the store to get more yarn.
In the meantime, I was working on a few rows here and there on my Skyping beanie. In spite of the few mistakes I made on it, I’m thrilled , it is now technically finished. I still need to weave in the ends though for it to be officially finished .
After I completed the Beanie, I did manage to go into the store and get the little bandit Scallywag yarn I had run out on. I have started working back on my Colour Affection Shawl. However, I was getting a tad restless as I wanted to get done with this shawl and move on the other two projects I have in mind already.
As I was reflecting on my making journey , I realised that it is good for me to embrace the moments of not making, just as much the moments of making , to truly enjoy the bliss of making things with my hands and to come back with renewed enthusiasm to my projects. I even have a progress keeper to remind of finding joy in the process of making just as much as holding a finished project in my hand.
Instead of just churning out finished objects one after another for the sake of numbers (of projects finished ) I want to experience the joy of making ,with every single one of the items I make. Not just that, I also want to make time to read, walk outside with Amber , try a new recipe or skill or technique, enjoy the simple beauty of nature around me.
I feel truly grateful for having the choice to choose what I want to do with my time and my resources. I do hope this post inspires you to do the same if you are able to.
What a couple months it has been! No one saw this dark cloud coming huh? The leaves have started changing colour . We had a couple of earthquakes like we didn’t have enough already with the Covid 19 Pandemic.
All businesses except essential services have closed and we are still in level 4 lockdown.It feels strange to see caution tape in the park near our home.
The uncertainty of days after the lock down is lifted ,kind of looks bleak at this pointNevertheless , never have I been happier to be living in NZ like at present. I admire our Prime Minister for the decisions she made during this critical time.
Moreover , since I enjoy being home, it hasn’t been too hard for me .All essential things are available without any hardship. More than anything however, I am so thankful for the family time this quarantine has allowed our family to have. It has definitely helped keep my spirits up , to notice little things and enjoy them.Like someone close to us pointed out, its a strange blessing for us.
The boys are having online classes, although they miss their friends and going out, they seem to be happy to be home. We have now become used to online Church Service, Zoom Bible study, chats and Knit groups . Its good to be connected this way, although I do miss going out to cafes with my friend.
I had to clear out my craft room for my son and now I really don’t have a designated space to hide sew or knit.My routine has gone off the window and I am trying to hold on to some sort of schedule ; successful sometimes and unsuccessful at other times.
I must admit that I have been feeling like I have ten tabs open inside my brain and unable to think clearly. So now I have decided to not check my phone as soon as I wake up. Instead , I wake up at 6.45 a.m when my alarm goes off, brush my teeth, drink a cup of warm water, pray, shower , have breakfast, attend Bible study and only after that, I check my instagram and emails.
This has helped me not feel overwhelmed all the time.Plus I’m taking it easy and not stressing over unfinished projects. I do regular updates of my day on Insta-stories, I rearranged my journaling space and now enjoy journalling my day to day updates and sometimes do creative art journaling with soft music playing in the background.
With everyone being home, a lot of food is being cooked and polished off in like ten seconds
.I may have put on weight but I have gone off sugar during this period and was surprised that for the amount sugar I was taking in, it hasn’t been that hard to give it up.
The one being that has single handedly been drawing us out of our respective spaces of the house, keeping us all distracted, entertained and our spirits up, is our sweet adorable Amber. I think she is the happiest to have all her humans at home all the time.
Have a blessed time my friends and please stay safe at home if you are able to.
It has been a long dream of mine to make a throw blanket. If you go through my past blog post, you can see how many I have started. The reason there is no finished blanket on here is because I never got around to finishing them.
Honestly, when I started this Chunky blanket, given my previous history of making blankets, I wasn’t sure if I would finish it. The Outlaw Chunky Queen Bee yarn , and the easy and fun Chunky Blanket Pattern , made this blanket dream of mine come true. To my own surprise , it turned out to be a quick knit.
With the little leftover yarn, I decided to make tassels because I just wanted to use them up and also add a fun element to it. I was tossing between pompoms and tassels but then I decided to go with tassels. I am happy with how it turned out.
Project Details :
Pattern : Chunky Cable Blanket
Yarn : Queen Bee Yarn in Smudge, Yara, Titania and Zelda ( 9 skeins in total)
The idea to start the Chat over Chai series, has been on my mind for a while now. In spite of sharing a lot on the blog, I felt a certain disconnect, so I’m going to try a bit of blogging like old times.
This is basically simply a catch up series ; to connect a little bit more, by offering a sneak peak into things happening in my life , to chat about things I’m really enjoying ; on the crafty side , slow living , cooking , current favourites – different things , I can share to make note of, look back on , enjoy and be inspired to grow and thrive.
You might want to grab a cup of chai (tea or coffee – whatever you prefer) for this one
This year, Autumn and Winter went by really fast and we are into Spring which is really like being in a whole new world.
It’s just so lovely seeing the world come alive with birds chirping , flowers blooming , there seems to be an aura of gaiety in the air.
While I have struggled a lot with the colder months, I have learnt that slowing down and doing a few extra things, that I normally never did otherwise during these months, helped me a lot to keep up my good spirits.
How did my version of Slowing down look like?
This was pretty much my every day routine during the cold months. I’m sharing it on my blog hoping that it will help someone feeling down as the temperatures, daylight and sunshine go down
Making my cup of tea, taking time to sit down and enjoy drinking it , feeling the warmth of my tea , warm up my body
Look out my door , make note of the sunlight flooding the mountains with its golden glow or the clouds completely cover up the mountains
Send Steve off to school,
Snuggle with my baby Amber, listening to my favourite gospel music, reading the Bible and praying
Taking time to shower and get dressed in presentable clothes in the morning with care, put on my favourite perfume,
Go for a walk once in a while with Amber
Do a bit of skin care once a week
Gratitude Journal every week
Use Bargain box for dinner ( this way, I did not have to do much meal planning but still had the recipes and the ingredients ,had a chance to try something new and different.
In the evenings, I often lighted up some lovely scented candles, put on some dreamy jazz music , kept the heat pump on and cooked dinner.
I added fairy lights where every I could, added cushions and throws to create cozy and warm around me.
Once a week I went out for brunch with my friends, or invited them over to just chat over home made ginger chai, it felt good to have those little moments of just sharing and enjoying the friendships
I joined a low impact exercise class which helped immensely as well.
Some days when I just did not feel up to it, I just let go, ordered food from Uber Eats and spent time with my kids watching re runs of Castle lounging on the sofa.
Weekends were a little bit different. We slept in , cooked some delicious meals to last at least a couple of days so that when I felt uninspired to cook, there was something to heat up and eat ready at hand.
I’m sharing these here in the hope that it will help someone who needs it. However these are not set in stone things to do, do what soothes your soul the most .
How do you cope with the Colder Months?
If you also do some of these things please share them with me.
Or if you have some other things that helped you cope through the colder months, please share them as well.
I’ve always enjoyed learning to make new things and the two seasons have been really good on that front.
First thing that I wanted to learn to make this year was to learn to make socks. I did not get a good result when I attempted to teach myself. When a class was announced at a local yarn store, I did not think twice before signing up. The yarn and the needles were part of the class.
Good thing I did because, not only did I learn to make the socks, i really enjoyed it as well as one colour transitioned to another .Whats so exciting is that they fit my foot perfectly!.Im still learning to do the Kitchener stitch perfectly though.
A local yarn store advertised for sample knitters and I applied and got to make a sample blanket.The yarn and pattern were given to me by the yarn store plus paid to make the blanket.
Honestly it was so fun to work on once I got hang of all the repeats right. The yarn was really lovely to work with as well.
What I really liked about this blanket was that the edging on the blanket was also a chevron.
By the time I finished this blanket, this yarn store decided to move to a near by town . So I took a bus to go there to return the blanket which turned out to be another adventure!
I also made a pony tail headband to wear when walking Amber . The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the colourway Lotus. Its really cozy and warm to wear.
I also tried my hand at candle pouring. Which was really fun too.Ive been using these candles I made constantly
I also took a Botanical Skin care Workshop with Tuwahiwi Botanicals , which was a wonderful workshop and I learnt a lot of face oils .
This work shop took me straight back to the days when my mom and I used to make all sorts of natural skincare powders.
My dad would tirelessly went to the local native medicine shop to get all the things from our long list of ingredients. Some of the ingredients we often collected from the plants growing wildly near our home.Beautiful carefree days to reminiscence and cherish the love that went into my upbringing.
Looking back at all these things it feels like a very productive season.
Its been a while since I wrote on my blog. My last post was in March 2019! I did not mean to be away for so long. But I have been busy doing things and not so regular in updating the blog
It was the school holidays. I happened to stumble on a book called How to Hygge by Signe Johansen in the library online and promptly downloaded my first ever e -book loan from the library.
I have read a couple books on the Danish concept of Hygge but nothing spoke to me the way this book did . So I decided to put some of the things into practice .It really helped, I must admit.
I added cushions and a faux fur throw to cozy up our couch ,
Used dried lavender from our lavender plant for our kitchen counter
dried hydrangeas from our garden in the hall
greenery from pothos plants that I have been propagating, pine cones that I found in our walk in the Christchurch Botanic Garden
some fairy lights and some candles I made at a Workshop
Beginning of Autumn, we spent a day walking around the Christchurch Botanical gardens. Every season there is something to enjoy at the gardens, but my favourite times to visit there are Autumn and Spring.
The colours are just spectacular during this time. I’m sharing some of my favourite pictures my son shot.
Walking around the Rose garden ,the roses and the scent of roses pervading all over the garden was glorious.
We spent a good amount of time watching the ducks chase each other on the water
While the geese glided around seemingly oblivious to the commotion happening around
This swan was so graceful in the water
Creating a cozy space, having greenery inside the home, taking note of the things in nature really helped me, to focus on the beauty of simple things and take pleasure in them.
Also, during this time, a friend and I together , started a knit / craft and chat that like to call the Knit2together group in my home . This turned out to be a simple yet cozy way to connect with the ladies in my church doing something we all loved.
Practising gratitude, enjoying the seasons , connecting with nature and other people made Autumn a very lovely season for me.
Being intentional this way also helped me to forget dreading the approach of Winter .(which I would always do and work myself into a knot)