*this is a post for the 6th annual knitting & crochet blog week hosted by ekimimi makes. To see other posts on this topic search #6KCBWDAY3
*this is a post for the 6th annual knitting & crochet blog week hosted by ekimimi makes. To see other posts on this topic search #6KCBWDAY3
Knitting saved my life.
I believe this to be true.
My brain tells me lies.
It tells me that I’m not good enough, that no one wants me, no one could ever love me, the whole world is against me and I am stupid and ugly and mean and cruel and a terrible person.
My brain tells me these things daily.
I take medication to make me remember that my brain isn’t working properly. Most people don’t have their brain constantly telling them that they’re worthless and everything would be better off without them. Most days it works and these thoughts don’t consume me like they did before I found the right medication. Then there are other days when the lies my brain tells me get through to me and I have to be strong enough to not believe them. And I’m not always that strong.
Knitting helps me not believe the lies.
It shuts down my brain. I can knit and make things and my brain can’t lie to me because I can see it with my own eyes that I can knit. I can make things. I can make fucking awesome things!
Having something tangible that I can hold makes some of those lies go away.
Not always, but some of those days where I’m in a depressive state and all my strength is taken up by moving from the bed to the couch, I can pick up some knitting and make something. I can knit.
I can knit. My brain can’t tell me that what I make doesn’t exist.
That’s why I think knitting saved my life. If I didn’t have that crutch to fall back on, that tangible evidence that makes me realise that my brain lies to me…….
*this is a post for the 6th annual knitting & crochet blog week hosted by ekimimi makes. To see other posts on this topic search #6KCBWDAY2
If I were yarn I’d be bright, cheery, and colourful.
If I were yarn I’d be soft and squishy.
If I were yarn I’d be durable and tough
If I were yarn I’d be kind when you needed me to but challenging when I knew you could cope.
If I were yarn I’d like to make you feel better when you see me.
If I were yarn I’d let you know what I wanted to become. And the pattern would be well structured, well written and clear.
If I were yarn I’d be clever and springy and accomodating.
If I were yarn I’d be reliable and always practical.
If I were yarn I’d like to be petted all the time.
That’s the kind of yarn I’d like to be.
*this is a post for the 6th annual knitting & crochet blog week hosted by ekimimi makes. To see other posts on this topic search #6KCBWDAY1
Remember that shawl that I posted without taking a good picture of first?
Well I have my photo!
Isn’t it just lovely??? Megs of course but also my shawl!!!
The pattern is nurmilintu and I just finished another, this time for myself and also in my own hand dyed yarn.
At one point Tina ran off with a pin in her mouth and I had to chase her through the house so she didn’t hurt herself. In the end I locked them in their room (formerly the spare room) pinned it all out and then put it outside and once it got dark then put it into our bedroom and closed the door.
That’s the problem with open plan houses. No place to block your shawl with two nosy kittens.
I’m still not entirely convinced that the lace panels are correct. Either due to me not being able to count or the chart being wrong, but I don’t really care.
I was gifted the most special of yarns.
Keri (of whendidibecomeaknitter) sent me a skein of her hand spun.
It was sent with a knitted dalek and a Canada Mug (which I use most mornings and I now know most of the words to Oh Canada) and a very precious skein of her own hand spun yarn! From the date on the original photo it has been in my stash since 2013 just waiting for the right pattern to come along.
Well in the end I devised the right pattern.
After casting on 5 stitches I repeated the following two rows.
Row 1: Knit 1, Knit front & back, knit til last 3, knit 2 together, knit 1
Row 2: Knit til last 2 stitches. Knit front & back, knit 1.
Then every now and again I would do a row of yarn over knit 2 together (while following the increase at one end, decrease at the other pattern).
It still needs blocking to even out the 4 rows of yarn over-knit 2 together to end the shawl. But the kittens have stolen my craft room and so now I don’t know where to block anything.
It’s also awkward given my blocking matts have become their scratching pads.
I really don’t want to put such a pretty shawl onto a cat scratching pad!!!
Firstly it was awesome to be gifted some hand spun yarn! It must have taken so long to spin and ply and wind. Seriously just the effort alone is awesome and a wonderful gift.
Secondly as a novice spinner it was really interesting to see the imperfections, the quirks, and idiosyncrasies of yarn that has been hand spun. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t fantastic quality, because it was and is! But seeing hand spun up close is going to help my own spinning (once a part is fixed on my wheel).
So not only did I get a lovely gift which resulted in a fantastic finished object, but I got a lesson in working with hand spun yarn.
Reason #7482929 knitters are brilliant people.
THANK YOU KERI!!! You’re the best!!!!
So many exciting things I am going to split them over two posts!!!
I have one more quest before I’m finished (well getting to the credits) of Dragon Age 2.
Then I can start Dragon Age Origins. Because the obvious way to play video games is play them in reverse release order. Still I’ve nearly finished 2 video games! I think I’ve only ever finished one other game previously which was Final Fantasy 7.
I’ve been doing a lot of cool knitting and crochet related stuff which you’ll find about soon enough, but that’s strictly need to know at the moment. (I feel really super cool just being able to say that. It’s the small things.)
I had a lovely crafternoon picnic hosted by the lovely Lisa of teaandcrafts (and recently Frankie magazine fame!!!!) and some other Perth crafty ladies. PLUS PLUS PLUS!!!!! I got some crafty presents including the coolest cup!
Her drawings are super cute and I love it so much. It’s just purrfect. It’s a cat with glasses, polkadots, purple hair and knitting. Sound like anyone you know ☺️
I already have some ideas up my sleeve for a thank you gift!
I’m predicting an ongoing exchange of thank you pressies.
I also got a lovely package of goodies from Megan from crafternoon nap.
Look I’m even wearing matching socks!
Seriously crafty people are the best!!!
How cool is this scarf?! It has a slip in the pattern which makes it into a sort of tie. It’s super awesome. (I had to show off the dragon earrings I made for myself at the same time.)
I’ve absolutely zipped through Lois Lowry’s – The Giver series. I bought them on a whim before a doctors appointment. One of favourite book shops is right near my doctors office. I use book buying as a treat for going to the doctor.
I read all 4 in one weekend! They are aimed at children so the print is large and they are short, but the concepts are pretty big. Definitely thought provoking.
I definitely have a bad case of the reading bug because Thursday I plucked Night Circus off the bookshelf on a whim and proceeded to read in one whole night. I did not stop. It was one of those books that I made and ate dinner with one hand so I could keep reading.
I was only planning on a few chapters while HWFishes was watching an episode of Top Gear that I didn’t want to watch. Ended up with the whole evening with a nose in a book.
Somehow I’ve managed to save the most exciting news for last.
There is now a new addition to our household. Everyone say hello to Tina!
Tina after my cartoon hero, Tina Belcher.
She’s an absolute cutie that we adopted from our local vet. Currently her home is my crafty room which is the cleanest it’s ever looked. We’ll try and gently introduce herself to the rest of the house.
She’s 14 weeks, adorable, and has taken quite a liking to under the spare bed. She’s already exploring and adventurous. And loves reading over my shoulder. Cute as a button.
Well that’s enough for now. Maybe next time I’ll talk about knitting!
I feel like I’m trying to knit everything all at once!!!
I have my Sunshine Shawl making good progress after watching Australia beat England and India beat Pakistan over the weekend.
Then I am so close to finishing my crickety cricket scarf it’s just beckoning for me to finish it, even if that means staying up all night (which I am vehemently resisting but a girl is only so strong!)
I’m definitely on the home stretch.
Then there are my spirally socks. I’ve just turned the heel which means that these are also nearly finished. I’ve already planned the next project for my sock needles.
Then this shawl has gone missing and I’m systematically turning the house upside down looking for it.
And then there’s also this yarn that I dyed and just can’t stop petting.
More about that later…. When I have time!!!!
There’s still Dragon Age 2 that I’m trying to finish, and Mass Effect 3 which I’m really starting to get hooked on, plus the desire to play Dragon Age Inquisition which I have played until the final quest but there is still so much I need to do!
And so many feelings!!!!
Plus you know a full time job, plotting for birthday presents & surprise mail, and some big ideas for my blog.
I need a nap just thinking about it.
Almost immediately after posting what shall now be known as the first instalment of Mums Garden, I received a flow of emails with more photos. (Mum is a very faithful reader of my blog – Hi Mum!!!! love you!)
So I can show you some of the wildlife, and not so wild life that we enjoyed.
Mum is particularly fond of birds. I am not so fond. Yesterday I was just minding my own business, reading a book on our front porch (the last book of the Grisha series by Leigh Burdugo so it was particularly tense) and there’s an unidentified noise coming from the roof. I look up and I see two eyes and a beak peering down at me. Fortunately it flew off to chase some smaller prey but it made me jump out of my skin.
I’m jumpy around birds, which makes these next three photos a little odd to be on my blog.
I’ll put them after a break for all of you who are also jumpy around birds.
Continue reading Mums Garden – Part 2
My parents are moving house for the second time in my life. And while it’s a good move and a necessary one, it does mean that Mum loses her garden that she’s spent 15 years pottering around in.
Somewhere along the line Mum’s green thumb genes mixed with some recessive black thumb gene and resulted in me. I have killed cactuses.
So I asked Mum to guest post for me and show me her favourite parts of the garden.
There aren’t many places that can compete with this view. Although living so close to a National Park does have its downsides.
Fortunately fires aren’t too regular an occurrence.
But being that close to the National Park means native flowers and wildlife thrive. We actually do get kangaroos come up to the backyard and drink from the bird bath. [Beks note – I wish Mum had sent me a pic of that! I’m sure we have one somewhere]
I’ve been excited about this for some time and somehow managed to keep it a secret until it was released.
I’m featured on the latest episode of Hollis Jay’s podcast ‘Myriads of Thought‘!
Hollis is a supercool lady who talks about her life, geekery, and things that are generally interesting and awesome.
She also finds cool people who make cool things and interviews them (thats where I come in).
I must admit that I hadn’t listened to an episode before she contacted me, but I’ve listened to every episode since and quite a bit of the back catalogue.
Check my interview out from the 1:22 mark, or just listen to the whole thing. I am among some awesome company this week.
Seriously I am still chuffed that people like what I make enough to buy it let alone interview me about it! Thanks Hollis for having my words on your show. Its strange to hear something I wrote not in my voice and Australian accent.
Listen to it here or I’ve put a transcript below.
1. Introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Bek. I live in Perth Australia in a 100 year old cottage where I’m lucky enough to have a crafty room all to myself where I can make as much mess as I want. I taught myself how to knit 3 years ago and that opened my eyes to the crafty underbelly of the internet. I met a whole heap of awesome knitters and multi-crafters and realised that making something I could touch and see is a really great feeling, particularly as my day job involves sitting at a computer.
2. Tell us about your shop.
I sell metal stamped cuffs and rings as well as hand made earrings and stitch markers. I have some pre-made cuffs but mostly people like to personalise and send me a phrase which means something to them. I also have a custom order option so if you like something that you’ve seen on my blog like embroidered cushions or a pair of earrings that I don’t have in my etsy shop, you can request them and we can work something out.
3. Can you go in the making of one of your pieces from beginning to end?
For a custom cuff the first thing I need is what’s going on it. I take that and write it on a piece of paper to get a feeling for the length and also as a reference for spelling. I’ll also google it, if it’s not a reference I’m familiar with because I’m curious like that.
From there I visualise how it will look, particularly if it’s over two lines or is front and back.
Depending on the size of the cuff requested, and the length of the phrase I pick out the right size stamp set. Then I tape the cuff to my anvil and figure out where to start. Then I hit each letter with a hammer. It’s quite noisy and deliciously satisfying. Once I’ve finished the stamping I use a sharpie to colour in the letters. I let that dry and then wipe off the excess with rubbing alcohol and give it a bit of a shine.
I then bend it using a bracelet bender which creates a nice shape. Then I resist the urge to keep it for myself!
4. Do you have a favorite piece in your shop? What is it, and why?
I have a soft spot for the cat earrings as they were my first ever sale.
I really love a ring that I made for myself that has mine and my partners anniversary date on the inside and a heart on the outside. That’s really special and even more so because I made it. I think that’s the wonderful thing about custom pieces. The personal touch makes them unique and meaningful. I’m also currently working on an embroidery with the firefly theme song. It’s going to be epicly awesome.
5. Is there a particular genre that inspires your pieces, and if so what is it and why?
Definitely pop-culture references! I keep a notebook with me at all times and anything that makes me cackle or think hmm this would be good on a bracelet goes straight into the notebook. This happens a lot whilst watching television or listening to music.
I also have a tumblr, thingstoembroideroncushions.tumblr.com which collects all sorts of random quotes and phrases from around the internet.
6. What scares you?
Birds. I am one of those people who ducks down in their car if a bird flies at them. Don’t ask me for custom bird earrings please!!
7. Who or what motivates you and/or inspires you to create?
Words are still a major part of how we communicate. There are so many writers out there who can say things much better than I ever could. I take the bits that mean something to me and transplant them into a different context such as a cushion, bracelet or a ring.
Once they’re out of context they can take on a new meaning and a new significance. Some of my favourite nights are me and my best friend getting home from a night out, watching Black Books and quoting it back and forth. Now that she lives further away, we do the same thing over twitter! I have forged friendships through a shared love of the same tv show. I know I’m not alone in this. I’m taking something that people already love and connect over and making it visible and wearable.
8. Are you more spontaneous within your work or more precise?
I should be more precise because as soon as I make a spelling mistake or mix up the direction of a stamp I have to start all over again. But I’m pretty disorganised and spend half the time picking up letters and trying to figure out what they are. I’m definitely spontaneous with earring making and stitch markers. I put everything out in front of me and just experiment.
9. Who are your favorite artists, writers, and musicians? What are your favorite books, films, television shows, etc?
There’s a website where you put in tv shows, how many seasons you watch and it calculates how long it would take to watch every episode. I got to 100+ days before I stopped and backed away slowly. Needless to say I love the medium of television and it’s detailed storytelling capability. I tend to reference Black Books, Coupling, 30 Rock, Doctor Who, Buffy, Angel, Community, Parks and Rec, Bobs Burgers, Firefly, and Arrested Development the most. I recently marathoned Leverage on Netflix which had so many ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ pop culture references. I like that in a television show.
Editors and Blood Red Shoes both released albums this year which I cannot stop listening to (or scribbling down lyrics in my notebook). I also love Cold War Kids, Silversun Pickups, Haim, Bombay Bicycle Club, Sugar Army, The Shins, Wolf & Cub, Phantogram and The Decemberists.
I once started to write the lyrics to Neutral Milk Hotels – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on my bathroom wall, but only got about half way through.
Total Eclipse of the Heart is me and my best friend’s karaoke song (and so I made her a cushion with the lyrics on it).
If I’m having a bad day then the Once More With Feeling soundtrack never fails to brighten my day.
Growing up my parents could never get my nose out of a book. My current house has an epic, all the way to the ceiling, bookshelf which I will eventually fill!
I have a whole section of bookcase dedicated to Jane Austen and associated books (Jane Austen Book Club is one). When I moved out of home I took the whole Anne of Green Gables series with me which I still regularly re-read. I like Sophie Kinsella, Maggie Alderson, and Lauren Weisberger for instant girly gratification. I enjoy Philippa Gregory and in particular The Cousins War series. I’m a sucker for a narrative style where the same story is told from different perspectives.
I just finished the Duncan Lay series Empire of Bones which I really enjoyed. And I’m anxiously awaiting the third novel in the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothsfuss.
I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the funniest and awesomest people around. They’re the type of people that inspire me, as well as the everyday people that I’ve met through the internet that are doing all kinds of cool stuff.
10. Promote yourself. Shamelessly. :)…:)
You should visit my shop because I guarantee you’ll find something you like. Or if you don’t I’ll try and make it anyway. Who doesn’t like one of a kind-custom stuff!
I am also still updating my song of the week playlist so check that out in you’re in need of some new tunes!