The last few weeks were full of pressure at work and trying to get 100 and one things done in the evening. I slept little, stayed up late. Every night I planned to squeeze in some creative time, some knitting, sewing and felting (the latter thanks to Betz White's Felt and Stitch Holiday which I'd taken part in). Each night, I failed. Yes, I did do some creative work with my photos and produced some amazing photo books and calendars, which I do count as creative work. I did follow the felt workshop and discovered new techniques, yet failed to make time to implement them. Try I did, succeed I did not.
Erica over at Little Mummy recently posted and interesting pyramid of needs and while I don't subscribe to the rather radical theory, it was clear that my head wasn't free to make mind time for crafting. It was frustrating. My approach has always been that all my crafting has to be enjoyable and not a chore - so I went with the flow. Last night, at last, the urge came back properly and within a day, I completed a knitting project. It was triggered by a visit to K1Yarns' Glasgow shop. For anyone who doesn't know K1Yarns, it's a top notch yarn shop, with one shop in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. The owner very kindly agreed to sell the print copy A Hat in Time without any commission and the reason for my visit was the delivery of a batch of books. In the shop, there were knitted tea cozies on display and amazing books on knitting and sewing caught my eye. Torn between 3 books, this one on Japanese Zakka (home style) sewing inspired me, ending up home with me along some wonderful knitting yarn:
There I was, frantically trying to source linen fabric, my head full of ideas, buzzing as it hadn't been in a long time. That very evening, I started to knit a tea cozy which I've just about finished (bar the finishing, excuse the pun). The feel of the yarn running through my fingers felt good beyond words, the pleasure of the texture created so satisfying. The joy of having found the right idea for someone special this Christmas. Thinking of the person while knitting it and which tea pot the cozy may keep warm.
It made me ponder how in spite of the sewing inspiration and the felting workshop, with all the materials lying about, I'd defaulted again to knitting. I feel at home knitting, unlike sewing and felting. I'm determined to become at home at least with sewing because somehow I feel it's meant to be, as my paternal family made their living from it. I can boast a father who can sew and cross stitch like you wouldn't believe it, having picked it up from his mum and aunt who were seamstresses and who were the sole breadwinners in the postwar years, with a fiance fallen in the Great War and a husband (my grandfather) injured in the Second World War. My father never was a great teacher, and while picked up knitting from my Mum, never did I do more than watch my Dad sew and stitch.
Sewing, for me, is something I still aspire to enjoy and get good at, because it's a family thing, a tradition, it should somehow be in my genes and there's pride in it too. Pride that my paternal grandparents were crafts people, a seamstress and a bricklayer, one to make homes, the other to make clothes and mend. A perfect combination, and considering I'm rather far removed from bricklaying, at least I want to do my father and his mother and aunt proud.
While for this weekend, I'll keep to knitting, hopefully next week will have some sewing in store at long last.