A sock is finished. Just one. So the knitting needles are still out ready to make the next one. I've learnt a lot along the way; from the basics of juggling several knitting needles at once to how to do a Kitchener stitch to close up the gap at the toe. Now, although this feels like a huge accomplishment, it's also been a bit of a trial run as I can see where I can make
many improvements. The whole process of how it comes together is clearer now and I can see how it all takes shape. Let me be the first to tell you that mine are nowhere near as neat and precise as Sian's are! I need to tighten up my tension, or maybe use a smaller needle and I'd like to have a go at using a circular needle to avoid the slight change in tension where I move from the end of one to the beginning of the other. Look at me, already planning my next pair! I liked the fact that it didn't take long to make either, when you only have a few stitches on a needle, the rows soon fly by. And I also liked the way that there weren't huge lengths of stocking stitch to do as I am easily bored!
So that's what I've learnt since we last met.
In a moment of madness, I signed up for Liberate Your Art 2016. I loved the postcard exchange that we did a while ago and thought that this sounded fun too. I do love receiving Happy Mail! So after signing up, I wondered what the heck I was going to use for the images on my postcards. I am rubbish at the drawing/painting side of art, but with a bit of imagination wondered if photos of some of my quilts would be appropriate. Does sewing constitute art? Plus a few photographs that I'd taken which I quite liked. I had them printed, wrote my messages on the back and sent them off before I changed my mind. So what have I learnt this weekend, now that the first ones from other people have started arriving on my doorstep? I have learnt that there are a lot of very talented people out there and I fear that the poor people who receive my postcards are going to be a bit disappointed! I'll know better for next year!
But I wanted to also mention something else that caught my eye this weekend.
One of the blogs that I follow had an interesting discussion post this weekend. The blog is called 'A Beautiful Mess' and the post is here. It's about making friends on the internet. Something that would once upon a time have been considered a bit odd and I'm not sure that my husband always understands how I can have a friend that I've never met.
But it's very true that before blogging, your group of friends was limited to the people you met in your own locality. When I was first married, I met the wife of someone I went to school with who happened to move round the corner to us. We got together for a meal one evening and found out that we had so much in common. She became a firm friend and my partner in crime as we discovered various crafts that we wanted to learn. Oh the fun we had at lace making - we were by far the youngest ones there by about 40 years - and I've never met anyone locally since who would have fancied having a go at some obscure craft. Her husband very thoughtlessly found a job which involved them moving to the New Forest and although she enjoyed going to evening classes with me and spending Sunday mornings at local craft fairs, her loyalties appeared to be with her husband and she moved away.
The person who introduced me to blogging was my dear friend Denise, her enthusiasm for scrapbooking was contagious and before I knew it, I'd ordered a scrapbooking kit off QVC, bought various cutters, alphas and glue and was signed up to on online class with Shimelle. The rest, as they say, is history. I've 'met' so many people through blogging that I would never have met in real life. And whilst my scrapbooking mojo packed up and left a couple of years ago, I've discovered other crafts along the way that I would never have had the confidence to try without reading blogs of those who have the same interest. The pile of quilts that is growing in my lounge is testament to that. I would never have even thought of trying quilting if I hadn't seen the work that Abi showed on her blog. And through sharing that on my blog, I took part in the Friendship Quilt project, which in turn meant forging more bonds with fellow bloggers.
There are people whose blogs I love just because of how they write; their personality shines through and you just know that they are people who would be fun to spend time with. I love the way a little community forms, to support in times of hardship and also sharing the good times. They are no less friends than those people we know in real life. Please do have a look at the Beautiful Mess blog post and let me know what you think!