Monday, 29 February 2016

Forward March

The weekend began with a 6am claw-on-glass-door rattle from Hero who needed to go out immediately.
Too slow, Roo. 

But it was good to greet the sunrise and stride out across the fields and through the woods, when only the gamekeeper was up and about.
I need to knit a neon hat to avoid any possibility of being mistaken for a deer.
Hero must have found the leftovers from Saturday morning's hunt, as later I came across a single hooved leg lying outside the front door - eeeurgh! 
The joys of country living.

All day I was a whirlwind of activity.  I tackled my home filing system, did the washing and hung it out, scrubbed the floor, cleared out a cupboard and still managed to get to the market town and back before lunch.

And then there was quiet knitting time, working on my Ellipses shawl and casting on a new sock for spring.

Plenty of time to read:  I finished "Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl" by Carrie Brownstein, which would have been a lot better if I had recognised the cross-references.
I am just not cool enough!

On Sunday I knitted and read and watched a dvd.
Time to trace the Archer shirt pattern.
So much time to myself.

So perhaps I may be forgiven for my long introspections.
The pondering of such inconsequentialities as how to fold a scarf so that the coral pink stripe shows.

My wardrobe fell victim to an attack of bereavement-induced decluttering.

I bought these trousers in the post-Christmas sales, a few days before Atterley went into administration.  Fortunately I love them... and the black pair I purchased the week before (also in the sale) as part of a suit for "funerals and interviews".  In the end, I did not need funeral trousers, so they are being kept for Best.
These garments are all ethical in the sense that they were made in London rather than overseas.
They are now key to my office "look".

The other survivors are:  my 1970's pattern culottes, two skirts, five dresses, four cardigans, two jumpers, a handful of me-made tops, a summer coat and all of my handknits.  And of course my Maya handmade coat.

My home-wear has been reduced to: my farm coat, three pairs of jeans, three dresses, a shirt, five  t-shirts, the afore-mentioned handknits and an enormous navy ethical jumper that was supposed to be for work, but which became the garment I crawled into every day during December and January.
My Hospice Jumper.
I still wear it every evening and weekend.  It is comforting.

People, I have some work to do.

Much to FL's former bewilderment, I care about clothes and how I dress.
I find fashion and style fascinating.
It is liberating to be shot of the garments that literally cramped my style over recent years, but which  could not be seen to "go to waste".

Having cleared the clutter, I am trying to be mindful about what I make or buy.
I have enough to wear as long as I keep up with the washing.
I certainly don't have too many decisions to make in the morning.
But I would like to have more options.

So there will be some Thinking Out Loud.
Join me?

P.S. I have been rubbish at replying to your comments.  I hope to do better at that going forward.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The New Roo

So here I am.

Still the same Roo, but actually not at all because it was FL who first called me Roo and he has gone now.
Ouf!  It crashes over me in icy waves.

Official communications from banks and utility providers tell me to take my time - there is no rush to update account names.  But there is.  I just want to have it done so I don't receive envelopes with his name on them.  Although that can be oddly comforting too - that means he is still here.  He lives at the top of the hill, under the tree.  I whisper goodbye every time I drive past.


This is supposed to be my fresh start, a new place to explore my creativity and find out who I am.

What have I been doing?

I have been spinning.
I finished a two-ply light fingering weight yarn using Fondant Fibre Fuzzlings in the colourway "Popsicle".
It is grey / blue merino with shots of neon pink, yellow and silver sparkle.  It has spun up into a very smooth and fine wool, surprising me with its soft and fluffy edge.

I knew I wanted to knit it into a shawl and set to work straightaway to make myself an Ellipses by Romi Hill.  I first saw this pattern made out of handspun on the Yarnivore Podcast by the wonderful Sadie and I knew I had to have it.

You start by making cords and tassels, one to attach to each corner at the end.
Then knit knit knit until you are done - perfect!
This is the soothing knit I need in my life right now.

I have not been doing any other knitting.
I abandoned the socks I began in the hospice - I came to loathe them.
I haven't yet cast on another pair.
I have not given up on my Vivid blanket - I keep a square-in-progress in my bag in case I get time to knit at lunchtime, now I am back at work.  It just hasn't happened yet.

The Girl was here for half-term.  She was a hive of creative industry, working hard on her sketchbook and pattern-cutting assignments for college.  This inspired me to get out my sewing machine.

I drafted a raglan top, based on a 1970's pattern that was originally two sizes too big for me. Something went wrong with my drafting adjustments and despite sewing a test garment, I appear to have made a Star Trek uniform top that slithers upwards to form an unattractive funnel neck.  However, I have a scarf in the same shade of magenta which covers up the danger zone.  I wore it to work today and nobody was any the wiser - score!

My next sewing project is an Archer shirt (or two).
I think it will add a smarter edge to my work wardrobe.
Though I also rather fancy a flannel one for home wear...?

The trouble is, I don't know what I like anymore. 
My identity was shaped so much by my relationship with FL and being the person he loved and who loved him.  That entailed some compromises.  And now I can't remember who I was before I was His Roo.
Simply having "less stuff" is not the answer.
I may have overdone the decluttering in recent weeks.

On a positive note, however:

  • I realised that I can listen to any music I want and nobody will complain.
  • I can eat what I like, when I want to eat it.
  • I can watch a podcast with my laptop on the breakfast table.
  • I can listen to an audiobook in bed.
  • I don't have to have the subtitles on and the sound switched off anymore.
  • I can spin fibre in the colourway "Running with Zombies" without having to explain why that makes me laugh...
This sudden freedom is quite unnerving.

The only thing stopping me from running away (from zombies) and joining the  knitterly foreign legion is Hero.
That stinky old dog is keeping me grounded.
He has his uses.