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P1060391P1060390P1060389P1060388A few months ago Granny Greens the craft group I belong to organised a mni yarn crawl. We started with the delightful Ginger Twist on London Road. Where I bought wool to make socks (still in progress!). Ginger Twist is cozy but packed with wonderful yarn, including yarn dyed right here in Edinburgh. Its open 7 days a week and the owner is wonderfully knowledgable for the novice knitter who needs guidance about patterns. She also runs a craft group which meets at Safari Lounge along from the shop on mondays alas! when Granny Greens meets.

 

 


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A few weeks ago I went to Newcastle for the weekend to stay with some friends and made a visit to the Knit Studio. Some one at Granny Greens had recommended it.  I had a fabulous two hours there, buying wool (oddly enough I’ve failed to take anyphotos of the wool on display) then sat on one of the sofas and crocheted while chatting to a local knitter/spinner. If you are in Newcastle DO search it out. They have classes and the owner is very friendly we had a lovely conversation about Macclesfield Silk Weaving. After I dashed through the rain to the Forth Arms for a simply divine lunch on Pink Lane.

(Also blog open to new picture uploading… I’ve managed to sort out the reason why I couldn’t upload pictures so normal service resumes)

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This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated,
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore
This is the thick of things.
So much is crowded into the middle
too much to name, too much to think about.
- Billy Collins

Oh dear lord I’m in the middle of a craft project which I’m wait for it 5 MONTHS INTO nearly. Naturally I’ve not been on the case fulltime there have been diversions for making blankets for dog statues, babies, and 15 blankets worth of squares for orphans and a little light knitting for myself. But I now have a deadline and I’m that oh my god I’ll never get there stage. Which is a kind of sign I should NOT be online but return to my piles of crochet. I wish  I could show you what my kitchen looks like at the moment but alas WordPress has deemed that I have used too many images and will not load up new ones so I’m having to rely on old images from my store.

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I’ve just been out to buy more yarn – the last few days I’ve been using up my stash, finding squirrelled away balls and even unravelling things to recrochet. But I could see I was coming to the dregs. Not that Its a yarn desert here yet but the project I’m working on can’t have wool yarn used in it so that is all set aside for ‘my orphans’.

One reason why I love crafting so much and I expect a lot of others do too is that it is the socially acceptable way a grown up can ‘play’. For me its playing with colours. The equivalent of a large packet of kokie (fibre tipped pens) to make patterns with. Instead I do it in squishy yarn.

 

 

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I’m about 2/3rds into finishing a blanket for knit-a-square… I bought the wool in Cambridge (Sew Creative on Kings Parade has a very good sale on !) I’ve been crocheting away for a week – not the pic above – blog is being odd and refusing to upload new pics. Today I shambled out with my recycling went to get life essentials loo roll and milk and have spent the ENTIRE day with the hook and yarn. I’m making a blanket I’m calling African Sun. I was very busy over the weekend doing work preparing stuff for this week and socialising so a day of deep engagement with one thing has been bliss. Off to see Derek Jarman’s The Tempest and a bit of crafting later at Granny Greens. 

 

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It is one of those thoughts that flit past – how good it would be to be more in touch, especially with people not on social media.

So how to translate this into an action and habit?

  1. Gather supplies Get stamps in advance of writing, which cover the cost of where ever you are most likely to send cards. I find that if you write cards and then intend to buy stamps the written cards tend to migrate towards dark corners of handbags or finding places to lurk on the desk and are finally discovered weeks or months later.
  2. Keep your address book / stamps / cards on you at all times. This means that you can use spare moments. Waiting for a friend or waiting to catch a train catching up with correspondence instead of checking facebook. Make an effort to gather snail mail addresses in one place.
  3. Write postcards not letters. Ditch the thought you will write long literary screeds (ripe for publication later) Instead start with the postcard. It’s the analogue equivalent of the email or text but nicer. If you start writing a card which you realise that you need to elaborate further – just write a series of postcards labelled 1 of 1, 1of 2 etc.
  4. Finding cards. Once you have the intention they will start to pop up. Galleries, museums, stationary shops, advertising can be re-purposed. Its good to start looking for particular cards for particular people. Portraits of 18th C dogs for dog people. I also sometimes buy books of cards (they often work out cheaper).
  5. Reasons to write. Become super polite and revive the art of sending thank you cards, or just ‘I saw this and thought of you’
  6. Be creative. I’ve sent a series of postcards in the run up to someone’s birthday. Just calculate the average delivery time in your area and work your way backwards. I once wrote a card every day for a year for a friend battling a brain tumour.
  7. Get a box where you can throw supplies into when not in your bag so when you do want to write it’s again – easy.
  8. No pressure – writing has its seasons and its reasons

Last call for Postal Joy 2014 ! for those who prefer to receive rather than send mail! 12 items of mail in the next 4 weeks. Sign up here.

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