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mindful


So … I’ve been thinking about stash… (above is Kaffe Fasetts poppies pattern done in stash acrylic and not finished yet but then it was a sort of experiment). Thinking about the thriftiness of using up stash and reusing. I’ve been unravelling yarn which has been donated to me from other people’s projects and thinking what I can make with it. I’m also trying to make my first cardi but am having worrisome worries about the pattern and getting it to fit me. And and and. And stash. Then my mind began to think of other resources like energy. and I began to think about how I’ve over used my stash of energy at least for nearly two years now possibly longer. I’m unwilling to admit where my limits are in terms of energy. I make plans – I follow through – I am responsible. Even if the result is that I lie around feeling like death warmed up. I am emerging very very slowiy from a bought of illness. And even then I saw a tweet about a conference on Monday in another city and thought ‘oh it would be so nice to go’. Sheer MADNESS!!! So when will I learn and what do I do to create my own stash of energy? I’m trying to read more books. Cut down on things. One thing a day must be my mantra. I use my kitchen timer so I pace my housework. I try to eat well (but cooking  preparing and buying food all consume much energy). I’m thinking about Julia Cameron’s exhortation of the artist to ‘Fill their well’ and I’m trying to think of things that do that for me. Playing with colour without the expectation of productivity, reading enjoyable books, staying off the screen more, pottering slowly and gently.

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A poster seen on the Paris Metro… I had to take a photo for obvious reasons…!!

I did another African Flower Hexagon blanket. Made with Big Merino from the Jenners Haberdashery closing down sale in September. Like many other crafters I gorged myself on yarn. Made of this blanket very quickly then stalled on the half hexagons and the border.I’d started making these blankets to send to Knit-a-square in memory of a family friend Jo Warner who died a year ago. I meant to get an email together with pictures to send to her husband Norman Bright but I kept putting it off. In the last few days I just heard that Norman has died too. Oh dear please please lets stop putting off difficult things and difficult emails. its to  easy to think another time is a better time but the imperfect now is better.

Jo worked for many years in education so  KAS remit to support early years education through the informal creches in shanty towns seemed appropriate.

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This is me in the Place De la Concorde knitting in the place of the guillotine ( a previous version invented in Scotland and called The Maiden ). Crossing to the middle of the Place is well like taking your life in your own hands. My mother was questioning my sanity… but it is rare that a knitter and a political knitter gets a bit of cultural space so I was determined to get photographed in that spot back in October.  Then all hell broke loose. I’ve been wondering how to explain my absence and some bloggy + real life friends say just leap back in and ‘don’t explain’ but it feels odd. I mean I used to post nearly every day. I am online but mostly on instagram (@fatblackcatspaw) Somehow breaking the habit when I went into hospital twice for pneumonia in December and well being very very ill and the months recovering in my parents spare bedroom it feels hard to take it up again. Tonight I was going to post a pic of a visit to the Royal Scottish Academy on Friday to view a picture which I now own but was displayed there however… my bloody computer doesn’t seem to be able to accept photos from my camera… sigh. So I went back to this old pic. Of course with the dramatic events last year I’ve been trying to process them. When you lie in bed thinking about how you nearly died your thoughts turn to what is important. To me the people around me. I try and enjoy my life as much as possible. And am planning more travel. And in the midst of it all I unexpectedly and delightedly get a new job (full time!) so I feel in the midst of huge change. But we have to stand in the middle of it knitting away at life.

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I used to lie in wait to see the clover open
Or close,
But never saw it.
I was too impatient,
Or the movement is too subtle,
Imperceptible
And more than momentary.
My five-year-old self would tire of waiting
And when I looked again
– All closed for the night!
I missed it
Once more.

Cinematographically
I have registered the opening of escholtzia
On an early summer morning.
It gave me a sharp awareness of time passing,
Of exact qualities and values in the light,
But I didn’t see the movement
As movement.
I didn’t with my own direct perception see the petals 
	moving.
Later, on the film, they seemed to open swiftly,
But, at the time,
Although I stared
And felt time not so much moving as being moved in
And felt 
A unity of time and place with other times and places
Yet
I didn’t see the petals moving.
I didn’t see them opening.
They were closed,
And later they were open,
And in between I noted many phases,
But I didn’t see them moving open.
My timing and my rhythm could not observe the
	rhythm of their opening.

The thing about poetry is you have to keep doing it.
People have to keep making it.
The old stuff is no use
Once it’s old.
It comes out of the instant 
And lasts for an instant.
	Take it now
	Quickly
	Without water.

There!
	
	Tomorrow they’ll be something else.
Margaret Tait

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I’ve been so thrown by the terrible news from Paris I stopped posting my holiday pics – it seemed to frivolous. Yesterday I went up to the French Consulate in Edinburgh where there were many tributes left by local people and left my own. I hear from a friend with a French ma-in-law that the people in France are taking great comfort from expressions of solidarity across the world.

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But if it wasn’t photographed – did it really happen? In that in the past few days have been incredibly busy. I’ve been beetling all around town but keep forgetting to take the memory card for my camera – so no photos. I’ve had one trip to the beach – sitting and crocheting while the waves crashed around me and been walking all around the city in between teaching. I went on Wed to Stockbridge and met a friend for birthday pastries at Patiesserie Madeline. Oh the colours ! simply gorgeous ! and a tiny Madeline with our tea. I borrowed my friends camera to take some photographs. She being a much better knitter than I is knitting up the striped yarn I dyed and to my amazement  it is NOT pooling! The measuring worked! (Pattern is Jaywalker).