Monday, 31 January 2011

Happiness is...

Please 'scuse me a mo while I adopt my philosophical pose (think Bill and Ted's So-Crates, with lots of fake-beard stroking...).

Happiness is... a lot of things.

Today it began with that tasty dollop of fibre you see up top.  Beautiful.  (No amount of photo-taking and me prancing about with a lamp could do justice to its real-life colour, but if you do fancy a proper look it's here at Forest Fibres*).

Anyhoo.  As it turns out, happiness may also be found in having absolutely no idea what it is you're doing.  One of the things I love most about teaching myself these crafty kinda things is that there's absolutely no pressure to achieve an end result.  No getting-a-tad-frustrated-now teacher to say "well what you want to try and do is..." to make a getting-a-tad-irritated you feel like you just can't do it!

Obviously there are some things that you'll never be able to teach yourself, but for me the best bit about learning something is laughing at your mess of fibre/yarn/paint and thinking "what have I done?!".  You learn so much more by asking and answering that question - by looking back at your process, seeing how it differed from what the tutorials said, pondering on which bits you like or don't like, and using that information to improve on your next go - than by attempting to satisfy someone else's version of the "right way" of doing something.  Admittedly it's quite a lengthy way of learning to do things, but therein lies the fun.

However, even teach-yourself-ers need good tutorials.  Here is Megan.  I can't remember how I came across her, but her videos inspired me to spin in the first place.

Better pictures to come tomorrow when there's some light...

In other news, today was also my first session with the counsellor.  Despite having forgotten to take my medication last night (idiot mistake really), it went very well - a lot easier than I expected.  It was also utterly refreshing to encounter somebody within that field who understood that I need time to decide whether my anxiety scores a 7 or an 8 out of 10 - somebody who didn't instantly jump to the "there's no right or wrong answer" joke that makes me feel like a simpleton, but instead waited kindly for me to process the question and consider my response.  Another moment today that made me immensely happy.

* Incidently, I very much recommend Forest Fibres to you - their service was unbelievably good.  Even with 2nd class postage it arrived the next working day.  Although I ordered via ebay, and it seems that the prices there vary ever-so-slightly from their website prices, so perhaps compare between the two before purchase...?  That's only on one item though, so do have a look round to check I'm not just casting unfounded aspersions.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Hunky Dory

I took advantage of some very rare Welsh daylight today, and mooched off up the hill that runs along the back of our house.  It's amazing the views you can find lurking just 10 minutes out of the town centre, and this is one of my favourites.

My plan was to take loads of photos after seeing the blog at Resurrection Fern this morning (scroll down for the really amazing macro shots), so off I set, with Bowie warbling on the mp3.  For some reason though, my camera was in a bit of a tizz so I couldn't take as many photos as I would have liked.  Nevermind.

This one does make me smile.  I love its jaunty angle and the mini explosion at the top of the twiggy bit.  The plan is to use this as a basis for some embroidery designs (I've yet to learn to embroider properly, but that's another story!)

It felt nice to be back outside again - a proper sort of outside.  It was one of the things I worried about before coming back home from visiting family: that the culture shock involved in returning to the "bright lights" of Bangor would cause me a relapse anxiety-wise.  Thankfully I've been doing well, but even so it was nice to have that time to breathe today.  It reminded me of home - not in a way that made me sad, but in a way that made me very happy.


I think I'll have to arrange another trip home soon.  I always miss the various farmyard animais more than I expect to.


Wednesday, 26 January 2011


This is a prime example of what I like to call "Welsh grey".  Unquestionably dull, but in some ways it's my favourite kind of weather.  Summer gets all the good press, but only winter has hidden little pockets of goodness that are made all the better for being satisfyingly simple.

Most satisfying of all is that winter is perfect blanket-crafting season.  The granny stripe is whizzing along now.  It makes me happy just to listen to the gentle sound of rain on the window while watching all the different colours unfurl.  I'd say it's about a quarter of the way through, stripes-wise.  I still need to decide on a suitable border, but there's plenty of time yet for that.

Mid-afternoon trips to the pictures also makes the winter weather worthwhile, and The King's Speech is a perfect mid-winter film.  If you haven't seen it yet, I really really recommend that you do!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Baby Rico's Granny

A surly postman knocked on the door this morn and handed me a parcel. I had a little squish of the bag and giggled. The surly postman got back into his van, mumbling. I giggled again. The Rico Baby is here!!

Admittedly, some Patons Diploma Gold and some Sidar Snuggly have snuck their way into that picture.  That's because I got overexcited about starting my granny stripe, and just had to do something.  Pretty sure you all know the feeling... 

(Although I would like to say that this time the urge to start wasn't even my fault.  It was Lucy's ...  Her blog is full to the brim with inspiration.  Look here at her granny stripe - how could I possibly resist?!)

And so, while I was ever so patiently waiting for my "main" yarn to arrive, I did a teensy, tiny, ever-so-small, little bit of hooking with the Patons, and here is what I have to show for it:

I love it already.  And the best part is that the shop I ordered from had run out of a couple of colours so there's even more on their way!  What a brilliant start to the day!  :D