Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Importance of Being Crafty

As the old adage goes, you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Well, not old - pretty sure Janet Jackson sang about it, but still... The week that went by waiting for my wool to arrive is fading into a hazy fevered memory now, but it made me realise just how much knitting means to me. No, this isn't a corny eulogy - more a reflective appreciation of something I now realise has been keeping me anchored when life's choppy seas threaten to hurl me adrift.

My job as a production manager (albeit an assistant at the mo) in a theatre - while having more of a creative element than most jobs - is primarily a technical and logistical one, so my knitting is the perfect creative release. Generally speaking, theatre people are one of two kinds; the Brahmas who create the show, building the sets, finding and making props, designing the lighting and sound, sewing the costumes, bringing it all together for the opening night; and the Vishnus who keep it running for anything between 4 weeks and 40 years. (Not to mention of course the Shivas: the crews who come in at the end and pull the whole damn thing apart.) I am most definitely the former; my patience lasts fine getting all the elements in place but as soon as it's done so am I and I'm looking for the next project to keep me occupied. The longest I've ever lasted as an operator on a show was a five week run playing video, and I was so bored I wrote a novella between my cues. So after a production week, 60+ hours of technical rehearsal, running for last minute set and props and painstakingly picking apart every line of text to fit the cues to it, there really is only one thing that brings me back to earth. And it's Knitted Duck.

I don't imagine I'm alone; everyone has their own little refuge, their own little piece of heaven to retreat to after a day at the office. Some people play 5-a-side; others the XBox; my little skin and blister is a dab hand with pretty much any craft you throw at her. I guess the important thing is to appreciate the little things that make a big difference.

KD x

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

From strength to strength

I've been a bit quiet this couple of weeks, and there are two reasons for this: the first is that my real job has had a good deal of my attention, what with a new show opening and last minute dashes to find props; the second is that I've had three new commissions but been unable to start them due to a wool order that never arrived (if you had heard from me in the last week, in would have been little more than strangled nonsense and filthy expletives). But no more; thanks to another wool company stepping up at last minute, and the curtains well and truly up at work, I can get clacking again, with much relief. HAPPY PLACE.

I have however managed to deliver Claire's baby blanket in the meantime - and here it is!

Great difficulty parting with that in these chilly climes, I can tell you...

As much as I am now and will always be a knitter, I do find a crochet break very therapeutic, and I'm getting pretty quick at it now. (Not to mention dextrous - rewind to two weekends ago: gin in one hand, crochet in the other and a card game all on the go at once! Skillage...) I feel I need to learn a few more stitches though, and to learn how to read crochet patterns properly - I suspect the humble granny square's uses are finite. Given that I learnt to crochet from YouTube, I will happily hold up my hands and admit I am no expert on the subject. Anyone who thinks they can teach me something more complex, I am at your mercy :)

I haven't been entirely honest with you actually; there is one more recipient of my attention at the moment. For those of you who have never experienced the joy of a notepad with your picture on it, a set of return address stickers or a personalised stamp, I give you... Vistaprint. Seriously. I've gone stationery crazy. Most of the items are free or as good as, and if you are self employed or just like to write your shopping lists on your own face, you need to check out www.vistaprint.co.uk. Don't worry, I'm not being sponsored by them or anything, I just wanted to share the love.

Well that's all from me for now, I've got a whole heap of knitting to keep me occupied, and I'm hoping to have some semblance of a website up within the month - needles and fingers crossed!

Love and knitties

KD x

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The customer is always right... :)

Today, knitties, I am grinning from ear to ear. No, not because of the £64 I won on the lottery, thank you very much. Not because QPR finished this season in a respectable mid-table position despite 'relegation battles' a couple of months ago. Not even because after locking myself away all bank holiday I managed to finish both of my latest commissions. Because of a lovely bit of feedback I got within minutes of the first of said commissions being delivered, which, if I'm honest, makes the whole process worthwhile!

And here it is: *cheeky grin*

"Just a quicky to say THANK YOU!! I absolutely LOVE IT !! (I am already thinking of getting a couple more made in other colours)... I have showed it off to the girls in the other office and they love it as well :) I am very happy, you're very clever."

I'm not usually one to show off but I couldn't resist!

So bragging aside, here's a photo of the item in question - this was one of those projects I quite enjoy, being given a brief and a photo for comparison but relatively free reign. It's a continuous loop scarf, which can be doubled and tripled over to make a hood or just a nice thick neckwarmer.

If you would like something similar just give me a shout - I quoted this one at £25 including the cost of the wool, as a guideline.

I'm afraid that's all from me for now - thank you to Carly for making my day and to everyone else, love and knitties...

KD xx