The Sunny Side…..

How about a bit of sweetness and light, after yesterday’s gothic pictures……

Eva 4ply Bewitched

Sophia 4ply Ambrosia

Eva 6ply Primitive

Sophia 6ply Vespers

Eva 8ply Seraphic

Angora Handspun Pageant

Amelia Lovely

Emily Viva

Helena Sprig

The shop preview is now up, enjoy!

The Dark Side…..

I’m beginning to suspect that knitters are not the creatures of sweetness and light that popular conception would have them be. I think that you have an edge, a dark side. Why do I think that? By the overwhelming popularity of the brooding, gloomier colourways that we do. Here are some from this week’s selection – no biting or kicking, please.

Sophia 2ply Starry

Eva 2ply Plum

Eva 4ply Revenge

Sophia 4ply Thicket

Lei Puckish

Sophia 6ply Allegro

Eva 8ply Mysterious

Emily Rebel

Colours for your sunny side tomorrow!

Oops….

I’ve had a bit of an accident. Somehow I slipped, and some knitting needles got stuck inside some wool, and I’m not sure how it happened, but I appear to have cast on a new project….. Yes, I know, I know. Tony’s sweater is not finished, and I was going to do my sweater next, and I’ve got the toe up socks languishing on the needles, not to mention the Twist & Lace scarf (which might be a pretty design, but is rather yawn-worthy to knit) and the scrap shawl. I’m so naughty.


But I have a good reason, honest I do. This is the Wool Peddler’s shawl from Folk Shawls, and I’m knitting it in Helena 4ply, and it’s a special present for someone, and I have very good reasons for pushing it to the front of the knitting queue, which I won’t reveal here just yet, since it’s a surprise gift….. Enough justification for you? This is a great pattern, by the way, if you want a quick shawl. It’s knit from the neck down, and is plain garter stitch for the majority of the shawl (so nice and quick and perfect for knitting when in company or when distracted by the tv) with a pretty lace border to stop it being dull. I think the simplicity of the garter stitch works well with the variation of the colours in the yarn too. I’m using two skeins, and alternating every couple of rows. I always recommend customers do that when working with more than one skein of our yarn, I know it’s a little boring, but it does prevent striping tragedies. Helena is gorgeous to work with, I’m impressed with it!

Scrumptious yarn previews tomorrow!

Contentment

I’ve been thinking a great deal about contentment recently. Tony & I live a pretty simple life, we don’t have a smart house, our car is reliable but not fancy, we don’t have the latest electronics or gadgetry, and we’re perfectly happy to run Posh Yarn as a small craft enterprise, with no ambitions to develop as the next Koigu or Colinette. We’re very, very contented.

But I haven’t always been that way. There was a time when I was very discontented, always envying other people’s lives and possessions and looks. I would have happily swapped places with half my friends, and I was always lost in ambition and plans for fame and fortune. It is said that the world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment. I’ve certainly learned that to be true. As I’ve said before, it’s the little things in life that bring us the greatest happiness – if we choose to see them.

The other day I was sitting in my living room knitting. The fire was merrily crackling, I had Handel’s Water Music playing in the background, the room smelled of woodsmoke and the lentil soup that was bubbling away in the kitchen, the cats were entwined on the hearthrug. Some people may think all this very insignificant, even dull, but to me, this is the perfect life. I have a husband I adore, I have a snug little home, I have a wonderful business and many friends, I have my books, and my knitting, and my music. And best of all, I’ve learned to give these ‘little’ things their true value. 

I do wish, so much, and especially at this time of year, that more people would come to realise that the key to happiness is contentment. Not having tv means that we miss a great deal of the commercialism in the media; I also stopped buying magazines a couple of years ago, mainly because I was sick of the huge proportion of them that were advertising, often masquerading as editorial. The only adverts I really notice now are the ones on the radio (I listen to Classic FM a lot, which is a commercial radio station) and the ones at the cinema. And that’s more than enough. I do realise that commerce makes the world go round, but must they push things at us quite so violently? It puts me off doing any kind of advertising myself, which is probably very silly of me, but I don’t want to be shoving our goods down people’s throats, and trying to convince you that your life won’t be complete without a cashmere sweater, and that one more skein of sock yarn lies between you and the man of your dreams, and all the rest of that commercial rubbish. But I’m digressing now.

What I really wanted to say was this: don’t let the media, your schoolfriends or workmates, or anyone else influence you into thinking that things will make you happy.  They won’t, in fact the converse is often the case. Be content with what you have, learn to value the small things in life and rejoice over them. The grass is not greener on the other side, it’s greenest right here, under your feet. Just stop, take a moment to look down, and you’ll see it.

Here endeth the lesson…..

Head in a Book

I daresay you’ll have noticed by now how much I love books. I spend a lot of my time reading, or listening to audio books. I expect my knitting output would be much higher if I had the multi-tasking talent of the late Elizabeth Zimmerman, who read a book and knit at the same time.   

On Friday, I decided I would rearrange our bookshelves, a job which I’ve been putting off for months. Tony arranged the books originally, and although they looked decorative, he didn’t put them in any kind of order (some were even upsidedown) which was rumpling my neat little brain. Besides, a couple of times recently I’ve bought a book, only to realise I already have it. Not good. So I thought I’d spend Friday morning doing that, then have a nice afternoon knitting by the woodstove. Ha, ha. Even with my geeky category list, that I’d carefully prepared, it took me hours. And the mess, oh boy, the mess. Books everywhere. Dust everywhere.

But I did it in the end, and now all the books are neatly categorised, and sub categorised, and got dangerously close to being alphabetised, but I resisted that temptation, since I am trying not to be quite so anal. And it looks beautiful. And now I can put my hand on any book, without long searching.

At the moment, I’m reading three books – the collected letters of Evelyn Waugh, a Patricia Wentworth mystery, and Miss Marjoribanks, by Mrs Oliphant. This is generally how I read, some nonfiction, some lightweight fiction, and something a little more meaty. A smorgasbord of reading, if you will. I was talking to Karen last week about reading, and the amount of books I get through (I reckon about 150 a year nowadays, but when I didn’t work so hard it was more like double that figure). I expect I do read more than the average person, but there’s more than a voracious appetite for books at work here. Firstly, I am an incredibly fast reader. I wish I wasn’t, especially on a really good book, but I am. Secondly, we don’t have an actual tv in the house, we just watch the occasional dvd. So evenings and weekends are for knitting and reading. And I automatically pick up a book to read at every available opportunity, at meals (naughty, I know, but I can’t break myself of the habit), while cooking, in the car, anytime I am still for a minute or two. I’ve always been like that. Head in a book, that’s me.

I must say, Miss Marjoriebanks is turning out to be superb. If you like Jane Austen you’d like it (and if you don’t like Jane Austen, why on earth not?!), and if you love Cranford, as I do, you’d like it. Speaking of which, is anyone watching the tv series of Cranford at the moment? Since it’s one of my favourite books, its killing me not to see it, but I’ll have to wait until it’s released on dvd. Is it worth the wait?