Thursday, 24 July 2014

Plug and Play on a Sunny Day…

Hasn’t the weather been fantastic lately?  Okay – I am incredibly niggly and off my stroke when it gets to late afternoon and I am not getting much sleep again, but apart from that – I am coping quite well.
I am hiding upstairs this morning – it is still cool here and I can hear all kinds of activity coming from the garden, so my nagging seems to have had some effect…Baring teeth smile All is not lost with my communication skills then…
My weeks have been taken over recently with preoccupations and tiredness – coupled with trying to guess the weather.  If it is fine or wet we have a plan – anything in between causes confusion about the definitions of spontaneity for young squire.
So I am not getting a lot of time to myself – to listen to myself and hear what I have to say.  This I resolved yesterday and had a blissful day of quiet contemplation over spinning wheel and Larkrise to Candleford – how did I miss that first time around?
and creating, during the “working day”.  Then I get frustrated that I have wasted the day, when I have nothing to show for it..  duh..
Top that with time getting away from me over some important projects… well stress and anxiety overload.
At this point in my misery – Amy Singer – spammed me…and I am so pleased she did.   It was what I so needed to get myself out of the doldrums. 
I was incredibly lucky to be able to attend two of the three Plug and Play Workshops held by Amy Singer (of Knitty.Com) and Brenda Dayne (Cast-On Podcast) in recent times and loved every minute of them – including the WIPs I brought back with me and now have sat around bedrooms, to be picked up when I find them and a few more stitches knitted – in remembrance of wine, good food, chatter and good humoured companionship. 
These workshops were the backbone of some of the best work I have undertaken – ever – in the knitting world and freed up my mind to address historic pattern designing problems and issues.  The equivalent of Writer’s block with a new pen !
I was brought up with handknits, shawls, cakes and stewed steak with boiled potatoes on a Tuesday night.  Inedible, truly, but part of my DNA and some of which I really want to pass on to my children.  Well not the inedible bits – the function bits which are worthy of passing on as they are part of the family domestic history that I am proud of and want to pass down. 
My recent series of Shawls – Shades of Grey – based on a christening shawl I distantly remember owning and needed to a) replicate and b) pass on the pattern so that my descendants can – were inspired by these plug and play courses.  The courses gave me the ability and techniques, as well as the confidence I so badly needed to be able to “speak Knitty” in a way that currently even non-knitty grandchildren understand and are inspired to learn. 
I have also written up and produced an Edwardian Steam Punk Shawl out of all my oddments, and which is getting a lot of use during chilly summer evenings. 
Well time goes on, memories fade, as do instructions and inspirations (but not friendships – still in touch with a few of the guys) – then Amy went and did this amazing thing – SHE FILMED it… yep – filmed it… complete with Ukulele background music..(I love her music, her tattoos – her BLUE leather satchel…)
So I am now able to follow in simple stages everything she is on about – and when I am stuck on a practical point on a project, I have no excuse to wallow around in self-imposed misery, or put it back in the basket until another day,  I have now found a use of the computer – which no-one can complain about, and with a quick flick of a mouse - go back to the classes as a aide memoire.
If that doesn’t cover the point I need to – then I can message Amy on the site – HOW totally cool is that.. (cool seems to be my new “..well feck me…” – elocution lessons seem to be working for me as well – watch the D’Movie if you haven’t a clue what I am on about !!)
This amazing resource can be found on Plug & Play: Custom Scarves & Shawls (w/ Amy Singer)
I have a few programmes on there I have signed up to, but this one is more like meeting up with a friendly face and expert in the field, rather than a formal sit down and learn experience. 
So – this is what I am doing on a hot sunny day – I am writing my blog, drinking a cuppa – summoned my mentor up on the browser – like a Genie out of a bottle - and pretending to do some serious research.. if I am disturbed. 
Oh and dipping into the blog posts of the friends I made (and miss) on the physical real life courses.


  1. Hi Shani,the Shades of Grey Shawl is fab, enjoy the sunshine and the knitting, daer friend.


  2. Thank you for posting this, Shani! It took me back to P3 in such a nice way. :)


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