October 2019 – Planning ahead!

Hello, I hope that you are all keeping well, and that this cold air is stimulating you to do more knitting! I have been very busy with several events, the most significant being the arrival of my 4th grandchild, Max. He was born in Lincoln to Zoe, my eldest son Paul’s partner, giving a little brother to Edie. You will have read about Edie in previous posts, she is now a very grown up 4 year old, big sister and pupil as she has started school! A lot of changes for this little girl, and she has been brilliant, taken it all in her stride, and is very helpful to her Mum and Dad. Max is a little smasher and already seems to be developing his own little personality, quite chilled, and not as demanding as his sister was when she was the same age. They soon grow up don’t they? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were anticipating the arrival of two grandchildren within 2 days of each other in 2015, thankfully Edie was born on 17th of July, and Miles waited until the 28th July so we were able to enjoy both occasions. This year has been similar, Chester Gray was born on 6th June, and Max was born on 16th September, not quite as close, but still exciting for the families!
As you can imagine I went into overdrive knitting tiny things. I know how often they have to be changed, and now that the colder months are here, they are very much needed!

This pattern is ancient, but is my old faithful one, I have adapted it many times, adding intarsia to spell the child’s name, or a picture, changing the pattern, or doing different sections in different colours.

This is the 16″ one, jazzed up with different coloured car buttons for Max.
The title of this post is “Planning ahead”, and the last few months seem to be nothing but planning. I like to be organised and need to write everything down. I don’t know if my forgetfulness is since my subarachnoid haemorrhage in Feb, or my age. Everyone who is a similar age, reassures me that it is my age – great! Mike and I have got to the stage where we do something straight away while we think about it, rather than leave it and forget completely!
While I was ill and my mobility and energy levels weren’t very good, I kept myself busy thinking what would I like in a knitting diary. As soon as I was able, I got to planning it, first on paper and then playing with the PC. I did lots of market research, discussing with crafty friends, family and looking at what was already available. NOTHING was available in the design I had in mind. There were lots of knitting journals, but there were no dates in – just blank pages with a pretty cover. I started to pull the ideas together and eventually produced “My Knitting Diary”, the cover is the same format as “The Knitter’s Companion” and “The Crocheter’s Companion”, with the background being full of some knitting and a box with the title in the same font. I started to sell the diaries in my Etsy shop:- TheKnittingCompanion and they are doing really well! I have posted to English speaking countries, such as UK, Ireland (Both North and South), Canada and America, but also to Denmark! It has featured in “Knit Now” magazine, and “Knitting” have expressed interest in doing a feature about it.
It has also appeared on Lesley Arnold-Hopkins “Not Quite Enough Yarn” podcast, the September episode entitled “Love Machine(s), where she talks about “My Knitting Diary” and offers one as a freebie. Tune in to get your chance of winning one!

If you haven’t watched Les before, she is well worth a visit, she makes me chuckle, and I always find it interesting when she discusses her projects and other aspects of her life. She conducts funerals and at times will be sitting in her car waiting for the time for her next one, knitting to pass the time, talking to her audience, and I love it! So good luck everyone who has a go at winning your own diary, and if you aren’t lucky, come and see me at Bakewell Wool Gathering on 12th & 13th October, or Kendal Wool Gathering on 26th & 27th October. Failing that, they are on sale in my Etsy shop. There is a link to the podcast on my home page so you can view the section that discusses the diary for yourself, or you can watch the whole podcast if you click on https://youtu.be/AXOCJ8L1kFc
I hope you enjoy it as much as me.
For the past few weeks I have been planning what to exhibit and have been very busy making stitch markers, project bags, cards, and knitting needle cases. We shall see how the cases sell, there are two types, a simple version, and a larger, more complicated one with room for circular needles too.

I have had tremendous fun making these, and bought lots of fabric to make them. My dining room was buried, but now normality is being resumed. Instead we have boxes piled up everywhere, waiting to be loaded up, ready for Bakewell.

I have a raffle which is free with all purchases, basically everyone who buys something, gets a raffle ticket. The draw is on the last day, about 15 minutes before we close, and the winner gets a lovely bundle of goodies posted to them. At Bakewell it includes, a project bag, Knitter’s Companion, stitch markers, lavender sachet and notions kit! Well worth winning!
I also offer 10% off to all staff who work for the NHS, regardless of role. That applies to retired NHS staff too, all you need to do is provide your photo ID card, and then you can enjoy the benefits!

I love this  fabric, the top turns down to provide a stable holder for your yarn as you knit!
Bakewell is one of my favourite places, if you haven’t been, please go. It is a gorgeous little town in Derbyshire, with a very picturesque river flowing through. The pubs are delightful and there are some brilliant shops. There is a park too and in the summer, it is very popular with the youngsters. In the past we took our young sons and they played in the river after having a picnic. There are a few charity shops with good quality things in, you have to visit a few times to see if there is anything that catches your eye. All these are within walking distance of the venue for the wool show, so well worth a visit. If you come to the show, do say hello, it is always great meeting people!

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