I took my crocheted blanket with me to book club tonight, to show the other girls, and to give the book I used to one of them who wants to crochet her own. I am very proud of my blanket and was pleased that the group liked it. Although I made it for me, it was rather nice for the blanket to bask in some admiration! After all, I am rather biased towards it!
As well as loving the finished article itself, I rather loved the act of finishing it, too. Inspired, I stitched together some squares for a baby blanket that I started years ago. Unfortunately, the border I have started to put on it is all crinkly and just won't lay flat, so I may have to rip it out and re do it. Happily I found an online tutorial which suggests crinkly borders are a common problem, and suggests some ways round it. Now it is actually stitched together I don't feel a strong an urge to get it finished, which is odd! Perhaps in my subconscious, the stitching it together was finishing it, and the border is a new project!
Finally, finally, I have my ripple stitch blanket under way. I am using 'Soft Waves' from Jan Eaton's book of ripple patterns. The colours are all sea-colours inspired by Lyme Regis, and as well as using the stitch pattern to make the ripples, I am using the suggested pattern for the stripes of colour too - 4 of cream, 1 of lilac, 2 of grey, 3 of mid blue, 4 of dark blue, then start all over again. I did have a moment of indecision, as to if after I finished the 4 of dark blue I should go back to mid blue and down the scale to white, or just start with white. I opted with the latter, and am glad I did. This is a bigger blanket than before, this one is designed to go on the bed, whilst the granny blanket is for the sofa.
The act of finishing things seems to be just what I need recently. Of course you could argue that I have really only started the Lyme Regis blanket, but the creative process for that began a long time ago, and it is as though the making it is only clothing the process and thoughts in wool. I seem to need to finish things off and tidy up at the moment. I have spent happy hours tidying out and cataloguing the fridge, freezer, dry goods and spice cupboards, something that has been on my 'to do list' for a while. Ticking things off feels good.
You see, I am far better at starting things than finishing them. I remember reading that about my star sign in a girls magazine from the 70s, and I don't know if reading it planted the seed, or if I was like it already. Either way, I think (and hope!) I am conquering that a bit now, and my unfinished objects and projects are endangered species!
I have read several books about decluttering, and they all agree that by clearing space in your home, you create space in your life. The logic goes that if you clear a space on your bookshelf and appreciate its emptiness for a while, you have made space for new discoveries that you would not have had room for in your life before. I wonder, if by finishing off these things, what new things I have made room for in my life. Finishing the first blanket and starting the second are in some ways a relief of sorts...until now I have had the ideas for them both percolating away in the back of my mind. By doing them, creating them, making them, the brain power I was using percolating away on them is freed up for something else. I wonder what it shall be?
Before I forget - Book club! We read the biography of Agatha Christie by Laura Thompson. As you know, I love her Poirot and Marple novels, and found her biography interesting. I think that Miss Thompson needed a better editor with a red pen as she quotes too extensively from the novels, and does seem to have gone in with an idea and used only evidence to support her ideas, but on the whole it was a good read. I was amazed at how beautiful she was in her youth. 'I was a beautiful girl' she herself said, and it made me think - how awful if we get to old age, and realise that we were beautiful in our youth, only at the time we never appreciated it at all. Perhaps it is finding grey hairs that make me think about this, and I don't by any means think I am gloriously beautiful, but I do think that we should appreciate what we have got while we have it, rather than mourn its passing too late!
So when you look into your mirror tonight, even if you see some grey hairs as I do, or wrinkles appearing under your eyes, look on yourself with a kindly eye and think about all the things that make you lovely now.