My life has started to get almost unbearably busy. You know me – I fancy myself as being rather good at time management. But of course I am not that good because I am now dropping the ball, forgetting things, doing things wrong and letting people down.
My philosophy of life is that I am fearful of dying before I get my money’s worth! I have so many things I want to do, make, see, experience, savour and love and so little time – if I am lucky as my Mum I have just 30 years left. (I am not sure I can use up all my patterns and fabric in that time!)
My other key motivation is to keep on learning. This gives meaning to my life. While I have more than enough of material things – especially clothes! – I never have enough of learning. I still make things to learn new techniques and to challenge myself.
At work preparing to merge two large housing associations is challenging for me. Nobody really likes change – including me of course – and in preparing for such a big change requires hundreds of people to collaborate together on the project. I have been working long hours and have had to deal with lots of anxieties – both individual and organisational. It’s tough and it is impinging greatly on the rest of my life.
My family is undergoing changes too – two out of three have new jobs to adapt to, and the other one has become a part time student. Nick is doing lots of work in the new house so we are seeing less of each other during the week. Here are some typical pictures of everyday life.
In terms of my free time I may have overcommitted. I have been trying to write a management book, and have started a new blog to begin to put things together. In retrospect I am not sure I can write the book without running the blog for a year or two to get my ideas sorted out. I don’t know if I want to write a general management book – about compassionate management – or a specific merger manual. And then I do sometimes wonder if I would rather write Fabrickated-the book! So I am spending time on “the book” without actually knowing what Book I am writing. I am having help from a specialist but I may have bitten off more than I can chew. Even if I don’t manage to achieve a published book I am learning so much. And researching the book is teaching me many useful things. I am listening to business book podcasts, and reading about the psychology of work, and planning.
Did you know that you cannot write well unless you also read widely? So despite my resolution for the year being to read one book a week I have completely failed to do that since I took up knitting. I read a book last week, but it was the first for a long while. (All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead)
Also I had been thinking about learning Spanish for years. I like the language and have a rudimentary understanding from trying to learn. But now my son Gus is studying French at Uni, and my daughter Esme is learning Italian, I thought it would be a good time to go for it. But I can’t really give it enough time.
Knitting, sewing and crafts
And then I want to make things – another Chanel jacket, more knitting and a second pair of boots. We are loving the boot making course but of course I would now like to take it further.
I am not sure how we will achieve that. Nick and I are also beginning to think about what to do a course on next – he has suggested pottery, which is fine with me.
So what I have I been doing at home? Let me give you a quick update on what I have achieved. Embarrassingly I have four knitting projects on the go.
- Started a New Zealand sweater for Nick (preparing for the knitalong). The yarn I order to complete the jumper is a different colour. I think it looks OK as a colour block, but I would have prefered the grey – had it been available.It is too long, and we can’t decide on the neckline, so this has stalled. Elizabeth Zimmermann New Zealand sweater
- Remaking the striped kids sweater. I made too many mistakes on this (wrong size of needles, not keen on the yarns, the colours don’t appeal greatly especially the heavy navy neckline and shoulders). I started to lengthen the body and considered making this up as a tank top. With all those colours I figured this might be preferable to a fully striped long sleeved jumper. But I think I will abort the mission. However I do want to do a stripey, rainbow sweater at some point. The crochet skirt showed how nice small pieces of yarn can look together, especially when the colour scheme is harmonious.
- The diaphanous pink and white jumper, inspired by Helmut Lang. This is going quite well, if rather slowly. I used lace weight merino yarn and relatively large needles creating a transparent look. I found an appropriate pink yarn to create the stripe across the middle. I have yet to decide if I want sleeves or not and how to finish it. I think the tank top may be nice. But short sleeves, with wide pink borders would contrast well with a cotton vest underneath.
- The violet cardigan. This needs steeking and I am fearful of doing it. So this is sitting in a bag.