expanding horizons

my little moan about life and rivers and things the other day was really about interpersonal relationships. as with most of life’s problems, its the inability to control others that drives me crazy. i can however, control my own reactions and responses (to some extent) and even though its hard and confronting and painful, an honest conversation has helped restore some equanimity. my real problem is that i dont like change, to be honest. i had such an unpredictable and volatile early homelife, when i escaped i developed a crushing need to have everything be Just So. of course, thats not possible, but i am getting better at figuring out what i can and cant control, what i can and cant accept. so today, the river is running a little smoother and i am feeling a bit more on top of things again.

and seriously, its impossible for me to live through more than a few days of misery. it is true that the things that get thrown into my own personal river these days are on the whole more good than bad, and i try really hard to keep some perspective and gratitude to help to restore the balance.

some of those things worth mentioning today are

1. emerging leaves on the magnolia:

there is a lot happening on this tree at the moment. it sits against the north facing wall at the front of the house, and it gets sun almost all day, so its sense of imminent spring may be a little inflated. but thats ok by me, because the show is spectacular.

2. loyal canines. last night when i was cooking, i turned around to see one my favourite things:

he does this all the time, he has done it since he was a puppy.  his front paw is right on the line between the kitchen and the dining room and he will wait like for that for  hours. just in case. cattle dogs are really labradors in disguise.

3. trips overseas.

i may have mentioned that i was going to the US for a conference later this year. we have finally been confirmed and accomodations and tickets are now being booked. as it is my sisters 40th birthday in late november, i have convinced her she needs to come with me. i am not that interested in LA so we are going to fly into san franscisco (13 hours away!), spend two nights there, then go to washington DC for 4 nights where the conference is being held, then take a train across to new york city and spend 5 days there, coming home from JFK (that flight only takes 2 days or so!!). i am now taking recommendations for hotels in SF and NY (though a very evil rosered is close to convincing me that we need to splurge and stay here), and of course, yarn stores. dates are december 6 to december 18.

so you know. i cant complain. no i cant.

interestingly, there is one area in my crafting life where i experience quite a deal of resistance to change, and this is in my attitude towards crochet, or, as i prefer to call it, the craft that can not be named. go on, call me a crafting snob, whatever, i dont care. i cant help it, but crochet has just never rung my bell. this is starting to shift a little bit though because ive recently watched a number of clever people make lovely crocheted things, and seen the humble old granny square completely reinvented. the colours and yarns can be really spectacular. i found my non-crochet resolve seriously tested this last weekend when flicking through this book, and i came across this pattern. i love blue and white homewares (as you can tell from the washing on the line this weekend):

and i can just see these little circles of blue and white yarny goodness on my bed. there are however, two potential issues here. one is my hand-eye co-ordination. the most crochet ive ever done is a single chain for a provisional cast on, and watching me try and loop yarn over the hook is, well, amusing. second is a hypothetical issue, like, what if a dog (or two, or three) got up on the bed. not that they do. but just in case, like on a really cold night, they snuck in maybe and snuggled up, because they knew i was cold, and they didnt want me to be cold, say.

me and dogs and delicate delft crochet? maybe not such a good idea after all….

k xx

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About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

16 responses to “expanding horizons

  • Ailsa

    Sharp intake of breath when I saw that bedspread. OMG.

    I’ll teach you to crochet – and now I want one of those bedspreads too!

    If you did it in cotton, the dogs lying on it wouldn’t wreck it. If you wrestled with them on it maybe, but not just jumping up and snuggling in!

    Beautiful pattern, thanks for showing it to me.

  • jp

    Almost enough to get me to crochet too…It is a stunning item

  • Sarah

    Glad the river is flowing smoothly again. Your US trip sounds fab – I’ve stayed in a v budget and a couple of expensive hotels in SF so can give you details of those if you want them – drop me an email. Oh and my favourite yarn store I’ve ever been too is there – http://www.imagiknit.com/
    Oh I love SF – I so want to go back and I’ve never been to NY. How much fun will you have?

  • bells

    OMG that bedspread!!!

    Now that I’m back in happyland with the babette, I can tell you that having a basket or bag nearby where you just add a square two as the fancy strikes is a most pleasant way to make these things. Sometimes I go on a frenzy and make a shitload, othertimes I just add one or two. You should totally do it.

    And yes, you are a craft snob. There. i said it. Get over it. Crochet can be fabulous.

    The magnolia tree is something I am very, very envious of, too.

    • drkknits

      yes it was babette that set me thinking. i might not be such a snob about it if i had ever been taught, but i never was. at least im thinking about learning though!

  • Ingrid

    We stayed in a vacation rental in San Francisco in the Noe Valley, and it was wonderful (happy to give you the details). Much cheaper than a hotel of similar standard and lots of room (and free internet!).

    I love blue and white china too!

  • 2paw

    Oh, what a faithful hound!! And yes, Harki would lie like that in her special spot and keep an eye on everyone!!
    It is a beautiful bedspread but I could never have it on my bed, it would always be Labrador grubby!!
    I quite like to crochet, but I can’t watch TV and crochet and I can knit and watch TV so knitting wins.

  • Emma

    That bedspread is stunning indeed!

    Glad to read the river’s running more smoothly. I hope it turns into and stays a gentle stream soon.

  • Rose Red

    Stay at the Chelsea! Stay at the Chelsea! Stay at the Chelsea!

    Learn to crochet! Learn to crochet! Learn to crochet!

    (is it working yet??)

    Glad you are feeling better about things. You are right, the only thing we can really control is ourselves and our reaction to things. Not always easy to accept though.

  • Annie

    Glad to see you are feeling good today. See how chocolate, friends and knitting are all good for you especially when enjoyed all at the same time. How adorable is that dog, just laying there so patiently. Love the look of the blanket, be daring and give it a go.

  • donna lee

    If you’re coming over to my part of the country (I live smack dab between NY and Washington DC), maybe we could meet up? I could come up to NY for a day unless you and your sister have plans already.

    I learned to crochet before I learned to knit. I don’t do it often because I generally like knitting better but I can crochet faster.

  • amy

    Bring warm clothes. And good boots. 🙂

  • Anna

    There are some very tempting projects in that book! And the blue & white one is particularly nice.

    Everyone feels incredibly unco with crochet when you first start, but at some point along the way, it just clicks. I’d suggest you find a couple of afternoons where you might have an unending supply of persistence, and a friend who can sit beside you to show you how it’s done. It’s ridiculously difficult to learn to crochet from books or even youtube if you don’t have the basics already worked out. And until you learn to ‘read’ what you’ve done, it’s notoriously difficult to work out where you’ve stuffed up!! So a friend expert is pretty essential, I think! Just be prepared to become addicted to speed once you get the hang of it…

  • justthreadtwiddling

    I learned to crochet first but I was only 6 and didn’t know it was thought to be hard but some.

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