The Love Your Blog challenge thrown down by A Playful day has come at a perfect time for me. And I'm hoping it's just the kick I need to get me back into my blogging groove.
I love this little corner of the internet. Quite unexpectedly, writing here has become a little like sitting down to sew on my sewing machine. When I sit down and I start to write I breath a sigh of relief and relax. (My kids tell me I do a lot of smiling when I type. I think it's because I write as if you're right in the room and we're having a chat.) But I when I click "publish" and close my computer I quickly forget how much I enjoy it. Writing has become such a satisfying creative outlet for me, something I never could have predicted, even though my career before having children was all about writing. I guess I was writing about the wrong thing ... knitting and crafts are much more fun than legal bits and bobs!
Lately, with the excitement of Instagram and Facebook, I've found myself drawn more and more towards the thrill of quick and simple posts on social media rather than spending time planning, photographing and writing longer posts for my blog. I especially love the chatting and interaction with so many people on social media and wondered if anyone was really reading my blog any more and whether my limited time was better spent elsewhere?
So, the challenge is timely. I do love writing here. I don't fancy stopping, although I'm considering blogging a little less frequently and I'm just going to cross my fingers that you're still reading and will enjoy watching my Love My Blog posts pop up over the coming month.
The first prompt for the challenge is "community & interaction". Oh where do I begin?! Knitting is all about community & interaction for me and since I blog about knitting you'll not be surprised to hear how for me, blogging is also all about community & interaction.
Take a quick look at my photo. I think I can sum it all up with that one image.
- The gorgeous pink at the back is a Granny's Favourite cardigan for my middle daughter. The pattern was designed by Georgie Hallam. I've knitted so many of Georgie's patterns that I feel like I know her ... Imagine how excited I am at the prospect of meeting her later in the year?! I can't wait. I wonder if we'll have lots to chat about? The pink yarn was dyed by my me and my daughter and a few years ago I was completely inspired to try dyeing by Annette when she talked about dyeing yarn on her podcast Gentle Ribbing. I bought the undyed yarn from a mill here in New Zealand and I visited the mill shop at Skeinz many years ago. It'll be fantastic to peek behind the scenes when I'm there in a few months time too!
- The red knitting is a nearly finished Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan for my youngest daughter. I've had my eye on the pattern for years but it was my online friend Kat Goldin that inspired me to cast it on after I saw that she was knitting one on the other side of the world in Scotland. I knitted it in very glorious Zealana yarn that I bought years ago during a trip home to New Zealand from the UK from a little yarn shop that's sadly now closed.
- The mushroom coloured knitting in the front of the photo is the beginnings of a Coraline cardigan for my eldest daughter. I've met the designer Ysolda Teague a couple of times, the first time at Knit Nation in London in 2010 - the event that changed my life. She was lovely and her rack of cardigans was fantastic and I realised in that moment that I could probably try designing something too if I wanted. I'm using yarn that I bought in France years ago from a little old lady in a teeny tiny wool shop stuffed with shelves of yarn that I had to stand on a stool to reach.
- The beautiful yarn in the middle of the picture is brand new. It arrived in my postbox today. I "met" one of the dyers last year on Instagram before she started dyeing wool. She's also from New Zealand and I've enjoyed getting to know her a little through her photos, although we've not met in person yet. About a month ago she announced that she was planning to start selling hand-dyed local Romney wool. I couldn't resist and that's my haul from Rosewood Wool's first stocking. It's glorious!
- See the plum sparkle on the right hand side? It's a fabulous skein of hand-dyed yarn with just the perfect amount of sparkle dyed by Jo at Meraki Studio. I've met Jo - in fact I bought this yarn from her at the first Auckland Woolfest last year. It's slowly becoming my next shawl design ...
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, for me, every single aspect of knitting has a story and a link to my community, whether it be my neighbourhood community or my online community. And, as a raving extrovert that loves a party, I relish this side of knitting and blogging about knitting. I love the knitting community, I love the interaction, I love the people and I love the stories. I can't imagine knitting any other way and writing this blog has really and truly changed my crafting and my life. Someone pass me a tissue!