Undertaking a life declutter

I don’t know why but when I’m stressed out or emotionally hurt I feel the need to throw things away. My brother is the opposite, he’s a hoarder. When Dad came round Sunday and found me with a huge heap of stuff ready for the charity shop he said throwing things away is therapeutic as it represents getting rid of the things you don’t need in life. I don’t think I’d ever really thought about why I do it.

I’m very sentimental and do keep things because of who gave them to me, or memories attached to them. I still have diaries I wrote when I was 15, a dress my gran made for my mum when she was younger but i’ll  never wear, and a book a stranger gave me on holiday in Scotland which got me through University. I hoard in my own little way.  But everything else is dispensable, if it has no emotion attached to it – it can go.

Unusually the scale of this process this time seems to far out weight anything that has gone before. Am I feeling lost more than usual?


Three huge sacks of clothes (why do I have so many?), books (some I’ve not read since University and I can’t understand how they’ve survived previous declutters) and a whole heap of other random stuff. But this time I haven’t stopped there – a sofa, a desk and a book case are also for the chop. Despite this my house still seems cluttered, maybe its not my house that frustrates me but my life?

So on to my life. I feel like severing ties with pointless relationships I have too. Groups where I live which I got involved with in order to be helpful and be a good citizen and to meet people when I first moved here, all ultimately draining on my time and energy now. I want to tell them all I’m walking away, (a few will survive the cull).

This process makes me feel somewhat better about the events of the weekend,  like I’ve lightened the weight of my house and therefore the weight on my shoulders. The worst bit though is realizing that the home I’ve lived in for the last 7 years is just a house and doesn’t feel like a home. At least right now it doesn’t.

I moved to the village as it had always been somewhere I wanted to live and its beautiful in a wild West Yorkshire way. But I  now feel like I don’t belong there. I never intended to live alone for the last 7 years so what on earth am I doing here? And I have no affinity with where I grew up, so I’m feeling a bit homeless and lost, emotionally. Why do I live here when them man I wanted to be with won’t move here? Why do I have a house of pointless stuff?

Thank God, Dad arrived when he did as I needed a male hug I could trust and a good cry on his shoulder.

There’s one thing which might not have a sentimental attachment but isn’t for the chop, and that’s the yarn stash! That’s my only other form of therapy.

And now I am one

He’s gone. And not for the reason I thought he might. He really likes me it seem but he’s gone anyway.

He’s struggling with the long distance between us, and for us to just exist as weekends. He’s struggling with the inflexibility it causes, and that we’re not being real just a series of weekends of doing stuff together. He’s struggling with the rollercoaster of emotions it causes, as much as me it seems.

My heart is broken again. But now more so it feels. I found someone who I really wanted to be with, who I could see a future with, who loves everything I love. But he loves the river and rowing in the same way I love hills and walking – as an emotional release – and the distance means there isn’t a happy medium for us. He can’t see how we’d ever have a future we’d both be happy with.

He’s left, having said he feels like he’s making the wrong decision and needs to decide what he wants without feeling like he’s stringing me along. For that I’m grateful, but I’m still crying. At least I managed to tell him I love him without feeling like I couldn’t and without seeming like I was trying to change his mind.

He’s left, having said that he may change his mind. He also hopes we’ll still go walking as friends. I’d love to still see him again, but it would hurt too much, and I’m then letting him have everything he wants with no commitment.

I’m grateful though, for all the fun we’ve had. For the belief he gave me that I deserved better and showing me that better existed. For giving me the chance to be free. For treating me like I was special. For Venice.

I appreciate him not wanting to string me along and wanting to go away to see how much he misses me. But I’m still sorry he left. And I don’t expect him to be back.

One craft swap done, now on to the next one!

Did I forget about the stress of thinking of things to make for people I didn’t know? In the end the craft swap I participated in turned out to be a mixed blessing.

Instructions from Margaret at WeBloomHere: make something flat for 2 people you don’t know for a fixed deadline. Sounds simple, right? Except my mind went blank. Flicking through the endless craft books didn’t help – what would they like? If they craft themselves will they consider them a bit rubbish?

After much debating here is what I created:

2014-03-18 08 27 36 (2)

This petunia brooch has headed off to Lenore in Oregon to bring share a bit of British springtime to the US.

2014-03-18 08 29 06 (2) 2014-03-18 08 29 12 (2)

The mittens have headed off to Jo in Gloucestershire just in time for the recent cold snap. They were knitted in the round and the flowers crocheted separately and sewn on. The stalks were crocheted directly on to the mittens.

Despite the initial anxiety of making something for a stranger, the swap turned into a real pleasure. I’d had a bad day at work and had only an evening of tv and knitting to cheer me up – when I got home and found my first swap gift hanging out of my letter box. It was exciting opening an envelope and not knowing what was inside! Jo had sent me a gorgeous handmade wall hanging, which is now displayed on my bedroom door.The flowers are fabric and the heart hand painted wood and decorated with beads.

Jo- Gloucestershire

I had a week or so to wait before receiving the surprise I got from Lenore, but on Tuesday with lots of love from Oregon I received this wonderful gift. I have had a little emotional rollercoaster of a day, of feeling in need of a hug or a kiss and my boyfriend being so far away there is no hug on the immediate horizon until the weekend (long distance relationships are hard and I’m still struggling with knowing how he feels and how I therefore feel).

So it made me so happy and feel so special to have a gift today, perfect timing – I certainly needed a smile, and I got this one!

Lenore USA

and inside I had this gorgeous cross stitched table cloth, crochet coasters and a quilting pattern kit!

Lenore USA 2


Lenore USA 3

I never knew the joy I could have got from total strangers, it makes me think I almost don’t need the hassle of relationships!! Ok, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I’m definitely a craft swap convert now.

And before this one was really done I had already signed up to Tinyowlknits magic yarn ball swap - I couldn’t resist, it just looked amazing and a great way to pass on some of my lovely stash and some lovely gifts too! (although it looks like my swapee might just get some yarn bought specially for her as I don’t have anything suitable in my stash – oh well, a visit to a yarn shop is never a chore).

Magic yarn balls sound like a great gift to give friends who knit or crochet though – check them out here on tinypurrs blog. Whatever I get from my swapee I’ll be super happy just for the lovely surprise from someone who’s taken time to think about me.


Using up my yarn stash – and its Lush!

Thanks to friends at my knitting group I have a pattern to knit and I’ve been hurtling through it at full speed and the best bit is I’m making my way through my huge yarn stash too.

Tincanknits pattern Lush, is absolutely gorgeous and being able to start with the lace detail made sure that stocking stitch boredom didn’t set in too early.

The pattern begins with the lace, knitted from the centre in one direction and then the other via a provisional cast on. The yoke up to the neck is next and finished with some lovely short row shaping around the neck.

I’m currently working my way down the body and have just got beneath the arms. The yarn I’m using is from my nearest yarn shop – woollyknits - (where the purple yarn for the Buckland jumper came from) – but the green yarn was in their bargain bin. £10 for 10 balls! of course I’ll have it, and I’ll have 2 packs as well! (So yes, that’s why I have a huge yarn stash.)

The yarn is 100% merino wool in a gorgeous emerald green, but it was in the bargain bin for a reason and that is because the dye is a bit irregular.  To deal with this I’m alternating between 2 balls every couple of rows so that I don’t get huge blocks of different greens. The effect is proving to be quite nice as its now not a flat colour but instead a bit stripey.

I have however reached stocking stitch boredom in the last few nights so perseverance might now be required.

DSCF5866 DSCF5868

Buckland done, but now I’m patternless!

Despite having a busy weekend I’ve managed to finish the Buckland jumper this weekend. In the end I added 19 rows to the sleeves just before doing the bobbles and despite my fear they would be too long they are just perfect.

I also added 10 rows to the body before starting the shaping, in hindsight I should have perhaps added another 10 rows as I’d prefer it to be a little bit longer. But it fits so I’m happy and the bobbles look great! But I’m now on the hunt for another project – not sure why I’ve not already got one lined up.

DSCF5850 DSCF5851

Taking time out for the Vasconcelos exhibition

I was lucky enough to find myself with free time in Manchester this afternoon and popped in the Art Gallery to see the Joana Vasconcelos Time Machine exhibition.

For lovers of textile artwork this exhibition is a must see. Vasconcelos’s art weaves its way through the entire gallery, and while the first reaction is amazement at the scale and stark contrast to the surrounding historical art it which is shares space; its hard not to be impressed by the detail of her work and the obvious time taken to create it.

Vasconcelos work is a combination of sculptures wrapped in fine hand made lace, like ‘Bond Girl’ and Maria Pia (the wasp) and the colourful and elaborate creations such as the specially commissioned ‘Britannia’ which can be found in the Atrium and ‘Cottonopolis’ which sprawls across the first floor gallery.

Vasconcelos’s art is certainly striking and leaves me envious of her abilities and her creativity. The exhibition is on until the 1st June 2014 so make time for it if you find yourself in Manchester.

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Bond Girl

Bond girl

Dropping 2013

Dropping 2013

Britannia 2014

'Britannia' 2014 'Britannia' 2014 Britannia 2014

Maria Pia 2013

'Maria Pia' 2013


'Cottonopolis' 2014 'Cottonopolis' 2014





You can’t have everything right all the time

Buckland has so far proved to be a great pattern to knit. Quick, simple and effective. Ok, I’ve altered the pattern a bit as jumpers are never long enough, but its still been quick and simple. Just as my interest in endless stocking stitch is waning, I reach the shoulder bobbles. Fabulous!!

Except I’m working on faith now that the pattern is correct as I am expecting to finish the first sleeve and for it to be suitable for a chimp – its very long already. I know it is raglan, but still! I have 45 stitches left its already 55cm and only decreasing on the knit side its going to be even longer before I reach casting off. Mmn. I expect to find myself ripping this back at some point.

And my bobbles are like little belly buttons, they’ve all disappeared inside! I’m hoping with wear they will appear on the right side!

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Despite the knitting not being so certain this week, everything else seems to have settled. Without sharing too much, (as I think something’s really are private) my boyfriend revealed something to me about himself over Valentines which I didn’t really take into consideration when he reacted badly during the incident and after.  I won’t be able to take it if he ever hurts me like that again, even if he didn’t mean it, but we had a fabulous weekend of walking in the sunshine this weekend. So I’ve given him another chance and working through adapting how I approach certain things with him and I will be trying to be more clear and upfront with him about what I think and feel. And perhaps I didn’t need to get all swept up in the romance when being good friends is just as important to sustain a relationship. Fingers crossed! (both for the jumper and the relationship!)

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