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Walking in Northumberland

That Old Chestnut – A Healthy Work Life Balance

We’ve just got back from our second 4 mile walk in a fortnight. When you live in beautiful rural Northumberland, it’s a crime not to get outdoors. No need for the gym with hills like these. It’s all about getting a healthy work life balance, which, when you’re self employed, is easier said than done.

Walking in Northumberland

Walking in Northumberland

I’ve had to give myself a jolly good talking to again. Having already left teaching due to stress related ill health, I could feel my health taking a tumble again in the run up to Christmas.

I’m just too darn driven. I have an idea, and I let it run away with me. I see an event, and not wanting to miss out, I book it. I work too hard, and I don’t allow myself enough down time.

That needs to change. So, instead of New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get fit (I always need to do more of that), I’m resolving to do more for myself, to allow myself some time off to develop new hobbies and friendships.

It’s started well, with two fabulous country walks, and yesterday I went to my first art class in a very long time.  It was a life drawing class, though the model was the son of the teacher, and he kept his pants on!

I am also going to take some ‘Granny leave’. Our Hannah is expecting her first baby, our first grandchild, a little girl, and I want to be able to help her all I can. It would be terrible if I were too busy working to enjoy my first granddaughter. At very least, I need to find time for lots of granny knitting – I’ve finished this dear little dress.

I still plan to be making lots of lovely designs, selling online, and being an active member of The Wool Clip, with all that entails for Woolfest, but maybe not going at it at such a ridiculous pace.

Here’s to a healthy work / life balance.

 

Northumberland sheep farming

Northumberland sheep farming

 

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Double Moss Stitch

The Deftly Textured Sweater Pattern

I’ve had a wonderful weekend. It’s been the Easter weekend, with both work and family time, and some very kind people who have made it all the more special.

The Designer Makers' Market at The Witham Barnard Castle

The Designer Makers’ Market at The Witham Barnard Castle

I was peddling my woolly wares at the Designer Makers Market at The Witham in Barnard Castle on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. The event was run superbly by Kathryn from start to finish, and the venue, The Witham was great. The cafe served best cheese scones I have ever tasted! The punters too were lovely, appreciative of good design,  and all had encouraging words to say about my work. The sales were none too shabby either.

I was there with Ceri from Oakwood Soaperie and the two of us were having a girlie weekend away. Lovely Linda, a fellow trader, who runs Shanti, Shanti, Colours of Nepal, let us stay her house just ten minutes from Barnard Castle. We had such fun, a little gin, a little wine and a good deal of nattering. Linda was so kind, and it made a huge difference not having to drive the long distance home and back on Friday and Saturday.

Back at the Witham, on the Saturday, the footfall was great, and trade was brisk. There were lots of interesting people to talk to. A lady came to the stall wearing a jumper I recognised. Back in the 80s, I’d knitted myself a jumper with lots of double moss stitch, which I loved. In a moment of haste, I’d given the jumper to a charity shop and then later regretted it. It was such a good pattern, and I’d often thought of that jumper. I was thrilled to see someone wearing the very same hand knit, and told the lady I’d knitted one the same, but sadly no longer had it. The lady said she still had the pattern which had come from SHE magazine, and would be happy to make a copy of it for me.

Deftly Textured Sweater SHE Magazine

Deftly Textured Sweater SHE Magazine

I was absolutely thrilled. Not only did the lady make a copy of it, but she returned with it to The Witham later in the afternoon. Such a kind gesture! I was chuffed to bits.

Debbie Bliss Rialto in Citrine

Debbie Bliss Rialto in Citrine

I’d already bought myself seventeen balls of Debbie Bliss’s Merino Wool, Rialto in Citrine, and was searching for a pattern to knit with. I’d been looking for something with moss stitch in, and despite searching Ravelry on a couple of occasions hadn’t found anything that floated my boat.

Bingo! I now had it, thanks to the kindness of that lady.

Guess what I did all day yesterday?

Double Moss Stitch

Double Moss Stitch

Thanks for reading! I’ll be in the park at Hexham next weekend Sat 22 April at the Hexham Spring Festival. 🙂

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