(NO) Jacket required

So Joanne how is #nobuyzone going? Well it’s funny you should ask because, friends,  just this week I have fallen from grace. I spent money on both clothes and yarn. Forgive me knitters for I have sinned

In my defence I tried very hard not to buy clothes and the yarn was a sort of consequence of feeling a bit sorry for myself.

It went off like this: I had an everyday-wear jacket. Weatherproof, stylish (after a fashion, and if you like orange) it had been a good and faithful servant, when *somehow it got covered in black ink across the middle of body at the front. This ink proved pretty sticky stuff and after a wash remained as indelible as before. But the wash had removed the weatherproofing very effectively. Goddammit. The ink was not ignorable (especially for someone who admits to being a neat-freak) so I tried to cover it up with a bit of embroidery. Which worked (I guess) but left me with a not water-proof, florally decorated (and I suspect slightly shrunk) jacket. I tried to like it, but I’m just not in to flower power (and against being wet – definitely not: not in Winter, not in Britain).

Admitting the inevitable, I then went out to buy a replacement winter casual jacket. I went to several outdoors shops and found nada, nowt, not a sausage – nothing. If they fitted around my apple-shaped middle the arms were too long. If the arms and shoulders fitted, I couldn’t fasten it. My dearest one suggested that I might be ok if I wore a jacket without a jumper. This was probably true but as well as being dry in Winter I also prefer (call me an irrational fool if you like) to remain warm too. I went home discouraged, new-jacketless and clutching a bottle of re-proofing potion.

The potion did not work and I remained discouraged. I accept that I have a large middle, but I’m not that freakish and to prove it I had a jacket that fitted. I look around me and see many other women with – ahem – a wee bit of extra insulation, all wearing jackets. They must’ve bought them SOMEWHERE…. This sort of shopping should make you hate manufacturers/designers and their very narrow ideas of what constitutes  the ideal female form, but it doesn’t, it makes you hate yourself.

I took the ‘kids’ (my two grown up sons) out shopping, and still glum, I cheered myself up with a yarn purchase. Four balls of WYS sock in an ashy rose colour to make this (or possibly this) reduced by a third. It felt good and it felt right – at the time, and then not so much later on when I squirrelled the yarn away.

And then strolling through town after a miserable conversation with my doctor (mile high cholesterol, and fatty liver were the highlights) I spied a jacket, waterproof, nearly identical to my old one and in a tasteful green.

Reader, I bought it.

*my son queried my story about how the ink had appeared. Honestly, as yarn is my witness ,it was not a ploy to buy a jacket. I loved that orange coat.

another WIP

Just popped by to say that yes I have started another Carbeth sweater and if you fancy following my progress on Instagram I’m joatvillagewoolly.

Having a lack a true sweater quantities of – well, anything – in my stash I had a brainwave… colour work. Do the ribs in one shade, a transitional band of fair isle, and then another colour (and repeat on the sleeves). The neck may be grey or it may be purple – it depends on how acute the ‘yarn chicken’ gets!

Here’s some pictures – the yarn is the same as the last one – Rico’s Alpaca dream – and  it’s still wonderful to knit with. I’ve got tension/gauge with 7mm/6mm needles. fullsizeoutput_1587fullsizeoutput_1586

let it snow, let it snow…let it snow


It’s a snow day outside – so a good day (in my view) for sitting, knitting and thinking. A couple of things came up on my Instagram feed and blogs about finding your style.

I don’t know a single woman who can take a compliment – if you say to someone who is immaculately made up, beautifully dressed and perfectly coiffured, they’ll pay their stomach and assure you that they’re bloated/pounds heavier than they should be or something equally mad. Or they assure you that the outfit was cheap or the equivalent of ‘this old thing’. We women are pretty good at being nice to everyone – except ourselves.

How about this – everyone in the family is ready for a night out, you’re still standing in your pants and bra in a room that looks like its been burgled trying to find something to wear. You have loads of clothes and not a single thing you feel happy to go out in.

I remember seeing some slogan somewhere which was a mixture of angry and sad: “a woman’s place is in the wrong” and certainly our attitudes to our bodies suggest that is very much the case despite efforts to promote body positivity. But I guess that the fashion and beauty industries (worth billions and billions) are geared at that feeling that if you had the right dress/skin/hips you could finally feel happy.

Maybe dressmaking and knitting could throw a wee spanner in the works: think about it, your new clothes come without a size label and are made to fit you, they’re unique so no-one can do that “who wears it better” calculation, and to be honest they are kind of ‘outside’ fashion too. Some sewing and knitting patterns reflect current trends (primarily from the mainstream brands), but many indy designs are simply classic shapes, or simply wearable styles. And in knitting a touch of traditional is valued over the swift fashion.

The more I wear my own me-made clothes, the more comfortable I feel about my own style: I am classic apple and short and there are no designers making clothes for my shape anywhere in the world. Except me. And the more I diverge from fashion, the more I suspect that it’s a bit of a con anyway. Yarn Harlot was talking a little bit about this and said this

“It’s taken me getting this old to suspect that when I leave a room, people do not discuss my neckline choices in a way that’s going to have any actual impact on my life.”

…and for ‘neckline’ I suspect you could most probably substitute any other part of your body that you’re currently pre-occupied with. You care – but other people really really don’t because they see the whole package, and if you’re happy, smiling, kind and friendly, warm and stylish, frankly who gives a flying feck about a muffin top or flat chest?

Meanwhile: Finished objects/works in progress – this has not changed overmuch. Cline is still in her bag waiting for a decision on her fate…the socks are still unfinished and the blanket is still ongoing. Because I simply can’t sit and not knit I dug out some rather nice Adriafil aran from my stash and started this. There may have to be some yarn chicken as I have 4 balls and I really need five. But if it has to be frogged at least I has something to knit…. which is the main thing…..isn’t it?

IMG_4102Note that my new favourite sweater Carbeth is now a ‘thing’ – head over to Mason Dixon knitting to hear about it. Mine is a joy to wear: I made it considerably longer in the body/shorter in the sleeves than the original but raced to the finish line in just over a week. I love it. There may be more (yeah, ‘may’….. I’m already thinking about ditching the green in favour of another one…)