Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Turning your Work - IRL

I blame it all on my husband. If he hadn't decided to change careers four years ago, I might never have made my own move. But watching him return to full time study for the first time since his teens, seeing him really sink his teeth into a new vocation and do well at it, and then witnessing his satisfaction (and yes, exhaustion) in his new occupation, made me start questioning my happiness in my own. Fortunately, the stars aligned, and aided by a firm nudge from both him and my friends, I started on a new path of my own. I'm currently one-third of the way through qualifying to become a high-school English and Humanities teacher.

I'd always had the idea of teaching in the back of my mind - it was something I thought I'd look into 'later on'. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer - the past six months have likely been the most challenging and rewarding of my life so far, and I've done some pretty challenging things. It's been like learning a whole new language, learning to re-wire my brain, and learning to listen and observe and be present in a way I'd never thought about before. Needless to say, it's also been the most exhausting six months of my life, too. 

During semester, I've been trying to keep my hand on the hook as often as I could, even though sometimes I'd feel guilty about it - but the husband stepped in and quashed that hyper-critical inner voice of mine and reminded me it was all about balance. So I still managed to fit in episodes of MKR and MasterChef whilst crocheting a granny stripe blanket in the summer holiday shades of browns, greens and blues. I like how the blanket is getting heavier and heavier the bigger it gets, and how it's now big enough to keep me warm while I add to it, stripe by stripe.

I also had Craft Camp to look forward to, booked in for the first weekend of holidays; even though that was weeks ago now, it still warms me to think about it - two whole days of crafty creativeness with nine lovely ladies, in a cosy country cottage built just for getaways of the type. All day and most of the night spent practising old and learning new crafts, making new friends, laughing, sipping tea and wine and swapping stories. It was so good, I had to force myself to go to bed and get some sleep. But who needs sleep when there's so much fun to be had, right?

I had wanted to try making little crochet skulls - there's a pattern for a day of the dead skull motif I'd had my eye on for a while. My first couple of attempts were fit only for the grave, but I soon had the pattern down - though it wasn't long before I started planning tweaks to the pattern. This resulted, of course, in me obsessively going over and over the pattern till I got something more aligned with the picture in my head. So I went from this:

to this:

Even though the second skull looks a little like a storm trooper, I like the way it's rounded and has more height at the top, and the fact that it has cheekbones and jaw bones. I'm still playing around with the pattern, but once it's done I'm going to try and write it down - maybe it'll be my first contribution to Ravelry.

I'm off to watch Netflix and crochet on the couch. A week and a bit of holidays left before we jump back in to study, and I plan to hook my way through as much of it as I can.

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