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Wednesday 26 April 2017

Back to Basics

It feels massively overdue, and having been blogging on and off for almost 4 years now, I want to go back to why I started this blog in the first place. I had recently moved to a new city, I had part time jobs which allowed me lots of free time during the day and flexibility that I had never had before. I was at the point in my life where the possibilities were limitless, if only I could settle upon what I wanted to do.
I had just completed a PhD in breast cancer research  and whilst I struggled to decide what I wanted to do long-term I knew that I had to give myself a chance at a career in science and healthcare. It was a difficult time as the lack of routine, and finding myself in a new city knowing very few people was challenging. Three months of this time was spent with no TV or internet connection (I know!).  During these 3 months I took crochet and knitting to the extreme and I can honestly say it was the main factor in maintaining my sanity. It gave me a way of occupying my time, it really opened up a deep-seated creativity within me and I created fun, quirky, individual pieces that made me smile. The creativity was flowing so freely at this time that I started designing my own projects which I loved. Starting this blog was a natural progression. It was intended as a way of sharing my work in progress, finished items and also charting my foray into designing. 

These days I find that this creativity has been suppressed. I wouldn't say lost, as I know that it will re-emerge in time, and I think I now know why. Two and a half years ago, after nearly two years of casual part time restaurant work I got a great job. A job that would use my skills learned in my PhD, a job that had clear career progression, and mostly importantly to me a job that would make a direct impact on others. I got a job to train to become a Clinical Biochemist with the National Health Service. The training consists of three years of on-the-job training, with a teaching component (a masters degree in Clinical Science). The first major knock to my creativity came from where I would be working. I got allocated a hospital in The Valleys in South Wales. Great stuff, but my partner was tied to his job in Manchester, and I had made loads of friends there. For the last two and a half years I have been making the 4 hour drive to Manchester on a Friday after work and the same 4 hour journey back on a Sunday afternoon. Whilst I'm used to the drive now it cuts out so much weekend time when I would have been making, or cooking or just putting my feet up. Plus, its exhausting. Getting all the 'weekend stuff' done on a Saturday means that we don't stop all day. The second, and more major kick in the proverbial teeth to the old creativity was that as my job is a training job I'm constantly learning new things that were once very alien to me and recently my brain has felt full to capacity since the beginning of the year. Its leaving little space for much else. My Instagram followers lived it with me this last week but I had my final masters degree exams and I can't me more relieved! "hello creativity please come back!"

During this time I have still been making, quite a lot really. Plus I've been really good at finishing the projects I start. However, rather that whipping up new designs, and taking time to just play with yarn, I have been making a lot from other peoples' patterns. It has felt like a lot of the pressure has been lifted and I can still be creative, and produce something beautiful  out of a ball or yarn and my own two hands. However I really miss that buzzing creativity I used to surround myself in. As a result I'm going back to basics, in the hope that it will come back to me soon. I'm going to be sharing my work in progress (hands up who else is relieved that its light enough to take decent photos early evening?!), I'm going to share other work that inspires me, and I'm going to keep writing. The only way creativity will find me again is if I keep on going, and you know, I've had a few ideas recently so it may be working....writing this today has already given me some ideas for future posts. 

As I eluded to in my previous post (reading that back I'm not sure what planet I was on at the time....it was the week before my masters thesis was due in so I think I have an excuse) I have some exciting news, which I think will have a great impact on welcoming creativity back into my life. I have a permanent job in Manchester starting next month and I couldn't be more excited! Whilst it will still be pretty taxing mentally, especially in the first few months, I will have so much more free time. Just think how many more socks I could have knitted with an extra 8 hours every weekend over 2 years......

These socks, my current work in progress are shared over on the lovely Rachell's blog


  1. Good luck in your new job and in your yarny plans.

  2. Oh this is so interesting - I feel like I've learnt lots about you. Wow well done on all your achievements and congratulations on the new job it sounds really exciting!

    Thank you for joining in with Yarning Along.

    1. Thank you! Looking forward to Yarning Along again soon :-)

    2. Hopefully every week! ;-)

  3. Just a note of caution from a 68 year old retired computer science major....never put your life or your dreams on hold for someone else no matter how much you might 'care' for them. I wanted to be a veterinarian but instead took CS major for someone who later left...I'm not bitter but just see women do it too often (including MOI! LOL!). None of my business but just a caution.
    Meanwhile, I am loving your gorgeous socks and hoping that all is turning out just like you want it to! I came over from Rachel's via Simply Summer Street and Mrs.McD918...you go girl!

  4. Good luck with the new job, I hope it all works out for you. I did three years of long-distance relationship before we finally settled in the same place; we're still happy together eight years later, so worth the travelling! And hooray for the return to creativity, enjoy!

  5. I agree that when you are busy it is hard to squeeze in as much time for creativity with knitting/crochet. I am currently unemployed and will soon be taking courses online, but I have had so much more time to grow as a knitter and blogger during this time and when I was reading your post I kept thinking that we as creative people need this time to really grow and expand in our creativity. I wish you all the best in your new job it sounds exciting and I hope you find more time to create! lovely socks!