Knit Now Issue 122 - Interview with me!

Well hello there, fibre friends. It's becoming part of my regular routine to say "oh wow it's been a while" and explain just why I am so shocking at maintaining a blog so let's just skip that part and get to the good stuff. You'll notice, no doubt, that some changes are afoot. Firstly there's a big banner declaring that I'm The Midnight Dyery at the top of this webpage. Perhaps then we'll start there. Since The Project Bag launched in 2018, with an abundance of enthusiasm and quite a lot of research (I even took a business course from Open Learn!), a lot has changed. Firstly, I've discovered that I really don't like sewing project bags. Let's skip over the fact that it took me two years to figure this out and focus instead on the eureka moment of the realisation. Secondly, I've become much more known for my hand dyed yarns - particularly the blue tones. When I was vending at Perth Festival of Yarn 2019, my booth buddy and

Midnight Musings: 28/11/2020

Midnight Musings Marathon Making and Woolly Hugs "So, we meet again." The crack in my voice betrays my anxiety.  Once again the 1st December looms, rising up seemingly out of nowhere to tower over me with it's booming voice announcing all I'm meant to be doing in the next 24 days.  Or can you get extra "days" by staying up all night? Bear with me here - it does make sense - we refer to days to get things done in by standard waking working hours, say 9am - 6pm.  What if we stayed up and worked another 9 hours on top of that.  Two lots of 9 hours in a 24hr period.  Double the time, double the days, right? So in that case, optimistically, 58 days.  Ok I can cope with that. I would like to know who equipped the 1st of December with its camouflage gear.  It strikes me as singularly unfair that most deadlines stomp up to you, noisily reminding you of their impending presence, and yet the one which heralds the most intense making period of the calendar year (depend

Midnight Musings: 24/11/2020

Midnight Musings  Chapter One: Beginning in the Middle Beginnings have always fascinated me.  We've so many different "beginnings" and ideas tied to the concept of "beginning".  Just this week I was chatting with a friend about her uni work (she's being super clever and doing a Masters).  She's got a big essay coming up and a nugget of knowledge from my dim and not-so-distant past of being an English teacher knocked around in my brain, making me aware of its presence: "Write the introduction at the end: start in the middle."  I honestly can't remember which of my uni lecturers gave us that advice. I do remember, however, the impact it had.  The eureka moment.  I've since passed it on to hundreds (no exaggeration) of exam students, and now I'm thinking - why can't I begin in the middle now? Traditionally, beginnings seem to be pinned to a few different things: * the start of a project or endeavour * the start of a week * the star

Simple Sugar Biscuits: A Recipe

Add caption Dear Readers, I once again find myself on a Friday afternoon with some time to write.  It's funny, isn't it, that considering we are in nationwide lockdown (in the UK at least, although the restrictions are easing slightly) I have even less time than I did before?   Time is a very strange thing: abstract.  Abstract nouns are names of things that you cannot see, hear or touch, but you can feel or see the effects of them.  Time ravages your body, your mind, or time treats it gently - at once abstract and yet personified. For years I yearned for "more time" but, like lots of things, the more space you have, the more you find to fill it up with.  Since April 11th, I have been furloughed, but find myself busier than ever.  I thought that my days would be organised and calm, that the house would magically sparkle like those of the influencers I follow on "The Gram", that the jobs that had been waiting so patiently for me to have "time" would

Live Streams - Monday Mini Makes

Hello readers!   It’s been a long time again, hasn’t it?   I often find it hard to get the time to sit down and write, among all the other things I have to do, but I do enjoy it so I hope that you’ll forgive the sporadic publishing of blog posts.     Firstly, let me say I hope you and yours are well and staying safe.   It’s been a very strange six weeks, hasn’t it?   Tough on everyone for a myriad of reasons.   I saw a great quotation the other day:   “We are not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm”.   This metaphor sums it up perfectly – while Covid-19 is affecting the entire world, how it affects us varies from individual to individual.   My life is quite different now to how it was a few weeks ago.   I’ve been working from home since mid-March, and then was Furloughed from 11 th April from my day job as a yarn store manager.   I am so proud to have got the new website up and running in time for my last day, although there’s lots still to do when I return.  

Baking with The Project Bag: Banana and Honey Loaf

Hey there! It's a strange old world out there at the moment isn't it?  I've been furloughed from my day job and on day one am already feeling twitchy.  But I reckon I can find enough to keep me busy. One thing that's really at the forefront of my mind at the moment is the need to reduce waste.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not careless usually, but perhaps I don't plan enough and there ends up being waste.   A couple of weekends ago I was eyeing up some blackened bananas and decided to rifle through my cupboards to see if I could whip something up.  I adapted a recipe from an old cook book and came up with honey and banana loaf.   I love bananas, but I am super picky - one single brown spot and I won't eat them.  It's something to do with how the starch breaks down I think. Is it starch in a banana?  Anyway, I thought I'd share the recipe here. TPB Banana and Honey Loaf. Ingredients: 3 overripe bananas - peeled and mashed (I find a fork to work best f

Word of the Year 2020 - Balance

Well it's that time of year again, when we find ourselves reflecting and setting goals. Last year my word of the year was "Grit" - see here for the blog post about what grit is and some links to great resources. This year, I will admit to having struggled.  Hope is too banal and immeasurable.  If I'm honest, I wanted "grit" again - one year surely isn't enough to perfect something is it?  I know it isn't for me.  But then I hit upon it:  balance. For more than a decade I have struggled with balance.  As a dancer, my physical balance is excellent, provided my eyes are open (if they're closed I tend to just topple over backwards).  But as an adult?  Forget it.  The constant juggling and plate spinning of trying to manage work and life and a relationship and taking care of myself physically and mentally and squeezing some sleep in there occasionally is a skill I've yet to master.  I tend to be an all-or-nothing kinda gal, generally giving