@womentogether: a co-op for women 

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Ok… I don’t know where to start! I have so much stuff whirling around my brain, I barely slept last night. Before I go any further, please know that I have ME/cfs and am a single parent with three children (one has Aspergers) so be patient with me 🙂 Things may take a while to get sorted but never doubt my passion for this idea. 

The summer budget hit a lot of women yesterday, it was a cruel blow to all the progress women have made since we ‘stepped out of the kitchen’. Something the Tories fail to see is that if we punish women, we punish everyone. We are mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, wives and friends. Such oppression of one gender can only lead to hurt us all. As Chief Seattle once said:

‘What we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect’ 

 (see: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/331799  and yes, I know he may not have actually said it but the words have resonated with me for many years). 

The blog may be a rambling….. 

I’ve been thinking for while that the only way to survive the piles of shit (yes, I do swear from time to time ;).)that the government like to throw at us, is to rise up together and help our fellow woman. The Tories approach is that we help ourselves ‘I’m ok, sod the rest of you’ I don’t come from that school of thinking. Women are stronger together, I witnessed that for myself when I attended the Freedom Program. We had a shared hurt and comforted each other, offered a hand to hold and knowing nod. 

I want @womentogether to grow into a nationwide co-op for women affected by the cuts. The only thing that I really insist upon is that all help/advice/support is offered free of charge. 

By help etc I mean things like:

You could set up your own mini foodbank

Clothes swaps for women and children 

Legal, financial advice 

Going to an appointment 

Sending a woman a nice card in the post or tweeting her when she cries out for help on Twitter (I’m going to set up a Facebook page too) 

Practical help like gardening, food shopping, fixing a leaking tap. 

Skill sharing – whether that be teaching women to crochet/knit/sew, car maintenance, cooking on a limited budget, using a computer. 

This list is endless! You might be a nurse, doctor, plumber, mother, gardener, lawyer, journalist, artist, therapist…… Just being a woman is enough for this co-op so please don’t feel that you have nothing to give and if you can’t give but need support – this is also for you. 

What I need right now is help setting up a website/webpage. I have no tech skills so would really appreciate any advice on this. I also need a graphic designer to come up with a logo. In return, I could crochet you something! My aim is to have a network in place before 2017 when the biggest cuts hit. 

I don’t want this women’s co-op to get bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy    so I’m not registering it as a charity or ltd company (I’d certainly appreciate advice on it though).  Safety first at all times so I think women setting up local groups is better than one woman alone (in regards to practical help). 

On that note, I realise there are many groups out there who help women. I’m not stepping on your toes, please use this account to spread the word of the work that you do and the support you offer, that’s what a co-op is all about 🙂 Would be great to have guest tweeters,when established, so that you can promote your groups. 

So …. Whether you need help or can offer help or even both ….. Please spread the word about @womentogeher 

This is my battle cry. This is my call for women to come together so that we can ride out the storm through love and sisterhood. 

Love, tea, crochet, sisterhood, solidarity 

Exxx 

#crochetmoodblanket2014

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My year in a blanket …..

It’s not quite a year as I didn’t start it in January. Someone on Twitter gave me the idea of the #crochetmoodblanket2014 and I’ve thought it was a lovely, creative form of therapy.

I was at home, recovering from my suicide attempt and ongoing panic attacks and anxiety …. Crocheting a square a day became my little meditation for the day. A moment for me to make a square and let thoughts drift in and out without giving them too much of my time and emotional energy.

My one rule was that I would not use black! I think the reasons are obvious….. The whole blanket could end up being black! By the very nature of the blanket taking me this long to complete – there’s the blackness, the dark days. There have been many reasons why I haven’t managed to crochet a square a day:

Too sad
Too ill
Too anxious
Too heartbroken
Too busy
Too bored
Too unmotivated etc

The blanket will take me another few months but this doesn’t bother me. It will still show the journey of one of the toughest years of my life.

As for the colours… I don’t have a limitless budget to spend on yarn, such is life! 🙂 This means that I have had to repeat colours to build up a decent sized blanket. Having said that, all the colours that are in the blanket have been chosen because I’ve been drawn to them in some way.

Blues – the sky, the sea, Springtime, Summertime, cold days, low days, dark days

Green – Springtime, foliage, off colour days, meh days, countryside

Purples – International Women’s Day, domestic abuse, spiritual moments

Yellows – Springtime, beach sand, flowers, sunshine, happiness

Oranges – heat, hot days, energetic moments, Halloween, Autumn

Browns – Autumn, dead leaves, mud, dull days, crap days

Red – angry days, roses, Notting Hill, heartbreak, blood

Pink – love, happiness, joy, summer flowers, blossom, perfume

Whites – pale days, off days, nondescript moments, meh, loss, washed out

Some yarns are mixed and some have glitter …. Just chosen because I like them 🙂

The border and joining yarn will be cream. With all these colours, it needed to be balanced with something pretty neutral!

I really do look forward to the day that I finish this blanket and can focus on other crochet projects! I hope this blanket will be in my family for a long time and even outlive me – becoming a memory blanket of a year of my life.

Love, tea, hugs and yarn
Exxx IMG_1997.JPG

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My crochet Part 1

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Just thought I’d share some of my crochet with you. I’m no expert or artisan. I do it because I enjoy the creative experience – you may be able to buy ready made stuff cheaper (and better made!) but that’s not the point.

The process of turning a strand of yarn into a blanket, a toy, a bag, is truly magical. I cherish this skill. There are many things in life that I can’t do but this is something that I can hold to my heart and be proud of.

I can tell you now that when people use the #crochettherapy … They really mean it. Doing crochet is an act of mindfulness, a bit like going climbing, you are in the moment and you have to concentrate on what you are doing. Crochet gives me a brief respite from all the shite that bubbles around in my brain.

Love, tea, hugs and many balls of yarn
Exxx IMG_3246.JPG

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