Chariknitty – why I am knitting for charity

So what, you might ask is the chariknitty? Well, it was the phrase coined by my wonderful friend Tina Hyde, when I was looking for a name for my Facebook page that was promoting my charity knitting. In the end, I went for Lyns and needles (suggested by Dave Baker, one of the regular viewers to my Facebook live streams) as a page title as I felt it was easier to get people to remember that. I loved the title Tina came up with and so decided to use in my blog.

I learnt to knit many many years ago as a child. I can’t remember who taught me and recently I asked my 93-year-old mum if it was her or my grandma and she seems to think it was her although we’re not quite sure. No matter, the fact is that I learnt to knit when I was very young, a skill that I have treasured all my life. When my children were young, I used to make them toys and jumpers and then I had a lull in my knitting. However I recently decided to pick up my knitting needles and get click clacking for charity. I have decided to support as many Isle of Wight charities as I can. I’m currently writing this blog in a new coffee shop in Pyle Street in Newport- Comicoffee. I know the owner, Matt and decided to knit him (The superhero) as a good luck charm. I am delighted to see him sitting on the shelf, that is the superhero not Matt!

Over the weekend I became an award-winning knitter when I was presented with three gold medal certificates at the Isle of Wight County show.

The big wicker cup was lent to me by Kevars cafe in Ryde. I decorated it up and filled it with stuffing with a felt top to look like the tea and then knitted biscuits to go on the top. I called it “Elevenses to dunk not to dunk?” And entered it in time for Tea section. The second one was called with “Apologies to Carmen Maranda” and was a hat laden with fruit and veg which I entered into the fruit and veg section. I didn’t want to do a trug of fruit and veg as I like to be a little bit more out of the ordinary. Well, it paid off and it was a lot of fun doing it. The third entry was “Mary Mary quite contrary”  which was entered into the “In Bloom” category. It was very much a last minute knit. I had ordered the knitting book with nursery rhymes in it and was heading off to London for a few days just before the County show. The book was due to arrive on the Friday as I got back but arrived on the day I went. When I spotted Mary Mary in the book,  I just had to knit it for the show so I put it to my luggage and soon the needles were click clacking the silver bells and cockleshells and pretty maids all in a row.

My prime reason for entering my work for the Articulture tent, was to put the knitting on display as I sell it for charity if I haven’t given it away as gifts.  Therefore more people would get to know about it so basically it was an awareness raiser. Imagine my delight then to receive the three gold medal certificates. I have won awards  before but not for my knitting so I can now add that to my portfolio.

I knit everywhere and anywhere I can. I don’t have a car so travel on the bus and do much of my knitting in my NET time i.e. no extra time. It has led to some very interesting conversations and even to the sale of knitted cupcakes on the bus to a local councillor raising funds, on that occasion for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

I am just waiting for a friend to join me in Comicoffee before I head off to Easy Weigh, A lovely shop a few doors along in Pyle Street, that sells all sorts of things from coconut oil to herbs and spices all sorts of different flours to eco-friendly cleaning items etc. Suzy will be hosting a cupcake sale on Thursday to raise money for the breast cancer charity. Not only have I knitted  some cupcakes for her window display but also some little pink bras.

I have now got myself a nice little pink shiny orderbook as I am getting so many orders,  that I need to keep a list. I have orders for sunflowers, footballs, sheep, different breeds of dog, ponies and much more. I never know what the next challenge will be but I love it. I’m having so much fun and I find it so therapeutic. Even better it’s raising much-needed funds for Isle of Wight charities. Long may I have strength in my hands to make my needles click clack.

I really must update my blog.

I have been very remiss about keeping my blog up to date. I love live stream and I do live stream most evenings with an update of the shenanigans in my life. However, it occurred to me that some people might prefer to read rather than view although personally, I am an audio-visual learner.

I have a 30-year teaching background and really loved my teaching career. That is until the end, the last year was not much fun. A job that I had joined as a vocation, became merely a way of paying the bills. To me, that was very sad and that is why I threw in the towel before retirement age. During my 30 years of teaching, I ran my own nursery school for 21 years. I have some very fond memories of those 21 years and the many children that passed through. We had such fun. They were like little sponges lapping up knowledge daily. We also used to produce two shows a year and when I live stream on a regular basis, many of those memories come flooding back and I recount them to my audience. Just the other day, and one of my 10 pm Broadcasts, I recounted how I dressed as a ragdoll when we put on a performance of “When the clock strikes midnight” (it was the story of the toys coming to life)

Although I say I had a 30-year teaching career, I have not actually stopped teaching. However, my pupils are no longer little people. I now help bigger people to raise awareness of their businesses, their events or the charities.

 

I have learned so much from my youngest son, Tristan and I am so glad that I didn’t squash that entrepreneurial spirit that he showed at age 12. I had chosen to send him to a private school and he saw a gap in the market. I think it was the sum of 5 pounds that set up his tuck shop. His headmaster was less than impressed and I got summoned to his office. Tristan reminds me that I’m leaving the premise he’s headmaster was less than impressed and I got summoned to his office. Tristan reminds me that I’m leaving The headmasters office, even before we got out of the school grounds, I turned to Tristan and said: “you are going to do it again aren’t you?” To which he had no hesitation in assuring me that he had no intention of closing his business. My answer was “just don’t get caught next time” How different our lives would have been if I had chastised him and put an end to that entrepreneurial spirit. As a 67-year-old, I am loving sitting in the digital space and learning and upskilling every day. I live stream daily, I manage social media accounts for local businesses and I help to raise the visibility of events and local charities as well as my beautiful Isle of Wight. I want to share it with the world. After all, how can I help the local businesses if the tourists don’t come?

And now I am going to attempt to blog regularly. Thanks to Tristan, this has become a much more manageable task as he has taught me to use voice to text. I am part of the social media Mentors Global group that he runs under his brand it’s Nomad9 . I pop in and out of that group on a regular basis as part of my upskilling but also lap up

podcasts and YouTube videos to make sure I don’t miss any vital information. I also run a network group, wightbuzz which I set up in 2010. I never set out to make money from it. It was more about connecting people together and networking that would help my home-based businesses. I did have a small membership fee back then but have now dispensed with that. For me, it is more about connecting the community with the businesses for the greater good. So my network meetings are open to local business owners, local event organizers, charity fundraisers and Charity organisers  and just for good measure anyone else who wants to join in and know what is going on in the community. There is one rule. You have to be nice. I added that rule because sadly in the past I had people within the group who tried to pull me down. Little did they know I was made of sterner stuff and although I might’ve been bashed along the way I’m like a Weeble, I wobble but I don’t fall down.

So, these days I like to inspire educate and entertain. I have my dad’s wicked sense of humour and I am sure he watches down on me with mild amusement. He would be proud of my live streams. He encouraged me and my siblings to learn public speaking at an early age. This is something I have passed on to Tristan who now speaks at many events, passing on his fount of knowledge.

At an age when I should have long since retired, I’m having way too much fun to sit in my rocking chair knitting. Although I do have a recliner and I do a lot of knitting as I now knit for charity. I love knitting the fun stuff like apples and pears and some flowers and pizzas and hotdogs etc. currently I am busy click clicking away with the needles as I am putting some entries into the new Arcticulture tent at the county show. The theme is fruit and veg, time for tea, and in bloom. It gives me plenty of scope for something I love. However, my ambitions are way beyond the time I have to finalize my entries. Once the show is over, all the entries will be sold for charity. They will support different charities on the island and in fact, some people have already ordered some of the items that will actually be seen in the county show. They are aware that they will have to wait until after 8 July. I have a very understanding audience. Which is just as well when things go wrong like they did last night. I was doing my usual 10 PM broadcast and I moved the camera to show my Computer screen and for some reason, it went a little bit Crazy. And when I put it down it had turned me on its side. Unable to correct it while I was broadcasting, I did the broadcast lying on my side on my desk much to the amusement of my audience. Mission accomplished as I always try to entertain. I had some wonderful compliments. One viewer nearly ran out of tissues. She assured me it was through laughter and not tears of sadness. Someone else came and said they had a wonderful evening and another viewer said I had really cheered him up. I am just so glad that I ignored the criticism of a naysayer years ago, who told me I was the laughing stock. What he didn’t realize these people are laughing with me and not at me. Together we are building a wonderful community of supportive people. They help me as much as I help them and so I’m not going to stop live-streaming or clowning about anytime soon. Now I must get back to the click-clacking of the knitting needles as time is of the essence.

Christmas is coming

Shssss did you know Christmas is coming?

Chrismas is coming

I run several businesses. My main two are  1) Wightbuzz   – a network group I set up  to connect businesses on the Isle of Wight in 2010 when I failed to find a group that fitted my needs and 2) Allthingsnetworking.com which my son and I run from opposite sides of the world – he in Sydney and me in the UK – the Isle of Wight to be precise. However, I have long since been a fan of networking marketing. I have run several networking marketing businesses working with and helping team members to grow their own businesses. For 7 years, I ran a children’s book business and enjoyed considerable success – earning many incentives along the way. 5 foreign holidays in 6 years wasn’t to be sneezed at and I have many fond memories of those days when I was called the book lady!. They were happy days but came to an end when the company moved the goal posts. However, I loved the business model and some years ago, I joined Phoenix Trading  as an Independent Phoenix Trader . I love the fact that no-one hassels me to make great sales and meet targets. I love the products, cards, ribbons, wrapping paper,

pink tissue and ribbon

beautiful stationery, bookmarks, colouring posters, games

farmyards dominoes

etc. Gone are the days when I set up big stands at shows or ran book parties (which are still options for anyone wanting to run their business that way) I prefer to run my business with catalogue sales and online sales and the opportunity to help charities with fundraising. (and for more information on this please contact me as I love helping to raise charity funds. )