Skyscrapers and String


Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the cat category.

From A Knot To A Thing

Hello all!

It’s been a while since I had any quiet time to write to you, which, is a jolly thing for me, as I am not a solitary creature, and I have a tendency to mope about and get nothing done when left to myself.

It is all guns blazing on the knitting front, both secret blankets were delivered to the new parents in Knitting Club, and I am so relieved I didn’t lose them on the train, or ruin them when blocking lol! It is quite a responsibility to be trusted with the combined output of a dozen keen knitters. Lovely wool – Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran, and jewel bright colours.

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Also, I showed you the tangled shoebox of yarn in my last post. I have made a pencil case, a shoulder bag and a back pack so far and the shoe box is still quite full!

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As you can see above the lid of the shoebox is getting lots of love as well!

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Here you can see the bag pieces, I am still at work on them, but the colours are lovely and it will be nice to have a matching shoulder bag and backpack.

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I am loving the colours, they remind me of Tiffany stained glass windows. I have so much left I will get something else out of the remnants in the box.

It is also time for Knitting Club to start poppying for charity, and I have made about 25 poppies so far. Lunchtimes and bus journeys can result in quite a few poppies with very little effort, today I am going to the hairdresser and. I am spoilt for choice as to which projects to take.

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Life is really good right now, I am enjoying everything. It is nice to not be caught up in any dramas at home or at work and have a peaceful patch in my life. I love my commute, my park walks, this week I saw crows herding seagulls, dogs racing after sticks at top speed, lots of clouds and sky, and I adore the smell of grass and being out of doors. Work is fun, varied, the week speeds past so I am at the weekend again. And how lovely is the weather right now!

On my Birthday recently, Amber and I sat in the park during the day as warm as in summer, and it is still too hot to need covers over me in bed. Unheard of for October.

I am neglecting my reading books, however as Jane explains for Mr. Bingley in “Pride and Prejudice”, “I wish I read more but there always seems to be so many other things to do”. I am really happy, I hope you are too!

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Back Home!

Hello everybody!

Well that was a fab week in Sardinia!

Yesterday was a blur, travelling, the gripping anxiety of air travel – following the tragic loss of the Malaysian airliner some months ago, the world now knows that airplanes are run with no more technology than a child’s wind up torch.

At the airport in Sardinia, in view of the heightened security alerts last week, we saw some German passengers insisting they didn’t have to go through airport security as they were late for their plane, then there was a woman who had so much jewellery on, and she wouldn’t remove it to go through the metal detectors, we stood there for so long whilst she argued, we nearly missed our plane and she was taken off to one of those little rooms, I dare say for a more “private” examination (my eyes are watering…). Why? Why not just do what you are supposed to do? It’s for everyone’ s benefit.

On the way home from Luton, there was a lightening storm and such heavy rain, you could not see anything outside the car. Bearing in mind we were in a brand new Mercedes, the windscreen wipers did nothing to clear the rain from view and we snaked home, yearning for our little house, the child and the cat.

Here you can see the bright full moon in Sardinia on our last night:

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Here you can see our dear cat, shining with happiness that our little pack is reunited:

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Today it has been busy busy busy.

With Jon’s help throughout, I got up, sorted the laundry and tidied round a bit.

Then I baffed the cat. It purred throughout.

We made bread, and whilst it was rising Amber and I went for a walk to Asda to buy some coffee and fish. We missed the rain, everywhere was drenched when we emerged!

Jon fed the washing machine the entire time we were out and the cat dried a bit. It has sat on me continually.

The packing for the holiday took a good four weeks of careful assembly. To unpack took half a day, what a faff about, sorting what lives upstairs, and what goes in the bathroom and so on.

Whilst I was away I knitted a shawl, which sits in a pile with the other shawls I made recently, so this coming few weekends will have to include blocking sessions, where we can fit them in.

Also, I have a half finished capelet, which looks lovely:

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This needs some thought before it can be finished.

So apart from the pile of shawls that need blocking and the unfinished capelet, I have a little yellow cardigan on the needles to finish for dear Russ’s baby, and a golden cardigan for myself, a bag which just needs sewing up, and if I actually look properly there’s some more things need finishing in my work basket.

Before I left for my holiday, I bought some brooch backs from China for my charity poppy knitting, which I should start soon. They arrived while I was away. I bought 100 of the little devils, so I will be a busy girl!

I also came back to a customs bill for the extra wool to finish my golden cardi that is discontinued which. I had to I buy from the US! £14! Ouch!

The other thing that has been bugging me is the pile of Rowan Calmer upstairs. I want to do something with it. Also I decided the thick variegated
yellow cotton yarn will make a good bath mat or two.

But also, I have a new fab soft grey brown scarf trimmed with bobbles, and I want to knit something to go with it. Now!

And I’ve found a wonderful pattern, called Zuzu’s Petals, by Carina Spencer, and I think this will make a wonderful addition to my accessories repertoire, as it is a cross between a shawl and a cowl. Once I get the hang of the pattern construction, I will be able to improvise perhaps with other yarn weights and stitches. It is an extremely clever idea.

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You might understand I am a bit overwhelmed with all these musings, plus also on holiday I took loads of inspiring pictures of flowers and foliage, and of course my mind ran wild thinking about colour, and the yarn waiting at home for me as well, tempted me endlessly with ideas.

Look how lucky I am, what more can bring delight than a fabulous holiday, all this inspiration, coming home to all my yarns and and the pleasure of mulling over an endless stream of possibilities.

It is so lovely to be home!


Home Made Bread

Hello all!

At the moment, in the UK, we are having glorious weather.

Amber has finally finished her A Levels, and she helped with a day’s workshops at Amnesty International’s HQ in Shoreditch today. I am so proud of her, her kindness, her huge heart, her beautiful clever mind and her gentle soul.

Our home is filled with an atmosphere of peace and love, and it’s wonderful.

On the side bar of this blog, you can see the link to the blog where I learned to make sourdough bread at home. Lucy from Attic 24 pointed it out and she brought it to my attention first. She makes smaller loaves than me, I like making quite a lot at once.

I took some pictures today of the dough and so on, to share with you.

There’s cheese bread, using strong cheddar, and the other bread has cinnamon and mixed fruit added, both are really yummy!

Here you can see my new Cath Kidston flour shaker. Invaluable if your making this stuff!

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Here is the sticky dough once turned out of the bowl:

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Here you can see the cheese to go in one of the loaves:

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Once the fruit and cinnamon are folded into the loaf on the right, and the cheese into loaf on the left, you can see them here waiting to cook:

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Here you can see them baked, don’t they look grand!

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A bit of the cheese bread stuck to the cast iron pot, you have to imagine what it tastes like mmmmmm:

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Here you can see the finished project, watched over by the tiled Splashback of my cat behind the cooker:

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I urge you to try the recipe. It is life changing. Feed the people you love good home made things, love them and make yourself happy at the same time.

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!


Pink, Red and Blue

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to organise my life.

My thoughts, being muddled, led to my life being jumbled up. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to get to tidy thinking, and now my world is happier.

For a long time, I built up a vast collection of craft supplies. I would buy things on impulse, and not know what to do with any of it.

The temptation of shopping as recreation, the lure of the sale price, the luxurious product on sale at a show, the opportunity to acquire something really fab and hard to get, the fashion trend, the buying of stuffs with a solely seasonal appeal, you name it, I have fallen prey to the temptation.

And some times I have been a bit led astray. Like the time the Rowan Mill had a sale on £1 a ball yarn, and books at £1 each! Or the time I found my greek hotel was built over a wool warehouse, and I could have any ball for €1. Or the October sale at Loop!

A perfect example: last year, I went on a class by Madeline Tosh on colour theory, she really knew her stuff. We looked at colour wheels, contrast, saturation, tone, hue and everything.

The first question she asked was “what is your favourite colour?” And I answered with Daffodil yellow. This is a precise answer in terms of knitting, because at Loop there is a vast cupboard stuffed with a rainbow of balls of Jamison’s Shetland Spindrift yarn, and Daffodil is my go to shade.

I was sat next to a very talented and clever yarn dyer. At the end of the class everyone agreed on a theme colour for each person. Mine was dusty purple.

I felt vexed. I don’t really ever wear purple. It is dark and dull, plus, during the 80’s I think I was mad on it for a decade, and, now I am in my late forties, I now like bright spring colours.

After the class, I went wild and bought heaps of purple yarn. And I haven’t used any of it.

Anyway, I discovered the key to my stash was in my hand all along.

Just like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, I discovered that my Ravelry notebook was the answer!

I had never much used my stash tab, however over the recent weeks, I’ve filled it in, and knowing exactly how much wool I have, yard by yard, has meant I can pick patterns out properly !

Now I know what I’m doing and my stash is my friend!!!

So busy knitting this week. It’s all going well!

Here is the lovely lace crochet bag now in my queue due to be made in Drops Paris – idea was from their newsletter:

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Here also is Amber’s shawl, I ran out of yarn Friday evening, bought another huge ball to complete the last three rows, and to my astonishment, the wool came today! Post on a Sunday! Fabbo!

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Here you can see the Nimu Isel in blue to make an Ishbel shawl. Regular readers will know the last time I tried to knit this it was rubbish. So wish me luck! The yarn is a soft but bright blue, with denim tones here and there, it is truly stunning.

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I am also making another shawl in red, this is in Shilasdair 4 ply. Gorgeous!

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Here you can see this morning’s baking, wholemeal sourdough, two loaves, one with cinnamon and raisins. Mmm! Also my cat guarding my Ishbel pattern.

It’s been a fab weekend. I hope you’re all well and happy!

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Angry Catbaby!

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It needed a bath! I have a huge shawl to finish row by row. Three rows today so far.

All is good in my world.

Amber has exams. Nearly done!

I have been a bit poorly (eye infection then sickness bug) but ok now !

Jon has been getting his leg sorted via private health care as NHS gave him scandalously poor treatment so far. For the first time in nearly two years we know he doesn’t actually have a clot now for sure as he’s had a scan.

Work is crazy, Knitting Club is brilliant and I think I am the happiest I have ever been.


12,000 hits and Finally Making Sense

Hello everyone!

A big thank you for visiting me here, I can’t believe I have over 12,000 hits!

I do hope you enjoy my random musings and knitting banter. I must admit, I owe you another thank you because writing here is teaching me a lot of things about myself. Your encouragement helps me along too, and your kind words when I feel low or poorly are lovely, as I have very little by way of family who check in on me, certainly, it’s only my friends who keep me going.

Here you can see dear Woozle who has been sleeping on my knitting books this week:

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Knitting club was great fun this week too, we sat next to Rich Ricci at cOsta who was very senior once upon a time, he was famous for keeping racehorses. Despite sitting next to a dozen men and women knitting and chatting noisily he pretended not to notice any of us.

Here you can see me with Mary and Joanne:

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On Thursday I had the day off with Jon, I took him to London Bridge to see a consultant regarding his DVT which is not healing. additionally he has been having skin problems and other side effects which had been getting him down quite a bit. We saw the big boat HMS Belfast, Had a wonderful late lunch after the appointment, and now Jon is being seen by the best Doctor, he is optimistic and his spirits are greatly restored.

Whilst waiting for him at Pret, which is by a paved courtyard on a busy road in the middle of London, I was sat on by six bees within an hour. I was wearing a new yellow cardigan with a blue tshirt with flowers on it. I am not sure I will be wearing this outside again. I like bees, but am not used to being visited by so many in such a short space of time.

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On Friday I made some more bread, I have just enough left for my breakfast tomorrow.

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Saturday Amber and I went for a swim and I finished my purple shawl. This is the last of the Noro I bought from Loop in October. It needs blocking now.

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Knitting club are working on a secret project. The yarn is gorgeous, so luxe, but the pattern we settled on had errors, which my friend Debbie discovered as she tried the instructions out, so this weekend I have rewritten the entire thing, as well as doing my bit.

On top of that, our tumble dryer broke down, so Jon used our summer holiday twin cord bungee cords, which usually serve as our clothes dryer whilst we are away, and we have done all our washing using them today, they’ve worked brilliantly!

I’m not sure I like crispy towels and flannels, but we are in good stead for next week at work. I have learned a lot about organising my crafts this week, but that will be another post!


And Relax!

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a super weekend.

My eye infection is much improved from earlier this week, I still have red marks under both eyes but they are fading.

One of the mittens is finished using the remains of the Millifiore shawl and hat yarn. I am on mitten 2, and hope to use it all up!

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This morning I bathed my cat, Woozle is a love. She really doesn’t mind!

Here you can see her asleep on the windowledge and my gorgeous flowers in the windowbox behind.

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Here, there is a theme going, is Woozle with my Noro shawl. Yet another ball of Noro sock, and some lavender Spindrift, I do love stripes!

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It’s Not The End Of The World

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve had a super week. My week has not been so great, although my crafting has been good with lots of successes.

My nipper is a genius but is having a really tough time right now, so hassles at work and with difficult people are the last thing I need.

Swimming is great for soothing the mind, however this week I am short of a couple of swims, and there have been tube strikes, so no walks through the park either. Which doesn’t help, as these exercises keep me sane.

Everything at work and many things at home are conspiring to make me feel vexed, unhappy, undervalued, unappreciated and taken for granted. I feel let down and annoyed.

My nice boss has been made redundant, and I cried to see him go.

I am fed up of feeling used, and of endlessly trying to please people. Surely I have played that role for far too many years now!

It’s not the end of the world but I am frustrated at the total lack of respect.

Jon is my shining light and as I sit here with you he is marinating venison for my dinner.

Here you can see my faithful cat, she truly loves me and we enjoy each other’s company.

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You can see from that picture how she has trashed the new settee I bought a few months ago.

The tiles are up, Jon has still to do the grouting, but with any luck that will be done by Sunday. We have a long weekend to enjoy, and I’ve had a nap but there are ashes in my mouth.

You can also see here my crochet shawl waiting to be blocked:

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This was started and left unfinished for a year. To my shame it took about a day to finish. I have several more wips lurking about and I will attend to these now I have a head of steam.

The patchwork shawl is coming along. I’d like to get that finished too!

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Good knitting but a horrible week. I want it all to stop!


Baking Bread

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a super weekend. It has just turned sunny here and I’ve had to open a window!

My tummy is very happy as we’ve had fresh bread which I started yesterday, and I’ve put on some chicken and tomato casserole for dinner, it has loads of fresh fennel, peppers, wine, garlic, onions and tomatoes. It smells delicious!

Amber is studying hard for her physics mock exam tomorrow, but seems in quite good spirits as much as you can be under so much pressure. We swam yesterday then had duck for dinner which is her favourite.

My knitting is coming on well, the patchwork wrap is speeding off the needles, all the little crochet squares are done and I’ve picked up stitches to make the wings of the shawl, and these are coming along nicely.

Here you can see me knitting on the bus yesterday:

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Here are some pictures of the wrap in progress:

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Also, this morning I walked over to Asda to pick up my new iPad cover, here you can see it, yet another product under the Woozle brand…

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Tomorrow at work I have too many meetings, and too much desk work to complete. Also, the “Big Announcement” is due. Ho hum.

Right! Back to my knitting!


Beyond Impressed! Tile Heaven!

Hello everyone!

It’s Thursday, I’ve got dishwash hands after washing up and tidying and chores all morning long; and I’m sitting down for a rest for the first time today, so I thought I’d say Hi!

By all rights I should be whinging about a bit of a hangover, but I’m chipper, after last nights dinner out with my Boss and the Team and the wine and the Capirinhas. We were at Rockit at Canary Wharf, the pretext was someone’s leaving do. It was fun.

On the way home I did a Facebook Word Cloud, it lists all the words you use most on Facebook Status updates. Mine was lovely, I was particularly pleased that the word “drunken” appeared in very small letters lol.

My most used words are Lol, Jon, Amber, pretty, knit, actually, doing, Train, Work, Home, xxx, mins, total and wonderful. I thought it gave off a positive and happy vibe!

Anyhow, enough of the rambling about! I wanted to share a fabulous company I have found online called Flekman Art Tiles.

This company specialises in wonderful art tiles. They have a range of tiles you can buy that feature famous art, or scenes from nature, I found them on eBay when looking for kitchen tiles to make a splash back feature for behind my cooker. Whilst reading the item details on eBay, I saw they make custom tiles from your own images.

I contacted Gena, and she helped me sort everything out, it was a breeze. The firm are based in New York, and I felt very glamorous having some custom tiles made just for me!

For $181, which includes postage, my best loved picture of Woozle became 16 six inch tiles. The quality is remarkable, and it took a couple of weeks. 5 days to make the tiles and post them, and another 5 days for them to arrive in the UK from the US.

Here, see the dull white kitchen wall space behind the cooker:

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Here, see the cat tiles laid out on the kitchen table as made by Gena’s team, absolutely jaw droppingly fabulous! Well done Flekman Art Tiles!

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