Skyscrapers and String


Category Archive

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

Poppy time!

Hello everyone,

I hope you have lots of happy plans for the weekend! I am on the tail end of a massive hangover from Thursday night; my old boss left and he and I are known to egg each other on and I always end up very much worse from wear on wine which I don’t normally drink much of.

The leaving do was funny, such is the climate at the place where I work there were 8 people leaving from the same department on the same day.

Even though I rested up, and relied on many cups of sweet tea and chocolate for breakfast, I was fit for very little.

Thursday was super. knitting club gathered to show the poppies we have made for sale for Help For Heroes.

Here you can see just some of the poppies we’ve made this year:

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Here you can see one of the tiny crochet poppies, this year, small is definitely the vogue, all the tiny poppies have been snapped up.

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Last year Knitting Club made £860 for Help for Heroes, this year we plan to beat that total! We also get matched funding from our firm, so it does add up.

This week also has been fun on the knitting front, I’ve done the first few rows of my autumn poncho:

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It has taken me literally years to find suitable yarn. I am loving how it is turning out already!

Also, Amber spotted that “Cats” is back on in London at the Palladium which Jon has been very keen to go to (handily near Liberty and John Lewis for pre show wool browsing..) so that meant he and Amber spent Monday and Tuesday night searching for tickets online. We found three seats together in the good rows in February after about 7 hours of researching on the theatre booking page. Good luck with that one if you have a mind to go.

My brown Colinette mitts are finished, I managed to get these sweet cabled beauties off the needles yesterday, and sewn up during many episodes of TV, one good thing about a hangover lol!

I was delighted how two long mitts came off one tiny skein, I thought that was great value as they cost £2 each at Ally Pally. I think everyone who went to the show bought some of those, I would love to see what everyone does with their mini skeins! I’ll get some good pictures once we have daylight.

Last weekend I went to visit my Mum who is in a home as she has bad dementia. It was nice to see her. She was smiling and happy, and was pleased to see me.

What a terrifying place though. I was sitting there, Mum had a doll on her lap, and she was tending to it, people with slack faces were shuffling round like zombies and there was a constant backdrop of screaming.

Mum chattered constantly, she doesn’t make much sense, and now she is losing the ability to even use regular words, so the phrases would contain random syllables joined together.

Today is going to be exciting, I am meeting my friend Lesley and we’re heading for Loop. Lesley has this year become proficient in crochet and she requested we visit my favourite shop on earth to buy wool. Once I have finished writing I am going to try to sort mine as I swapped the money I paid for my friend Mary’s ticket to Ally Pally for some red heart shimmer yarn from Deramores. I think I have a bit too much wool now in fact. But it is beautiful!

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Brown Mouse Mittens

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve had a jolly week so far.

My week has been abysmal, I’ve been so stressed I feel sick all the time, and I’ve not been sleeping. Yesterday I had the day off sick and a wild migraine and it cleared off about 6pm.

Whilst it is flattering to be perceived as a subject matter expert, the endless demands on my time and ingenuity have caused me to freak out.

Today I feel a lot better, I’ve had a lie in, and a nice walk, I picked up some library books on embroidery, and knitting, and I’ve nearly finished knitting a fingerless mitt from one of the mini Ally Pally Colinette skeins. These were a bargainous £2 each, and I bet most people who went picked some up! The colours!

I found two matching ones, they’re brown, pink and green. Overall they look very subtle and dark and natural.

Like a mouse I want to hide and not be seen, I want to be left alone really.

One mitt is done, nearly. I am very pleased!

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Ally Pally Weekend

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve had a super weekend. I have had heaps of fun and am looking forward to the week ahead, life seems gentle and peaceful all round.

On Friday, three of us from Knitting Club went round the Knitting and Stitching show.

I have no photos as my iphone 4s dies if away from a charger for more than three hours. Accordingly I was trying to save power by not using it but it was flat before I got overground on the district line.

Nonetheless, I can say the show was a great success, although some stalls I hoped to find weren’t there. Last year there was an excellent stall with purse clasps and the like, and I promised myself a splurge but no, it was not to be found.

I did find and purchase my vintage americana bear embroidery kit I regretted overlooking last year, and finally I got some yarn for the bobbled poncho I am longing to make:

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Also, I found some red yarn to finish a shawl in progress, and two small skeins in brown Colinette Jitterbug for mittens.

A surprising hit of the show was the handmade chocolate stall, I bought about 5 lots: truffles, rose and violet creams, fudge, solid rabbits and giant buttons. The truffles evaporated on the train home as I was starving! Jon had the fudge, Amber had the rabbits and we shared the creams yesterday whilst I was sewing the linings for my pencil cases. It felt very luxurious wafting a bag of choccies about. They were yummy!

Knitting wise, I am making a vast garter stitch shawl and thought I’d follow the directions in a pattern I used before. Unfortunately, I am using smaller needles than the pattern, so I have run out of directions and have another 10 inches of shawl to knit. It’s a semi circular shape, so I will have to guess the rest. Oh dear! Lol!

My nipper took some fab photos of me actually wearing my handknits for Ravelry, she always makes me look nice. Have a splendid week!

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Secret Projects and Fairy Godmothers

Hello everyone,

I am sitting here with my cat, feeling a bit emotional because for the first time in probably a decade I have spoken with my Godmother. Not due to I’ll feeling or anything, quite the contrary, we regularly exchange cards, and we’ve been writing occasionally as well, but I didn’t have their phone number.

I wrote to them recently to let them know about my Mum being placed in the home as she has dementia. She called me as soon as she got my letter as I had the genius idea of putting my phone number on it.

My Godparents were proper Godparents, gentle, loving Christians who made a bond with me directly. They bought me a charm bracelet and every year when I was growing up they sent me something to add to it.

It was a lovely conversation last night, she and I talked about everything that has happened, and she was so understanding and sympathetic, I feel like a weight has lifted from my shoulders. She also knits and we chatted about what we enjoy making, I feel I have a kindred spirit.

I have been finishing projects at a rate of knots recently, and I am feeling very pleased with my crafting.

In previous posts I have been alluding to a secret project which has taken up a lot of time, and now Russ from Knitting Club has been given the baby blanket we spent ages making between us, I can share this with you too.

Ta daah! He was well surprised. We had managed to keep the project a total secret and he looked really happy!

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Basically, the blanket is made of mitred blocks, it’s a really enjoyable technique that knits up quickly. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and it is luscious to use! I am not sure if I would machine wash it like it says you can on the label, it really bloomed just being gently soaked ready for blocking.

I made a matching hat with the leftover wool, it only took 6 balls in total.

Here you can see some “in progress” pictures:

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Here you can see the picking up of stitches, you join the blocks as you go along:

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This morning I just tidied my wool cupboard. Woozle helped.

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Blocking Lavender, Liquorice and Mint Leaves

Hello all!

I hope your weekend is starting well, unlike mine where. I am stuck at being very angry at someone at work and the unfairness of a certain encounter last week.

My last big boss, who was very inspiring to work for, said to me at his leaving drinks, “Jen, you are a wonderful person, stay exactly as you are and don’t change”. There is an old saying, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. The reason it has been passed down for eons is that it’s true.

At work, you’re all crammed in on top of each other, and nothing is ever perfect. At least you can behave nicely towards each other, because anarchy ensues if you don’t.

Anyways enough of that. It kept me up all night last night seething and I’ve had two days off already, being Thursday was Amber’s exam result day.

Yesterday, Jon did an excellent job of blocking my shawl. I bought the wool at Loop, which is my very favourite knitting haven. Just walking in the door makes me happy.

Last year, in October, I bought quite a quantity of yarn of different kinds in the Medicins Sans Frontiers sale.

He last remaining ball of Noro was green, purple and black. I bought some Jamiesons Spindrift in a lavender colour and started to knit.

With such wonderful colours in my hands the shawl was a delight to knit. Because of the vast yardage of both the Noro and the Spindrift the shawl came out quite big.

Here you can see the shawl in progress:

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Here you can see Jon’s genius with pins, wires and a ruler:

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The shawl has a lovely swing to it, and the colours are very wearable. I think green and purple will be big this winter:

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Looking back over my pictures, I’ve found a picture of my purchases at the yarn sale, I still have some left, but not any more Noro…

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I hope you have a super day, I am looking for resources online about Anger Management. I hope none of them suggest knitting as that patently is no help whatsoever lol!!!


Holiday Makeup

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Hello everyone!

I have worked really hard today – phew!

First of all I got out all my regular holiday things and sorted throughout them. Last year I took Way Too Much Stuff away with me and I felt stupid.

After much hauling out and trying on and puffing up in front of the mirror I settled on a handful of vest tops, a sarong, one cossy, one pair of Birkenstocks and my walking sandals, my trusty Havaianas, some shorts and some light evening dresses, knickers and a bikini top. Sorted! Oh my how light will my suitcase be this year!

I will also take my bathrobe, my two tiny towelling turbans, and a thin but big beach towel that dries quickly.

Then I hunted out my holiday jewellery. Again, last year, I had a whole kilo of beads and necklaces and it got on my nerves trawling through it all. This time I have five necklaces, some beaded bracelets and two pairs of earrings and two rings. This small stash was culled from a selection that covered my entire double bed!

Above you can see my makeup collection, I sat and made a “look” for myself to wear at night, it is hardly a fraction of one percent of my usual makeup packing.

From left to right you can see my “tanned face” bareMinerals pressed powder, Body Shop tea tree bb cream – so cooling! A sparkle pale honey bronzer by Body Shop, my current mascara by Soap and Glory, a Leona Lewis Body Shop blusher bought in a sale, and kept put by for holidays as too dark for winter use.

Also, my absolute current faves are a pale gold and a mushroom Kiko eyeshadow stick – these are fab as they don’t irritate the eyes, crease or flake and they last all day. I have one in every colour. But I’m not taking them all this time! Lol!

As an experiment I’m taking a peach coloured Clinique lip balm chubbystick which I’ve never really used since I bought it and an Avon pink champagne lipstick pencil which I do like. I am hoping I’ll get some wear out of it if it’s visible in my handbag.

Next there are two Body Shop glosses one orange, one crystal sparkle pale and a brown Next glitter eyeliner between them. Then my favourite Clinique lipstick in melon, a By Terry lipgloss in pink/gold that cost a packet, then my Chanel blusher brush. I’m worth it!

Hopefully these few key items will reduce my holiday packing overload.


Noro Flowers Flourish!

Hello all!

After a lousy week, stressed out beyond belief I have had a gentle day indoors.

My Noro Winter Flowers Cowl, based on the Berroco Sashay pattern is finished, and all the yarn is used up in a matching hat.

I love this shade of Noro so much, I could happily knit with it forever lol.

Next week I am going to quit from some of the side of the desk activities I’ve been doing, although they are of great benefit to my colleagues and to my company, I am not really getting any recognition for doing these things.

And I think I have built sufficient framework for me to take a step back, for the sake of my sanity.

But here, look at my handiwork. Two dear friends are having babies soon and my mind is full of inspiration. Here, see my crocheting.

I hope you have a splendid weekend. I am going to start something new!

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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!


Endless Knitting WIP Boredom! Help!

Hello everyone!

I hope you have made it to Friday in one piece. It feels to me like this has been a long week.

On Monday we met our new Big Boss for the first time. I liked him. He wore a yellow tie, he was saying he wants everyone to be happy at work, and he appeared jolly, and he said it was important to have fun. All good.

On this Monday coming apparently I find out about the outcome of the restructure, but I’m not sure I’ll know anything definite about my new role. It is all such a drawn out mix up you could say it borders on farce.

Today was nice, I had a lie in, the bin men took all the rubbish without an argument and the weather was glorious. As I did yesterday, I ploughed through loads of chores, and the house is starting to sparkle. Jon has worked hard too and when I wiped the cat sneeze marks off the window I finally felt like I was getting somewhere!

This week I finished my last item for the Macmillan Cancer charity sale next week. At some point I have a bunch of eyeballs to knit for the Minion hats as well as sewing the mitts.

Part of my tidying today involved moving my knitting corner around. I had brought a lot of wool downstairs for the charity knitting, so that went back up, and I got my wool stash out and finally assembled all the yarn for my purl bee cowl. Here:

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The ochre colour is some Organic Merino by Nimu in shade “Harvest”, the cream is some Rowan Summer Tweed, and the yellow is “Neon” Cascade 220.

It has been a hard slog knitting things for other people this year, an owl for my friend’s Nipper, a baby gift (hibernating) too warm to give, an alternative baby gift, four Minion hats and two sets of mitts for charity.

The sideways shrug needs 42 rows more before I can decrease and then start the sleeves, so I am trying to stick with it to the end. I also have a pink shawl half done. And I have my Millifiore crochet project which hasn’t even been started.

Where I am sitting I also have some gorgeous yarn for a yellow and grey shawl, some more Nimu silk and merino for a cardi, some bright green Nimu, and the list goes on. Basically I can see yarn for about 30 premium projects, any of which I can’t wait to start! That is not counting anything else. I have lots of nice wool calling me!

I am very bored with the sideways shrug. But I will plough on. Tomorrow and Sunday I will start some mitts which are a gift for a friend. If I am good, and get all my house chores done I will start the Purlbee cowl on Monday, which is also my day off.

How do you cope with boring WIP’s? Chores and WIPs I am feeling very rebellious indeed!

Having said that I am the happiest I have ever been in myself, which must be a good thing!

If I finish the shrug I will treat myself to a new book. Deal!

It’s the weekend! Yaay! Let’s knit!

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A Bit Tired, But Happy Actually!

Hello everyone!

This week has been fab! Admittedly there have been a few stressful moments, such as when my new boss started asking me how long it will take me to complete a project where I don’t even have the bits I need to start the next phase. Hmmm.

After work, Jon and I have started swimming. I love rushing to the pool, even though the trains are packed, and the weather is a bit chilly coming home, and once you’re in it’s basically eat then bedtime.

Amber walks with me through the park in the morning, we are enjoying the bright green willow buds and leaves, the swathes of yellow daffodils, the birdsong, and best of all the huge blue sky and fluffy white clouds.

My legs feel very strong and for those gym goers you will understand me when I say I feel it in my gluteus maximus!

All this exercise is a bit tiring, I wonder when it will go from tiring to feeling fit and lively.

Today we all met up in Upminster at Costa for a giant Jaffa cake, which was a bit too big for me to be honest. We walked around all the shops after a long walk through the park, and Jon had an opticians appointment, and also his beard had grown to epic proportions, like something the animals would live in in a Percy the Park Keeper book….so he was also despatched to the barbers.

I bought some cakes, a spring like hat from a charity shop for £2, a basket of treats from M&S, and a new bag from Roomes.

When we got in we were a bit tired, and I sewed Jon’s new Kryptek Typhon cammo trousers up as they needed shortening a bit. Jon’s legs look short but he is remarkably fast at running; Amber and I never fail to marvel how he can break from a relaxed amble to a full on sprint when required to catch a bus. We trot after him, and he ensures the bus doesn’t go without us.

These trousers are made from ripstop fabric, so they needed a thin and sharp needle and strong cotton thread. I tried several threads and needles before I got it right, there was much tangling and cursing before I worked out what I should be using.

Here you can see me modelling one of my Minion hats for our charity sale coming up. I hope you have a super weekend!

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