Skyscrapers and String

Get Happy!

I left the house today in fine drizzle.

By the time I’d reached the Dentists for my appointment with the Hygienist I was wet through.

Last time I’d seen her, she was a bit grumpy and I was nervous about today because I was not in the mood for any difficulties.

Especially with someone holding sharp things in my mouth.

Luckily for me, she was sweet and encouraging, so all the months of apprehension were for nothing.

Now I have a gold star and am home and drying off.

My main mission for today was to find some yarn from my collection to match my new top.

I love blue, I collect bright blue wool of varying shades and I knew the new top I bought yesterday was the exact same shade of blue as something somewhere in my stash.

Just now, having lunched magnificently, I had a brief but amazingly satisfying rummage through the shelf of blue wool and I quickly found two contenders.

One was a skein of cashmere from Sweet Georgia yarns and the other was some Noro sock yarn.

But I was not satisfied I had found what I needed and continued looking.

In the drawer below, I found a very special skein of Colinette, in the colourway ‘Blue Parrot.’

Ta Daah! Perfect!

Here you can see the yarn and the new top.

Now for the agony of choosing a shawl pattern!

But it’s blissful agony, not the hygienist scalpel in hand grumbling kind!


Crochet joy…

Hello everyone,

I hope your week is going well so far.

Over the holidays I did lots of small crochet pieces and I loved every minute of it.

This year, I’m going to do more crochet.

So, there’s a pattern I’ve wanted to make for years in my Ravelry queue, it’s a delicious scarf in granny stripe crochet .

The geniuses at Purl Soho are famous for making irresistible elegant designs for huge scarves and I once knit a moss stitch scarf in silk that was seven feet long and two feet wide.

Needless to say I don’t think I’ve ever worn it outside because it’s a couple of kilos in weight and barring a snowstorm I can’t imagine needing to be quite so bundled up.

So I’ve been looking at my stash yarn and I found several balls in suitable colours, I did have exactly the colours specifically called for but together they didn’t work quite as well as expected so I went my own way, substituting duck egg blue for the red shade and opting for various shades of taupe rather than one.

Also, bearing in mind that the pattern creates another huge scarf I have scaled down to a cowl, thinking I might find it more wearable like that.

Another slight change is that I’m using dk weight yarn and not 4ply, so have adjusted the gauge by a fifth to accommodate.

It’s very quick to work up, it takes less than 18 minutes to hook around.

I reckon I need about 24 stripes or so, but will see as I go. I’m on stripe 7 and have so much yarn I think a tote bag in crochet to match will be following on in short order.

What do you think? I’m almost about ready to work a blue row.


We’re having such beautiful weather, everyone at home is doing great things and feeling well.

Today, out in the sunny garden, I was pruning my herbs which have largely survived the winter, watering geraniums and dead heading the hydrangeas.

All the new trees planted last year have green buds, our pond plants are flourishing and I think the garden has decided winter is largely behind us.

I’m looking forward to knitting another shawl for Amber to match her new smart coat and this week, despite having an appointment with the hygienist I will be at the gym and swimming some more.

At the park on Saturday, the daffodils were all in full bloom and looked beautiful.

Using stash yarn I’m crocheting something for fun, and have lots of delicious projects in hand to reflect the spring mood.

It’s great to feel contented and connected, and surrounded by kindness.

Here you can see the blossoms on my honeysuckle bush.

Seasonal shift…

So here I am, feeling like my planning on all fronts is working well and suddenly it’s spring.

Looking at my carefully ordered knitting options I have just finished a pair of mittens and the other mittens I was planning to make hold no appeal.

Same with three hats at the top of my queue!

Although I’m still huddled in my hooded, padded coat, I have scarf and hat that I love, the ideas I had for a cowl are not firing my engines.

Similarly, I have a jumper and a cardigan to finish, but they’re autumnal and the reason they are not finished is suddenly it turned from autumn to winter and Christmas loomed.

I’m thinking I need a rethink.

Plus a new project whiffed passed my knitting antenna yesterday and I’m mighty tempted!

All I can hear is ‘go on, go on, go on!’

You can see how I end up in a muddle with unfinished things everywhere!

Here are my beaded gloves in progress. They’re fripperies so I am happy to keep fiddling little beads onto the cables.

Mittens, tick!

Hello everyone

It’s Friday, phew! Another week bites the dust and I wonder if you feel like me that your life is evaporating before your eyes!

I’m looking at the mittens I’ve just finished darning the ends in on and it’s lucky I have all these things I’ve made as testimony to my existence on earth.

I’m giving them away as a gift to my dear friend Lesley as they are made with the remains of the wool I used to make her Christmas present cowl with.

But nonetheless their making accompanies some days of my life and marks their passing.

When you see ancient cave paintings of bison, or hunting scenes or just the simple negative outlines of someone’s hand, where the artist touched the rock and felt it and with a mouthful of pigment blew paint over her hand to mark it for all time, you understand that is what drives makers to create.

My mitten might not last forever but something, one thing, out of all the things I produce will surely last and be testimony that I was here.

But here are the mittens. They’ve traveled with me, sat with people I love, and kept my hands busy and occupied my mind whilst life has gone on around me.

There’s love for my friend and love of my craft in them, they’re not just woollen objects, I suppose with all I’ve imbued them with they must be some kind of spell of protection and comfort. If you think about it like that.

Book making progress…

Apart from some minor twiddling, I’ve another poetry book almost ready to print!!!

30 minutes to finish knitting…

Hello everyone

I hope you’re having a good week.

I’m in a vacuum, feeling like I’m running out of time to get everything done, editing with the laptop on my lap and trying to watch tv, blocking out my morning to fit everything in.

Consequently I can’t remember half the brilliant show I was trying to watch and I’m flapping already.

Anyhow I’m signing off quickly, I have 30 minutes to finish this mitten.

It’s like “Challenge Anneka” minus the orange boiler suit and the helicopter.

Poetry and mittens…

I appreciate not everyone knits, or likes knitting.

Even fewer souls write poetry, although I’m sure a lot of people like reading poetry.

This morning I’ve done a few rows on some boldly coloured mittens, I’m just at the stage of joining the contrast colour in.

Then before lunch, I printed out all the poems for my next book and I’ve been sitting reading through them.

I’m slowly realising I have written quite a prodigious number of poems in two years and that regardless of the point in time when I write the poems, in fact I’m covering my whole life in a logical progression and also exploring the vast terrain that is my imagination.

At one point last year I thought I might reach a point and then stop writing.

But I’ve passed that point now and I can’t imagine having nothing to say.

But the unexpected discovery, apart from the healing of my spirit, is the deep enjoyment and satisfaction of making my little books.

It’s a faff putting it all together and editing is backbreaking work at the kitchen table, but it’s effortless putting the poems in order, there’s a flow to the story telling that clearly helps me to put this one here and that one at the end.

I assumed before I’d done it that that would be hard, but it isn’t.

Truly it’s as much fun as getting a new kitten.

Mittens and hard facts…

Since the Holidays, I have lost 3lbs in weight.

I have learned some hard truths along the way, which I feel motivated to share.

  • In order to reduce my waistline, I have to log every single thing I eat
  • If I want three meals I have to do lots of exercise or there’s simply not enough calories available and the Fitbit shouts at me
  • If I’m happy to wait till lunchtime to eat I can skip exercising completely, today I was busy and I’ve just eaten something, but I’m going to get plenty of exercise so I can have a crunchie after dinner
  • Dinner is less about dividing what I’ve cooked three ways, and more about making sure I don’t end up with too much
  • And I’m starting to leave food once I feel reasonably content

Craft wise, things are going really well, I’m getting lots done and I am happy with how I prioritise each day, so when I knit a few rows while Jon is getting ready to go to work I’m happy to wait until I have a bus journey or in front of the tv at night.

Truthfully speaking, I think my house would be cleaner if I wasn’t trying to get so much exercise but I just walk out and get my exercise done, as I’ve decided this is my sole aim for 2018.

I’m also enjoying printing my own books and have 3 out of 6 either bound or ready to bind.

I’m also surprised at how quick it is to knit mittens. It’s large wool and in the round, and I have a friend who sits nearby pressing them carefully.

Creating a Buzz (Without a Slice of Cake in Sight)

Brilliant post by my friend and fellow poet, the talented playwright and author, Lucy on her new play in production

Lucy Kaufman

That’s what you’re supposed to do, in 2018, isn’t it — ‘create a buzz’? You have to do strategic marketing, teaser social media posts, somehow slip your production under people’s noses in a way they don’t realise they’re being marketed to. It’s no longer any good to shout openly ‘Come and see my show!’ Now you have to say, ‘Here’s me, still in bed, on a Sunday with bed hair – and cake’. Cake seems to be the single most ‘slipped in’ item by writers on twitter and facebook, alongside the perennial cup of tea. Well, I have never looked good with bed hair and I’m trying to avoid cake, so …

Somehow, though, I don’t seem to need to create a buzz about my play. A buzz seems to be being created around it anyway, in spite of my lack of cake-related posts or mentions of tea in my…

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