Skyscrapers and String


Deep Blue Something

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a jolly week and looking forward to the weekend.

Today is my day off and I love the peace of a long weekend. It is seriously good for the soul.

I have a lot of things to get done, my list is long, but they are all fun things in the main. Or productive tasks. For example, the week after next is a week off for Jon and I, and today we decided what we needed to get for the decorating we plan to do, so, tick!

The poppies were all sold, we raised over £1200 plus £4£ matched funding, which was amazing.

Amber got the Internship she had applied for, and was also asked to speak on a Panel debate on children’s human rights, which was being filmed, and, according to the reviews, and to us the proud parents, she stole the show; giving a passionate, thoughtful and rousing call to action which moved everyone, confident and strong even though she was speaking alongside some very eminent and respected experts, including a High Court Judge.

On the knitting front, Club met several times this week, we have been making plans for a charity christmas sale, so the juggernaut never stops. Accordingly, I have been racking my brains as to what I can contribute. Hmmm.

One of the sillier work projects on my plate has been removed, so I am very pleased, and I finished another that I thought would never end, so today feels like a celebration day all round.

Also knitting related, I have finally started my “Deep Blue Something” project. It’s the usual story. Stash builds up, colours sing to each other and I put them together, a random acquisition of gorgeous yarniness gets added, then you end up with a basket of woolly harmonies singing to be knitted next!

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I took them after Poppying and shawling this week, and swifted the 1200 grs of yarn into mini balls. Then I ordered the colours until I was happy.

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I loved the stripe pattern of the Alder Shawl by Kaffe Fassett; and thought I’d take that as the basis for my design.

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I’m using totally different yarn, in different colours, it’s a different size and a different construction, so is my “Deep Blue Something” an Alder or something else?

How do you decide if you have altered something enough for it to be your own design?


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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Planning and Poppying

Hello all,

At Knitting Club, we compete as to which of us is the most OCD when it comes to knitting. I must say, I am not even in the top three. lol, who am I kidding?

My obsession is with lists and my Ravelry queue, organising my stash and so on. I love to have several projects on the go at once, and it can be stressful to have too many things on the needles and to lose track of what you’re doing.

I get really bored doing one project at a time, so keeping several projects purring simultaneously is a must for me.

What I’ve been doing, and it’s working well for me, is to knock up a little table for each project, and I’m marking my progress on each project as I go along. This keeps the projects clear in my mind, and it prompts me to do a bit on each every day.

Let me show you the tables:

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Basically, I have divided each item into units, so in my green shawl, each garter ridge is a unit, on my Mitred squares bag, each square is a unit, and on each poppy, I can mark them down as I knit them, then work out how many felt leaves I need to make, and it becomes a neat production and assembly process.

On the subject of poppies, I made great progress on these this weekend, about another 8 went into the fancy Parisienne Macaron box I am using as a poppy store.

Here you can see the display of what I’ve made and finished so far – I set a target of 30 poppies, and I’ve made 26 so far, and I’m still really enjoying them.

Have a look, what do you reckon?

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Ugh! Monday!

Hello everyone!

We have survived Monday!

Going to work is one of life’s great pleasures, and I am lucky to enjoy what I do so much. Oh but today! What a pain!

For example, I went in to claim the matched funding for Help For Heroes from our knitted poppy project, and the small print required me to run round in circles and get the charity to email our donations office. What a performance! I felt really embarrassed but the lady at H4H was so wonderful, it wasn’t a big deal. But imagine how awful I felt until that point to think I’d stuffed it up!!

It’s been one thing after another. Another friend is horribly ill, another one has her Mum in hospital and it’s not looking good, and another friend’s son is in hospital with a torn shoulder.

On top of that add a squillion emails and then to have to deal with an unnecessary work squabble over the same thing as before yet again, it’s exhausting!

At least I can come home to Jon and Amber and my knitting.

Tonight we have mince and tatties, my Grandad lives on in his favourite dinner.

Here is today’s preemie baby hat, we have another week of making these.

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Happy Weekend!

Hello everyone!

I hope your weekend has been good so far!

Jon is completely well and is in my good books. Long may it continue!

Yesterday he blocked two shawls for me, did loads of jobs round the house, then I went out for a swim. When I came home, dinner was ready!

At Knitting Club at work with our poppy knitting we raised just under £850 for Help for Heroes, which will be matched £ for £ by our employer. What was really touching was the thank you letter we got from our citizenship team, headed by an ex serviceman, whose words were truly heartwarming and humbling. We’ll definitely be making these again next year.

Not a bunch to sit on our laurels, we have dived into making premature baby hats. I have made 5 so far, and have a sixth on the needles. I have two from Mary and Sarah also in my bag as well!

One of my friends wrote a blog post recently about someone on Ravelry who had a huge number of WIP’s, ie unfinished knitting projects. I think the number quoted was about 250. I must confess, I am in progress on about 7 things, and plan to cast on another 7 small things. I also have some other large knitting projects I’ve started, blankets and the like, but I’m not bothered about when they get finished.

Here you can see some of my baby hats:

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These are great fun to knit!

Today has been super!

I had a long walk through the park, ordered some new net curtains, blocked a third shawl, it is supposed to be an Ishbel but it is a complete disaster! 18000 people have knitted this, I faithfully followed the pattern, but mine doesn’t look like vine leaves, it looks like some kind of anstract modernist piece. I hated knitting it!

It is dry and I’ll post some pictures tomorrow.

Here are the two nice shawls blocked yesterday:

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This cream one is for dear Katy, my hairdresser. She is such a beautiful, kind and smart person, she has been my rock these last few years. She always admires my knitting, so this is for her, I am next seeing her just before Christmas!

Here you can see my holiday shawl:

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I sewed up another pair of mitts, and wrapped them for my friend. I want some for myself!

Anyhow, I have heaps of knitting to get on with! Have a lovely evening! I’ll see you tomorrow!


I Gave My Gloves Away, 400 Posts Today

As you saw from my post yesterday, my dear friend Karen got made redundant, and I felt utter dismay at how she must have felt. So forlorn!

Today we managed to pick up by email and she sounded alright, I suggested she should come to knitting club.

Imagine my delight when we arrived and there she was! We hugged and I was so chuffed!

It doesn’t take long for knitting club to dominate the big wooden table, and soon there were smiling faces all round, hands flashing with wool and needles, chatter and contented cameraderie.

Everyone seemed to be working on poppies, we can’t make enough of them to keep up with demand! One of the ladies who bought a poppy yesterday joined us and started her first knitting piece.

I pulled out the purple gloves and gave them to Karen. She held them in her hands longingly, and said “You finished them, nice job!”. I replied, “No, keep them. Think of me when you wear them.”

She glowed. It was such a happy moment for me.

Today has been good, I am at home now, my dear cat is on my lap. My daughter is sitting next to me reading. This is my 400th post. I love my little blog and all my dear friends. I am glowing.

I hope you’ve had a happy day.

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Poppies and Goodbye Too Soon!

Hello all!

I hope you’re having a jolly week so far.

One of my dear friends got made redundant today. I am pretty bummed out about it.

Today was tricky, not least because I had very little sleep last night, but because all this laying off stuff was happening, the mood in the office was dismal. You could see HR people clearing desks, walking about with boxes, one we saw, had a forlorn shoe on the top.

On a brighter note, we are still making poppies, and today saw me taking Russ and Sarah for their prize for winning the competition of a cream tea in John Lewis. I confess we ate our cakes before our sandwiches arrived!

Here you can see us assembled last week for the judging of the competition:

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Here is Russ with his winning poppy (most beautiful):

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Here is Sarah with the most poppies made:

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You can only see some of the poppies on the table, we have made over a hundred. All bar a dozen have been sold. At a fiver each. Our firm is making a matched donation to whatever we raise. It feels like good work.

Tonight I have sewn up, added leafs, and knitted a dozen poppies. I have buyers already for most of them!

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Tomorrow is Knitting Club! I am looking forward to it! But it will be weird without Karen.


Poppies and No Birthday Card

Hello everyone!

Although my lungs still crackle like cellophane in a strong wind, and my nose looks like it came from the face of the Ancient Mariner, I am feeling a lot better.

I have been working hard around the house today, I’m loving how easy it is to clean my new bathroom and kitchen flooring!

My dear friend Nat gave me a fabulous biscuit tin and today I filled it with biscuits! Who says I don’t know how to party!

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As I mentioned before, my friends in Knitting Club are making poppies to sell for Help The Heroes for colleagues and friends to wear on Remembrance Sunday.

Today I got my poppy stash out, and had a little look.

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We said we’d make about 20 each, I think I’ve done about 18 up to now. My last ones are a bit larger than the others, I am starting to feel playful now I am near my target.

Also, having everything to hand has meant I can tackle anything craft wise as the mood takes me. I started making a felt needle case several years ago and I just stalled. Today, I got it out, cut a lining to put the needles in, sewed it up, added a snap fastener, and it is now in my sewing box!

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Although Amber has my germs, we ventured out today to get some bits and bobs. It’s been lovely and sunny, such mild weather for this time of year I think.

We popped into the card shop, and Amber stood there in disbelief as I picked out a birthday card for my Mum, whose birthday is next week. “Mum”, she said, “You’ve been round there to see them as they wanted, you’ve called them. They never sent you a card for your birthday. They didn’t even ring. So much for being reconciled! It made you cry last weekend that you had let them back and they had been mean to you again. Why are you bothering?”

I’d love to say I had a decent response. I just took the card to the till and paid.


Knitted Poppies For The Fallen

Hello everyone!

I hope your week is going well! We’re half way through the week, and for me, tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesdays are my favourite workday as we have Knitting Club!

Today we had such a hoot, couldn’t say it was over anything particular!

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I have been knitting poppies for Help For Heroes for a while, today, there were a few of us turning them out.

Now I’m at home I am still making them, then when I have enough I’ll have a giant sew up and embellish session!

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There’s knitting on TV tonight on BBC 4, a history of knitting programme. Tamsyn kindly sent a note round this morning to remind us!

Hopefully tomorrow I’ll order my knitting cabinet, I showed you the picture already. I can’t wait!

What have you seen recently that you would want to buy to help with your knitting or hobbies?


Poppies, Buttons and Cormoran Strike

Hello everyone!

The weather here in the UK continues to be glorious!

We are not used to such blazing September afternoons. I had a meeting outside in the sun today over a fabulous latte. Wonderful!

My journeys to work have been quite unusual this week, inasmuch as I have been carting a hard backed novel back and forth, in my backpack, I have hoofed it the mile and a quarter uphill to the station without complaint, eager to get on the train and read, oblivious to the heat, the smelly passengers and anything!

Cormoran Strike and his case, which the book is about, is my sole obsession.

I am about halfway through the book, it is the best read I have had in living memory. Apparently JK Rowling wrote the book, it is phenomenal.

Today was knitting club, it was great fun, we are knitting poppies to sell for Help The Heroes, in time for Remembrance Day. Our firm matches money raised for charity for good works, so we expect to make a tidy sum. Already we have quite a few under our belt. I have to find some buttons to make the middles of the poppies. I will have a look in my button collection. I also want to make a button necklace with some of the vintage buttons my Nanny left me as my inheritance.

Also, we joined up with a Knitting Club that meets in our Cheshire offices. Great fun! So many dedicated knitters! Both our groups contain a solitary cross stitcher. I have promised to make a cashmere cowl for our needle worker. We have booked a jaunt to Loop in September to pick the yarn. I am being treated to lunch, how cool is that!

Right, back to my book! Jon is watching TV, so I can do what I like. He made us a fabulous dinner, I am incredibly lucky to have a great job, such deep friendships around me, and a contented and loving home life.

This weekend my new floor will be laid. I will be delighted to get yet another house job finished!

I hope you’re all having a super week.