Skyscrapers and String


Who Am I?

Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a super weekend so far. Thank you to those of you who have sent lovely wishes to me after my saying how I was feeling down in the dumps after a rough week at work.

After a long sleep, the alarm went for Jon to get to work, so I sat with him as our loaf of bread baked in the oven. He’d stirred cinnamon and raisins in to the dough I started yesterday, so the smell was divine, and it permeated the whole house.

After a long bath and a breakfast of warm bread and coffee, Amber and I headed out to get her a new dress for the big awards ceremony she’s been invited to in a couple of weeks’s time.

The mittens are coming on apace, I sewed up the first mitt this morning then on the bus I knit half the second one. I am surprised that the two tiny skeins have gone so far, I have made nearly both mitts from one small skein.

Amber took some pictures of me knitting on the bus, of all the portraits of me that she takes, the ones of my hands at work are the ones that please me most.

IMG_2901-0.JPG

This afternoon, in the quiet of the day, I watched a tv show featuring Susan Sarandon, and she was a great speaker. She was sharing the lessons of her life, of how things happen for a reason, of how your imperfections make you who you are. I felt she was a tremendously powerful and honest person, and I developed a deep respect for her.

This led me to thinking “Who am I?”

What I know for sure is that my life has not been straightforward, or easy, but I’m still here, laughing and loving life.

I know I can change and evolve, and survive. And grow.

I know I have a big heart, and a deep well of feelings, and that I am as vulnerable now as the day when I was born because my heart is still open wide.

Right now I am drinking a rum cocktail, my cat is spread out on the sofa, my daughter has a fabulous new dress and I have a new handbag and two sorts of new toothpaste as both looked equally good. I’m brave enough to speak my mind, and I live a truthful and empowered independent life.

And I can knit. Oh how I love to make things. I love the feeling of my brain whirring as I look at a pile of wool and wonder what to make with it.

I am glad to be me, and I’ve found the courage to forgive myself, as well as those who have caused me problems and now I am able to step forward again. I’m also in a good mood as I found the key to the German knitting pattern I am trying to follow using my newly purchased Ally Pally wool. They had put the key to the charts right at the back of the book, I only found it as I picked it up to toss it in the garbage can. God listens.

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2437.JPG

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!

IMG_2835.JPG

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

IMG_2846.JPG

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.

IMG_2819.JPG

IMG_2845.JPG

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.

IMG_2836.JPG

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!


The Bag That Grew, and Other Knitted Fails…

Hello all,

One big part of the weekend is getting ready for work on Monday.

I had made a new knitted work bag, so this got packed with my Travelcard, purse, phone, knitting travel kit and lippie.

This morning, I came downstairs a bit late as Jon had trouble sleeping and if the worlds biggest bear is grumping up and downstairs all night, noone else is likely to sleep much either.

Here is the bag:

IMG_6011.JPG

IMG_6009.JPG

Anyhow, after showering I revived a bit, and put my backpack on and new bag. Over the course of the night, the knitted strap on my bag had grown several feet, due to the weight of the contents. It bashed against my calves. Useless.

Another fail is this babysack, it is knitted nicely but I’ve lost the knitting pattern and I don’t know how to finish it. It has been so many years since Amber was little, I don ‘t know what to do other than give it to a friend who both has a new baby boy, and can knit. He can sort it out!

IMG_6048.JPG

IMG_6047.JPG

IMG_6049.JPG

The older you get, the wiser, or so they say – I think the idea is more that you don’t necessarily know the answers to everything, you just get over the things you sod up.

Long ago I heard the concept of acceptance. I didn’t get it. Now, having got so much wrong and can relax a bit more as there is a balance with so much right, I feel that over all I am in a place where I can be ok with my world.

Knitting has been a great teacher. My epic fails only test my patience and hurt my pride. I don’t mind if things go wrong. If noone sees them, or if they do, it’s fine. I can always undo and remake. It’s only sticks and string. Acceptance.

What do you think?


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:

20140713-193751-70671959.jpg

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

20140713-193843-70723796.jpg

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:

20140713-195205-71525973.jpg

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.

20140713-200638-72398798.jpg

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!


Lessons From Ishbel

Ishbel is a shawl design by Ysolda Teague.

It is more than just a shawl, it is the Three Peaks Challenge rites of passage in knitting that translates you from a casual, ambitious and moderately successful in a “fudge it all together” way, into a proper, competent lace knitter.

This holiday I finished my third Ishbel, I ran out of yarn before I could complete all the planned chart repeats, but even though it isn’t perfect, it is the first Ishbel that actually looks like one! The first two I did are wonky fails.

In the first paragraph, I have put a link to the Ravelry site and if you’re a member, you can see over 13,000 Ishbels. That’s amazing isn’t it!

What a successful design! How it has captured the imagination of so many knitters.

But the secret of Ishbel is not about churning out cunningly spaced yarn overs and so on row after row.

Well it is a bit, I suppose!

What I have learned from Ishbel is this:

* Sometimes I make mistakes due to not understanding what I am being asked to do

* Often, all I have to do is exactly what I see before me, no interpretation is needed

* If I take the time to do some research on other people’s experiences with the same thing, I might learn there are more options open to me than I first thought

* Success is always composed of small steps, consistently taken to move you forward

* Also stoically and persistently pushing through tricky patches with the end goal in mind

* Willingly learning as you go along

Here you can see my completed Ishbel, it is exactly the same colour as the sea here in Sardinia. It will be beautiful when I’ve blocked it once I get home.

20140709-115348-42828141.jpg

20140709-115346-42826409.jpg


And Breathe!

Hello everyone!

Here you can see wonderful Sindhu, outside by the water today with me and Russ from Knitting Club. We had a farewell lunch.

20140619-204735-74855444.jpg

Such a day, in such a week!

Months go by, quiet as mice sleeping, nothing eventful happens.

Then, Bam! Heartbreak. Bam! Stressful times. Bam! My nice Boss leaves. Bam! Amber has exams. Bam! My department does a massive overhaul!

This week, today in particular, marks the End of Amber’s exams. I finished the big project I’ve been working on today. Sindhu leaves. Bam!

I am a bit drained to be honest, but in a good way, like when you have visitors over and you do a huge clean up and tidy round. Once it’s done and you sit with a cup of tea, house gleaming, you feel tired but happy. That’s how I feel just now.

Knitting – wise I am going to pick up my cashmere cardigan and do a few rows. I am trying to decide what to take on holiday knitting wise. Decisions decisions!

Everything is on it’s way up for me, I can feel it!

I hope your world is happy and shiny for you too.


One Foot In Front Of The Other….

Hello everyone,

I hope your week is going well. The weather here is fab, sandals everyday, warmness, sunshine, all round joie de vivre.

Work is a bit pants, there’s a lot of silliness.

Having said that, we have the constant general superness of Knitting Club.

What a wonderful bunch of friends! All week long we are joined in a few lines of chat here and there, we can meet on Wednesday and Thursday, plus other days as the mood arises.

Dear Sindhu is leaving us this week to go home to her family in India. We will really miss her. I will miss her.

Some people are like sharp rocks, unkind, unpleasant in the mind or underfoot, when you encounter them they make you yelp and wish you hadn’t, and it takes ages for the hurt of their presence to diminish. I had a sharp rock day today. I would go to great lengths to avoid another morning like this.

Other people are like flowers, soft, kind and gentle. Their warmth draws you out of yourself, and you feel a better person for just being around them. They make you somehow feel happy, wise and witty, and they light up the room. My Daughter is like this, and so is Sindhu.

My yellow cardigan is coming along, I have started a lemon baby jacket for Russ’s new baby to be born soon, and I have a red Ishbel started. I am enjoying my yarn and my patterns!

It’s Knitting a Club tomorrow and I’m really happy, I feel like I am in charge of myself and my life, and I’m not afraid. I’m just putting one foot in front of the other.

I hope you’re enjoying your knitting. My cat is on my lap. Earlier it was napping on the window ledge.

20140617-214221-78141817.jpg


Let’s Catch Up!

Hello everybody!

I hope you’ve really enjoyed your Bank Holiday weekend.

It’s been ages since I dropped by, but everything is good.

My eye infection is greatly improved.

I have resigned from the Disabilities Network at work, being free of this good work makes me sad of course, as it has been fun, however, I am really good at walking away from things. And in this case, the only thing upsetting me for months has been my dealings with some elements of this activity.

So all I feel is immense waves of relief.

As far as knitting is concerned, I have ditched both mitts for a while. The turquoise ones are too skinny, and need re-doing. The other ones are baggy around the wrist, and the thumb is plain ugly. Now the weather is warm, I won’t be needing mitts for a time.

Here you can see Woozle helping me with my latest project, it’s Kashmere Aran yarn, in saffron, I have designed this cardigan myself. She likes cashmere!

20140526-204257-74577795.jpg

Basically, I am copying my favourite cardigan, which came from Primark several years ago. The original is sea green, brushed acrylic. It is my go-to at weekends, it goes with everything.

The sleeves are knit side to side, the sides and back are one continuous piece, these are sewn on to the two sleeves, then there’s an edging picked up around the front and neck edgings.

The design is totally plain, no ribs, no buttons. Perfect!

20140526-204912-74952307.jpg

20140526-204911-74951573.jpg

I am also working on my purple shawl.

20140526-205156-75116441.jpg

20140526-205152-75112513.jpg

20140526-205154-75114544.jpg

Life feels great just now, I am reading plenty, exercising, smiling and feeling optimistic. I hope work continues to improve, I am missing my old boss quite a bit.

I saw this cardigan in a book recently, I am very keen to make something similar for myself!

20140526-205433-75273819.jpg

20140526-205436-75276160.jpg


Saturday Knitting

Hello all!

Today I’ve had a splendid walk through the park to the library, and have been looking at my wool and patterns.

At Knitting Club, we have two new babies due in a couple of months, so my mind has been on baby gifts.

In particular, I have been thinking about group projects. What would be suitable? How should it be organised! How do I get out of sewing it all up? That kind of thing.

Here you can see the fab picture in the Arne and Carlos Garden knitting book. In my opinion, it is the best design in the book. Intarsia rectangles.

It reminds me of the jazzy upholstery you used to get on trains and buses years ago.

20140510-194305.jpg

Here you can see a bundle of yarn from my stash which would be super to use up.

20140510-194332.jpg

We had bright sunshine and rain today, and my next door neighbour braved the weather to visit me for a cup of tea and a chat.

I bought some Jaffa cakes, but Woozle decided she would eat them. By the time I came into the room from showing Pat to the door she was already licking them on the plate. She then amused herself by kicking them all to the floor as I tried to get a picture and then was trying to smash the plate. I rescued it just in time.

20140510-195408.jpg

Here you can see my newest hat, it is a striped beanie to match my patchwork shawl.

20140510-195436.jpg

The rain is good for the garden, and I was delighted to see a bumper crop of baby greengages on my little tree. Whilst sitting by my window watching series 2 of “The Fringe” I spotted a red ladybird on the tomato plant I put in my windowbox. How delightful!

20140510-195507.jpg

Here you can see my naughty cat looking very pleased with herself. I love her so much!

20140510-195549.jpg

20140510-195606.jpg


Pretty New Hat

Hello all,

We’ve been out and about today! Very tired now!

First we got up and put a loaf of lovely bread on to cook, the recipe is on the blog on the link to the left.

I used 4 cups of flour this time, as the usual loaf is a tad small (or we could be particularly greedy?). Some blog entries relating to the bread say using brown flour makes a doughy loaf, but this loaf was gorgeous.

After breakfast, we headed out through the park in the sunshine to the station and headed into London.

Jon popped us into a black cab and we drove down Embankment to Harrods looking at the sights of London, soaking it in.

After cake and coffee, we walked to the Natural History Museum, for the butterfly exhibition. It was wonderful!

20140505-193517.jpg

20140505-193533.jpg

20140505-193547.jpg
The chrysalis display was intriguing. All these dried caterpillars in lines. Some butterflies were emerging.

Watching the newly born butterflies appeared to be a metaphor for our existence. We think we are humble boring caterpillars. But we are glorious butterflies! All we have to do is hatch out of our restricting shells and open our wings!

20140505-194001.jpg

20140505-194021.jpg

20140505-194038.jpg

20140505-194056.jpg

I am making a new hat. It is turning out to be really pretty. I am liking the colours so much!

Hope you’ve had a super weekend!

20140505-194213.jpg