Skyscrapers and String


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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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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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!


Spice Up Your Day At The Office!

1. Have your wool delivered to your desk

2. Try not to shriek when package comes

3. Rip open bag and take iphone snap

4. Text your best friend/hubby/nipper with pic

5. Post your yarn porn pic on your work Knitting Club messenger group

6. Debate which yellow is best

7. Post related Purl Bee Cowl pattern

8. Debate alternate colours for cowl with Knitting Club Friends

9. Grin all day long knowing you have New Wul

10. Hug wul on train home, imagining getting in and opening the package up again!

11. Get home and Roll on your New Wul!

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Blue Pool Beckons!

Hello everyone!

It’s Friday for me, my working week is done. It is tiring going to work on a packed train there and back even if all you do all day is do good, help your friends and seemingly effortlessly conjure up clever ideas and fix people’s problems lol.

It is a blessing to have a job I love so much, and the people I work with are fantastic.

Staying in the same job must appear a bit dull to others, but I like how I have built up so many fabulous relationships and how Knitting Club is now two lunchtimes out of four each week.

It is not to be sniffed at, the smiles, the cakes, the wool, the jokes, the shared history and trust all round.

Tomorrow I am going to the gym for a long swim. To be honest, I am actually looking forward to just going to bed! But I’ll have a knit first with my dear cat on my lap. Perfect!


Winter Musings

Hello everyone!

It’s Wednesday and the weather is truly dismal, yet it isn’t too cold, it’s just rainy, and unlike previous recent years, there’s been no ice and snow, so I am thinking Hooray on that note actually!

I woke up today to the most gorgeous birdsong I have ever heard. It was raining and pitch black outside at 6 am and I listened to the little bird sing whilst I got ready for a good hour or so. The RSPB website suggested it may have been a Robin, as they are not daunted by gloom, and they are the first to start singing their morning song each year.

I felt the magic of the beautiful song from my dear Robin in the garden all day long, I can honestly say it has lifted my heart.

What I wanted to write about today is how today has been so full of emotions of different kinds. I have suffered annoyance, exasperation, rage, pity, tenderness, kindness, support, humour, irony, teasing, both sisterly and brotherly affection and it feels like it has been a very long day as a result. And it’s not even tea time yet!

How come some days are so straightforward and pass in a blink, yet others are filed with brilliance, rudeness, love, wonder, and destructiveness and seem so different? Today was the latter kind of day.

We had Knitting Club, which was great fun as always, what wonderful friends I have to come together and the glow of sitting with knitters. In the afternoon we were looking at patterns online for knitted Minion hats from the Despicable Me films, I think they are so adorable!

How is your week going? Are you wrestling, as I am, with systems that crash, workflows that don’t work, baffling announcements from on high and a sense of general weirdness.

At least I have my blog, my friends, my cat and my family. And dinner is on it smells really good! Ribs tonight!


Wandering About

Hello everyone!

My mum’s social worker rang me today, apparently mum has started leaving the house and wandering about. She doesn’t know where she is and my dad is in a wheelchair, so he can’t exactly go after her.

Apparently they have told social services they have no relatives, which doesn’t square with the hall full of pictures of children and grandchildren. My name is going as a contact on the alert device they are fitting my mum with in case she gets lost.

How things go round.

So much has happened to me in my life, I have gone from one extreme to another, from wild joy to sinking despair. I have been homeless and poor, I have walked out of a shitty job into the snow in tears and two years later been made redundant from a job I loved and the entire department walked out with me in solidarity. I’ve also been headhunted where I was offered double what I asked for to change jobs.

However, everyone I’ve ever loved has loved me back, and not many people can claim that.

Tomorrow is knitting club. I love club, it is like an oasis of calm in a busy week.

I sent a note out to everyone on the mailing list today to see if they wanted to still be on the knitting club members list, and everyone did apart from one lady who has never come along after asking to join a year ago. I got so many wonderful emails back from people who love club. It is a super thing to do, to start something people love.

About our poppy fundraising efforts, applying for matched funding from work is easy to do, but to actually get them to pay out, surprisingly that part of the process is not transparent at all. I got an email today saying the matched funding had been approved, I am so relieved!

I hope your week is going well so far, I hope none of your relatives are wandering about. I hope you are being treated, and looked after. I have loads of wool, we are all well, and Jon is in my good books. It’s good here.


He’s No Longer A Zombie

Dear Jon has been a shuffling, groaning, wonky, disgusting zombie of an undead germ ridden beast all week. He drives me mad. Literally.

Today however, he has perked up from his man flu. As he has been irrepressibly naughty all evening I can happily announce he is better.

It has been hard work today, but I have made a dent in my task list and have been wrestling with everything. But it’s progress!

Also, I am starting to make a bit more sense out of my purpose in life.

One of my friends asked me today why everything has to be so hard. It is all such a struggle.

I am thinking I have made my life harder than it has to be, by fantasising about some ideal life I’m never going to have, and getting depressed by comparing this to my reality.

I need to stop making excuses, and start making better decisions instead. I can control my life more than I do. I can choose a different path. I can make myself happier.

My solution is simple. Why am I waiting for the “perfect” time to do the right thing? I need to do what I need to do consistently and keep on track however imperfect the circumstances.

Also, I need to rely on myself, instead of waiting for the cavalry, it isn’t coming.

I need to be there for my daughter and for my friends, and if I’m going to do properly this then I need to start being nicer to myself. Walking, blogging, swimming, phoning more, reading, doing what needs to be done to do right by me. It isn’t rocket science.

Today, we met at Knitting Club, it is such a gift to be surrounded by cheerful friends. They knit with me, listen to my rants, help me through everything. It is like Christmas morning every week.

We now have a group total of four preemie baby hats, and I have a new green one on my needles.

I am very grateful to have such wonderful friends. Thank you all.

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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.