Skyscrapers and String

Shawling and Wrapping!

Hello everyone!

I hope you’ve been having a happy and creative time. It has been all go chez Jenny, what with poppy selling, knitting things for presents in a big flap and a rush and making wooly decisions.

On the work front it has been bonkers, lots of people are leaving and there is a lot of silliness going on. I am keeping calm and remembering to knit and drink mint tea.

I have had to fill in my appraisal, which is stressful as my boss has no self confidence and thinks that if you write down any achievements in any kind of positive language you’re unforgivably boastful, and need taking down a few pegs. If I’m not to write down what I actually did all year, and if I am not to say I am good at what I do, when I’ve done well, how can I fill in the form? Pfftt!

November is a horrid time of year for my family, it will be three years since I lost my beloved Poppa, and my dear Aunties were bereaved this month too, losing their parents and a husband in the same month. Also I have two friends who have lost their dads within days of each other. It is a gloomy time.

The charity poppies have been a big success, we’ve sold loads and the total stands at over £700 with more cash due to come in next week. I never realised how good it feels to raise money for others less fortunate than yourself, it truly makes your heart bigger.

On a wooly note, I have been wrestling with my time and my imagination. I simply have too many exciting things to do, and I want to start everything at once! I want to knit!

This is incompatible with two dinners out in one week, and swimming after work.

I also need to put my iPad out of reach as I seem to need to look up random facts mid row, then an hour of net surfing later I have run out of knitting time.

I have been making a shawl for my dear friend Alex’s birthday, and it has been very jolly.

Firstly it was using stash yarn, which feels virtuous, and secondly, because I had a random amount, I didn’t know how big the shawl would be. But, in some ways, that made it more enjoyable!!!

I had some Shilasdair in a beautiful tawny plum shade, some Isager twinni in a russet/spice and some coral spindrift. Lovely colours!

Oh but being on a deadline! Yikes!

It’s one of my “Jennifer” shawls, which means I just knit straight out of my head. This week I had a wonderful note from my dear friend Barbie and she asked me to write the recipe up, so I will! Isn’t it kind of people to take the time to send encouraging messages!

Here you can see a before picture, Alex did love it, I’m pleased to say!

And after:





I hope you’re all well. I have never been so happy!


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:


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



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



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…


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!!!

And Relax!

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a super weekend.

My eye infection is much improved from earlier this week, I still have red marks under both eyes but they are fading.

One of the mittens is finished using the remains of the Millifiore shawl and hat yarn. I am on mitten 2, and hope to use it all up!


This morning I bathed my cat, Woozle is a love. She really doesn’t mind!

Here you can see her asleep on the windowledge and my gorgeous flowers in the windowbox behind.


Here, there is a theme going, is Woozle with my Noro shawl. Yet another ball of Noro sock, and some lavender Spindrift, I do love stripes!


Baking Bread

Hello everyone!

I hope you’re having a super weekend. It has just turned sunny here and I’ve had to open a window!

My tummy is very happy as we’ve had fresh bread which I started yesterday, and I’ve put on some chicken and tomato casserole for dinner, it has loads of fresh fennel, peppers, wine, garlic, onions and tomatoes. It smells delicious!

Amber is studying hard for her physics mock exam tomorrow, but seems in quite good spirits as much as you can be under so much pressure. We swam yesterday then had duck for dinner which is her favourite.

My knitting is coming on well, the patchwork wrap is speeding off the needles, all the little crochet squares are done and I’ve picked up stitches to make the wings of the shawl, and these are coming along nicely.

Here you can see me knitting on the bus yesterday:


Here are some pictures of the wrap in progress:



Also, this morning I walked over to Asda to pick up my new iPad cover, here you can see it, yet another product under the Woozle brand…


Tomorrow at work I have too many meetings, and too much desk work to complete. Also, the “Big Announcement” is due. Ho hum.

Right! Back to my knitting!

On And Off The Needles!

Hello everyone !

The vote on which project to start next was unanimous on the crochet spindrift shawl! Thank you everyone! I will plan it and share my thinking here with you as I go along.

Today is a day of serious finishing, so I am sharing with you some bits and bobs which I’ll clear away ready to bring out my crochet hooks!

We are having a quiet day indoors. Jon is not at work as he has a ghastly chest infection again, and I feel like I’ve caught it, so my plans for today are scuppered.

Well, I can show you my Loop Charity Noro Yarn jacket, which I finished last night whilst watching Deadwood, and waiting for my Nipper and Bestie to come home from Maroon 5 at the O2. They had a super time!


Then there’s my patchwork blanket in progress square no. 1, I can show you, this is going to take a while to complete:


Then today I will be owling, Jon bought me this fab kit from Fyberspates, however I’ve been stuck on it because the yarn they gave me as a contrast was completely invisible against the pale brown, so I’m using some Spindrift in white, as you totally couldn’t see the pattern at all whilst knitting! Also I have 56 stitches on 2.5mm needles, which is like knitting in miniature. I’ll let you know how I get on. I am doing Magic Loop now, as it served me so well on the cardigan sleeves.



Here I am knitting with a colour in both hands, another first for 2014!


Last Day Crochet!

This yarn comes in an amazing range of colours, and it’s pure wool so you can do what you like with it!

I felt so gleeful scooping out the balls from the little cubbyholes upstairs in Loop, just looking at the colours playing together made me ridiculously happy!

I’ve made two projects with these balls of yarn, this one and the Yves Klein Scarf, and I still have leftovers to make something else with!

I’d like to make another few cowls like this, I was inspired by Madeline Tosh last year who wore a beautiful knitted cowl, I realised as I stared at it that it is not intended as a warm garment like a scarf, its an accessory, just to be displayed as a drape, almost like a necklace.

I also have a hank of Noro Kochoran spare which might look good as one of these too! I wonder what a chunky cowl would be like?


Fake Tan and A Crochet Triangle Shawl Using Granny Squares

Hello all!

I have had a very entertaining day.

After watching a pretty girl put eyeliner on the inside of her upper eyelid last week with a dropped jaw I decided my personal revamp project should include more beautification and primping than I am accustomed to. So today I rolled up to my local beauty salon and had a spray tan.

To say I was a bit daunted is an underestimation to be honest, as I had no idea at all what was involved. Would it hurt? Would it be embarrassing? Would I be orange?

The beauty room I was shown into had a small brown tent erected in the middle. A small black Hoover sat on the floor. My chatty and very attractive beautician told me all I needed to know and we put my hair into a plastic shower hat and I put my feet onto ovals of sticky back plastic. As I turned and posed in various comedy attitudes Gemma sprayed me with stuff and then used the same spraying Hoover to blow air on me to dry me off.

The weather was hot today so I was keen to get home and I smelled faintly of hairspray, but I was at least thirty shades browner than when I got up today. When I came home, I looked in the mirror and my eyes and teeth look so pearly white when I smiled at myself it was worth it for that alone.

I have had to loaf about today without getting wet so the colour could develop. This meant Jon had to make dinner and wash up, so, fantastic lazy day for me! Some friends came over for dinner, one is quite posh and contributed a really nice Rioja. Jon’s cooking was first class, we had Levi Roots Puerto Rican chicken and rice, then we had hot blackberries with ice cream for pudding, yummy!

Have you had hot blackberries? Basically, you take one or two punnets of blackberries, they can be frozen, even cooked straight from the freezer, and you add a good shove of sugar and a slosh of grand marnier or whatever you have to hand, then you heat through and boil until you have a glossy black syrup coating the fruit. Do not overdo it or the fruit melts to slop. Spoon over ice cream or custard and there you have it. I used to make this for my Grandad on Sundays each week when he came to dinner. He loved it.

Anyhow, as my fake tan has been developing, I have been thinking of making something from the huge bag of remnants of Spindrift from where I made the nice entrelac scarf from earlier this year.

My dilemma is more to do with geometry than crochet technique, basically I want to make lots of quite small granny squares, yet achieve overall a triangle shawl shape with quite long wings. Earlier, my Nipper, who is whizz bang with maths had a ruler and pencil and paper and was constructing all sorts of shapes. My mind has an idea of how to do it, not related to geometry, so you’ll have to see how I get on. Tomorrow I am busy all day so might not get the chance to start.

Any ideas anyone?