Sunday’s Sale

Dear me, this week I’ve been all behind like a puppy dog’s tail. Without further ado, my picks from this week’s update!

Cecilia Beverley Hills

Cecilia Nirvana

Arabella Karma

Charlotte 2ply Privileged

Beatrice Cara Mia

Claudia 2ply Extravagance

Sophia 2ply Love Me Tender

Eva 2ply Hyacinth

Sophia 4ply Moorhen

Eva 4ply Mont Blanc

Claudia 4ply Saloon

Lisette Blackberry

See you Sunday at 7pm!

Model Meme

The latest Boden and Wrap catalogues dropped through my letterbox last week. For wearability Wrap wins hands down. Boden clothes are pretty and fun, but definitely designed for the svelter women among us. Nearly all their skirts and dresses are knee length or shorter, which doesn’t suit me very well. And I wish that just one time, a clothing catalogue would take one or two items of clothing, and have a spread where they show that one piece on a variety of shapes and sizes, just so that you can see what it might look like on you. Never mind, I thoroughly enjoyed the catalogue, it’s always very entertaining to read through. And I’m going to steal their model meme, as I did last year, for my blog. For the next ten minutes, I’m a Boden model.

Best compliment: that I’m good at what I do.

White, milk, or dark chocolate: dark. But I can live without chocolate quite happily.

My favourite building: my lovely little house.

Daffodils or crocuses: daffodils. If I could, I’d have huge bunches of them all over the house when they are in bloom.

Least favourite childhood dinner: fish with parsley sauce. Bleugh. And runner beans.

My geekiest attribute: liking to have things in round numbers. Like the blog list on Bloglines, can’t be 21 blogs, has to be 20. Or 25.

‘It’ bag or statement necklace: neither really. I’m a shoes gal.

I’m beginning to think I’m allergic to: winter.

Shower or bath: shower. Baths make me tired.

I couldn’t possibly eat: Black pudding.

People mistakenly think: that I’m strong and super confident. Or maybe I am, and its me that mistakenly thinks that I’m not!

Favourite takeaway: Chinese.

Best thing about the 21st century: the World Wide Web.

Greatest athletic feat: being able to do a very respectable Swan Dive in Pilates.

How would you describe your personal style: patchy. When I dress up, I dress UP. The rest of the time I’m a scruffy slob.

Left or right side of the bed: whichever side’s furthest from the door.

When I retire I will definitely: spin and knit all day long.

Favourite grownup toy: my camera.

Earliest memory: falling down a flight of stairs, and not being even a little bit hurt.

Do you have a life mantra: this too shall pass.

How do you celebrate the end of Winter: shave my legs, lol.

Habit I have inherited from my mother: giving dirty looks to people who annoy me.

What’s your advice on fake tan: learn to be happy pale.

Cuteness

Everyone I know is having babies. At least, that’s what it seems like. And the whole purpose of having babies, as we all know, is to provide reason to knit very tiny, very cute things. Right? So here’s my first (but not my last) pair of baby bootees. The pattern is Saartje’s Bootees, an awesome pattern that just happens to be free!

I really should have included something else in this photo to show the scale of the bootees. They are tiny. And ridiculously cute. Even Tony went all gooey over them when I showed him.

But unfortunately, one bootee has turned out bigger than the other. I have no idea how that happened, they were knitted on the same needles, and over the space of a couple of days. What changed? Also, I’ve used handspun (not my own, not yet!) and each bootee is a different shade. Which I don’t mind. But I think that’s adding to the whole one-shoe-bigger-than-the-other thing. So I’ve decided to knit a third bootee, and hope that it matches one of the other two. This pattern is so quick, it won’t take long to knit another one. The seaming and sewing on of the buttons takes about as long as knitting the entire bootee. I’m looking forward to starting the next pair, this time in a mini skein of Lucia, left over from the mitten kits. Posh Cuteness to come.

Can You Tell What It Is Yet?

I had a delightfully productive weekend. I finished a pair of baby booties for a friend, (ohmygoodness they could not be any cuter) which I’ll show you tomorrow. They’re blocking at the moment – one came out slightly bigger than the other, so I’m trying to block them into submission. And I spun. I spun yarn. Me. I made yarn. I’m a spinner. I can spin!

I…..SPUN…..YARN…..!

And here’s the proof:

Isn’t it fabulous? Aren’t I a clever girl?!? This is the gorgeous BFL roving that Sue gave me at last week’s meetup, from David’s Etsy shop. It’s a dream to spin, it just seems to turn itself into yarn with very little effort on my part. There’s something magical, almost miraculous about spinning. You take a handful of fluff, and with a bit of twiddling, you turn it into yarn. It’s just incredible. If you haven’t tried it yet, stop whatever you are doing, leave work, abandon the kids, go find yourself a spindle and some fibre, and spin……

Ahhhhh. And I’ve left the best news until last: I bought a spinning wheel. An Ashford Kiwi. And it will be here in the next few days. I’m about as excited as it’s possible for one person to be. I’m a spinner. Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!! 

Five A Day

I recently discovered the website Mindapples. The idea behind it is that, just as for physical health and wellbeing we are encouraged to eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and veg a day, we should try to incorporate five activities into our day that encourages good mental health and wellbeing. What a wonderfully simple, but effective, idea. One that all of us should embrace, whether as prevention or as part of a cure. To spread the word, bloggers are encouraged to do a kind of meme, mentioning the five things that they do each day for their mental health. I’m not going to nominate anyone in particular to join in, but if you do have a blog, it would be lovely if you participated. This can be a particularly difficult time of year for those who struggle with depression/anxiety and other mental health problems, so it’s a good time of year to exchange ideas.

Ok, my five things. Nothing very earth shattering, just a few basic things that I’ve learned are essential for my mental health and wellbeing.

  • Eat sensibly. For me, this means eating regular meals, and making sure that each meal gives my brain the nutrients it needs to be healthy – protein, good fat, complex carbs, plenty of vitamins and minerals from fresh produce. I avoid caffeine, because it makes me feel very jittery, and I don’t have alcohol that often either. I’ve found that there is a direct relation (for me) between what I eat and how well I sleep, which in turn affects my mood.
  • Pilates. Ok, I’m cheating a bit here, because I don’t do Pilates every day, I do it 3 times a week. But I wish I could fit it in every day. I always walk away from class feeling 100 times better than when I went in. It makes my overly tense body uncoil, and I get a real endorphin rush from it too. On the days when I don’t have a class, I try to do fifteen minutes of stretching exercises in the evening, to help my body unwind from the day. 
  • Do something creative every day. Take some photographs, knit, write a more personal blog entry, anything that switches off the analytical side of my brain and focuses on the creative side. Even for ten minutes.
  • Stop labelling others by their appearance. She’s fat, he’s short, she’s got ugly hair, he’s got a big nose. If we do it when we look at others, we do it when we look at ourselves. Now this is a tough one for us women. We don’t like to think that we’re this shallow, but hands up how many of us have seen an old school friend or someone we haven’t seen for a while, and immediately thought, “they’ve put on weight! and they look so much older!” From which it’s a small step to,  ”I’m sure I’m thinner/younger looking than them.” And an even smaller step to, “I’m the fattest one in the room.” Not good for the self esteem.   
  • Keep a tidy house. This is a very personal one; it may not bother a lot of people to have a messy house, but it really bothers me. My spirit gets all rumpled up when the house is untidy/dirty. But it’s a bit of a Catch 22, because when I’m stressed, things tend to pile up, and then I feel all overwhelmed and where do I start? When it gets like that, I try not to think of the long list of chores to be done, instead I think, “Just do one thing.” Just one thing. No matter how bad you feel, you can manage one job, the washing up, clean the bath, tidy the living room, do a load of laundry. Just that one thing makes me feel so much better that I can usually manage one more. Another tip I read on Ravelry, but haven’t tried yet, is to set a 20 minute timer, and work madly for that 20 minutes, then stop. It’s only a short time, not too daunting, but you can get a lot done in 20 minutes.

So, there’s my five. Now it’s your turn.