Being Frank…

Accepting my failings


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Congratulations Vicki Kate !!!!

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Vicki Kate is expecting an addition to her family…soon…very soon…in fact possibly sooner than originally expected….and following some plotting by Annabelle a number of us conspired to welcome this new bundle of Joy to the world

So congratulations Vicki Kate and family and wishing you every happiness as your family of 3 becomes a family of 4…

So what is it that snowy dog wants to send to you Vicki Kate ?  Well this time Tuesday it looked like this:

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I sort of ran out of time… not because there was a suggestion that the happy event might be earlier than thought but more because when I tried to take photos last Saturday I decided it was too small, so I ripped out the last 2 rows and added another 2 stripes…at the outer edges there were so many stitches on the needle that each row was taking 15 minutes.

I cast off again Tuesday night and gave it a very quick wash. The reverse side currently looks like this:

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But the right side, although still a work in progress looks like this:

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Pattern:  OpArt

Yarn:  Sirdar Snuggly DK

Needles: 4mm

New/Learned: To leave more time for completion

Many Congratulations again Vicki Kate, wishing you every happiness as a family…

For those who want to see the other conspirators please check out

Thread Carefully

Dotty Doodle

Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gingermakes

Symon Sez

Annabellebumps

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What would you do with 2 hours extra a day ?

If suddenly you had 2 hours extra per day, 2 hours that had previously been taken up with something unavoidable but dull…such as commuting…what would you do with it ?

Clean the house more ? (or even at all)

Cook ?

Knit ?

Veg in front of the television ?

Read a book ? (Read lots of books !)

Sew ?

Spend time with your family ?

Exercise away the excess fat that comes with a years comfort eating and drinking plus being over 40 ?

All of the above ?


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Round up the WIPs and then Stash Down !

I had planned to add some photos to this post but having been awake since 5.30am and spending 2 hours sneezing my head off I’ve decided just to post it as is and retire to the sofa… it may  be odd to have a duvet day on a Saturday but I am, the housework can go hang…

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  I am not, as I have mentioned very good with “to do lists” or routines, timetables etc outside of work. This is why I don’t tend to join in with sewalongs or knitalongs as I get stressed about it and it takes the pleasure out of the act of creating.

BUT I get equally stressed over clutter and having too many things on the go at once…or too much housework/DIY/Gardening… or too much material or yarn that has yet to be turned into garments  (that’s a guilt thing, it feels wasteful and profligate to have it hanging around)

So sometimes it is easier to man up and project manage the clutter – to set out goals and aims, rules such as “you can’t do that, until you have done this..” and have carrots to go with the sticks  BUT importantly…no formal deadlines…

So  I’m turning my Stash Down into more of a monthly audit and am adding in the Works in Progress…as long as I do “something” on each then I get brownie points…enough brownie points…or even a finished object then I can start something new (carrot).

Stash

Yarn – I ended June with 5956 grams and ended July with 5556 grams. A reduction of about 400g. Most of this was Myrna though 175grams but I then (see below) frogged most of what I had knit. I made a lot of hats but most of these were m leftovers which don’t count in the stash total (life is too short to weigh leftovers)… There were however 100g of Debbie Bliss Prime and 25g of a very old pure wool aran, picked up in a charity shop.

Yarn purchased – none

 

Material

Stash end of June 13,959cm   Stash end of July 9959cm  reduction of 400cm

All of this was accounted for by Gabriola, but it wasn’t stash…and Gabriola went horribly wrong and ended up in the WIP pile…

Fabric purchased – none

 

WIPS

Myrna – pretty much finished the body…and then ripped part of it back…fortunately it’s a quick knit

Catkin – stalled and haven’t been able to face it for over 6 months…needs slipping off the needles, trying it on and then working out some alterations…and then slogging my way up over the bust…this is not a quick knit !

Long Line Cardigan – this is Mum’s Christmas present…will be finished by September, I have hit second sleeve syndrome.

Liam – Jumper for Spider… slogging my way up the front with 16 tiny balls of yarn. This month I have untangled it all and wound the yarn onto small bobbins…I fear Spider may have outgrown it already

Pikkuvuli – needs 2 buttons. Been stalled whilst I find where I put them

Flower Pin – not touched – keep losing all the bits before I get chance to sew them up

Lego Man – not touched in months, keep losing the pattern and the needles and I made a mess of embroidering on the face…

League of Justice – meant to finish these for Spider’s birthday…missed the deadline so stalled. All they need is sewing up

Alan Dart Owls – knitting done, just needs sewing up – I hate making up toys

Of the sewing

Hollyburn – needs unstitching, the side seams recutting and then sewing up again

Gabriola –  unpicked the yoke, this needs recutting

Tirimisu – Need to reassess pattern size and possibly recut the bits that stretched

Kimono – Needs neck binding removed and reattached

Mable – hem

Pink Straight Skirt – hem

On the plus side I have just sewed the ends in on a whole stack of hats and things. Just need to photograph them, block them… but not sure there are any brownie points earned…. unless completley redecorating Spider’s room counts…and believe me that is worth a picture…maybe when I’ve stopped malingering on the sofa…


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K.I.S.S  aka I’m my own worst enemy

At the end of May my sewing bit me on the backside and it took me all of June and part of July to man up and face the sewing machine again.

 In these circumstances a sensible person would choose a nice easy project, something that they have made before and can whip up in an hour…what you should not do is tackle something that involves 5m and a requirement for “piece work” in order to construct the yoke…

 “Well I’m just not very bright…I guess…”

I had a day off…and I cut out Gabriola (sewaholic) which is, apart from the fact it is very big (4-5 yards of fabric !),  and  apart from the yoke actually pretty straightforward…except…   

 Well the day didn’t start very well as the new batch of tracing paper I bought turned out not to be very see through…not to be defeated so early in the day I taped the pattern to the living room window and used it as a very large light box forcing the not- tracing paper to do the job it had been advertised as…

 Cutting out was simple…but never-ending… when I finally got on the machine it came together quite quickly…and then Tim came home and I put it all away to do something else.

 Saturday morning I picked it up again and may not quite have followed the instructions…I may have sewed things in slightly the wrong order…but that doesn’t quite explain the difficulty I had in matching things up… or why the waistband was now not long enough to go all the way round the yoke… I have a horrible feeling that because bits of the yoke are cut on the bias that it may have stretched out with handling…

 [Bias is becoming my nemesis…of the 3 unfinished big items in my work basket all of them have gone awry because of cutting on the bias…or accidentally off grain in the case of the kimono]

 There may also be a little issue to do with possibly cutting the Gabriola out to small…I went straight in with a size 10 based on the fact that when I made the Hollyburn in the 12 it was far too roomy in the waist…

 By this point I was rather upset and may possibly have whined to OMT that I was “fat frumpy and over 40”…at which point he advised me to “Be British about it”…by which he meant, shut up, have a G&T and then think about gardening instead…

 I may still be fat frumpy and 40…but I have a garden full of fairy lights  and we have started planting up the herb garden… Gabriola is on the naughty step and having a long chat with Tiramisu and the Kimono about what they want to be when they grow up… finished possibly might be the answer…

and I can do something about the fat and frumpy part at least…

 


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Blog Header

 I am contemplating a blog revamp and it occurred to me that I probably should explain why a picture of the Thames Barrier adorns the top of this blog

 The barrier is of course a marvel of 1950’s engineering and does a remarkable job in protecting London from flooding. It is staffed by a loyal and devoted bunch of people, loyal and devoted to the aim of protecting London from flooding and I have the remarkable privilege of being their lawyer…well one of them

 So putting this as my heading was mainly so I could check the blog in office hours (lunchtime honest) without anyone getting too nosey about the contents. Being Frank is my slightly more personal blog which I don’t tend to shout about…the more public version of me prattles away on Appetite For Cake.

 However since putting the header up I then as you know disappeared down a rabbit hole…mainly because of worries about that same job…and also the pressure of work !

 So to celebrate coming out of my silence I really should come up with a more interesting picture…unfortunately the planned picture of my apple handbag is not going to happen now having discovered that another blogger with a very wide following has  recently purchased the same handbag and I would rather not look like a stalker…I also must remember not to use it on the days I go to our Solihull office as she is usually standing on the same platform as me for the train before mine…

(my handbag came from Gloucester Docks and was purchased last autumn but hasn’t seen a great deal of use as its not really a winter bag…and the catch is not the strongest and there have been several incidents of the bag exploding leaving me red faced picking my purse and other such from the floor in front of me !)


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Spring Sewing Swap

I am not known for my ability to post things on time…I have a fear of the post office these days as the one in Reading has become very automated but not in a way that speeds things up… however I was tempted into the post office queue by the chance to take part in Kerry’s Swing Sewing Swap…

When the swap partners were announced I was delighted to discover I had Maryanne aka Mrs C  (who used to blog as Hectic Eclectic but can now be found at Sent from my iRon)…I have been a long term lurker of Mrs C and had in fact spent a happy 2 days one Christmas working my way through her archived posts (instead of working…).

But then I suddenly thought, “Oh my God, she runs a craft shop/haberdashers, how am I going to find something she hasn’t already got…”  I needn’t have worried however as not only is Maryanne very nice and friendly…she also has an alter ego called Constance Craving who turned out to be very easy to buy for…my share of the swap can be found over here

Despite the panic and worry, there is very much an upside of swapping with someone who runs a haberdashers…because…they run a haberdashers !!!

I very much hit the jackpot with my allocated swapper and I am very happy about it as I was gifted such wonderful goodies

 

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That yummy wool you can see in the photo in the most beautiful of blood reds is not just genuine New Zealand merino, nor is it just genuine New Zealand merino with possum but genuine New Zealand merino with possum and silk…wooohoo… so so soft

And on top of that a fabulous length of material with kiwi birds all over it…which fits in great with my recent birds obsession…plus some funky tapes for sewing into projects or tying on to parcel….

I know just the pattern for the merino, and this one is for me…time for some selfish knitting I think

Thank you Mrs C, it’s been a blast corresponding with you…and legitimately stalking your blog !


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Note to Self: Don’t forget to stuff the owl

The other night was hot, we were sleeping with the window open, and in the distance through the still night air I heard a peacock call and it brought back some memories…

Memory 1: Warwickshire 1993. I’m lodging with some old friends, one of whom I also work with. As usual I’m the first one up. I go down to make tea, feed the cats… I open the curtains and find a peacock looking straight back at me…turns out the people in the big house opposite have them and one escaped.

Memory 2:  1997. I am working for a firm of solicitors down near southampton, commuting from Reading. They have a skeleton office staff on saturday morning. Me. 7am and I am on the M3…I pass a swan walking down the fast lane…

Memory 3: 2006 heading back from Banbury after a morning at a soft play centre I spy an owl in the middle of the road…it looks dazed and confused as its obviously not used to being awake in the daylight…with more emotion than sense I stop the car, the Owl lets me move it to a bush at the side of the road.

Birds have been on my mind of late…since Christmas I have made a Robins Egg hat, an Owl sweater, a Hollyburn skirt with the most fantastic bluebird print (and Fabricland have the same fabric in 3 different colourways…yay! They also have peacock and flamingo themed fabric or did I may have bought the shop ) and this evening I am stuffing an owl…with plans for a second before the week has finished.

Note: As I sat here drafting this I realised I was being watched. This evening I came home and found feathers all over the kitchen floor but no sign of the inevitable dead bird…several hours later I noticed a blackbird being everso still and scared perched on the curtain rail…fortunately O Mighty Tim was able to persuade it to leave out the living room window