Lucy In The Park With Diamond Lace

Life has been a little taxing recently – I resigned from one of my jobs and am looking for something to replace it, there have been health issues both physical and mental, and I’ve been helping a friend through a horrendous rough patch.

Hence this little corner of mine of the internet has been neglected. There are many drafts of posts both on my dashboard and in my head, but I thought I’d just post a quick something.

I went to meeting this morning, which was much needed and helped me to clarify some thoughts and action plans which was great. I was very glad to see my lovely friends L and J there too – we had a good catch up and I was invited for lunch – Hurrah! Even better it was home-made Falafel, which J is particularly talented in creating!

After a lovely lunch we went down to their local park to take some photos of a gorgeous shawl L has finished knitting. The (Ravelry) project page is here, and L’s blog is here.

Just a few of the 60+ photos I took are below.

 

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I loved playing with the focus for the few I took on the giant tree stump that we conveniently found!

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It was lovely and breezy, and a series of twirling got some great angles – the best ones that make L look like a flamenco dancer I’ve saved for her to post.

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I love the shape of this one – it makes me think of jellyfish, and the elegance they have rippling through water. The wind was both a hindrance and an interesting aid!

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I rather like photos of created objects, be they knitted, sewn, baked, drawn etc, in natural settings; the colours and textures can be so similar or so very different it makes for some lovely photos – at least I think so.

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Woolly Wales Weekend

This weekend was Wonderwool – I’ve been debating whether or not to go for a while, but after a minor (hah!) meltdown in the car park I made it in and found some lovely things, and chatted with some lovely people too.

Not many purchases this year – having not knitted for a fair few months I’m destashing rather than enhancing.

I did however get some lovely batik fabric from Textile Traders (below), a fantastic Niddy Noddy from the ever lovely Mulberry Dyer, and some base yarns to play with.

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and we saw the knitted exhibition…do you remember seeing the knitted house a few years ago? There was lots of press about it. Well the same people organised this one. Storybooks, a dragon and sheep…

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There was also a new (I think) addition to the food stands…Chips! and tasty chips at that!

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2014 was a good Wonderwool year, especially considering I’m not really knitting anymore.

As always, I spent the rest of the weekend in Llandrindod with family, including meeting a gorgeous new addition in the form of 10 month old Skye.

Lots of things have got me thinking recently – about time, hope, dreams and forgiveness, but that’s a whole other post. Now I have to go get the baked potato out of the oven before it’s a burnt crisp.

Call for Help

I know I don’t post very often – life has been busy, I’ve been trying to make Mirfield home after moving up to be with Matty 7 months ago and get the Fibre Flurry shop online and events sorted for 2013. Unfortunately doing both made each go slower than I hoped.

I’ve written several posts whilst in the shower or driving but then get distracted by something else before posting them. They were quite good actually.

I was in a car accident (Van went into the back of the car – lots of back and hip pain as I have a partially prolapsed disc :~/) about a month ago so that’s stressful, and I spent almost 3 weeks using up all my time sorting out appointments and paperwork and looking for a new car that was suitable for both me and Matty.

Then on Tuesday everything went wrong.

I’d been away down to Birmingham for some Fibre Flurry related meetings, stopped off at my Mums’ Monday night and got home Tuesday afternoon.

There followed a lovely afternoon where Matty made me lunch, we watched Big Bang Theory cuddled on the sofa then we headed to physio before I made my way to rehearsals for the panto I’ve got involved in.

I came back from rehearsal to find Matty had moved  out of the house – his clothes, dvds, plates, pans, glasses, cutlery…along with the bed that we sold my futon to make room for, his hairdryer (I gave mine away because what’s the sense in having two in a couple planning a future together) and a ton of extension cables – I’m sure there’s more.

He said he was leaving me, he’d moved out and there was no talking about it. I had no warning, no attempted conversations – instead I had a weekend away with texts ending in lots of kisses and a lovely afternoon when I came back.

So now I’m in a bit of a pickle. I was concentrating on FF, and looking for part-time jobs, and used all my savings to pay our rent and bills last month, so I don’t have any savings, or a job to pay the rent.

I want to move back to Birmingham. I have to move back to Birmingham. That’s where most of my friends are, it’s where my (Quaker) meeting is, and it’s still where FF October is based. The problem is the last paragraph, plus the cat.

I also need to be in Mirfield for a bit as it’s near the physio that’s trying to mend my back, and the dermatologist sorting out my random newly diagnosed skin condition, so I need to sort out referrals etc. I’m going to see if the physio can condense the treatments from 5 weeks into just a few – not sure that’ll do my back much good but we’ll see!

I’m currently camping out at my parents for christmas, then going to see my christmas family in Wales – and really really hoping Matty is doing what he said he would and feeding the cat. (My dad is really really allergic or she would have a home here.)

I have until the end of January to move from the house in Mirfield, and I need to find a job (preferably part-time, I can’t deal with full-time at the best of times) and somewhere to live. Somewhere that has enough room for me to run FF and keep my cat preferably. I’ve looked into the benefits side of things, but the housing money I would be entitled to because I’m under 35 is £55 a week and I’ve not found anything, never mind anything that meets what I need within that budget. The one place that might work if I was working with an income has today confirmed they’re against pets.

This is where I’m really hoping someone can help. An empty house or room, a job, even (and I am sad beyond belief to be in the situation to have to consider it) a long-term foster home for Kitty.

The internet can be a wonderful place, and I’m really hoping that you can help. The outpouring from Twitter the last few days have helped enormously. Please repost this, retweet it, do what you can, if you feel you can, to help me get back to Birmingham, to the people I love that love me. Back Home.

I am so very aware that there are people in much worse situations, especially this time of year, and I feel very mixed about putting this out there, but honestly I’m not sure what else to do.

I’m not feeling very festive, but I do hope that you all have a happy festive season, surrounded by love.

xx

Life as I knew it…

…is changing.

The last few months have been somewhat chaotic, traumatic and stressful – to say the least.

Starting with the shop – we closed on 31st March. Heart wrenching, it’s been incredibly hard, and I’m still wading through he ton of paperwork and other stuff left to do, along with trying to deal with, quite frankly utter sadness and sometimes despair at the whole thing.

Between January and now I’ve been living at between different houses and for about a month I was living at the shop – it wasn’t that bad once there were cushions and stuff down, but it was fairly demoralising to say the least. I’m very thankful to the friends that have been putting me up, especially L and J who I’m currently staying with – for another week anyway.

So what happens in a week? I move! It’s a big scary move, because I’m not just moving house, but town and county too… the plan was always for Matty to move down here after he finished his degree, but then one of his tutors said he should do an MA, so we were trying to figure how that would work, and if we could bear another year apart, or if he could do it down here, and looking at all sorts of different options. Then i faced up to the issues with the shop, and a solution for it all was staring us in the face. I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t have the shop – and sensibly it just couldn’t carry on – then I have to be with Matty. So we started the house hunting process, and job hunting, and found a wonderful little house in Mirfield, near Huddersfield (Where Matty goes to uni) with a lovely landlady who has been really understanding, and helpful. We get to decorate the house instead of giving a deposit, which is ace, especially as between the decorating stuff me and my mum have in storage and a big tub of white, we have enough paint and wallpaper to decorate without buying anything else!

So this time next week Matty will be on his way down here, Sunday we’re having a goodbye gathering with friends, then we go and get the keys, spend a few days decorating and then move all our crap erm, assorted valued belongings into the new house.

Job hunting is a long-winded process, and very different to how it was even a year ago which is scary, but I have faith that it’ll be okay – maybe not great, but okay.

I’m hoping once I’m settled ‘oop north’ I’ll be able to set up an online shop, and am still working on a few eventy things for next year, but I’m not going to stress myself about it. I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week and I can’t carry on doing that – at least, I can’t carry on doing that, be sane, and have a relationship, and they’re more important.

Overall the first few months of 2012 haven’t been great – there’s been a lot of crying, a lot of scary things, and a heck of a lot of moments when I just wanted to give up, but I have to keep remembering/hoping that it will work out okay…fingers crossed.

 

PS: I’ve been taking time away from the interwebs to try and deal with everything, so I’m sorry if I’ve not replied to things, I’m slowly getting back on track, but please bear with me.

Festivals, Babies, Bunnies and Teddys

2 months since I blogged…that’s too long!

I’ve been so busy with the shop and the event that although I’ve taken photos of things I want to blog about I haven’t had a chance to write anything about it!

Might as well start at the end of August!

I was debating going to Greenbelt and decided I couldn’t afford it, but Judith (OH of Tina who looks after the shop sometimes) was going for the Friday evening, and Tina said she’d look after the shop on Saturday if I went…so I did!

We took Crystal from work with us too, as she’d never been to a festival before, and all had a great time. We got there just in time for Show of Hands – the main reason we went! I had a great time, bought some gorgeous hand-blown baubles for the shop and some lovely bits for me and friends too :~)

Photos:

Show of Hands were excellent, a mix of new songs and old – annoyingly we missed them in the signing tent :~(

Bunting was everywhere this year – it looked great!

This sculpture was in the foyer of the main inside venue (centaur?) and was beautiful and poignant all at the same time

I managed to knit on the way down – more on that later!


       

 

Work wise we went to the Autumn Fair at the beginning of September which was a good but utterly exhausting day – found and ordered some gorgeous stuff for the shop, and lots of inspiration for things to do myself – after the event though!

Matty stayed down in Birmingham for most of the summer, and in mid-September he started back at Uni (last year woohoo!) so spent weekends down here working and the week back up in Leeds.  It was good practise for the longer periods we’re going to spend apart this year – it’s been 2 weeks now, and another week to go until he comes back down :~/

Jumping to Mid October it was Crystals birthday so we went out for a meal – after a rush around shops to find jeans to fit Matty so he didn’t have to go out in shorts!!

Last week my mum came down for the day on Wednesday which was lovely – I have a complicated relationship with her, so it was nice to spend time together, and she was a real help too!

The most exciting thing of all of that was that my best friend Helen had her gorgeous little boy! 5 days after his EDA, and after a few scares of c-sections and him somersaulting around, he arrived and is absolutely precious! We went up to see them when he was 9 days old, and he is a complete sweetie. His brother is taking on the role very well and Helen is doing well and being greatly supported by her Husband.

 

 

I bought them some little gifts for the baby shower in August, but of course had to knit some bits too! The teddy I knitted turned into a bit of a saga – the pattern wasn’t clear at all in some parts, and I kept losing parts! I eventually got it finished the morning we went up, although somewhat butchered the sewing up at the neck! Thankfully he sported a lovely purple ribbon that hid the neck seam! That was followed by knitting away at a bunny that got finished in the drive of their house! I resized the pattern quite a lot as didn’t have enough yarn, but its rugged (sp?) enough to take a lot of playing with I think (hope!)

       

 

This week is the final week before Fibre Flurry the event, so it’s all steam ahead with a long to-do list, and thankfully friends descending to help out – Judith today, Emzy and Katy on Thursday, and Helen and Matty on Friday – I’m so lucky to have great friends.

Must tidy before going to meet lovely Judith at the train station!

What a weekend…

Well, Sunday and Monday, as those are my day not in the shop.

Sunday morning we were up early (too early!!) to do a car boot sale…my friend Judith has been travelling for 4 months and I said I’d sell a load of her stuff for her while she’s away…she’s back in 2 weeks and I’ve only just started! We managed to sell a few bits and pieces, and some of my stuff which is good…still had to have the seats down in the car to go home though :~/ There’s a few bags in the car to go to the charity shop, and we’re ebaying a fair few bits.

I got incredibly sunburnt on Sunday too…I was sat reading and didn’t realise quite how red I was till Matty mentioned it. Lots of after-sun has been applied, but my shoulders and two patches on my back are SO sore! My face is a little lobster like too :~\  Being sunburnt really scares me – I hate the pain and the whole association with an increase in risk of getting cancer…I haven’t been sunburnt for years :~(

Owch!!

Yesterday we went up to Manchester – the plan was to go to the haberdashery and fabric wholesalers, then go climbing with my friend Helen’s son E, and go for tea at the Trafford Centre.

We managed to do it all, but in a rushed different order…

The tyre on the car decided to blow out when we were on the M6 in the outside lane…

It was really scary, thankfully Matty was amazing and stayed in control so we didn’t crash into another car/the barrier. We thought the whole wheel had come off, as we heard metal scraping and the back of the car dropped dramatically. We were stuck until some wonderful AMEY guys stopped  the traffic for us to get to the other side to the hard shoulder. Then came the traffic police who stayed till Matty changed the tyre (Thank goodness he had the spare!) and made sure we were ok for a few miles driving again.

We ended up going climbing first…I was going to climb (I’ve never done it before but want to try) but was still a bit shaken from the car so Matty did some climbing on his own on the nifty wall with an automatic belay (the bit that your partner holds the rope with so you don’t fall and have a bit of support!)

Matty took E for his first climbing experience a month or so ago, and once he got into it, he really enjoyed himself, and got to the top of some of the (rather tall!) walls at Manchester Climbing Centre. This time he was much more confident at the start but got quite tired…Matty gave him a lift every so often at the bottom of the wall, but after a while he stopped and they had a bit of a stand-off… which resulted in E hanging around for a bit!! :~)

We went and got new tyres for the car afterwards, and went to the haberdashers and fabric wholesalers (yummy new fat quarters for the shop and buttons, ribbon packs, bias binding, elastic and T pins too!)  before going to meet H, G and E for pizza at the Trafford Centre. It was a lovely day, but very long and we didn’t get home till midnight!

I’m still battling with the website and email issues, but thankfully all emails are now forwarding to the gmail account at least. Hopefully the website is going to be up this week – Matty goes away tomorrow morning so I get a chance to work more at home. Loads of stuff is scheduled for the next few months, we’ve got NDS doing a trunk show next week, and some workshops to sort out too. Busybusy as usual!!

I move house in under 3 weeks so lots of packing needs to be done too! I’ve got a LOT of stuff, the majority of which needs to be sorted and packed which is quite a scary prospect! I also need to sell some of my furniture – sofa, fridge, freezer, microwave, etc etc…Gumtree here I come I think!

Till next time…

Graduation Take 1

Yesterday, my darling Matty graduated! It’s one of two, as he got his Foundation Degree yesterday, and will be getting his BA next year…So we get to do it all again then!

I went up on the train after work on Wednesday, and we stayed in the local Travelodge – along with a fair few coursemates too!

I didn’t take many photos, but filmed all of his coursemates crossing the stage, shaking hands with the vice chancellor of the uni etc…The actual chancellor is Patrick Stewart, which is incredibly cool, but he had work commitments so sent a video message instead of making a speech – which I also filmed. No Star Trek jokes from the man himself but the Vice Chancellor said something along the lines of  ‘…and in the words of our Chancellor, make it so’ at the end of his speech, with the finger point too! My inner geek was happy :~)

And, as is usual, here are random photos!

The roof of the hall had some strange tinsel like sparklies hanging down…they caught the light very nicely, but I couldn’t get a great photo

Strange fake flower arrangements

 

Matty getting his ‘official’ photo…there’s something about it that feels very American to me

 

Granny, Matty and Dawn (Matty’s Granny and Mum)

To end the day, we went to Pizza Express and Granny had a miniature ice cream cone in her dessert!

After saying goodbye to Granny and Dawn, we popped back to Matty’s flat, where I promptly felt ill (probably due to the vast amounts of dairy over the previous 48 hours, even with Lactaze tablets galore) and fell asleep.

The plan was for me to be back in time for Knit Night (my friend Tina manned the shop for me) but that miserably failed, and I didn’t get back home till 11:45 yesterday night! oops!

 

It was a really nice day overall, and I am so proud of Matty :~D