So, hello there… it’s been an awfully long time since I’ve been around here… I thought that as we head towards the end of this year, it was time to blow the cobwebs & dust off my blog and check in with you.
It’s been a year and a half – 2023 – you know … and as I dipped into my drafts folder to open a new blog post I found this – A Postcard from November 2022 a post which was started but not finished. My word, a year is a long time and an awful lot can happen in that time.
These three first photos were indeed from November 2022, beautiful sunny blue skies above the River Mersey. Little did I know when I took them that the rug would be ripped out from under our feet – it’s just as well we don’t know what lies ahead…
It’s funny really that one of the things which sparked my desire to post was a photo I took while I was on the very same walk with Son number 2 last weekend!
This new photo is of the same path, although I may have been facing a different direction, I’m not sure. It’s funny that when big things happen, that we cling to the small routines to keep our heads above water.
If you haven’t been around this way for a while, I’ll put you in the picture. This year we lost a hugely important person in our family. It’s been an unfathomable loss for me and my 3 boys. Life has changed forever in so many ways, obvious ones and in many other ways too.
Aside from the emotional side of things, I have had to return to ‘formal’ work which has meant less time for fun creative things. I have continued to make when time allowed and after taking half a year off from Making Stitches Podcast, I managed to get back into the swing of things with that. Blogging though, fell off the end of the ‘To Do List’.
Life is so different in so many ways from how it was this time last year, I have found strength I didn’t know I had and I have found my friends and family to be amazing. People are so kind.
I’ve learned many things, but the two most important ones are to lean on friends when they offer help and to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
So, the real reason for me blogging is that I had been meaning to get around to it. I miss my monthly updates – looking back through the back catalogue, they form a rather interesting diary for me.
Did you keep a diary as a child? Or maybe you still do now? I did as a child – I wasn’t that great at it but I have a 5 year diary from when I was young somewhere and it’s probably about half filled. I bought another one 5 years ago… this year has been the final year and, to be honest I didn’t feel like filling that in either very much.
One thing I had done pretty regularly, since starting this blog (as Postcard from Gibraltar) many moons ago, was post updates, so I shall attempt to do that again I think. Here goes….
A new project on my needles
A few weeks back I went to Black Sheep Wools to have a catch up with my sock knitting friend, Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum. It was our first catch up of 2023 (because of the reasons outlined above). It was so, so good to get together again and catch up on each other’s news.
I went armed with a planned purchase in mind – I wanted to have a go at knitting a jumper. I haven’t knitted a garment for myself (other than socks) since Eldest was a baby. That was a beige cardigan (with variegated flecks of brown) with a cable pattern up both sides of the front. It ended up being an ok fit, but a bit itchy and had a distinctly ‘homemade’ look to it.
I have been squishing this desire down for ages saying to myself : “you don’t need to buy more yarn”, “you’ll never finish it!”, “it’ll probably look rubbish if you ever do finish it”, “why not carry on with one of your *many* WIPs instead??” – you know the drill…
Anyway I gave myself a good talking to and bought the yarn anyway! I am making a Simple Sweater by Tin Can Knits and had planned to do a rainbow striped yoke, but when I priced up how much it would cost to buy all the different colours I wanted in order to make it (bearing in mind I might never finish it and it may look rubbish if I do) I decided to opt for this (much easier on the pocket) super rainbow yarn instead. It’s called Knit Me Crochet Me and is made by Stylecraft. There was a lovely jumper knitted up in the shop made in another colour way which caught my eye. So there you have it, a jumper in the making … eventually!
I did make really good progress to begin with then when I tried it over my head it was so tight it felt like I was being choked (my fault for using the wrong size needles). This meant I lost a week’s worth of progress, but I’m back on track.
On my hook…
I am in the midst of a gift for a special person… who may read this blog so I can’t show any more than this. I will, however share this little ‘mini me’ once it has been gifted. I was thinking of writing up the pattern if it gets a decent reception, so watch this space!
A trip to the theatre (and the spooky world of Uncanny)
Last month I was lucky enough to have the chance to see Danny Robins, Evelyn Hollow & Dr Ciaran O’Keefe in action at the Lowry in Salford. I have been a fan of the Uncanny podcast since it first started, having listened to The Battersea Poltergeist previously.
When the Uncanny tour was first launched very early on this year, I really wanted to go and see it. I had no one to go with – none of my friends are into the podcast so, seeing as it was a matinee performance, I decided to go it alone. My first time ever doing that!
It didn’t faze me at all and in fact I ended up sitting next to a lovely lady and her son who commented on the fact she would never be brave enough to go to the theatre alone and shared her sherbet lemons with me! I would highly recommend it! I had my first solo cinema trip last year and that went fine – once it’s dark no one can see you are alone anyway! And if anyone has any judgements about it, it’s their problem not yours!
I pre ordered a copy of the Uncanny book and was able to pick it up at the show too – signed!! It was a big fan girl moment!
Crochet & Podcast News
My latest episode of the podcast features Fran Darlington-Pollock, CEO of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity. The charity is joining forces with Black Sheep Wools in the run up to Christmas with their A Bed for the Night / Deck the Halls campaign. Money realised from selling wool packs and patterns for Christmas decorations will support the charity’s aim to provide 1,000 beds for rough sleepers over Christmas. It costs £30 for a bed for the night and the associated wrap around care. You can find out more information on the Black Sheep Wools website.
Also in Podcast news, at the end of October I went down to London to the Independent Podcast Awards. It was a fantastic night and I was able to meet up with some friends from my local podcasters club (yes they do exist – it’s our Christmas party tomorrow!). Making Stitches Podcast didn’t win but blimey the standard of the other podcasts was high so it was an honour to be considered alongside them!
Winter is here…
The temperature levels have fallen considerably in the last few weeks – this photo was taken on that walk by the Mersey a week ago – it was the end of the afternoon and the frost from the night before still lay on the fields. Yesterday it was -4 degrees when I scraped the ice off the car to drop the boys off for school!
Super cold days usually mean clear skies though so I’m not complaining – blue skies and sunsets are far preferable to damp greyness!
So that’s all from me, thank you for stopping by, it’s been nice to be back again!
Until next time…