Saturday, 4 April 2015

A Savoury Easter Poem ...


Hehe!

Have a simply lovely Easter my friends.

xxx

Friday, 27 March 2015

Gifts

Gifts from Mother Nature.

"Tulips, brazen painted hussies,
Part their bright lips trying to seduce
The busy buzzing bees far too bold for dainty tussies
Vibrant tulip flowers produce
Visions certain to please."

Mary Havran


Oh to be able to dry washing outside again.  *pleasurable sigh*


Gifts to self.  Another Sascalia print, this time for my newly-decorated bedroom.


It's my fourth which I think qualifies me as an official collector.  This is 'Flower Girl'.  She has a vulnerability about her and a look of wistfulness in her eyes which appeal to me.


The gift of opportunity to indulge.


A gift from God.  Ed Sheeran's performance on The Brits 2015 was nothing short of breathtaking.  I'm not normally one for watching things over and over again but I can't imagine ever tiring of this.  Exquisite.


A gift of love … and much-needed time and space to let me breathe for which I'm so grateful.


xxx

Friday, 13 March 2015

My Local Yarn Shop

Hands up if you love yarn shops?

Oh me too!  They are the crocheter/knitter's equivalent of a sweetie shop, don't you think?

Something odd happens to me once I step over the threshold.  I get a bit heady and my willpower and ability to reason both do a runner!  Please tell me you're the same?

Do you fancy a potter around my local yarn shop?

Knit One is situated in the Clarendon Park area of Leicester and is 1.3 miles from my front door.  (Hmmm, is it sad that I know that?)  It's owned and run by the lovely Alison, ably assisted by Keri and Fiona.  I'd love to hear if any of you are reasonably local and have actually been.  It first opened four years ago.  In fact, I mentioned it in this blog post here - how funny!

Before I carry on, I should like to point out that this is not a sponsored post.  Knit One is a kind supporter of me and what I do (letting me loose in the shop with my camera for one) and I'm only too delighted to be able to reciprocate.  We do have a few collaboration plans in the pipeline which I'll tell you more about soon.  One of which ties in with the launch of their new website and online shopping facility.  For now though, I'll point you in the direction of their Facebook page.

Edited to add: website now up and running.  Click here ...


Anyway, when my trusty Canon and I turned up on Tuesday, the shelves were ever so slightly less crammed than usual because Alison is off to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival this weekend, armed with boxes full of yarn and crochet kits.  (Perhaps you're going?  If you are, do look for the Knit One stand and say "hello".)  There was still plenty for us to feast our eyes on though.

Lest you should struggle to find the shop, there are two appropriately-clothed bollards just outside!

  

(You'd be a little wonky if you were outside 24/7!)





Are you drooling yet?


I don't know if you remember, but I had my knitting lessons here last summer.  I think I posted a picture on Instagram but not on my blog.


They have knitted or crocheted samples and garments for almost all of the yarns.  Squishing, stroking and sniffing (yes, Kate!) balls of yarn are all very well but I just love to see and feel the drape once it's been worked up, don't you?  How pretty is this Adriafil Knitcol?



Ok, now for my favourite shelves …


Be still my beating heart.  Aren't they 'sublime'?  Aren't they 'bliss'ful?  Hahaha!



Have you ever tried Lang Cotone?  It's incredibly soft and easy to work with; it's honestly the best cotton yarn I've ever tried.  I used it for these mitts.


Adore this colour scheme.


Well hello there!


I don't have many real life pals I can gossip about yarns and crochet with so it's such a treat going to Knit One.  Alison and Keri are always so friendly and helpful and they both knit and crochet.  The only other place to buy yarn in Leicester is John Lewis and it doesn't compare.  Nope.  Give me a local independent yarn shop any day.

So did I return home empty-handed?  Did I b****r!


See?  No willpower!  Rah!


xxx

Friday, 6 March 2015

This Week's News





♥  I have a large spot on my chin.  My son keeps creeping up on me and lunging for it - he's a squeezer and can't understand why I'm not.

♥  I bought a 99p bunch of daffodils and divided them between three Ikea glass bottles and have thoroughly enjoyed the effect.


♥  I have filled three large bags (so far) with clothes and ephemera, which I shall shortly be taking to the local Air Ambulance charity shop.

♥  I bought new underwear.  It's one of my 'things' - if my underwear is pretty and my jewellery is sparkly, I think I can cope with almost anything.

♥  I have eaten too much beige food and am convinced this is in no small way contributory as far as the first item is concerned.

♥  I spent a solid hour going through my emails and unsubscribing from mailing lists that I, frankly, can't remember subscribing to in the first place.

♥  Being a grown-up has scared me a little.

♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, 23 February 2015

Work In Progress







I've had a break from all things technical for a few days.  Just to clear my mind a little.  This morning, however, I felt the need to come and chat to you so here I am.  Hello!  :-)

I bought four balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Baby Pink several weeks ago.  I'll be honest, it was a bit of an indulgent purchase because I wasn't terribly sure what my intentions were at the time.  During the course of last week, I decided to crochet myself a scarf.  Similar in style to the Manly Scarf I made some months ago, in a soft rib, but with some very slight differences*.  I don't particularly need another scarf, I just wanted to crochet for crochet's sake - 'comfort crochet' I suppose!  The muted colour suited my mood and the uncomplicated design soothed me.  (I've long thought that the medical profession are missing a trick by not prescribing crochet, seriously!)

Despite it being super long (it wraps around my neck three times), I finished it within a few days, using all four 50g balls.  Me, being me, then felt the need to add a little extra.  A little trim or flourish to make it 'mine'.  I'm definitely going to include the chocolate bow.  I love it.  The edging you see in the pictures is, I think, one of about thirty different attempts though.  I've spent more time faffing around with that than I have making the whole scarf.  And I'm still not sure it's right.  It's been driving me bonkers!

So I've put the scarf down and am ignoring it for a few days.  Ha!

*I started with a chain of 300 (using a 6mm hook) and then crocheted (with a 5mm hook) alternate rows of regular half treble (half double US) and half treble in the back loops.  I only used one chain at the beginning of each row rather than two - it has created a much neater, straighter edge and has stopped the scarf splaying out at the ends.

I must tell you about my latest yarn crush too.  Debbie Bliss Rialto dk.  Have you tried it?  I bought one ball before Christmas to try and, OMG, it's just gorgeous!  It's 100% wool, as soft as butter, drapes like silk and is a total dream to crochet with.  I've reinvested some of my pattern earnings and bought a cheery selection for my next design.  How fabulous are those colours?  I've done nothing more than gaze and occasionally squish them so far but the itch to break into them has already started!

♥♥♥

The title of this blog post applies to all areas of my life at the moment.  I just wanted to reiterate how very much I appreciate your comments and emails which I'm continuing to receive on a daily basis.  I stand by my promise to reply to every single one but it's going to take me a little longer than I'd originally intended for a variety of reasons.  Please be assured that I am reading them and I will be in touch soon.

♥♥♥

Friday, 13 February 2015

You're Awesome


BLOWN AWAY!

Seriously.

Thank you sooooo much for your comments, messages and emails.  I'm replying to every one so please keep an eye on the comments section in my last post or your inbox.

It's hard to articulate just how grateful, consoled, inspired and motivated I feel because of you.

Oh, and for the record, Pink Milk isn't going anywhere, whatever else happens in my life!

I promise to keep you posted but, for now, wheels are in motion and I must admit to the occasional frisson of excitement about the next phase.  (Teensy bit of terror too!)

Normal service will resume very shortly.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend and thank you again.

You're completely and utterly awesome.

xxx

Monday, 9 February 2015

Completely Unrelated To Crochet


I thought I'd better name this post, Completely Unrelated To Crochet, to warn you in advance that there is nothing remotely woolly about the next few paragraphs.  My narcissus photograph is deliberate too - you'll see why.

One of the main reasons I blog is for self-expression and, if you've been with me for a while, you'll know that every now and again I feel the need to spill.

I know I attract a lot of followers purely for my crochet, which I love, but my Instagram and Facebook experience to date has shown me that all it takes is one drunk selfie and they run for the hills!  I admire hugely those bloggers who maintain an air of dignity by rarely eluding to anything remotely personal but I can't do it.  I've tried but it's just not me.  Fact.

Ok, you've had all the warnings, so if you're still here, you've only yourself to blame!  ;-)

The truth is, I've been feeling very … ummm … Lost?  Trapped?  Whatever it is, it's been creeping up on me for quite some time and has reached a bit of a head in the last few weeks.  I'm hoping that articulating it here and telling you will be a good thing.  If it's not, it's too late now!  Who knows, perhaps it might strike a chord with you?  I'll try and be succinct.

I am 43 years old and have been married for seventeen years.  I met my husband when I was 21.  I had my first child at 26 and my second at 29.  My husband and I jointly made the decision that I should stay at home to look after the children which is what I have done.  It has afforded him the opportunity to work hard (and he does) and also the opportunity to go away from time for some R&R (skiing, golfing weekends, Le Mans), knowing that I'm at home keeping everything ticking over.

We haven't had the unconditional support of close family for a long time so help and babysitting etc. has been sporadic at best.  Not helped by the fact that I'm rubbish at asking!

So, in a nutshell, my life for the last sixteen years has been about my children, my husband, his work and our home.

And, my god, it's been lonely at times but I've coped.  I think.

Until now that is.  Something strange has happened.  Perhaps it's a mid-life crisis?!  

I know I'm lucky in lots of ways.  My husband adores me and my children seem to be happy and grounded.  They are, however, teenagers and possibly because I have always been at home, do take a lot of things for granted.  Including me.  That said, they are gradually needing me less and less which is a very strange feeling.

The thing is, I'm not sure who I am anymore.  Or what I want.  I don't feel valued.  The monotony of my life is choking me and I can't breathe.  I have this overwhelming desire to kick out, break things and sod the lot of them!  Don't get me wrong, I love my little family to bits but it's not enough anymore.  Or perhaps it's too much?  I think I now need a big injection of something that is absolutely nothing to do with them.  I need some fun.  I need to be me.  Not the mother.  Not the wife.  Not the daughter or sister.  Just me.

Out of desperation, I turned to a couple of treasured friends very recently and confided in them and I'm so glad I did.  They each helped me more than they'll ever know.

I think I need to feel interesting, vibrant, attractive and more independent again.  What is it they say?  You need to value yourself before anyone else will.  Or something like that anyway.

I hate the way my lack of sparkle is creeping in to my blog and other social networks.  I want you to walk away from my posts with a spring in your step, not a heavy heart!  I love my 'Pink Milk' identity - it's the one thing in my life that is wholly mine and I have no intention of changing it.  I think I may well have had a meltdown before now if it wasn't for you.  Sadly though, you're not there when I shut my laptop lid!

I'm not sure yet what the solution is but the first thing I have decided to do is go and get a job.  The extra money will help of course but I need to be with people again.  It frightens me a little because I'm not professionally qualified to do much and I've been at home for so long.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained though and I can't do nothing.

I'm not going to apologise for the 'me, me, me' nature of this post.  Surely blogs by their very nature are selfish to a certain extent?  I am going to thank you for listening though.  If you can identify with anything I've said or have any words of wisdom, as always, I'd absolutely love to hear from you.

Right, here goes, I'm now going to be brave and press 'publish'.

xxx

Edited to add : I can't thank you enough for your comments and emails.  At the moment I'm just reading and absorbing them but I will be replying to each one individually.  Please check back here at some point if you are a non-reply commenter.  xxxxxx

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