Saturday, 5 June 2010

Dalston - place of mystery and intrigue

The reopening of the East London line has opened up several not-so-far-flung corners of London. I had a long-standing appt to meet a friend there and it took a mere 20 mins to get straight to the heart of the area, and the delights that contains. For a start there is a huuuuuuuuge market. More fruit, veg, fish, clothes, shoes, bags, cooking pots etc than you can shake an incense stick at. That's where I scored this massive amount of cherries from - just £2.
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Then there are all the stalls with fabric on. And not just stalls. My visit had a dual purpose and the first was to visit Dalston Mill, which really has to be seen to be believed. (The website just doesn't do it justice.) This gives you a rough idea:
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Floor to ceiling fabric bolts. So that's 3 stories high of fabric. Then there is all the floor space stacked with rolls. Then there are the back rooms. It was pretty amazing. I asked them how they got the the rolls off the top tiers and the lovely lady helping us said they hook them down. Then if the customer doesn't like the fabric close up they have to put it back! There was also yarn - all acrylic but a good variety, tonnes of buttons and a room of haberdashery. Nice. I was amazingly restrained. A metre of this beautiful cotton.
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And I couldn't resist one of these beautiful buttons - so gorgeous.
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The other reason for going was to see another Louise Riley exhibition. Her stuff is just so amazing. This is my all time favourite piece:
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The exhibition was on in Dalston Superstore. I'd not been there before and it was great - brilliant food and a great way to see the art. This is a new one and really amazing.
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Bernie and I had a great lunch, under another amazing piece.
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I so want to be Louise Riley. Woe.

But who am I? I am Auntie Alex, wife of Uncle Grumpy. Who finally handed over this photo.
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And I patchwork like a demon.
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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Yay for secret pal!

I love secret pal. This round is a bit weird but I'm still having fun. I got my first parcel from my pal today. Yippeee!
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300g of lovely soft cotton in that divine dark purple, 4 big buttons to match, 2 BEAUTIFUL heart=shaped ceramic buttons, nail varnish in the exact same shade as the yarn (!) AND a massive block of delicious chocolate that is about.....half gone already. Om nom nom nom. Thank you secret pal! I am very very happy. I am thinking this maybe for the yarn, as a short sleeved version. But I think I can wing the pattern without paying since it looks like the estonian button stitch from these socks on the body, and I can do the yoke no prob. No wait....this. Yeah baby.

Work has been as zany as ever recently. The boys have been on fine form, and never more so than when my free sample frames arrived from Glasses Direct. Very impressed with them, but that's by the by. I tried on my frames and have gone for these ones:
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Which left the boys with the other three pairs to play with.
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From left to right is Sam, Jac and Steve. They're the ones who spent an hour debating which should donate their sperm to me. Sweeties.

I've long been a fan of vintage necklaces and have amassed quite a few. But for the last few years I haven't worn that many since they have, ahem, shrunk (i.e. fat neck) or broken. Here is the sorry spectacle of those needing attention.
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I bought some chain the last time I was at a bead shop and some slip rings later we have...these 5 extended.
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And these three fixed.
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Some of them really are beautiful.
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Apart from all that I have finally started stitching the patchwork flowers together. I have gone for the rainbow, against your collective advice. So whites first (apologies for sounding like a BNP supporter). I think they're looking rather lovely.
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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The cutest bowling ball in creation

This is Pooch with our beefy nephew.
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He's 7 months but already into 9-12 month clothes and is one of the best-natured children I've ever come across (possibly almost as lovely as Nickerjac's Pete was at that age). We had a lovely weekend up North with my in-laws and had far more food than is good for anyone as well as great company. I also scored Wrestlemania 21 in a charity shop and you don;t get much better than that.

I knitted like a demon while i was up there. Mostly because I do not like knitting socks with the sockenwolle stuff.
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It looks nice enough with the long colour changes but it is just too woolly for me. So I knit like a monkey to get them over with, and surely they were. I think I'll put these by as a christmas present for someone. Finishing these meant I could try an experiment with some self-striping regia I got in a swap. I love the appearance of slip stitches and I love zig zags. So the Impasta Shawlette in Interweave was always going to be a winner. But I don;t really use shawls so I went for socks and was hoping it would make a self-striping yarn look like zigzags.
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As you can see no discernable effect but I think if the stripes were narrower it might work ok. These socks will be going to Pooch at some point, if he deserves them. He got a stonking bonus last week and as yet no presents have appeared chez byrne so we'll see.

My fingers are sore today but not because of the knitting. It is pater's bday today and as he is such a keen bird watcher I decided to get a hat and personalise it.
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The quote says "My favourite weather is bird-chirping weather". In retrospect I am hoping this isn't a euphemism but it was on a bird watching website so fingers crossed I am ok!

My last point for this post concerns blue and green and grey. I love the colour combinations you see between green fields and blue skies, especially as the sun is going down or when the weather is turning. I snapped these from the train on the way back from Manchester.
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If you know of yarns in these colours let me know!
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