World Mental Health Day.

As I think about going to bed tonight my mind goes back to the fact today was World Mental Health Day.  Lots of friends have shared their struggle with mental health.  There always seems to be an assumption that other people have got their lives together but no.  A hidden fight is going on in their lives. 

My mental health is why I knit and crochet.  At a point in my life where I couldn’t make sense of who I was I found knitting.  I struggled with insomnia and still have sleep issues but at it’s worst I learnt to crochet from videos on YouTube.   I don’t knit to sell as I find the pressure crippling.  If I decide to knit something for someone, it’s my choice and it’s not as stressful. 

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to learn about pain management, pacing and self care.  This has given me a fresh outlook on my life and how to stop shrinking.

I still have a long way to go but have already made small positive steps.  Tonight I took some time to knit and it felt good.

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

Poppybead creative

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My week in photos 

For some time I have been choosing 9 photos I took in the previous week.  Then I post the collage on social media and wish everyone a lovely weekend.

Today I thought I would share the meaning behind the photos.

 

Last Saturday I met up with my friend Imogen and went to the seasonal markets at the Bond Company.

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I took this photo as I love routemaster buses.  Growing up in London they were everywhere and they remind me of being a child.

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Being gluten free going food events does make me anxious.  So when I saw The English Indian stall and it was clearly marked gluten free I squealed.  I went for half and half which was a piece of fish, a piece of halloumi, chips and spiced mushy peas.  Oh my goodness, it tasted great and I would definitely recommend it.

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Also at the seasonal markets was Pip and her hot sauces.  She makes great sauces if you want to add some spice to your food.  Check her out.
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Wheelchair basketball and basketball have played a major part of my life and my officiating season started last week.  So there will be many weekends spent in sport halls around the country between now and May.

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A friend asked if I would take some profile photos for her.  The location was beautiful and autumnal, hopefully she was happy with photos.

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I have been sewing a fair bit and I didn’t have any Tilly and the buttons patterns so to cheer myself up I treated myself to the Bettine dress pattern.  Unlike commercial patterns there is only a dress pattern with 2 options and generally it’s a summery dress, I am looking forward to cutting this out.

I love drinking tea and a few years ago I was introduced to Yogi tea.  Each tea bag label has something meaningful on it.  There can be a lot of hate and that can take up a lot of energy so I posted this on my Instagram feed.

I caught a cold during the week and all I wanted was soup.  So I made some chicken and vegetable soup from scratch, it was just what the doctor ordered.

I love knitting it’s like my zen and I don’t knit to sell.  So taking myself out of my knitting comfort zone, I have joined a knit along organised by Sitting Knitting in the West Midlands.  As a dyslexic I find reading patterns really challenging but I managed to crack this one.
This was the meaning behind my collage of photos.  I hope you had a good weekend and have a good week ahead.

Yarningham – Birmingham’s New Yarn Festival

This weekend Stirchley Baths were hosting a new yarn festival called Yarningham.  It has been organised Stiches and Hos.

 

I will be honest, I didn’t look at who had stalls and I don’t need any yarn. Famous last words from any crafter.  I wanted to go with an open mind as this was a new festival and the first in Birmingham for sometime. 

When I got to Bournville station I noticed some lost looking faces and I asked if you were going to Yarningham and the answer was yes. These ladies had travelled from Lincoln and Hull.

Once the queue on the door had passed I was in and thought this was small but I think this is more because I used to going to larger shows. 

Myself and a friend made be line for the button stall and I got the following buttons to make necklaces. 

As I already mentioned I didn’t need any yarn and saw so many things I wanted but didn’t need.   I was rather restrained and got some mini skeins for the sock yarn blanket. 

It was nice to see and feel yarn from different dyers. It was also lovely to have something on my doorstep.  The vendors were very friendly and attentive, even though it was busy. 

This shawl pattern is by Anniken Anni on the Fab Funky Fibres stall. 

Learning at work week 2016

The week before last was learning at work week, an opportunity to learn and try new things.  In previous years I have facilitated sewing sessions, knitting and jewellery making with beads.

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This year I facilitated craft and chat session.  I didn’t want to stand up in front of my colleagues and say this is how to knit or crochet?
Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016

So I asked some colleagues to help and some people wanted to learn about crochet and some knitting.  The picture above gave examples of different yarn types, some of my projects and completed dolls by my colleagues.

Later on in the week I attended a session on photography, everyone had different equipment.  I was inspired to go out and some shots.

Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016

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Poppybead blog - Learning at Work Week 2016

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One thing I wanted to practice was using the shutter speed on my camera.  In the photo below I managed to capture some of the water droplets.

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You can see more of the shots I took here on my Flickr feed.

Yarn Shop Day 2016

Saturday 30th April was the third Yarn Shop Day, an opportunity to celebrate bricks and mortar yarn shops.  This initiative was started by Let’s Knit magazine.

This year I spent my day at Sitting Knitting in Mere Green, West Midlands.  Rachel kindly allowed me to take photos of the day.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I didn’t leave empty handed.  IMG_0731

I got some Malabrigo Arroyo in the “Reflecting Pool” colourway and some hand dyed yarn.

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I got to meet some new knitters and catch up with others.  Thanks for a lovely day & yarn.

Fair Isle & Steeking Workshop at Sitting Knitting

I have always been fearful of taking part in workshops.  I feel like I will never keep up and so I had never done them before.

Today, I attended my 2nd ever knitting workshop at Sitting Knitting.  The tutor for this workshop was Anniken Allis, a knitwear designer originally from Norway.

I have knitted a colour-work hat before but getting some knowledge was why I decided to do this workshop also I have never steeked anything (cut your knitting).

Here are some photos from today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crafting NTO

It’s been a while since I last wrote a crafting blog entry.  I’ve been busy with the other love in life Basketball.


Some of you might know that I will be a NTO (National Technical Official) at the Paralympics.  I am extremely honoured and excited to be doing this.  Today is the opening ceremony of the Olympics and I am really excited for my peers who will be attending in my home town of London.


I have had the privilege to officiate at a number of tournaments over the last few years, one of the biggest being the World Wheelchair Championships 2010 in Birmingham.  I got to meet lots of great people from all over the world and I also started knitting again.


So in between my games I would be knitting, I would get a few strange looks but it kept my hands busy so my nerves were kept at bay.  Fast forward to 2012 and I have been planning what to knit over the Olympics and Paralympics.  I have decided to knit socks and a shawl as well work on my long-term sock yarn blanket project.  I have called on friends to help me choose what patterns and yarn to knit.


The socks I am knitting are called Mixalot by a fabulous designer called Rachel and the yarn is from The Knitting Goddess.  The shawl I am knitting is Meandering Vines, this pattern is the same pattern I knitted two years ago at the worlds.

The socks have been started.





I am so excited about my involvement in the Paralympics and watching the Oylmpics that I could burst.  I am fully aware sport is not everyone’s cup of tea but these events should be seen as positive things.

A Good Friday

Happy holidays everyone.


I arranged to meet up with a crafting friend and go to a little knitting shop in North London called Nest.



My friend had told me about this shop before Christmas and fell in love with it instantly.  The shop stocks lots of beautiful yarns like Malabrigo, Rico, Drops, and Natural Dye Studio.  They stock many other brands with something to suit everyone’s pocket.


I didn’t realise it was a knitting group day so we decided we would gatecrash or attend.  I’ve had my heart set on some Drops Alpaca Silk for a project I want to start and got the colour I wanted, hooray.  I also got some red bias binding and Eucalan.



Then some of the regulars started arrive and everyone was nice.  I even got some compliments about my Holden Shawlette. I have been very good and only took my socks to knit. Again people liked the yarn I used for my socks.



Sometimes you can forget there are nice people and retailers in the world but Amy and her husband are lovely, friendly people.  They also serve lovely tea and cake.  I would recommend this shop to any discerning yarn buyers to visit.



Crafty weekend

Why does the weekend go so fast?

After spending a lovely Friday evening listening to salsa with great company.  I managed to get to the post office to pick up my goodies from Texere Yarns, it is always so exciting when craft stuff comes through the post.  It is also nice to be able to open my parcel with like minded people who share my excitement for yarn etc, the ladies of Stitch and Bitch are good fun when it comes to yarn.


I have managed to finish a baby scarf and will cast on the baby hat soon, maybe at lunch time.


I have also managed to complete another grab bag, it is smaller than I would of liked but that’s what you get for using quilting quarters.  I have noticed they are called “Fat quarters” but no fat enough for my pattern!!

I might cut out another grab bag tomorrow, now I have got the hang of it.  I have so many thing I would like to do but work does get in the way, night night.