Look! An actual outfit post!

I’ve fallen out of the habit of taking outfit pictures again. It’s not deliberate, but I’ve been feeling dull and not particularly sartorially inspired and just couldn’t be bothered to go outside and take photos at quarter to seven in the morning.

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I always feel a bit uninspired by the time it gets to the fag-end of a season, whether it’s winter or summer. There’s only so many times you can wear the same things without getting sick of the sight of them, after all. But it also struck me today that part of why I’m feeling uninspired may well be that I’ve gone from working in an enviroment where it was fairly common for people to comment on each other’s clothes to one where it just doesn’t seem to happen, and while I don’t think I dress to impress other people I’m so used to hearing things like “that’s a lovely colour” and “there are pussycats on your dress!” that without them I feel as though I must have become dull and frumpy and my outfits can’t be worthy of attention. (Is it even possible to be frumpy in orange tights?)

To be honest, my current working environment is pretty blokeish generally. All the senior managers are male, and so are most of the upper tier of middle managers. I think the overall gender balance in the office is probably fairly evenly split, but women are definitely more often found in lower-level posts. About the only non-work topic of conversation tends to be sport, particularly football, or occasionally drinking. And I don’t feel that I fit in at all, which I’ve been struggling with given that this is the same organisation I’ve worked in for the last seven years and never felt this isolated. It’s funny how different sections of a large organisation can be.

I make that 190m…

Yesterday, I spun the second half of the Hilltop Cloud roving I’d started spinning a few weeks ago.

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I don’t think the second bobbin was as good as the first – the fibre was quite compacted (which was only to be expected as it was leftover show stock I got in Katie’s end-of-season potluck sale and that’s the price you pay for getting a bargain) and I didn’t spend enough time preparing it. There were some bits that drafted beautifully, and some where I had to tug to pull slubs apart. And others where the singles ended up pretty slubby.

Still, I didn’t think it was too bad, and I plied the two bobbins today.

Plied yarn

As I’d suspected, the second bobbin came up shorter (at least partly bad drafting, though it’s also possible I hadn’t split the fibre absolutely evenly), but I’ve got quite used to winding the leftover yarn from the bobbin with more singles into a plying bracelet and finishing up from that.

The yarn looked much more even once it was plied and wound off onto my niddy-noddy.

Well, I make that 190m!

I counted it as 100 wraps of my 1.9m niddy-noddy, which makes 190m – quite a respectable quantity of yarn from 100g of fibre, and it should be enough to knit a Quaker Yarn Stretcher. Not bad going at all!

Pyjamas!

So, I aten’t dead, I just haven’t had much to blog about; I’m working on several knitting projects (a shawl, two cardigans, and of course some socks) but as I cast all of them on at the same time, and the shawl is in cobweb yarn and one of the cardigans is in laceweight, there’s not been a lot to blog about. And I don’t seem to be in the mood for posting about clothes right now. But, after failing miserably at my plan for doing an hour’s sewing every weekend and not touching my machine for weeks, today I actually got round to making myself some pyjamas trousers (definitely needed as it has got too warm for winter pyjamas and I only had one summer pair as all my old M&S ones had worn through).

New pyjamas!

I actually found it surprisingly easy and enjoyable. Next, I must try to find the time to make the Ginger skirt I was going to make last summer but never got round to…

Follow Your Arrow

My Ysolda mystery shawl is finished and blocked.

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It’s not as asymmetric as I thought it would be but it’s a very wearable shape.

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And it’s a lovely size for wearing instead of cardigan.

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I used Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply, in “Cherry”, and it took 168g. I love the colour, it’s so gloriously rich and deep.

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Meanwhile, I’ve finished my first bobbin of singles for the Stitched Together spinalong. I’m really pleased with how finely and evenly I’ve managed to spin!

STSAL first bobbin

Spot the difference

Today we had a dress-down day at work for Sport Relief. Though I’m not sure there’s really that much difference between my dressed-down and normal work outfits, to the casual observer…

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I’m feeling very ambivalent about these boots at the moment. I’m not quite sure why, as they’re perfectly nice boots, though they’re a bit too warm to wear with handknitted socks in a warm office all day and by mid-afternoon I was wishing I could take them off as I would at home. I think they do tend to get a bit uncomfortable worn with wool socks for several hours at a stretch, so that might well be part of it. I don’t seem to have the same problem wearing my smart boots with tights all day, but I don’t know whether the difference is down to the boots or if handknitted socks are just too warm to wear inside boots indoors (which seems like it might well be possible). Or if I just really want to still be wearing Doc Martens outside work and these are just a bit too dull and conservative in style…

Heathers

Lady Heather shawl and heathery tweed skirt :-)

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I keep wondering about sewing buttons on the shawl so I can wear it as a shrug or cardigan, but I am not very good at sewing on buttons, and I love it as a wrap anyway.

Primavera

After last year, when we didn’t really have much in the way of spring, it’s lovely to have properly spring-like weather in March. It’s been really warm in the sunshine, and there are daffodils everywhere and trees starting to come into leaf and the ducks going completely mental on the canal (seriously. More mental than normal, and given ducks that’s pretty darn mental). So, in celebration, today I wore a dress covered in flowers and shoes instead of boots (also, I am really bored of boots now).

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Though this spring-like weather does make my heart sink a bit as I contemplate the annual ordeal that is getting my legs from their hairy winter state (I think the last time I shaved them was probably the 11th of September, as I know that was the day we had the HMRC audit and I wore sheer tights) to something that will be socially acceptable without tights. This is not an easy process, and I always end up feeling like a bad feminist for having internalised socially-constructed standards of beauty to the extent that I can’t accept my own hairy legs. Although even if I didn’t mind how they looked (and maybe if I gave them a chance I wouldn’t) I work in an office and dress fairly smartly for work and I suspect that while not wearing makeup or high heels, or indeed going bare-legged in summer, don’t pose problems, bare-legged and unshaven might not be so easily accepted…