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A jumper four years in the making

Mustard Estelle Jumper
Mustard Estelle Jumper
Mustard Estelle Jumper

Here’s some more pictures of that mustard jumper from my smiling post!

This one has a bit of a backstory. I started this in early 2014, then abandoned it when I found out I was pregnant with Ellis, leaving it with one sleeve missing. I then considered it again in early 2016 (it’s on in my 2016 Knitting Plans post, of which only the Dotted Rays actually happened in 2016). With all that time passing I had actually convinced myself there was more to do than there was, so when I did finally pick it up (not sure when) I was pleasantly surprised. Then I finished it and ended up with sleeves that are too long. I put it away for ripping back the sleeves, but then never got round to it and then once again persuaded myself it was worse than it was.

Then when I tried it on I realised it wasn’t as bad as all that, and decided not to bother shortening the sleeves. There’s a few other mistakes anyway, so some more won’t do any harm, and the sleeves aren’t actually long enough to get in the way. I’ve actually worn it quite a few times since I’ve resurrected it and am very pleased with it!

I am so buoyed by this that I am now seriously considering attempting another jumper. I know I shouldn’t…

Mustard Estelle Jumper
Mustard Estelle Jumper
Mustard Estelle Jumper
Mustard Estelle Jumper

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Project 52: 43/52

43/52 Ellis
43/52 Milo

This week’s photos are from Portobello beach. Dave has come up with this idea of collecting shells and stones in clear plastic bottles, which sit in the boot of the car and come out once a week for the beach visit. We also walked down to the metal octopus, which is usually in the water. I’ve just discovered that it was first put up in 2015 for the annual Art walk, but was damaged and was repaired and put back for the 2016 one. Info here.

beach life
beach life
beach life

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On smiling in pictures

Laine magazine

If you’re not a knitter (and even if you are probably) you might not have heard of all the kerfuffle that happened recently about the photo above. The pattern designers Brooklyn Tweed posted the picture, which is from Laine magazine and features one of their jumper designs. And then everyone went a bit mad. Some people started complaining about the model’s facial expression, saying that her looking angry put them off knitting the jumper, why can’t she smile. One person said she looks like a man. Then lots more people started reacting to that, pointing out the sexism in telling women to smile, that male models look similarly grumpy all the time and no one says anything, and that just cos someone doesn’t smile doesn’t make them masculine. People also point out that it’s usually men that make those kind of comments about women, but here it is women themselves (knitters being like 95% female). There are now 315 comments on that photo, mainly defending the photographers/magazine – there were maybe 10 or so negative comments at the start.

I totally agree with all of that, no one owes anyone a smile. This is an editorial photo, telling a story, not the pattern photo whose main purpose is showcasing the pattern design, and I think it works wonderfully as that. I don’t read her facial expression as anger at all, though I do agree it is striking and makes you think what is going on. Which I’m guessing was the reason for including it!

But what I do wonder is why people have jumped on this photo in particular, as opposed to the 99,999 other photos just like it. Because, as a person who often smiles in outfit pictures, I am very aware that that’s actually pretty unusual. As far as i can tell, outfit bloggers tend to take inspiration from three areas:

1. Haute couture advertising and editorial, where the models’ facial expression mostly is like this Laine models. I guess the difference is that those kind of models also tend to be 20 and extremely tall/thin, so maybe the fact that this woman is older and of a more average/everyday body shape, makes the picture not read as that.

2. Magazine editorials, which often feature women in sort of pretend candid situations, walking along a street, having coffee, getting out of a car, or whatever. I guess the predominant facial expression here is sort of almost smiling looking away from the camera into the middle distance?

3. Streetstyle photography. The usual thing here is looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression.

I feel like most bloggers go for one of these approaches, and few people smile at the camera, the way you would if you were on a night out and someone was taking a group picture. Which makes it doubly weird that people had that reaction to this photo!

P.s. Not saying that either smiling or not smiling are ‘better’. I like to smile because I prefer the way I look when I smile (society, blah blah blah), I figure if I’m taking pictures with a self timer, I’m obviously posing so I may as well smile, and because I’ve got a major case of bitchy resting face. Which, in honour of the Laine model, I’ve taken a photo of in my latest outfit photos. Here is is in all its glory:

grumpy face

I will tell you about that yellow jumper soon!

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A life update, and band tshirt day

Tshirt day
Tshirt day

Since I mentioned the promotion board on here I thought I’d better to a blog to say that I passed! Such a relief!

This puts me properly at the grade I’ve been working at for close to two years now on temporary promotion (called TRS), and means I finally get pay rises again (you don’t get those when you’re on TRS, you just stay at the bottom band of that pay scale forever), but more importantly it finally gives me job security – obviously TRS is supposed to be temporary so you can be chucked out of your job if someone fully at that grade comes along*. Anyway, I don’t want to go on too much about the particularities of Scottish Government staffing because that is really not that interesting.

But the point is now that I’ve passed it’s like a weight has been lifted. This constant, low level anxiety that I’ve been living with is just gone. I had no idea how much it’s been weighing on me, and how it’s affected all other parts of my life. Obviously I’ve been pretty preoccupied while I was preparing for this assessment centre, and then awaiting the results knowing I might have to do it all over again, even when I wasn’t actually working on this stuff, and I’ve found it hard to deal with some of the parenting stuff like the boys fighting. I’d absolutely not be cut out for a life of freelancing or short term contracts!

Now that’s all done and I don’t plan to even think about promotion again until the boys are at secondary school!

Photos are because of the BBC 6music band Tshirt day. I don’t really wear tshirts these days, but it was fun to go back to my early 2000s style for a day!

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Purl Soho Baby Moccassins

Baby booties
Baby booties

Finally a bit of knitting! I had to keep this one back for a while until they were delivered to their tiny recipient, but can show them now. The pattern is the Purl Soho Baby Mocs and I embroidered them freestyle. I’d originally wanted to embroider her initials on, but it looked a bit crap so I went safe with stars.

Baby booties

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Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and kite polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival

A couple of weekends ago we went to the Kite and Trumpet festival of Polish art for children in a random bit of Summerhall. It was SO much fun! Kind of like the illustration degree show with little corners for different artists, except also set up for children to play with all the stuff. There was an installation room with these giant bubbles made out of plastic cups and duvets all over the floor, and these fun sausage toys that you can also attach together, and soft toys from the best Toy Shop and puppets and handmade stamps and listening stations. And lots and lots of books. Most of the people visiting had toddler age kids, as always with stuff in Summerhall it maybe wasn’t the most well publicized, I think it actually was maybe most suitable for kids Milo’s or early primary school age. He sat with me for about twenty minutes reading a single book, which he never does! We ended up buying two super cool books, I must remember to do a post about that!

Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival
Trumpet and Kite Polish design festival

And the Project 52 photos

41/52 Milo
41/52 Ellis

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Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park

Jumping a week ahead than where I am with the Project 52 because these are Halloween ones so I wanted to get them out! We were at the Fort Douglas playground at Dalkeith Country Park on Monday, the last time this year, as it’s now closed up for the winter. They had all these amazing decorations up!

Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park
Dalkeith Country Park

And for the project 52 pictures:

42/52 Ellis
42/52 Milo

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Colourblocking and new glasses

New Glasses
New Glasses

I’m back! Hopefully anyway! The reason I was missing in action was that I had a promotion board at work to apply for permanent promotion to the grade I am working at. It’s all very complicated and annoying the way they do this kind of thing in the Scottish Government, and I won’t say any more about it because honestly no one needs a rant about this. Basically I am good at the jobs, but not good at the assessment centres. I’m not sure how it went this time, my initial reaction was that it was probably good enough, but then the next day I’d convinced myself I’d messed it up spectacularly, so who knows. If I get it, I’ll finally have some peace and quiet in my life, but if not, I will apply for any and all jobs at that grade, in which case I will likely stop blogging again for a while. So anyway, that’s why I was away.

New Glasses

Soooo… back to the actual blogging! I got sent new glasses by Glassesshop.com. I’m a big fan of buying eyeglasses online and this is my third pair from them, and the other two I’ve got (black and white (preggy pics!) and tortoiseshell catseye) are actually both in my top three favourite pairs. (I have like 8 pairs, though I think I need to do a clear out). I usually go for dark chunky frames, and I know they suit me, but I’ve been admiring clear frames on other people and was keen to try them myself, so I went for that this time. I have to say, the jury is out!

New Glasses

I like them because they look so different, and it’s good to change it up. I do a double take every time I see myself in a mirror with them! The problem is though that I think they really need to be styled a bit to look good. Like it needs to look intentional, if you slob around in jeans and plain tees, airdried hair and no make up (which, lets face it, is me 70% of the time), they do tend to look a bit 1980s NHS specs. So anyway, I made an effort in these pictures and I like them in this way, I think they look intentional and interesting, and you can see my eyes more. Here they are on instagram with more subtle make up – though still more than I usually wear.

Obviously my indecision about the frames is not a reflection on glassesshop, I am completely happy with their service, and the frames do look exactly as described. They have tons and tons of other glasses frames and I would defo recommend them for prescription glasses

New Glasses

Also I don’t think I’ve talked much this blazer before? It’s appeared in my curated closet status quo post but I think that’s about it. I bought it from a charity shop in the summer (it’s originally new look) and I love it! It’s exactly the kind of casual blazer I want to have more of in my wardrobe, it’s so comfy but still somehow says formal (more than my usual anyway) and I love love love the colour. The top is also charity shopped, it was £1 in the age concern closing down sale. I’m not sure about the colour, but I like the texture of it!

I am also completely cracking up at my stereotypical fashion blogger poses here. I had actually taken pictures for about ten minutes before these, but hadn’t realised that the focus was set on manual (so professional) so all those photos were unusuably blurry. In these replacement ones I was clearly over smiling and going for the neutral expression/bitchy resting face staring into the distance thing.

This one is my favourite. The hand thing, why do people do this all the time?

New Glasses

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Project 52: 40/52

40/52 Milo
40/52 Ellis

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