Needles and Pins

An overhead shot of three knitted hexiflats lying in a horizontal row

Well, the Covid jab knocked me sideways for a good few days. I had the Astra Zeneca one and side effects have been varied and wide-ranging! My arm is still sore and when I went out for my first walk five days after the jab I was so wobbly we had to cut it short and come home very gently. But I’m taking comfort in the thought that this probably means my immune system is doing what it should.

My plan of knitting some hexiflats to add to my Beekeeper’s Quilt was a good idea. The queue outside the vaccination centre was very long (but at least it was dry), so I knitted whilst waiting beforehand. I’ve made a few more since then too – it’s useful to have a small project to hand when your arms and fingers are tired. Not only can you feel like you’ve actually achieved something tangible, as one hexiflat takes about 40 minutes, but also you’re not having to wrangle large quantities of fabric.

And what news of the Grand Secret Project? Well, it’s finished! It’s blocking (has had a long soak in the sink, been rolled up gently in a towel, been laid out flat on a mat and patted into shape) and I’m now just waiting for it to dry. I’m so pleased with it and can’t wait to be able to share it with you. I also worked out a really nifty way to accurately calculate the yarn quantities for all the different sizes. The pattern and associated files all need tidying up and double checking and then it’s good to go!

What will be next once the loose ends are all tied up? Well, I’m going to talk to Anne at Yarn O’clock soon about plans for the next Mystery Knit-along and I will be able to finish recording my Introduction to Lace Knitting course for Craftucation. I also have plans for a new shawl design using Knitting Fever yarn.

The wholemeal and seeded loaf was gorgeous by the way. So much so that I’ve made a second one just the same. I do want to get more rise (also called Oven Spring) into my sourdough loaves; the dough is now a good consistency when it goes in the banneton, but the loaves do tend to grow sideways rather than upwards in the oven. Some experimenting is called for, I think.

An overhead shot of a sourdough loaf scored with five lines spiralling to the centre

Having caught a crow in the act of removing and stealing the filled half coconut from the apple tree I’m keeping an even keener eye on it than before. That was the second one that had been taken; the first had moved from the tree to the lawn one day and vanished the next. I’m sure it’s the same bird that has made a few skirmishes on the replacements too – it gets a loud ‘shoo!’ which seems to do the trick at the moment. An alternative feeding solution has been ordered from C J Wildlife which should put a stop to the thefts.

A crow caught stealing, flying in front of a camellia bush with the coconut hanging from it's beak

It’s been lovely to see the range of birds that visit the garden increase since putting the feed out. There have been robins, blackbirds, pigeons and sparrows which we’ve usually had, but also blue tits, coal tits, gold finches and even a pair of thrushes! The magpie is quite keen on it too. There was a pair of coal tits yesterday on the tree, one of which was feeding the other (as a sign of being a good provider I think) and I’m hoping we’ll get visits from any offspring they have too.

That’s all from me for today. Stay safe and keep knitting, Kx

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