I’d wanted to make a joke about getting all your ducks in a row, but since this photo is of goslings, that doesn’t really work, does it?! These little beauties in the main pic were following in their mama goose’s wake in the pond on our town common on Sunday. Just as they are lining up neatly behind her, so things this week seem to be working out well for me so far (sshhh!!!).
Yesterday morning I was waiting for a phone call. An old college friend (who was also our best man back in 2005) had texted the day before to ask if I would be at home for a call about 9.30am. I thought it must be fairly important if he needed to ‘book’ the call in advance. By 10am I was beginning to wonder if I’d got the day wrong, or if something had come up that was preventing him ringing.
And then there was a knock on the door. I answered it, imagining it to be the postie – there have been a fair few parcel deliveries in the past week. But no. It was my friend, on our doorstep, a total surprise!! Especially when you realise that he lives in Kent and we are in North Wales! Turns out he’d been on retreat nearby and was ‘calling’ in on his way home.
It’s the sign of a good friend that, even when you haven’t seen them for years, don’t talk that often on the phone, you can pick up as though no time had passed since you last saw them. It must have been pre-Covid when we last met up. Cups of tea (coffee for him) were drunk, news and gossip and hugs were exchanged and then, less than an hour later, he was on his way. It was a truly lovely surprise – a little gift of someone else’s time.
Speaking of gifts of time, the embroidery is coming on. I had worried on Sunday that I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time for my wonderful wife’s birthday on Friday as I was going to run out of green thread, but Sewcraft Swindon came to the rescue. I ordered some yesterday morning and today, it arrived! So, there is still a good chance of it being finished. It won’t be framed, but it will be ‘done’.
It’s proved to be so much quicker to do than the embroidery of Mum’s photo, partly because it’s working at a larger scale – each square on the chart is over two threads in each direction, not just one – which means I can more easily see what I am doing! Always useful! The main reason though is linked to this design being geometric – there are patterns that are repeated and can be memorised, so I don’t have to refer to the chart for every stitch. In fact there are whole sections now where I don’t need to look at the chart at all, just do a quick check with one of the sections I’ve already completed. The photo embroidery by its very nature is rather random in the placement of each colour (and there are 46, I think), so there is no getting away from the chart (all 16 pages of it) even for a moment.
And I do like patterns. I’m good at spotting patterns – and errors in/interruptions to repeated patterns as well. Patterns that can be repeated and memorised make knitting a joy, and they are pleasing to the eye as well.
The Wensleydale yarn (Aysgarth) from RiverKnits that I showed you last week has started to be knitted up in a new design with some delightful repeated patterns. I’m not going to show you the whole design until it is published (probably in September), but I can share little snippets with you. It’s an unusual yarn as it doesn’t have the elasticity that I associate with wool when in the skein or being knitted, but once it is part of a knitted fabric it has a wonderful softness. I love this colour too – it’s called ‘Sloe Gin’ and has a gorgeous range of purples in it! (See, I haven’t *just* been stitching this week).
And, when blocked, the way the pattern opens up is astounding – it’s almost like linen with added fuzziness and shine!
I shall also be able to finish Mum’s socks now too. I’ve been waiting for her to measure either the length of her foot or the length of her favourite bed sock so I can be sure the new socks will fit well. 10″ for both, apparently, so on we go! These are Raggsocks from Midwinter Yarns.
There’s no date as yet for “An Introduction to Lace Knitting” Craftucation course going live. The accompanying PDF is having some formatting issues (e.g. image captions appearing on a different page from the image itself) which require the brain of a clever tech bod (thanks in advance Graeme!). Hopefully it won’t take too long.
On our second (yes, really!) walk into town today, I decided to photograph the postbox topper that’s been outside the Spar for a good couple of weeks. I’m not sure which group made it, but it looks very splendid. Even if the Jubilee isn’t your thing, it’s nice to see something cheering the place up and being left in place undamaged too!
There’s been a definite purple theme to the knitting in this week’s post hasn’t there?! Not at all consciously – just one of those things.
In the meantime I have another live workshop with Yarn O’clock next week – Crochet for Beginners! Being left-handed I am most used to crocheting left-handed, but I can also do it right-handed, which is really useful. I’m looking forward to helping the students develop skills and confidence over the course of the two hour class. As the workshop is on Tuesday that means next week’s blog will be on Wednesday – and then I can tell you all about it and show you how they got on.
In the meantime, take care, make stuff and hold your favourite folk as close as you can. K x