Signs of Life

I’m sitting at my desk watching the sunshine on the garden and enjoying the range of colour that has emerged over the past few weeks. The blackcurrant bush is now in full leaf and the redcurrant isn’t far behind. The daffodils are looking mightily impressive and the camellias are both absolutely covered in flowers. Even the hellebores are still looking good – though I may need to deadhead them soon to avoid the garden becoming covered with seeds!

The birds are pairing up – there’s been a very attentive wood pigeon bowing to another on the fence most days and there are two robins in the garden. They must be a pair as robins are far too territorial to allow another ‘random’ robin into their space.

I finally sowed the veg seed just over a week ago – with the weather being so variable I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to snow again! Nothing is showing yet, but I’m keeping everything crossed. It’s last year’s seed, but it should still be good for this year. If we’re lucky we’ll get some broad beans, edamame beans, French beans, cucamelon, courgettes of various sorts and mange tout. If we’re not lucky we should at least have the fruit from the fruit bushes!

I’ve started knitting my own Tiffany shawl! RiverKnits have the original version, and they have very kindly provided a Shadow Rainbow mini set of Nene 4-ply for me to knit my own. This is great as the pattern rights have now returned to me and it will be wonderful to have the shawl in person when selling the design at shows. I have a long train journey tomorrow – more on this next week! – and I’m hoping to get a good chunk of Tiffany done during the ride.

Speaking of shows, I’m looking forward to going to Wonderwool on Sunday – it’s a great day out in mid Wales and it will be lovely to say hello to some familiar faces. If you’re there and you see me, do say hi – and please tell me who you are! It is of course also the day that the new national ’emergency alert’ system is going to be tested, sending a loud sound and message to all smartphones. I’m glad we know what time it will be (3pm) as those of us who would prefer not to be in a big shed with thousands of other phones going off at once will have a chance to pop outside beforehand.

Going to yarn shows as a ‘punter’ is a very different experience from being at one as an exhibitor and I find it always gives me ideas for new ways I could display samples or patterns. I better not have too many new ideas though as Buxton Wool Gathering is only two weeks after Wonderwool and Wool@J13 is the week after Buxton!

Something new I have done recently is to sign up to You’ll notice a floating button on my website now with a pic of a coffee cup that says “Support me”. I may change the text to “buy me a cuppa” or something else. (Ironically I don’t actually drink coffee – it gives me migraines!)

I’ve done this so folk who like what I do and want to support me, but don’t currently need a knitting pattern, knitting kit or wooden treat, can now do so. I’ve had non-knitting friends buy a knitting pattern in the past as they’ve wanted to support what I do and Ko-fi seems a practical approach to this.

I’m not planning on doing ‘memberships’ as I can’t promise regular exclusive content when I’m already writing a weekly blog and doing daily social media posts across four platforms. It is only me running this business after all.

It’s appropriate that tonight is my Finishing Techniques workshop, as this morning I have been weaving in ends and seaming half of the child’s cardigan I’m designing (remember I was about to cast on the first sleeve just after last week’s post?). I still have one sleeve to weave in the ends of and seam, before I join it to the body. Then it’s just the button band to knit, and that runs all around the edge of the body. And that reminds me that I need to buy some buttons! I may take some of the cardi along with me this evening to show how much of a difference it makes when you match up the increases or decreases on each side of a seam.

When I get to this stage of a project that my brain starts turning to the next design (or two). I’ve pulled my favourite stitch dictionaries off the shelf and onto my desk, and the pages of my bullet journal are starting to be filled with sketches and charts once more as well as daily lists of things to do. Again it’s a design that I won’t be able show you for quite a few months, but I am very excited to start working with this yarn – the colours are delicious:

I’m still going with song titles where I can for blog titles – today’s is a song by Pink Floyd from the album ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’, the first ‘proper’ band I got into when I was 14. It’s quite surreal.

Take care of yourselves, I’ll be back next week! Kx

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