Second Time Lucky

This week I am only a little further on with my current knitting design in terms of knitting progress, despite the fact that I have knitted more than two feet of it in a week. How can this be?

After the first (quite large) part is completed, the design is worked in two directions, and I wasn’t happy with the fact the two ends weren’t behaving in exactly the same way. The reason for this was at the VERY BEGINNING of the knitting. I considered ignoring it (which didn’t sit right), I even briefly considered altering the pattern so the ends would be the same and letting the publishers know there would be a slight discrepancy between the pattern and the knitted item (that one got a really big ‘No!’ from my gut straight away). Which left one option. Rip it out and start again, altering the pattern and the knitting so it does what I want it to do. Which I did, and it now behaves perfectly and looks great. Oddly, even after a mountain of swatching this was one thing I hadn’t experimented with before the main cast-on.

So, lots of knitting done, a good lesson learned, but only about 8 inches more to show for it in terms of volume compared with last week.

I have made the rhubarb jam! I had to wait an extra day and make it on Thursday as, after finding the recipe on Wednesday morning, I read the instructions to chop and layer the fruit with the sugar, cover with the juice of three lemons (didn’t have any), and leave overnight… Once the lemons had been bought and the fruit was prepped on Wednesday evening, it was such a quick jam to make. I included crystallised stem ginger, chopped into small pieces rather than a bag containing a piece of bashed root ginger. Five jars were made, which is precisely the quantity the recipe stated and it’s really good!

We also finally got the veg seedlings planted – today!

We have put five types of courgettes, two types of broad beans and some mange tout in the veg beds. They don’t look like much at the moment and I’ll have to water them regularly – especially since we’re not due any rain until at least the end of next week, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll get some crops from them. Believe it or not, this photo was taken after watering!

I had sown other veg too, but the French beans were completely eaten by the slugs and snails, the cucamelon is only just germinating and the coriander is *not* going in the ground (I’m not sure how the local cats would react to it) – I’ll put that in bigger pots and keep it inside or in the mini greenhouse.

Earlier in the week I also had my first go at making a babka. This had dried apricots, flaked almonds and homemade plum jam in it. The bottom took an age to firm up and sound hollow, so it got a little harder on the top than I’d have liked, but it was fabulous toasted with marmalade. I shall definitely be trying this one again! The recipe came from The Sourdough Whisperer by Elaine Boddy.

Three days ago I took photos of all our roses, thinking they were looking good. Whilst out in the garden today they looked even more glorious – so I photographed them again. Today’s pics are on the right. Not only are the flowers more open and fuller, the photos are better too!

Having enjoyed the yarn shows I’ve done this month so much I’ve been seriously looking at which other shows I could apply to. I have to take into account stand fees, distance/travel time and accommodation costs for each one as well as keep an eye on the widely differing deadlines – some are 16 months ahead of the event! I’ve got two more lined up so far this year, and because of the deadlines I’m looking at 2024 shows now. I have been very lucky so far and have been accepted first go at the shows I have done, but some shows tend not to accept ‘new’ folk (ie new to that show) the first time they apply, and it’s good to know that and be prepared for a ‘better luck next time’ or a ‘we’ve added you to our waiting list’ response.

This has also led me to wondering whether there are any particular wool shows you would like to see me and my designs at? If so, tell me in the comments and I’ll consider it!

Yesterday evening I was on the sofa winding yarn after a long walk around Liverpool (new iPhone battery achieved and excellent lunch had at Maray!) when I noticed my projects basket was somewhat overflowing. This morning I got all the bags out of / from the side of the basket and made an inventory of what was there. This is all of it. Let me take you though it in groups – strap in!

First of all, the three designs I am currently working on – two of which have deadlines. These are deliberately vague photos are the designs are not yet published:

Next, the bags with yarn for existing designs that I intend to knit new samples for. One of these has not yet been published, but I intend to knit a sample in a size I can wear, the other two are shawls (Amy March and Marianne Half Hap):

We follow this up with yarn for a design that is currently only in my head, but has been sitting there since October (the yarn and the idea):

Next, other projects that are in progress. The Beekeeper Quilt is an ongoing way of using up odds and ends of 4ply, there’s the socks for Sue I started a couple of months ago (plain standard sock that I usually knit) but deadlines got in the way, and my Umbriel sweater which still only has 1/3 of a sleeve on the body:

With all this you think I’d be mad to even consider anything else, wouldn’t you? But no, there’s more. These are projects ‘in potentia’ – the yarn and the pattern have been matched up, and in two cases the yarn is wound and needles/hooks readied: more bedsocks for Mum in Socks Yeah! DK (Bob, friend of Dave, by Rachel Coopey), Mackinac Mitts by Kate Atherley in Mothy and the Squid 4ply, and the yarn I was winding into balls yesterday – Welsh Mule dyed by Wrigglefingers (years ago) for Mystical Lanterns, a crochet blanket pattern by Janie Crow:

I make that six knitting projects in progress, and seven projects in waiting. Too much?

I’ll be doing some more work on my nearest deadline piece tonight, even though I am so itching to do a bit of crochet! At least I know I definitely won’t be ripping it back to the start this week!

Remember, any wool shows you’d like to see me at – pop it in the comments.

Have a good week – I’m off to play with some yarn 😊, K x

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