Saturday, 17 April 2021

Saturday 17th April - Is it Springtime now?

 Nearly - we have sun, and we have bright days, but we have a rather bracing and brisk wind. Not fierce, but enough to make itself notices

Sitting outside for morning coffee and afternoon tea ha happened a few times;

and at other times I have carried my mug halfway down the garden and then turned round to make a rapid return to the warmth of indoors. 

Can you spot the garden chair at the top of the picture? It gets the morning sun just there, and I can sit and contemplate by vegetable patch; all those lettuces and radishes a-growing, and everything else all sulking. I shall sow more seeds on top and see what happens. 

We are hoping to have a family afternoon tea together in the garden tomorrow. Scones and jam (we haven't got any cream, sadly). Fingers crossed for the weather. The tables and chairs have been arranged in readiness; I didn't get out my dressmaking yardstick - yes, YARD stick, although it does have metres on the other side - to mathematically check the distances between the chairs. That's because Himself is six foot tall (unless he's shrunk) and is therefore a walking 2-yard stick when he holds his arms out.

Meanwhile - I have nearly finished my third Osaka teacosy - it is at the 'darning all the ends in' stage (about three dozen left to go) and the the 'Cutting of the Steek' will occur. I shall pour myself a celebratory glass of port when it is finished.

I am also swatching over and over again as I inch towards the final design for the Fair Isle top I have in mind. 

 I have it in mind to knit the jumper on the cover of this book, without the sleeves, but as I HATE doing ribbing so much (the usual way of doing the edging at the bottom of a jumper) I'm investigating other options. The bit of knitting above starts at the top with an i-cord cast-on in beige, followed by a few rows of stranded colour work in stocking stitch, then some rows of garter stitch to see how that functions as a hem, and a normal cast off using a contrasting colour. I've discovered that garter stitch will 'flare out' compared to stocking stitch; Elizabeth Zimmerman (a knitting guru held in similar esteem to the Dalai Lama when searching for knitting wisdom) suggests increasing the stitches by 10% when going from garter stitch to stocking stitch.

I've just noted all this down in the blog o that I can find the information later. It is quite hard to stick a piece of knitting into a book and make notes, if you then want to be able to close the book afterwards.

Knitting fascinates me - the way a single thread is looped and looped and looped into something two or three dimensional, and the way one shapes the fabric as you create it.

At the moment I'm using up scraps and ends of Shetland wool left over from all these tea cosies. Soon, I will have to take the plunge and order the yarn for the Fair Isle top; about 25 balls if I am making it with sleeves, so - guess, estimate, calculate - how many will I need for just the front and back? And what patterns will I use? The one in this book, or one from Elizabeth Zimmerman, or find some on the internet or in other books...?

The school term started for me today - I have one family who have piano lessons on Saturdays, three children, one after another. So this morning was a substantial change of brain activity after two weeks of settling into a kind of sloth. 'Up and at'em' - and from Monday it will be the normal teaching timetable. What would I be like if I stopped teaching?  


I see I have missed nearly all of the broadcast of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral; I switched the television on in time for the bugles - Last Post etc and the blessings and the National Anthem. Ah well - I will be able to listen to the Radio broadcast later. I am so glad they had good weather. My heart goes out the to Queen, poor love, and the family.


1 comment:

  1. We are jealous. Still got snow here. It is warming up though. Might be able to plant seeds soon. However, every snowcloud has a silver lining. Vicky does at least an hour's piano practice every day (she has taken to the "Ukraininan method", whatever that is. I try to do half as much on the concertina. I have rescued an old cassete recorder so can listen to myself and cringe! The best news. Vicky is being given a zither! She has already ordered a book on how to play it!