Currently 

Currently 

Listening to: Robin Huw Bowen

Reading: still The Painted Kiss, by Elizabeth Hickey. I remembered after I’d posted last week that the dress in Klimt’s portrait of her is what inspired the best things I made when I was doing City and Guilds, the two cushions above.

Watching: the only thing we watched all week was CBeebies – or rather, we watched the VHC watching it, sitting on the floor, straight backed, with his legs crossed as if he was in school. He loves the factual programmes. 

Making: still plugging on with the modular scarf. Still making mistakes.

Still sampling – here’s some running stitch. Sorry about the slightly blurry photo.

Feeling: much as usual, just more tired, as we had the little guys all week. (I’m going to have to find something else to call them as Babybel is now only half a head shorter than me.)

Anticipating: the Vuelta which starts tonight. Well, it started this afternoon, but it’s on TV tonight.

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Currently…

Currently…

Listening to: ‘Wood Works’, a CD of Nordic folk tunes by the Danish String Quartet. We listen to CDs most evenings, but usually after I’ve written this, so I don’t often mention them. 

Reading: still ‘The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’. It’s going to last me a while.

Watching: the Tour, of course – it’s been one of the most exciting Tours for ages. It’s always better when the jersey doesn’t just land on one man’s shoulders and stay there.

Making: as I mentioned last time, I decided that lace knitting and the TDF don’t mix, so I’ve started another pair of socks. I realised this week just how many pairs of hand made socks Wensleydale has, but I’m sure he can find a use for one more pair…

I’ve also started a resolved sample for Year of Stitches, using diagonal straight stitches. Mostly. I have no idea where it’s going next but something will come to me.

ICAD continues. We’re up to day 45 of 61. Keeping up may become a little more difficult towards the end of the month, when we will have Babybel and the VHC with us for half the week, but I hope to finish more or less on time. 

Feeling: much the same, though things have quietened down a bit. Will it stay that way? I’m hopeful but not optimistic.

Anticipating: the rest of the Tour de France.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to the sound of Babybel’s iPad. I’ve just asked her what she’s watching. ‘Just stuff.’

Reading: a book that I’m going to be rude about, so I’m not going to name it. Like Gladys Michell’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ I picked it up in a charity shop, because it was set in Winchester. I found the plot of the Mitchell novel disappointing, but the picture it painted of post war Winchester was interesting, and accurate as far as I can tell. This anonymous novel, with a contemporary setting, has (so far) a better plot – but the factual errors make me think the author did her research, if any, via Google.  OK if you don’t know the place, irritating if you do.  So far I’ve kept reading, but may more errors and I’ll ditch it.

Watching: more of BBC 4’s Japanese series. I’ve rather gone off long distance travel, but I would like to go to Japan. 

Making: the Wally socks are finished, and I’ve started another pair. Thinking about a shawl next – although I’ve got too many shawls already.

The pulled thread year of stitches piece is also finished. Stitching on hessian is interesting but I don’t think I’d use it for pulled work again. To replace it I’ve started some Sue Stone inspired sampling, with the intention of actually using some of the sample ideas for a resolved piece in a week or two. I’m playing around with straight stitch in horizontal rows , and enjoying the graphicness, if there is such a word, of the results. 

ICAD continues. I’ve always finished, apart from the first year I did it, so I’m pretty confident I will do so this time.

Feeling: hot, full, tired and happy after an enjoyable Father’s Day barbecue, with three generations of The Cheese family in attendance. 

Anticipating: a good night’s sleep.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to the clock ticking.

Reading: still Tana French’s ‘The Secret Place’. My pace of reading has slowed because I’ve been knitting and embroidering more. 

Watching: this morning – the VHC’s ‘watching day’ at ballet class. This evening, Babybel’s ‘cabaret’ at the same stage school. With a fish and chip supper as well. 

Making: still knitting bobbles. Fifteen per row, every fifth row, until I decide it’s long enough/run out of yarn/run out of patience. The latter is most likely. As the bobbles are in a different yarn, there are two ends per bobble. I’m tempted not to darn them in.

Feeling: still tired, but a bit more positive than I have for a while, despite six grandparenting visits this week and five next. (The grandparenting is great, the driving less so.) 

Anticipating: the return of the muse. Strangely, despite how busy we’ve been, I have felt more creative. I think this is because I’ve put all the things I feel I ‘must’ do to one side, and I’m focusing on doing what I feel like doing. Which is knitting, reading, an undaily ‘drawing’ ( in a very loose sense – today it was collage) and a little bit of undaily embroidery – a scrap of hand dye, some toning threads, and a random selection of stitches, the last two inspired by what people are doing on the blogs I read. When there is so much pressure from external factors, I think reducing the pressures I put on myself, has been good for me.

Where to begin?

Where to begin?

This week, Babybel was involved in a dance summer school – which meant finding things to occupy the VHC, which  weren’t too long – to fit into the time between dropping her off and picking her up again – weren’t  too expensive, for obvious reasons – and provided opportunities for granny and grandad to sit down. We succeeded magnificently, although all of us (including Babybel) were completely exhausted by the end.

As the summer school didn’t start till Tuesday, we went to Manor Farm on Monday. Manor Farm now offers tractor rides. This was highly acceptable to all – Babybel enjoyed looking at, feeding and being told about the animals, the VHC enjoyed the animals and the tractor, and granny and grandad enjoyed all of the above, plus sitting down. 

On every other morning, we managed to find a craft activity. (The VHC loves making things.) 

On Tuesday we made buildings.


That’s a chandelier, in case you didn’t recognise it. There was also a light switch.

The VHC provided the designs (he made two), granny and grandad provided the workforce and catering. There was sitting down, but most of it was on the floor. Sitting on the floor is fine, getting up again is more of a problem, but we survived.

On Wednesday we made a stained glass butterfly. 


There was lots of sitting down for this one.

On Thursday we made a ruff. No photos, I’m afraid, but the photographer made up for her oversight in the afternoon, when we made some new friends, Pickford and Harold. 


This was the most expensive outing of the week (if you don’t count the cost of the season ticket for Manor Farm), but it was worth every penny. When the VHC goes silent and just looks, you know he’s having a really good time.

On Friday we made quill pens. All of us. This is grandad’s. Grandad was very restrained in his use of feathers. Why have one when you can have three?


After that we went to Chalkfest. (I think there are traces of ink from trying out the pens on there as well.)


We also managed to fit in lunch at our favourite farm shop, a walk, a duck feed and a play park. 

On Saturday we let mummy and daddy take over, though we did go to the summer school performance, which was very entertaining. 

There has been some knitting. And a lot of TV watching, as you might expect, during which the knitting got quicker and quicker as the tension rose. 

Next week should be much quieter. We have had requests for visits to the little trains, and a trip on a Park and Ride bus. I think we can manage that!