Currently…

Currently…

Listening to: evensong on Radio 3. There was a fascinating programme on the BBC last week about the origins of evensong – which I have never thought about. I rate documentaries on how much I learn (and how few speeded up clouds, or dodgy dramatisations there are) and this scored highly on all counts. Plus lovely music!
Rereading: back to Terry Pratchett – ‘Reaperman’ this time. 

Watching: the BBC’s Reformation season has been very good so far: I’m hoping that the remaining programmes are as good.

Making: I’ve started another scarf, which is not as bright as it appears in the photo. Judging by the amount of wool I’ve got left it’s not going to be a very big one.

Then there are more couching samples and my final tree. If the VHC finishes his, we’ll drop them off at the Discovery Centre this week. He enjoys embroidery, but he was so busy telling me that he is going to be a world famous embroiderer when he grows up, that not much actual embroidery got done.


Feeling: stressed. 

Anticipating: half term. We haven’t managed to pin the grands down as to what they actually want to do, but they’ll undoubtedly think of something.

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Currently…

Listening to: ‘Floodplain’ by the Chronos Quartet.

Re-reading: ‘Extra Virgin’ by Annie Hawes. Good escapist stuff, almost literally. I’ve been meaning to reread it for ages, so grabbed it on my way out to a trip with the kids where I knew I could sit, read and drink coffee while they created havoc played. 

Watching: The Vuelta, and Inspector Montalbano. Odd how fiction about murder can also be escapist – and how I tolerate it even though it’s so sexist.

Making: the modular scarf is finished. Thank goodness. I started the last motif 5 times before I got it right. And then there were the 90+ ends to darn in: 2 per motif, 45 motifs… Now it just needs blocking. Unfortunately Amazon decided that my new blocking mats were ‘undeliverable’ so it’ll be a while before it gets done.


Long live the scarf: a big, linen stitch scarf to use up a mixed bunch of hand painted wool which doesn’t really go together, but might if it’s mixed up enough. I needed something mindless to knit while watching TV: linen stitch turns out to be not quite mindless enough for reading subtitles, at least until my fingers learn the pattern. I have made a couple of mistakes, but I am not pulling back 5 rows and casting on 400 stitches again, just because of minor errors in the second row.


Still sampling – here’s more running stitch. Yes, those are tile spacers. Yes, I’m strange, though not original. 

I came across a great quote about sampling from Nigel Hurlestone in ‘Machine Stitch Perspectives’: ‘if the first one is a bit boring, by sample 10 you are getting a bit confident. And by sample 25 you have actually broken some type of new ground. Then you worry less about limitations, you get caught up in possibilities’. He also comments on the way that books about machine embroidery focus on ‘the way to the perfect outcome‘ and on product rather than ‘opportunities for surface making’. I suspect if I’d been taught machine embroidery by Hurlestone I might feel more positive about it than I do. Perhaps when (if?) I finished the hand embroidery samples, there might be time for some machine experiments.

Feeling: better. The sun is shining, we have a week off from the kids (I love them to bits but they’re hard work!) and there have been no nastygrams for a couple of days. What could be better? Well, quite a lot, but always look on the bright side of life.

Anticipating: the rest of a quiet week.

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.

Currently…

Listening to: Thomas Bloch playing the Ondes Martenot, described as the eeriest instrument ever invented. Yes, we’re weird. More information here.

Reading: still the The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’, but I’ve finished ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Ann Tyler. An excellent novel, as Tyler’s usually are. It had an unusual structure, going backwards and forwards in time, which worked better than you might have thought.

Watching: the Ride London women’s race this evening, the men’s tomorrow. Then there’s a lull until the Vuelta.

Making: ICAD officially finishes on Monday, though I’ve jumped the gun and completed all my cards.


 Still pottering on with Year of Stitches and socks.

Feeling: a bit miffed because we completely forgot about our 46th wedding anniversary during the week – but we were grandparenting and that tends to take all our concentration and energy. We’ll try to find time for a belated celebration next week.

Anticipating: some better weather, please.

Currently…

Listening to: ‘Sunday Morning’ on Radio 3. The presenter, Jonathan Swain, has one of the best voices on radio, warm and relaxing. He often presents the insomniacs’ Radio 3 programmes, which I listen to, too often.

Reading: still plugging on with the The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’, interspersed with ‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Ann Tyler, for (sort of) light relief.

Watching: still the Tour, but today is the last day 😞😞😞😞😞

Making: I’ve decided that the current pair of socks are for me. Sorry, Wensleydale! 

Year of Stitches and ICAD both continue. I’ve also decided that when ICAD finishes at the end of the month, I must use the time I’ve managed to find to do it for drawing/designing – for example small designs for Year of Stitches. I often think things like this when I’m reading drawing or design books. It’s actually doing it that’s difficult…

Feeling: much the same. Overall, things are better with the difficult family member, just as long as no one mentions money. 

Anticipating: the last day of the Tour de France. We’ll have to find something else to do with our time – part from holiday grandparenting, that is. (Autocorrect just changed that to ‘grandpa renting’, which it is, in a way, except that we do it for love, not money.)

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.