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.



Listening to: silence.

Reading: I’ve decided that The Time Traveller’s Guide is really a book to dip into, and given up on it until school starts again. I’ve replaced it with The Painted Kiss, by Elizabeth Hickey, which is a novel about Emilie Flöge, Klimt’s muse. It’s excellent, a real page turner rather than a dip-in book.

Image from Wikipedia.

Watching: not a lot. It’s Prom’s season, of course, which means that the radio wins out over the TV most evenings. We don’t even watch the proms, as the sound is better on our old fashioned tuner +amplifier.

Making: I have decided that the modular shawl is going to be a modular scarf, as it is coming out long and thin. I know it will get deeper when I block it, but I am also getting bored with it, so I have decided to do one more row of modules, one row of half modules to level off the edge, and call it a scarf, which I am more likely to wear anyway.

Still sampling – I thought I was finished with straight stitch, which I’m also getting bored with, but I came up with a few more ideas. The image on the left above is the resolved sample, the others are the new ideas: some are sillier than others.

This does not mean I have finished with sampling, I’m still enjoying it. The little squares are very rewarding to do, because they work up quickly (unlike the shawl scarf) and are easy to unpick if I make a mistake (unlike the shawl scarf). So it’s on to running stitch next. No, not much different to straight stitch…

Feeling: still up and down. But I’m sure you’re all bored to tears with it, so I’ll leave it at that.

Anticipating: the Vuelta which starts on Saturday.


Listening to: Evelyn Glennie’s selection of music for unusual instruments, like alpenhorns, Didgeridoos and birds. It’s different, mostly enjoyable, and sometimes fun.

Reading: still the The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’. It’s particularly slow going because I’ve been keeping it in the car to read while waiting for the children to come out of school – and they haven’t been in school. And I keep forgetting to bring it in from the car.

Watching: I don’t think we’ve watched TV since last weekend’s cycling. And probably won’t until the Vuelta starts.

Making: the socks are finished. You may have noticed that these socks are fraternal, not identical twins. I was worried about the yarn running out if I gave them both the same colour toes, heels and ribs, and judging by the amount I have left, I was right. 

I’ve restarted the modular shawl, and so far, after knitting half a motif, no mistakes. 😄 But unfortunately I thought I’d made one and unpicked 2.5 rows before I realised I hadn’t. 🤣

Overall I’ve spent most time on the embroidery – after realising that pulled work is just straight Stitches, I played around with some more -not all of which were successful. Some pulled better than others! (I did press the base cloth before adding the embroideries, honest!)

Feeling: a little more positive. Things are moving in the difficult family member case, although they don’t know it yet, and it will be ‘tin helmets on!’ when they find out what’s happening. 

This person told us last week that ‘you catch more flies with honey than vinegar’, which is cheek given that their preferred method of fly catching appears to be vitriol. If there was ever any honey, we blinked and missed it.

Anticipating: another helping of vitriol when the solicitor’s letter hits their doormat.


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.


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.)



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.


Listening to : and watching Le Tour.

Reading: still ‘The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’. I’m making slow progress, at least in part due to the above.

Watching: see above. It’s been very dramatic today. Nerve wracking stuff, even if your favourite rider has already crashed out – again.

Making: the shawl grows slowly. I’ve just had to rip out 2.5 modules, due to a dropped stitch,which I  spotted too late to rescue. Then I reknitted one module correctly, but had to do the second twice before I got it right. I have therefore decided to put shawl knitting to one side until the TDF is over. I have started a pair of socks – well, I started the first one twice. Yes, today’s stage was that exciting.

This week’s Year of Stitches samples include vertical and diagonal straight stitches, in approximately horizontal lines. I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with many more variations, but I’ve found a few.

ICAD continues: I post photos on the ICAD FB page, and the reactions I get sometimes surprise me. People often seem to like ones I don’t like, which is interesting. 

I’ve lost track of which ones I’ve already shown you, so there may be some duplicates here.

Feeling: up and down. Solicitors have now been consulted on both sides. Ours has been very professional and reassuring: let’s hope her intervention will bring some much needed reality and rationality to the situation.

Anticipating: the rest of the Tour de France. With or without knitting.