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…

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.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening to : (and sort of watching ) T.V. coverage of the Tour de France. 

Reading: ‘The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain’ by Ian Mortimer. I’ve read his two previous books , on medieval and Elizabethan England, and enjoyed them, so I’m looking forward to this. All 440 pages. 

Watching: see ‘listening’. This year ITV4 is showing every minute. However today’s 220km in the rain has not been terribly exciting so far, so I don’t think I’ll be watching the early stages of most day’s racing. Unless it’s in the mountains.

Making:  I’ve made a little resolved sample for Year of Stitches, and I’m getting ready to move on from vertical straight stitch. As horizontal straight stitch is effectively just vertical turned sideways, I might try diagonal. 

Still knitting the shawl, still making mistakes. It seems relatively wide for its depth, so if blocking doesn’t sort it, it may be more of a scarf.

I’ve been a little more inspired about ICAD, this week – half way through, so I shall keep on keeping on. 

Feeling: still stressed and down, although my friend N. gave me a very supportive pep talk on Friday, for which, many thanks. I’m sure we can get through this, but it’s going to be a long and unpleasant journey.

Anticipating: the rest of the Tour de France.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to silence masked by tinnitus.

Reading: ‘Belshazzar’s Daughter’ by Barbara Nader. I’m always attracted by books set abroad, – this one is set in Turkey. I’m enjoying it, despite some blood and gore at the beginning, and the unpleasantness of all the characters, although the protagonist is growing on me.

Watching: still BBC 4’s Japanese series. I’m learning a lot about what is clearly a fascinating country.

Making: I abandoned the socks when I realised I didn’t have enough wool, and started a modular shawl. It’s rather more complex than the sock pattern, and this has been such a stressful week, I’ve made lots of mistakes. But as it’s modular, I never have to pull back more than a maximum 50 stitches and 30 rows.

The Sue Stone inspired sampling has been enjoyable and inspiring: it’s surprising how many variations of simple straight stitch I can think up. I’ve been thinking about how I can use them in a resolved piece – the problem is that such graphic stitching seems unlikely to work well on organic shapes. I’ve got a couple of ideas, but I need to get them down on paper.

I’ve finished another week of ICAD, despite not feeling very inspired. 

Feeling: stressed and down. The unhelpful family member has been causing trouble again. But…

Anticipating: the Tour de France starts on July 1st. That might cheer me up – provided the right men ride and do well!

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…

Listening: to silence – overlaid, as usual, by tinnitus.

Reading: I’ve just finished ‘The Japanese Lover’ by Isabel Allende. I’ve never read any of her books before, but I shall be reading more.

Watching: looking forward to James Fox on Japan. I was about to write that I have a thing for all the male art historians on TV but then I remembered one I can’t stand. (The women are good too, but not in the same way.)

Making: the ‘Where’s Wally’ socks are making good progress. I’m using a few balls of charity shop 3ply – Emu Scotch and Patons Beehive. No idea how old it is but the balls are labelled in ounces. Despite its age, it seems in good nick – no evidence of moths.


The Year of Stitches pulled thread piece is making progress. You will be looking at it for a long time before you think of hawthorn blossom, but that’s where the idea came from. Or maybe it’s that I just like circles?

These are the latest ICAD pieces. I realise some of them need more work, but I’m resisting the temptation to add it, as I think it’s more of a learning experience if I don’t. When I look back at them I’ll be reminded that I stopped too soon.

Feeling: tired. This is partly the effect of staying up later than I had intended on Thursday night/Friday morning – I find the day after the day after a bad night is always worse than the day after, if that makes any sense. It’s also because I spent the afternoon packing up the glassware we never use, to go to the charity shop next week, and now I’m knackered, as there was rather a lot of it. All part of preparation for down sizing.

Anticipating: getting the non-downsized stuff into one cupboard so we can get rid of two empty ones. Yes, we’ve got that much junk.