Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to Radio 3 – a good performance of Flight of the Bumblebee filling in the gap between two programmes.

Reading: Bill Brydon’s Neither Here Nor There. It dates from 1991, and reading it reminds me that in some ways it’s much easier to travel now than then – no need for travellers’ cheques any more, at least in Europe! Needless to say the book is entertaining: Bryson is an opinionated but amusing recorder of his travels.

Watching: the Tour de France, of course. Today’s stage, raced over the pavé of northern France was engrossing, unlike the previous two, with some very courageous cycling, and a worthy winner.

Making: the final pair of socks is completed, apart from some ends to darn in.

I’ve started this, because I have the right sort of yarn in my stash and it’s straightforward enough not to be disrupted too much by yelling at the TV. I hope.

There’s a new Beyond TAST, whipping and lacing, which, for non-embroiderers, is not as kinky as it might sound. In my case it’s turned into trying out new line stitches and then whipping or lacing them. Some work better than others.

I managed to complete another book before the racing started. Like the previous one, this is from Sheree La Plantz’ book, The Art and Craft of Handmade Books. It’s another tacket binding, made with recycled file folders and card, though the pages are new. La Plantz recommends making wrappers (belts) for handmade books, which I quite like doing, and this one provided an opportunity for another tacket. There are 19 altogether, though most of them are hidden. I can’t decide whether I love or hate making them – the first few seem to take for ever, but then I get into the groove and it becomes a soothing process.

And ICAD is three quarters completed.

Feeling: tired. I’m sleeping badly, which I think is partly the weather, but also because I’m sressing about actually moving. I want to move, but I want the process to be carried out by someone else, preferably while I’m on holiday…

Anticipating: two more weeks of cycling, and six weeks of school holidays, although we’ll only have the grands for two of those weeks.

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Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to silence – and tinnitus.

Reading: more Pratchet, this time The Last Continent.

Watching: still The Bridge, and Hidden. I think Welsh noir is even gloomier than Scandinavian. Of course, the rain helps.

Making: the penultimate pair of socks is finished. There’s a pair for me on the needles, and then I shall have to go stash diving to decide what’s next.

Not much progress on the sampler this week, it’s been a busy, emotional and tiring time, which always means less embroidery, more knitting.

This week’s ICAD involves a lot of orange. Definitely not my favourite colour.

And I’ve made another book, this time a packed long stitch binding from Ali Manning’s blog., plus a couple of book marks from the left overs. Despite appearances, the cover is not wood, it’s washable paper.

Feeling: ambivalent. After looking at three properties we made an offer on the first one, and after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing the offer was accepted. We were going to buy a bungalow near a bus stop – and this is a house a long way from a bus stop – but we fell in love with it, and the view. Past experience of house moves – we’ve done it five times – is that things never go smoothly, but with a little bit of luck we’ll be in before the autumn.

Anticipating: well, two days ago I’d have said a quiet week, but we already have some extra grandparenting to do. Other things may well occur…

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to Haydn this week. You can’t go wrong with Haydn.

Reading: I’ve just finished Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch. A bit darker than some Pratchett, with interesting comments on politics.

Watching: still The Bridge, and Hidden, plus the Women’s Tour of Britain, which ends in Hidden country today.

Making: still the penultimate pair of socks.

The sampler is still stripy, but what was intended to be an exploration of line stitches has restricted irself to an exploration of chain stitch variations. There are so many! I’ve given up on rosette chain, though, because they always turn into a line of knots, but not the way they’re meant to.

Still ICADing. After a week of adding stitch to things, I’ve started on using bits of maps. I’ve made some in advance, because next week is going to be busy.

I made another book, this time for Wensleydale who keeps an old fashioned diary and likes unusual books to write in. This time I followed a Coptic binding class by Jody Alexander on Creativebug. My book is not perfect but I’m pleased with it. I learned things from both the book classes I’ve taken on Creativebug but if you decide to try any, I wished I’d watched them through before starting – to pick up things like incomplete materials lists!

Feeling: scared! We’re going to look at some houses next week which makes the house move feel like it’s really happening.

Visiting: an excellent lunch at the Farnham Pottery Cafe, followed by a visit to a small textile exhibition at Farnham Crafts Centre. It was an interesting exhibition, focussed on weaving, which meant it combined well with the Peter Collingwood show downstairs.

To give you a flavour of the show, this is a section of a very long, very beautiful rug by Collingwood, though the colour isn’t right.

And this is one of two stunning hangings by Sally Greaves-Lord.

Anticipating: a busy week – extra grandparenting, house viewing, hair cuts, and Babybel performing on a real stage in her first real show. She also has a visit to look around a local secondary school this week. I wrote about her birth in one of my first posts on the previous incarnation of this blog, which indicates how long I’ve been wittering on, if nothing else.

Currently…

Currently…

Not sure what happened to last weekend, I think we were recovering from half-term!

Listening: to Schubert songs on Radio 3. I’m not a great fan of lieder, but the tenor, Toby Spence, has a good voice, and it’s very relaxing.

Reading: Hidden, by Emma Kavenagh. Another scary one. Kavenagh has a brilliant ear for the Welsh accent, you can hear it in her characters’ speech even though it’s written down!

Watching: The Bridge. Of course. Plus the new Welsh Noir on BBC 4, Hidden. This is set in North Wales, more familiar to me than the area where Hinterland is set. Or it was mumble mumble decades ago. Hence the shriek of ‘That’s Top Coll’ at one point. I have to confess it was the only bit I recognised.

Making: the penultimate pair of socks.

The sampler has moved from trees to line stitches, in response to the current Beyond TAST prompt. Because I’m trying to combine it with exploring colour schemes, this has led to an outbreak of experimental stripes.

Creative Sprint has finished for the moment – as usual it was fun to do. ICAD has taken over – this year I’ve decided not to use Tammy’s prompts all the time. In line with my colour explorations I prepped the cards by painting them in different colours. The first week somehow all ended up using pages from the Waitrose Food magazine.

I’ve also made a couple of books, from Faith Hale’s class on Creative Bug, Innovative Book Structures.

Feeling: inert. We’re in that stage between accepting an offer on the house, and something actually happening, so it’s just a matter of waiting.

Visiting:the estate agents, the solicitors, the chair seat recaner, in addition to half term trips.

Anticipating: so far we’ve nothing planned for next week. Something will come up.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to The Choir on Radio 3.

Reading: I am Missing by Tim Weaver. He’s a new author to me, something I picked up in the library while waiting for the VHC to finish Zumbaing. (Unconventional things happen at our library.)I’m not sure whether I like the book yet, but it’s certainly scary.

Watching: The Bridge. Still. There hasn’t been much else on that appealed.

Making: still the same socks, so no photo. I’m planning on doing a couple more pairs, then branching out a bit, though I’m not sure in what direction till I fossick around in the stash.

I hope you find the sampler a bit more interesting. It’s been a tree week. And I definitely do not like split complementary colour schemes.

This is the penultimate set of Creative Sprints. It finishes at the end of the month but then this year’s ICAD starts.

Feeling: fairly relaxed. I think it’s the calm before the storm, though we had a storm last night. Or so Wensleydale tells me.

Visiting: two galleries in one day. We started at Southampton Art Gallery, to see the George Shaw exhibition, My Back to Nature. I first came across Shaw’s work in the Southampton gallery – they have one of his early works, from the Coventry council estate series. This review gives a very good idea of the exhibition: I wish I’d read it before we went.

Then we went round the corner (with a pause for lunch at the Art House Cafe) to see the Gerhard Richter show at the new John Hansard Gallery. Equally good but very different. I was interested in the way he has reworked his own art to produce new, very different pieces – for example 4 enormous, beautiful tapestries, each designed by digital manipulation of a section from an abstract painting. And the stunning 4900 colours, 196 panels of multicoloured squares, which influenced Richter’s design fo a massive window in Cologne Cathedral – there’s an interesting video about it on the mezzanine floor. Then coffee at the very reasonable Artisan Cafe opposite the gallery and home.

I haven’t been up to that part of Southampton for a long time, and I was impressed by the revival of what had become a drab, shabby area after Tyrell’s, the local branch of John Lewis, moved down to West Quay.

Anticipating: a busy week of grandparenting, in the first part,and admin in the second. The second half will be less exciting but calmer!

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to Choral Evensong on Radio 3.

Reading: I finished Iain M Banks’ The Player of Games last night – couldn’t go to bed till I had done so. I was surprised to realise that it was 30 years old. It hasn’t dated much, unlike Asimov’s Foundation series. The second time I read those, I found the sexism intensely irritating. Now I’ve moved on to Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling, which is as entertaining as all the other Bryson books I’ve read.

Watching: The Bridge. Of course.

Making: no cycling, and only one hour of subtitle reading, leads to less knitting, especially with a heel to turn.

Bet you’re bored with pictures of socks.

The same is true for samplers.

However, not sitting in front of the TV for several hours does encourage Creative Sprinting, and working in sketch books, although I’m not going to show you the outcome of that!

Feeling: hassled. The gas boiler saga continues. It started to make a strange noise, so the gas man came again. He fixed the strange noise – it was, as Wensleydale thought, the fan. But then he found a problem with the whatsit which regulates the gas supply. So he’s coming back on Thursday to fix that. Fortunately it is working, and the weather is warmer anyway. Plus, although we’ve put the house sale on the back burner for a while – house prices are apparently falling, so we’ve missed the peak anyway – we’ve decided to carry on with the Swedish death cleaning. And we’ve got some chairs we need to take for repairs. But I do want to get out for a trip, so it’s going to be a busy week.

Anticipating: that trip, down to Walford Mill, before the current exhibition closes. We’ve been intending to go for a while, but life kept getting in the way.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to the clock ticking

Reading: Iain M Banks’ The Player of Games. I thought I’d read all of Iain M and most of Iain Banks’ novels, plus the very excellent Raw Spirit, but apparently not.

Watching: Le Tour de Yorkshire. Of course.

Making: watching hours of cycling leads to lots of sock knitting. You can see how much progress has been made in the before and after sock photos above.

There’s been a fair amount of progress on the sampler too, although it gets put down when the coverage changes from something you can just listen to, to something you must watch.

I’m doing Creative Sprint again this month – hence this eclectic mixture of images. It always takes me out of my comfort zone.

Feeling: up and down. We are trying to decide what to do about selling the house – not so much second thoughts as maybe wait a while.

Anticipating: the last day of Le Tour. This afternoon it passes through the area we know best, so it will be more watching than listening. I anticipate finishing that sock.

Visiting: we went to Mottisfont to see the Womens’ Hour Craft Exhibition, which is excellent, although it did make me question the use of the word ‘craft’, (not for the first time). I gather from a conversation with one of the volunteers that it is not quite what some people had been expecting – not many of what a friend of mine calls ‘nice little pots’, though there were plenty of less conventional ceramics.