Currently…

Currently…

Listening to: granddaughter’s iPad – too quiet for me to be able to make out the words, just a tinny murmur in the distance.

Reading: A.S Byatt’s ‘The Virgin in the Garden’. I’m surprised that I haven’t read it before. 

Watching: the return of ‘Hinterland’. Beautifully shot, beautifully acted, immensely atmospheric. Aberystwyth never looked so good. Or so empty.

Making: more of the usual. The current Year of Stitches sampler is finished, another one is ready to go.

The SKO, which I thought was too big to felt well, came out better than I expected, but the knitting was biased so the shape is a little odd. 

Creative Sprint is over, so I have resumed 365: Make Something (nearly) Every Day. 

And I have assisted in the creation of an elephant and a pinch pot, and the planting of some potatoes. As you do.

His and hers potato bags. 

Feeling: quite down this morning but then the sun came out so I cheered up.

Anticipating: a busy week. It’s the first complete week of the new routine so we will be finding out whether it works. 

We interrupt our normal  programming…

for a rant.

I want to buy some boy’s ankle socks for school.
1. Primark don’t have plain grey ones.

2. Sainsbury’s only have long ones. In May! Yes, I know boys wear long socks with shorts. I also know that they always fall down.

3. Debenhams and John Lewis have them, but they have a minimum spend for free click and collect and their delivery charges almost double the cost of the socks. The alternative is to drive to their store, which would be even more expensive, with no guarantee that the store actually has any.

4. M&S have them, but I didn’t even get as far as finding out how much delivery would cost. The website didn’t recognise any of the passwords I tried, failed to send me an email to change the password (it’s not in my spam folder), insisted that my alternative email address isn’t a real email address (it is), and refused to let me re-register. So they’ve lost a customer.

5. Amazon appears to have lots, but not in the right colour/size combination. The grey size 9-12’s it does have are mostly add-on’s to a minimum £20 spend. 

I ended up buying some suspiciously cheap ones from Amazon. The postage was the same cost as the socks but they were still cheaper than anyone else’s. I figure if they last this term, the shops will be awash with grey ankle socks in August, and he might have grown out of them anyway…

Currently…

Currently…

Listening to: silence, before it is shattered by the return of the grands.

Reading: still Amy Tan’s ‘Valley of Amazement’. It’s been neglected in favour of other things which need less concentration.

Watching: le Tour de Yorkshire. Now there’s a surprise.

Making: 


more circle sampling, 


adding bits of stitch to the latest Year of Stitches sampler, 


Creative Sprinting.


I have also made a real SKO, which may be too big. We shall see when I shrink it. Before that it needs some embroidery. 

Feeling: up and down. Still not settled in our new routine.

Anticipating: going on the (vintage) buses on Bank Holiday Monday. The VHC is very excited about it. When I was his age, going in a car was the exciting thing: now that’s routine and it’s buses that are exciting. His dad will be with us so I’ll be let off going upstairs on the double deckers, thank goodness. My balance was never good, now my hips are arthritic it’s even harder getting up and down those stairs.

Currently…

Listening to: Mahler 2 on Radio 3. 

Reading: Amy Tan’s ‘Valley of Amazement’. I’ve not got very far into it, but like other books of hers that I’ve read, it offers a view of a different world, which fascinates because it is so different to my own.

Watching: very little. It’s one of those times when there is little we want to watch in the schedules.

Making: the usual. Knitting sample circles, 


adding bits of stitch to the latest Year of Stitches sampler, 

and Creative Sprint. In this ’down time’ (because the little guys have been away and because I am feeling down) it has been Creative Sprint which has kept me going. It ends soon, but I hope it will motivate me to go back to Make Something (almost) Every Day.  

Feeling: see above. I’ll be better when the kids are back in school, although our routine will change and we’ll have to work out a new one. 

Anticipating: living in interesting times.

Currently…

Listening to: husband and son doing DIY upstairs. 

Reading: still Anita Shreve’s, ‘The Lives of Stella Bain’. An interesting book, a bit different to most of Shreve’s others. Watching: as predicted, the World Track Cycling Championship. Interesting to see new, young riders in action
Making: I still haven’t mounted the 4 small Year of Stitches pieces, though I’ve cut out a piece of buckram as an experimental mounting. Not sure it will work, but I have lots of buckram to use up. The new Year of Stitches piece is making slow progress, as we’ve had the grands here for sleepovers over the Easter holidays. 

The current knitting is a spiral with bobbles on it. I’m not a great fan of knitting bobbles, but there aren’t very many of them, and I’m interested in how they react to felting.

Today’s Creative Sprint prompt was to create something which either used a map or looked like a map. I made a map page accordion book with cut outs: I’m underwhelmed by it, but lacking in inspiration for anything else – or rather, anything else doable in the time frame, as I’d love to embroider one. Perhaps I can add that to the ever lengthening Year of Stitches list.

Feeling: very up and down, dealing with the fall out to the disruption we are experiencing in our lives. Curiously, immediately after it happened I slept much better than usual, but now I seem to be waking early and worrying, which is unusual for me. 

Anticipating: continued change for the foreseeable future.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening to: not a lot. 

Reading: Anita Shreve’s, ‘The Lives of Stella Bain’. Another charity shop purchase, because I always enjoy Shreve’s work, and this is no exception.

Watching: the World Track Cycling Championship, coming on Wednesday to a T.V. near you. Provided you are in the U.K.

Making: progress has slowed a little for various reasons, but I’m still knitting and embroidering. 

I’ve finished the 4 small Year of Stitches pieces above, just need to mount them now. I’ve started another piece, but so far it consists of a square of couching on a base of tapestry canvas, although I have coloured, Bondawebbed and stamped the canvas before starting the stitch. 

I’ve got on to the more complex patterns in ‘Knitting Circles’ now, which require more thought. It may seem odd to want to add a patterned base to an SKO when it will be hidden, but I like the idea of something which is hidden in plain sight. 

I’m still Creatively Sprinting, although I’m finding that I want to make more elaborate pieces than I really have time for. Yesterday’s prompt was ‘something sticky’: I decided to try a technique I’ve read about but never done. I layered cling film (well, it’s sort of sticky) with grated crayons, sequins, scraps of tissue paper and snippets of threads and ironed it. With too hot an iron initially. Then, when I’d rectified that, it told me it needed a focal point, so I added a free motion embroidered tree. Then it told me it wanted to be on a book cover, so I had to cover some heavy Lutradur with fabric and make a little sketchbook. After all that the house smells of melted crayons, I have a headache, and I’m a day behind with Creative Sprint. And the grands are on their way.


Now I’ve listed what I’ve done, I think perhaps progress hasn’t slowed much – it just feels as if it has.

Feeling: it’s been a bad week – something has happened which was anticipated but still sad, and which will mean major changes to our routine. So I’m feeling hopeful that it will all turn out all right in the end, but anxious about the short term. 

Anticipating: as a result, there will be no more ‘normal weeks’ for the foreseeable future. Just waiting to see what else fate has in store for us.

Currently…

Currently…

Listening: to Radio 3. Now there’s a surprise.

Reading: ‘Knitting’ by Anne Bartlett. It’s not a book about knitting, it’s a novel, perhaps best described as chick lit for those of us who are no longer chicks. I would probably not have bought it had I not found it in a charity shop, but I’m enjoying it.

Watching: looking forward to Philippa Perry’s documentary about the Surrealists. Oh, and Vera. Brenda Blethyn is 2 years older than me. Life is sometimes unfair.

Making: lots of stuff, despite many interruptions. I’ve finished my Year of Stitches sampler, and started – or restarted – a quartet I started earlier. More lettering, less decorative. You may detect a political theme.

I’m still knitting Nicky Epstein’s circles – unexciting, but helpful, as I’m learning what works and what doesn’t. 

I’m participating in ‘Creative Sprint’, which is like Make Something Every Day for people like me with no staying power – although I’m hoping it will get me back into that. Only two days so far, but today pushed me out of my comfort zone – a bit. I think that amulet needs a bit of gold wax, but I couldn’t find it.


And yesterday we had an unplanned visit from the grands, and I got creative scientific with them. I dug this out (bought for just such an emergency in the cheap book shop in Romsey, and very good) and we did some science. 


We found out what happened when we mixed baking powder, food colouring and vinegar. (No good photos, it was too exciting to let granny get near it.) 

 


We also explored surface tension,

and our experiment to investigate the growth of salt crystals is underway on a sunny windowsill. I love the way it looks.

Initially Babybel wasn’t interested, then she was just going to watch, and then she took charge, being the one who can read. 

Feeling: up and down. I’ve had what is best described as in intermittent cold all week – it came, went and came back again. It seems to have gone again, but has left me, as colds usually do these days, with an irritating niggly cough. 

Anticipating: just like last week, something approaching a ‘normal week’ – i.e. just child care, shopping, household stuff and playing with bits of string. It didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen this week either. There is no such animal as a normal week.