Rained off

I was supposed to be spending today outside, clearing up the garden, cutting back, shredding and generally having a nice time getting ready for spring.  And then the weather happened.

I watched rather dismally as the rain swept in across the fields and fell faster than the overflow on the rain barrel could cope with the water.  I told myself that somehow, without looking, I’d turned into a fairweather gardener and I should just go and put my wellies on and get on with it.  I opened the door and even the dog slunk back to his bed by the Aga.  I decided that I could better use my time inside where it was warm and dry.

Instead of gardening, I’ve spent a long time today catching up on admin-type things on the computer that I’ve been putting off for an even longer time.  Things that needed putting onto eBay, things that needed ordering, emails that were long overdue.  I’ve actually ticked quite a lot off the list and although I do still keep asking myself if I could manage to just go out for a little bit, one look at the rain running down the windows has persuaded me to stay in and find a few more admin-type jobs.  And if I get up now, the cat on my lap will get cold.

I finished my Arne and Carlos socks off this morning.  I had a bit of trouble getting these to match so they’ve taken me longer than I expected; all down to me being a perfectionist (some would use a less polite word) as I wanted the stripes to match exactly, not be just close enough.  I can still see one or two places where I’d like them to be different, but even I have to accept that sometimes life is too short and instead I will just love them as they are.  And I do.  I really love them.  It’s been a while since a colour combination gripped me quite like these ones (the other one that does it for me in a similar way is the Regia Design Line Delphinium yarn that my basic sock pattern is knitted in) and I know that I will want to wear these as often and as quickly as I can get them through the washing machine and back into my sock drawer.

I’ve done a bit of tidying up too, and a few loads of laundry (isn’t it funny how as soon as you empty the laundry basket, it’s full again?) which have had to go through the dryer.  I’m looking forward to being able to get my washing out on the line again, but I don’t think that’s going to be any time soon.

I should probably clear this candle up but I like the way that it’s spilled out on to the hearth (luckily we have huge varnished slabs which don’t mind a bit of candle wax at all).  It makes me think of lava or perhaps a glacier (to continue my northern theme).  The candle smelt wonderful and it’s a shame that it’s now reduced to this puddle, but I have enjoyed it.  I might try re-melting it and putting it in a pot with a new wick to see if I can give a bit of an extra life.

The hours have ticked on and the rain is still falling.  I’ve decided that it’s perfectly acceptable to do a bit more knitting.  This is my homework preparation for the Arne and Carlos workshopat Black Sheep Wools next week: I need to knit the rib for the wrist warmers that we’re making.

It’s a good idea – rib can take such a long time and we’ve only got the morning to get to grips with the colourwork and the pattern.  It feels funny knitting with DK yarn – I’ve not used it for such a long time as my socks are all made with 4ply!  I’m really looking forward to the workshop, I love learning about new things and although I’ve done colourwork before, I’m interested to see how Arne and Carlos do it.  In particular, I’m fascinated by the idea that you can hold yarns in both hands so that you flick from one colour to the other without having to let go.  It has that “why didn’t I know about this years ago?” feel about it (and it would have been very useful as I used to knit Kaffe Fasset colourwork jumpers for the yarn shop in the village where I grew up) but I know about it now and it’s never too late to learn new things.

Talking of which – I’ve still not quite finished my FutureLearn course on the Orion constellation, but I will do.  We’ve had a few clearly and frosty nights over the past week and the stars have been bright in the sky; it’s been easy to pick out Orion’s belt.  I don’t know what it is about that row of stars but wherever we are in the world I always look for it and it makes me feel at home.  It reminds me that we’re all connected, no matter where we live.  I know a few of you signed up for courses yourselves – how did you get on?

It’ll be time to make dinner soon, but I think first of all is a trip into the black hole that is small daughter’s bedroom.  She’s growing so fast that she’s outgrown quite a few of her clothes and we need to sort through them to see what fits and what doesn’t.  I’ve been threatening to do this for weeks but have been easily distracted by other things … I love the results of de-cluttering, I’m just not that keen on doing it!

Hope you manage to stay warm and dry today, whatever you are doing!

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18 Responses

  1. Carie @ Space for the Butterflies says:

    Oh they look fabulous – I love the colour! I find with self striping sock yarn that I get a really good match if I not only start the sock at a colour change but also start the heel at a colour change, regardless of whether it's at the end of the round – a few stitches more or less doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of a sock.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Yes, you're right – it doesn't show up so well on the pictures because of the colour that the yarn changed to, but that's exactly how it was with these socks! xx

  2. Lilly's Mom says:

    So sorry to hear you had to put your gardening on hold. But, your socks looks great! They look perfectly matched, too. We had a tiny bit of rain this week but it's suppose to be 90 degrees on Monday! Have a wonderful Sunday and don't work too hard. Hugs, Pat

  3. Unknown says:

    I think you definitely made the right choice to stay indoors….that weather looked dismal! Great to catch up on admin — my intray is beginning to look like Everest and there is a strong possibility the whole lot will topple over fairly soon! Am very jealous about the Arne and Carlos workshop – can't wait to see the FOs and to hear all about it. Your mention of Kaffe brought back lovely memories of when I lived in Brighton in the 80s and attended 2 of his workshops…. so inspiring. Have a great week! xxx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Ooh, I'm envious of your Kaffe workshops! The lady who ran my LYS was definitely ahead of her time in our little village as nobody else had ever heard of him. It sounds like you need to scale your admin Everest before it becomes a health hazard! 😉 xx

  4. Anonymous says:

    You did right not to garden! I drove through that rain to visit Mum in Croft and I aquaplaned most of the way.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It was very wet here, and those roads out to Croft do get a bit puddly sometimes. Hope you had a lovely time with your Mum xx

  5. sustainablemum says:

    I am with you on not gardening in the rain, everything gets covered in mud if you do and I am not convinced it does the soil much good when you compact it by standing on it! It sounds like you put your time to good use!

  6. Christina says:

    We are literally drowning in mud up here! The sun is out just now but it would take weeks of sunshine to dry the land.
    I am a continental knitter, I think this method lends itself to colour work. I wrap both colours around my first and second left fingers respectively and never have to drop a yarn. There is a photo of how I do it here (because it is probably not easy to imagine): christinascolourfullive.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/fair-isle-knitting.html
    Your socks are fab! x

    • Winwick Mum says:

      That's really helpful, thank you Christina! I wonder if I'd manage to hold the yarns like that in my right hand rather than one in each hand – it might help my tension to be a bit more even. Ooh, definitely something to think about – I'm looking forward to trying it ou! xx

  7. Claire C says:

    ooooh, I'm in the process of knitting a pair of socks for my mum from that very same Arne and Carlos yarn in that very same colourway! how lovely to see what they will look like finished, as I'm quite a slow knitter, have too many other projects on the way and am only an inch past the rib on the first leg! that's a real treat…thank you!

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Your Mum is going to love her socks, Claire, they not only look gorgeous but they're nice and soft too. Keep going, it'll be worth it! xx

  8. Pink Milk says:

    Christine, if (when) I learn to knit socks, I think I shall choose exactly the same yarn. Those are definitely my kind of colours and are quite gorgeous. I too am a raving perfectionist but they look absolutely spot on to me.

    I always pop my candle leftovers into the top of an oil burner with a tea light underneath. Works a treat!

    Have a super time at your workshop.

    Heather xx

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I like the "when" there, Heather, it suggests that day is getting closer! It's lovely yarn to knit with, I can highly recommend it. And thanks for the candle tip – I shall do that with my leftovers from now on! Hope all's coming on well with the shop xx

  9. PixieMum says:

    I am amazed that you put your beautiful hand knit socks in the washing machine, well I wouldn't dare, even on a wool cycle. DH will now only wear handknitted socks, so I hand wash them, usually in a little Ecover delicate laundry liquid, or at a push, baby shampoo before rolling them in a towel before letting them dry naturally.

    I have purchased your book, it has been a great help, I use two sets of magic loop needles, working a round on each set as I go to avoid second sock symdrome and ensure the socks are the same size. One sock has a couple of knots in the tail, that is sock A in my notebook, plus recording the number of rows.

    Now I would like to learn to make DH's socks toe up using magic loop so I can make the legs longer by using all of the yarn, am always scared I am going to run out before I reach the toes!

    Thanks for all your help and contributions to the world of sock knitting.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I only tend to let the superwash socks go through the washing machine, I'm much more careful with the hand-dyed ones! They've even been through the dryer on the odd occasion and have survived so I don't panic too much about them. Thank you for buying the book, I'm so glad that it's been helpful! You sound very organised and it's always good to be able to knit socks in a couple of ways so it's definitely worth giving toe up a try! xx

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