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Monday, 16 July 2018

Jogging along

After another sunny weekend, it's overcast and drizzly here this morning and I am not complaining at all!  I seriously can't remember the last time we had such a continuous run of sunny weather and I'm not complaining about that either, but it's good to see the rain again.

It's Monday too, the start of a whole new week.  It stretches ahead of me, blank pages to be filled with ... work, shopping, knitting, after school clubs, dog walks, gardening, all kinds of jobs that are best done before the school holidays (you know, the sort that might just involve a brew with a friend ;) ) ... and I am blessed to be able to do it all.  However busy we are, however much we don't fancy doing something on our list, there's always a parallel universe in which we would give anything to be doing that instead of what we are currently engaged in and I never forget that.    

And on that happy note let me show you what's going on in our little patch of the world this week :)

My "office" which relocated to a shady patch underneath an umbrella in the garden during the sunny days has returned indoors to the kitchen table.  It would go back to the desk in my study if I could find it under the piles of paper and stuff that appears to have grown on it like some kind of peculiar mould, but for now I'm quite happy here because I'm closer to the kettle.


I'm still thoroughly enjoying the ritual of making loose leaf tea in my little pot (and thanks to everyone who used the affiliate discount code in my post about using less plastic - I hope you enjoy your tea!) and have discovered that I'm drinking far more of it than I ever did when we were using tea bags.  At least we have plenty of tea leaves for the compost heap!

The socks that you can see in the photo are my contribution to this year's Yarndale Sock Line.  I haven't said much about the Sock Line recently as I haven't had much to tell you.  Lucy has sent me some photos that all look like this ...



which is all very exciting so thank you if you've sent socks already - I'll be picking them up from her very soon and then I can start to get the details logged ready for sending them out after Yarndale.  I'm always keen to get as many suggestions as I can for places to contact which might be glad of the socks - I like to send them to new places every year if I can and although this may come as a surprise, some places don't want them (what?  refusing hand knit socks?!) so it's always good to have a long list to contact.  The socks don't just have to go to crisis or homeless shelters; the idea is that they go to somewhere where they won't be sold but will go on someone's feet who needs some extra woolly love and you might have a good idea where that place would be, so do let me know either in the comments or via email.

On the subject of Yarndale, if you follow Lucy's blog then you'll have seen her fabulous Yarndale banner that she's recently finished making. 



Keen not to let the side down as I'll be in the Knit n Natter lounge with her at Yarndale again, I've cast on for a Winwick Mum one.  I couldn't face making lots of little squares so instead I've used Stylecraft Special XL super-chunky yarn to knit a huge rectangle in one piece.



Oh my life - it's taking me forever!  The needles feel like pencils and the yarn is so thick after the 4ply that I'm used to - I could knit a pair of socks faster than I'm knitting this thing! I've also found that despite knitting it on a circular needle so the weight of it sits in my lap, it really makes my arms ache after a couple of rows so I have nothing but admiration for people who use yarns like these to knit huge blankets.  I'm really pleased with how it's knitting up, though, so it was the right choice to make it like this.  

The socks that are on my needles at the moment are book socks so I can't show you just yet, but I can tell you that the patterns have been looked at by a tech editor now and after some corrections they're ready to go into the book document (it feels very grand to write that!).  I write my books in Microsoft Word which makes it much easier for me to edit it and move things around when I need to, and it also hasn't involved me having to learn how to use a different publishing software.  It's quite incredible to think that publishing has come on so much that now we can upload files from our kitchen tables to become properly printed books!  

The socks that I can show you are these ones: 



They're 6ply socks that have been on the needles for a really long time which I decided to finish in between working on patterns.  Sometimes, plain knitting is just what you need!  The yarn is Indulgence 6ply with Silk - I bought it a couple of years ago when I was away with my friend and it's time that it became socks on my feet rather than a ball of yarn in my stash.  I keep saying that my stash isn't that big but recently I seem to have "acquired" a few skeins and balls that will need to become something rather than just be woolly insulation!


I still wear my socks right through the summer.  Usually it's not as hot as it has been recently so when I'm out with the dog I still have long trousers and boots on because he's a liability and not averse to disappearing when it suits him - only last week he disappeared after a smell and I had to chase him over a field and under some hedges before I ran him to ground in someone's garden.  I looked like I'd been through those hedges backwards when I caught him!

It's been a bit more pleasant walking over the last couple of days - we had torrential rain on Thursday night so the drainage channels at Culcheth Linear Park which had been completely dry were full again.




The dog - whose favourite variety of water is dirty and the dirtier the better - was in his element, and perhaps it was this over-excitement coupled with all the new smells released by the rain that swept him off across the fields.  I have no idea, but boy, was he in the dog house when I caught up with him!

Finally, I want to show you this.  I'm easily amused by funny-shaped plants and vegetables and this is how some cactus cuttings are growing.



I thought it looked like a mouse or possibly an alpaca, but suggestions on Instagram included someone in a bath with their leg hanging out, a kangaroo, a fox terrier, a poodle that's been clipped into shapes, a dog digging for a bone and a balloon dog, so it appears that I'm not the only one amused by funny-shaped plants!  What do you think?

14 comments:

  1. I love the colour of your sock beside the computer, bright and happy. I had a little giggle when I looked at all the Instagram posts last night about the plant, our inner child came out to play. Xxx

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    1. It did, didn't it? That was a good fun post! xx

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  2. Its been too hot for my furry paws over the last few weeks. They can't walk too far in this heat as they are all get on in years for Cavaliers. We've still not had any rain although it has cooled down a little in the last couple of days. We even thought we may get rain last night as there were some particularly dark clouds circling above but they just blew over and so it remains hot & humid here in the shire.

    Mitzi

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    1. It's still been very warm here although we have at least had some rain. I hope you've had some by now too! xx

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  3. I love loose leaf tea, we have a local company here in N. Ireland called SUKI Tea that do amazing tea, and really really cute teapots too.

    I would like to suggest The Welcome Organisation in Belast as one of the places that may be glad to receive the socks once Yarndale is finished. They can be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/WelcomeOrganisationBelfast and they provide shelter, clothing and sustenance for those sleeping rough in Belfast. I just discovered in the last few weeks that here in N. Ireland we have the highest population of homeless in the UK!! I still can't believe that, while you do see people sleeping rough it doesn't seem to be as visable here as it does is some other big cities, but I suppose looks can be deceiving.

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    1. Brilliant, thank you! It'll be great to send some socks over to Belfast if they want them - I'll definitely give them a ring! xx

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  4. Love your cactus cutting ... how did you start a cutting? Was it from a cactus
    you already had? I have one I'd love to try this with.

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    1. Yes, it's a plant I have already and it's a funny-looking plant to start off with - you often find that there are sections to a cactus and I just left two of the sections in water to see if they'd grow roots, and when they did I potted them up. The sections had fallen off anyway, I had nothing to lose! :) xx

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  5. Hi Christine - good luck with the banner! I find the same problem with using slightly heavier yarns but a helpful tip is to use straight needles rather than a circular as straights distribute the weight more evenly. Just a thought... xxx

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    1. Straights aren't an option for this, unfortunately, as it's about 1.5m long and there's no way it would fit on the needles! I'm nearly done now, which is a good thing :) xx

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  6. Gosh,we still haven't had any rain in North Essex we got puppies 5 weeks ago and it hasn't rained since we can't wait to see what they will think of going out to wee in it! I have just finished my socks ready to post.

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    1. That's fab, thank you! I think your pups will wonder what's going on if they have to get wet feet going outside for a wee! :) xx

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  7. Socks recipient suggestion. Check with The Shakespeare Hospice
    Church Ln, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 9UL, UK
    +44 1789 266852
    I'm acquainted through Girl Guides/Girl Scouts with one of their staff.

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    1. That's fab, thank you! I've added it to my list and I'll give them a ring after Yarndale xx

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