Here and there

Has it really been a week since we last chatted?!

I hope you’ve had a good one … if you’re in the UK then you’ve probably been a bit too hot and then cold again, but surely the idiosyncrasies of our weather is one of the reasons we love living here so much … 🙂  Thanks for all of your comments on last week’s post, it’s always good to hear from you!

I’ve been out and about, here and there this week – mostly backwards and forwards to school during the next-to-last week of exams (they finish for us next Thursday – hooray!  Good luck to your youngsters for this last week, the end is in sight!) but not so small daughter and I did have an exciting afternoon out on Wednesday to go and stand on a cricket pitch for 4 hours waiting to see this young man appear on stage …

A view across a crowded stadium towards a stage and a giant screen showing a picture of Harry Styles. He is wearing a red and purple t-shirt and singing into a microphone

This is Harry Styles, and not so small daughter has been counting the days until the concert, beside herself with excitement at being in such close proximity to him.  Well, I say close – if we looked at the stage, he looked about 3cm high but these giant screens mean that you don’t miss anything at concerts these days.  The tickets for this were a birthday present for a certain person, and honestly, you’d have thought that all her birthdays had come at once.  It made all the standing, the screaming (not me – I’m the one wearing ear plugs to try to protect my hearing these days!), the squish and the long walk to and from the car park in an attempt to avoid sitting in queues until the early hours of the morning worthwhile.

I won’t pretend that I am Harry Styles’ greatest fan, although it turned out that I did know all of the songs (and the words to quite a few) and I really enjoyed it.  I was also impressed that he thanked his band, his tour crew, his family, his first teachers, the audience … “you’re such a Mum”, said a friend, but good manners cost nothing and I think they are one of the most important things in the world and, unless you’re really unlucky, no one is a solo act in life.

You may not be surprised to see what I was doing to pass some of the hours that we were waiting for the concert to start.

A close up of a partly-knitted sock cuff on a circular needle. In the background are people waiting for a concert to start and the stage behind them. The yarn is Winwick Mum Autumn Leaves in shades of brown

No food or drink to be taken in, the instructions on the ticket said, but they said nothing about socks.  To be on the safe side, this is a new cast on of Autumn Leaves on a wooden short circular just in case we had to go through airport-style security, but it was fine.  I don’t know when this sock will ever get finished but I don’t mind, it was simply something for me to do whilst we were there, and I wasn’t going to take any of my other projects in case they were taken off me.

Much closer to home, the dog and I have been walking at the Nine Arches again this week.  And here are yet more of photos of what I think is my favourite local bridge.

An arched railway viaduct is lit up by the sunlight. In the foreground is a wildflower meadowA close up of cow parsley with an arched railway viaduct in the background

What can I say?  I just really really like this bridge!

And look at this, that I spotted out on another walk.  Such a tiny poppy!

A tiny red field poppy growing against a kerb stone

It’s a slightly fuzzier photo than it should be, but that’s what happens when you take photos and don’t wear your reading specs to see properly.  I think there will be more of these in years to come! 🙂

Back at home, there’s new growth in the garden.  I did warn you a few weeks back that there would probably be foxglove spam and here it is!  I’ve got more white foxgloves this year than ever – I thought they had all disappeared but as foxgloves are biennials (they grow leaves in the first year and flower in the second) then it’s easy to think that something has disappeared only for it to pop up again the next year.  There are plenty of deep pink ones too, and a paler pink version which looks like a combination of the two … and probably is, thanks to the bees!  There will be more, the bees are constantly around the flowers and I am very happy to see them.

Pink and white foxgloves against a background of green leavesA tall spike of white foxglove flowers against green leavesDeep pink foxglove flowersA spike of pale pink foxglove flowers

Finally, I wanted to show you how progress is coming along with my Spring Green Newborn Vertebrae cardigan.  The baby is due any day now (I think it’s due date has already come and gone) so I do need to get it finished.

A partly-knitted green and yellow striped baby jacket lying on a wooden table. There is an orange mug and a leather knitting belt next to it

I’ve been using my Shetland knitting belt with DPNs and it’s made a big difference to the speed of my flat knitting – and now I know how to hold my needles to stop me giving myself tennis elbow as well, which is a result!  I finished the sleeve last night so now I just have to pick up and knit the other one, and then pick up and knit a band around the front edge and then I’m done.  A few hours’ work at the most, I would say.

I really like the way the stripes have worked out on this little cardigan; they’re not too regular and yet they don’t look quite the same as they would on a sock either.  It’s knitted up just as nicely as I had hoped, and I hope that the baby’s Mum will like it too!

Right then, I’m off to make a brew … it’s Father’s Day here in the UK and just like Mother’s Day, a difficult day for some and a day to celebrate for others.  I’ve been smiling at the memory of my Dad who would thoroughly enjoy getting a large box of Liquorice Allsorts because nobody else liked them so he could keep them all for himself, but who would still be getting stuck into making Sunday dinner in the kitchen because that’s what he did on a Sunday when he came to see us.  Unless there was golf or the Grand Prix on the TV and then he’d have his feet up on the coffee table and the remote control in hand.  My husband is out running a training course today which seems like bad calendar planning, but will be something that he’ll be enjoying so it’s not so bad 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and I’ll see you again soon! xx


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36 Responses

  1. Joanne Myers says:

    I found a strange object when we cleared my grandma’s bungalow some years ago. I remembered her telling me, when I was little, that it was for knitting. I’ve kept it and I’ve just noticed- with a degree of excitement- that it matches the object in your photograph! Please, please will you enlighten me (and others, I’m sure) about the use of this thing-of-purpose…..😊

    • Maribeth Clark says:

      In back of the sweater? Looks like a knitting belt to me.

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, that’s an exciting find! Shetland knitters use a belt like this to support their needles when they’re knitting and because one needle is stable, it makes for faster knitting which was obviously useful for them as they were paid piecemeal. I wrote about the knitting belt and the workshop that I did to learn how to use it in this blog post so you might find it useful to take a look at that. You might even be tempted to give yours a go! 🙂 xx

    • irene cambridge says:

      I am 71 years of age. Knitter most of my life. However can any one tell me how to prevent the rolling forwards of a garter stich hem at the bottom of a sweater. I have tried to solve this problems in various ways over the years nothing works. Help please! I have recently started sock knitting inspired by this web site.

      • winwickmum says:

        I’ve not heard of this before but I’ve done a quick internet search to see if there’s any help online and came up with this and this – it might be worth having a look to see if it helps 🙂 xx

  2. Ann says:

    Ooh those foxgloves are amazing! We are on an extended camping trip in our RV on coastal Oregon and Washington and they are all over the woody places along the sides of the roads. They must be the native ones and they are all purple!

    • Bobbie says:

      I agree, Ann, they are beautiful here in Oregon. Or anywhere for that matter!

    • winwickmum says:

      I love foxgloves, and I love that you’ve got them where you are too! Yes, the “original” version are the deep pink ones; later varieties are white, paler pinks and even apricot which are very pretty but don’t often stay once the bees have got busy spreading the pollen all around. Enjoy your camping trip! 🙂 xx

  3. Anne says:

    I just love your cheery notes. Knitting at the concert is something I could easily see myself doing. But not standing for 4 hours. Those foxgloves are beautiful!! Hope the mum loves that little sweater !!
    Ps. I’ve a grand daughter with tickets to one of his concerts too

    • winwickmum says:

      I hope your granddaughter enjoys the concert – it wasn’t a great deal of fun standing in the one tiny spot for so long just so that we didn’t lose our place, but it was worth it and it’s not something that we do every day so I didn’t really mind 🙂 xx

  4. Pat Rayner says:

    Love your blog. Well done for going to Harry Style’s gig. We have the IW festival on this weekend but I simply can’t do it, The legs and back couldn’t take it. The green wool you’re using, I have socks in that and they’re possibly my second favourite pair, my first favourite are my scrappy socks.

    • winwickmum says:

      My back and legs were feeling the strain before the end of the concert, I have to admit! I was very glad to sit down in the car on the way home and I certainly appreciated my bed that night! 🙂 Thank you for making socks with Spring Green yarn, I’m delighted that they’re so high up your favourite socks list! 🙂 xx

  5. Susan Rayner says:

    Love the foxgloves – I cannot have too much garden spam!! And the bridge too! I am smiling at the thought of your dear old Dad making Sunday lunch or watching the golf/GrandPrix – which is what my husband is doing today – glued to the US Open and praying Rory makes up his lost shots. I hope the baby arrives safely and that his/her mother will love the little cardigan as much as I do. Happy Sunday.

    • winwickmum says:

      We were always really pleased that my Dad felt comfortable enough in our house to make himself so at home, and I hope your husband enjoyed watching the golf! Thank you for your lovely words xx

  6. Lindy says:

    Shetland knitting belt? I probably don’t need while I am resting so much, but it sounds interesting. That’s why we knit differently to Europe?

    • winwickmum says:

      There are lots of different ways to knit and techniques change depending on which part of the UK you’re from. Commercial hand-knitters (ie, those who knit for a living) needed to find a technique that would let them produce as much knitted fabric as possible whilst still getting on with life so in Shetland they used a belt to steady their needles and even leave a hand free for holding onto children or stirring pots; in Lancashire the knitters used a belt sheath which produced the same effect. It’s fascinating when you start to look into it! I wrote more about the Shetland knitting belt in this blog post if you’d like to see 🙂 xx

  7. Pat says:

    Christine –
    Your weather sounds much like what we have had here in Wisconsin!
    Your garden looks lovely-what I would have if we had the right setting. Always enjoy your posts
    Happy Sunday

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you! I think the weather patterns that we used to know when we were children have changed now, haven’t they, thanks to climate change, so we have to appreciate all the sunny days we get in Winwick! I hope you’re staying cool and dry at the right moments too! 🙂 xx

  8. Luiza says:

    Love your blog, here where I live it’s been cold, Brasil is só só dar from you. Regardes and all the best.

  9. Christie says:

    I enjoyed your update. The flowers are beautiful! I just got back from the nursery myself to replace some flowers that are dying out so quickly. It’s been HOT here in GA, USA. Bought some moss rose that will withstand the heat a little better.
    I must be old, because I don’t know who Harry Styles is 😆.
    Happy Knitting!

    • winwickmum says:

      Not old at all, I’m sure, he’s just off your radar. I’m quite sure he would be off my radar too if I didn’t have someone playing his albums for most of the time when she’s around! 🙂 xx

  10. Ruth Howard says:

    Thanks again for your lovely post – I don’t always reply but love reading and receiving them. I Seem to have loads of projects on the go!! Finished the black jumper- turned out well – had to feel my way through a bit – then my daughter decided she wanted one too! – granddaughter wanted a crochet bolero and a big boyfriend cardigan but fortunately she is only a small 12 yr old so not so bad – socks still on the go !! -knitting keeps us sane!! Love your garden photos- have you noticed how many flowers are pink or purple? and the bees 🐝 love them – grandchildren are surviving the exams just!!! – Grandson is a cricketer and had his treat visiting Trent Bridge last week to watch England/New Zealand last match – that was his treat!!!
    Wishing you well and thanks again
    Love Ruth x
    Ps – looked up the baby pattern- love it’s name!! It is turning out well.

    • winwickmum says:

      The baby pattern is great, and it’s a quick knit too (if you don’t get distracted!). Hope all’s going well with your family and their exams, and you are too good to them knitting them black jumpers! Phew, that’s a real labour of love! 🙂 xx

  11. Maria Wilding says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful flowers. Would love to see the cardigan when it’s finished too.

    • winwickmum says:

      I’ll definitely show you! I need to get it done in the next couple of days as the baby is now overdue so I’ll be sure to take some photos before I gift it 🙂 xx

  12. Laura Miller says:

    Totally relate about the reading glasses! Glad you took your knitting to HS concert – there are knitting opps everywhere. Much love. xx

  13. Lindsay says:

    Great post as usual, Christine. Congrats on surviving the concert and hope exam time has not been too traumatic for your daughter. Fabulous white foxglove, ours have the purple spots inside the bell but yours look so pure white! This year, my ‘white’ Canterbury bells in my ‘white’ bed turned out all blue, “thanks to the bees”, so they will be coming out! Don’t get me wrong, I love blue Canterbury bells and will have them in other flower beds but when the theme is supposed to be all white, that’s what I want. The joys of gardening and Mother Nature! Best wishes Lindsay x

    • winwickmum says:

      I have no idea how my foxgloves have stayed so white but I am not complaining! They’re very close to some pink ones so it could be the last year that I see them – hence the photos! It’s amazing that white flowers can turn a different colour completely, isn’t it? 🙂 xx

  14. Heather says:

    I enjoy all the pictures of ‘your bridge’. I would love to see it someday. And the foxgloves!! Just beautiful.

    • winwickmum says:

      Thank you! I don’t know what it is about this bridge that I really like, but I think it’s probably to do with it being curved stone – that’s always a hit with me! 🙂 xx

  15. Mairi says:

    I have been thoroughly enjoying your blogs. Love your foxgloves, I have them in the garden too, and it’s always a surprise to see where they have decided to self seed.

  16. Sarah says:

    My daughter and I were also at the Harry styles concert, but in the Thursday night. I wish I had thought to take some knitting or crocheting to keep me busy. I also wish I’d know about parking further away because, you’re were right, we waited more than two hours just to get out of the car park! Not great when your fourteen year old has school the next day but lesson learnt for next time! But you are also right that he was very lovely in thanking everyone so much. I think he’s adorable! Lovely pictures as ever. The foxgloves are so beautiful.

    • winwickmum says:

      We parked at Media City – quite a trek and no cheaper than parking locally, but no queue so worth considering if you go to more concerts at the cricket ground 🙂 It’s not great when you’ve got school the next day … there was an exam to be taken in our house but we’d spoken about that earlier and getting revision done in time so I didn’t worry too much. Life experiences are important too 🙂 I’m glad you and your girl enjoyed the concert xx

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