Tuesday 27 February 2024

Now look what’s happened

The positivity of my spring fever has diminished somewhat. 

Whilst looking through my yarn stash I came across a little cotton top I started I believe in 2022.  The yarn was a charity shop find, 100 cotton with the slubby texture I like. It must have been old because the balls are in ounces, it was very fine so I used 2.5 needles, progress was slow.

I chose this pattern Paloma by Lisa Richardson from Rowan magazine no 65 but didn’t knit the pattern at the front because I thought there was enough texture from the yarn, and yes because I like an easy life.  I did add the detail at the edge of the sleeves just to show some willing.

When I pulled the garment out of my storage box I was pleased to see I’d completed the back and was almost up to the arm shaping on the front. I’ll have that finished before we go to Italy I told myself and pressed on, still knitting the purple vest top in daylight, the white cotton in the evenings. 

Then I noticed that front and back are different shades, in fact the last few inches of the back are different to the rest of the back but the same as the front.  I checked the ball bands, they have the same dye and lot numbers.  How bloomin annoying.  

It’s my own fault of course. I am notorious for not checking my knitting.  I once  made MrFF a 100% wool tweedy sweater that turned out to be two different shades of black, he wore it non the less and I won’t be pulling this one out.  I might wash it and see if that helps, I don’t think it would dye as a gentle cold wash is recommended. 

I really should stick to socks, I could produce those in my sleep.  I’d say it’s my age but another lady in our building, aged 92, is still knitting the most beautiful and complex garments, she puts me to shame.  If I live as long as Margaret I have another 17 years of knitting disasters to look forward to, watch this space.

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Spring is springing

On bright mornings we have the sun streaming into our kitchen via the central atrium, such a good start to the day.  I love this time of spring bulbs and flowers that make me miss my Scottish garden and the plants I had, many different hellebores, witch hazels, primroses, I wonder what’s happened to them as I am told the garden is now rather neglected.

I have a few pots of daffodils on the balcony and I added crocus into the two big pots last autumn, they are just starting to flower.   It’s a slow process as our north facing balcony won’t be in the sun for another month.

Indoors I have several amaryllis from previous years, some growing just in water one flowering beautifully. 

Also a couple of hyacinths also in water, I quite like sticking bulbs in vases or jars of water and being able to see what’s happening.  I am prone to rooting about in compost to check for growth often causing serious damage. My Christmas cactus also from last year is still flowering, it’s been amazing for almost 2 months.

Inspired by longer days and better weather I did some work in our communal garden at the weekend.  Ever hopeful I planted out my Christmas hyacinths that had finished flowering, the ones I put in previous years were strimmed to the ground before they could flower by out slash and burn gardener.  I must make a notice telling him not to do anything in that area. I tidied round the daffodils, collected a lot of sodden leaver that concealed more bulbs and weeded the herb garden MrFF and I created years ago.

Next day I was surprisingly stiff and achy, I am considering doing more gardening in the hope it’s going to firm up my inner thighs and bottom, no pain no gain, and I was definitely in pain in those areas.

Saturday 10 February 2024

It did snow, it did stretch

It was snowing when we got up on Thursday and it continued all day, when I drew the curtains that evening the snow was quite deep.

MrFF walked down the hill with me to the opticians, I wished I’d taken a hat and finger rather than fingerless gloves but my new chunky boots kept me upright.  The optician said my eye had healed well after the incident in Italy and I didn’t need to change my glasses.  On the way back we treated ourselves to fat rascals from Betty’s our lovely tea rooms, which was busy despite the weather.

After my charity cardigan dried the sleeves were definitely longer and less tight, the body however didn’t seem much bigger.  I rinsed out the conditioner and put it to dry flat again, giving it another stretch.  Now the process is complete the cardigan is definitely expanded, softer and feels much less felted.  I had no idea that a item damaged in the wash could be rejuvenated or that wool which we consider quite a delicate fibre is strong enough to be manipulated into shape, never too old to learn.

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Going out

Why is it such an effort to leave the penthouse, I practically have to push myself out of the door some days.  I know I feel so much better if I get some fresh air and unless we are knee deep is snow, which is forecast, or the pavements are very icy I take a daily walk but getting to the departure stage takes some doing.  It’s not as if I spend a lot of time preparing.  If it’s a brisk 6 mile walk I drag on some old running clothes, and since I haven’t run for many years they are very old.  If I am walking to town I pop a coat over my indoor cosies in the knowledge that I wont be stripping off in a changing room and the hope no one in the building will call me into their apartment for a cup of tea and expect me to take my coat off.

MrFF is much better at exiting the building than me.  Often after breakfast when I need a sit down with Wordle he’s off to the bus station with the intention of getting a bus out and walking back home.  Today he was walking to Bolton Abbey and getting a bus back, which will be lovely as it’s been a cold but beautifully sunny day.  He’s already sent photos for us all to enjoy.

I walked into town for a few veggies and found an originally expensive but somewhat shrunken pure merino cardigan in the charity shop.  Looking online it seems I will be able to unshrink with hair conditioner, I’ll let you know.  If that doesn’t work it’s still ok, I like 3/4 length sleeves and the body is just neat.

As I mentioned snow is forecast tomorrow, a great excuse to stay inside but I have a midday appointment at the optician so I will be going out and probably persuading MrFF to walk with me as I slither down the hill to town.  And I will dress properly as I will be taking my coat off.