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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Sunday: Day 130

This is The Day that  day I left Pixie Towers to walk around the block, well a few roads on our suburban 1930s estate after one hundred and thirty days at home. My motivation was actually exercise, I hadn’t walked anywhere except around  the garden and more frequently up and down stairs so I was concerned I would struggle to walk.  It was not so, nor was it today when I ventured out today. Of course I wasn’t on my own, Ian who has sacrificed so much to care for me walked with me both days.

More good news, our son, DiL with Edward and Alice came to our home last Thursday, it was Edward’s fifth birthday, here they are surrounded by crochet blankets. This photo appeared in WhatsApp later, a surprise as I didn’t know it had been taken.

Tuesday evening,

Just an update, the walk for exercise has continued, yesterday we walked the same route in reverse and on the opposite side of the road  around the estate to the day before, today at about 6.15pm we ventured out to the local High Street, the thoroughfare has wide pavements, there is a slope near the railway station so it was good to see how I’m coping with walking up gradients, all was fine, we didn’t go into any shops, there was a sad air about the place but that maybe the hour.  

Emails have arrived, events are opening up, there is a new book coming from the Reading group, none of us appear to have enjoyed or in my case completed Dear Life by Alice Munro, after reading the new title a gathering in a back garden with the relevant caveats will be held. I hope the weather gods are listening.

Emails too about a meeting of the SW London Knitting & Crochet Guild, one in a cafe and one of Zoom, my followers know I shall be attending the latter, my courage doesn’t extend to travelling to Kingston and entering Jax’s cafe, good as it is in normal times. This branch of the guild usually meet on the last Saturday in the month so a return to custom.

Emails arranging deliveries of more face masks were written, the masks were delivered by the shielding cardiologist who makes them later in the day.

On that note, I shall close, post and go to bed, too  tired to do much if Blogger has a hissy fit as it is prone to do. 🦢

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Tuesday: Day 125

This Attic24 blanket is the reason blogging has been tardy, there was a deadline for handover, I reached it, without the help of Ian doing even more domestic chores than he does already and my abandonment of blogging, sending emails and any limited social life it would not be complete.

Basically it is trellis stitch rather than neat wave, the colours of the Yorkshire Moorland are in the same sequence, the border is the same stitch as the original. In between starting in May last year and now other smaller projects have been completed.

Now to use more of my stash, firstly to finish Ian’s toe up socks, then maybe another shawl for me for I am a chilly soul. Plenty of time, still haven’t ventured forth.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Amazing coincidence

Firstly apologies that the pictures have come out so small, technology has beaten this old dear.

The frontispiece on the left above and underneath below is from a Bible belonging to my maternal great grandmother, Emily Gosby, what is interesting is the date  - December 11th.

The Bible on the right above  and top below was given to me by her  daughter, my grandmother  on October 26th.

Our children’s birthdays are December 11th and October 26th.

Spooky, coincidence or just one of those things?

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Thursday: Day 99

A very different world from forty one years and two days ago when we were married  by Archbishop’s licence.  A blogger gave us the idea of buying in a restaurant meal, after much investigation we chose frozen meals from Cook, both for the day and for stocking up freezer. Regret we didn’t consider doing this before although it is just recently that Ian felt safe to venture into a shop, this was our first click and collect, I stayed home of course, it was an opportunity to give the car a run for we have had no need to use it.

We have had another home delivery from Sainsbury’s, all went well as I have learnt to indicate where a substitution is not acceptable and that the most popular or special offer items we ordered aren’t available, we were sent an email at 6am to this effect on the day of delivery, too late to order other chocolate bars.

We cracked open a bottle of champagne, not sure from where we got it or how long we’ve had it but lockdown is a chance to declutter, tasted fine, given the 12% we had just one glass.

I have put the toe up socks aside to work on Moorland crochet blanket, the pattern is compatible with TV viewing, so yesterday evening watched. Sewing Bee semifinal, crocheted and had a family WhatsApp discussion about the programme.

Not very clear picture, I’m laying on the sofa, the blanket is keeping my legs and feet warm, Ian is seated at the other end. I’m working on Row 98, the total is 115. The blanket has been worked in trellis stitch instead of neat wave pattern, I suspect that is why it is so long, I intend to follow the border pattern given in the original instructions, it appears to be an uncomplicated double crochet stitch. Extra yarn has been purchased for this, I had a fear of running out. 

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Thursday: Day 92

Mmm, left the blog a bit of a while, kept meaning to update, no good reason why not, time just drifts by whilst still staying home still. Have some photos to show you and can chat about them, all very domestic.

May was glorious, sun tanning weather, drying outside weather and washing items that don’t need a weekly wash hence the crochet blankets billowing on the whirly. Yes, that is the Attic24 Sweet Pea blanket, the other two belong to the grandchildren. Both were meant to use up odds and ends of Double Knitting, make it up as you go along design and colours but the grandchildren know they are theirs. One day they will be able to come here again and hug, cuddle and laugh with us. 

On the patio -when did terraces become patios - are Ian’s potted up seedlings plus pots of herbs, roses, geraniums, mostly plants that like afternoon and evening sunshine, the Dutch blind shading the kitchen is left down then otherwise the room is uncomfortably hot. Our original plans for this Summer have been scuppered, we intended to replace the Dutch blind and install an awning over the French doors to give shade and privacy, the corner is a lovely sun trap. Our wooden garden table required some urgent surgery, it will now be replaced next year along with new cushions for our two benches. 

Why was the weather glorious when most people were to stay indoors or in their gardens if they had one, now parks, gardens and meeting up are permitted the weather is cold, windy and wet? It is as if May and June have swapped places. 

As I may have mentioned I’m knitting a second pair of Tramline socks, this is the second attempt of these toe up I’m being very careful but not enough as I didn’t count the stitches whilst knitting the instep, could justify not doing so as there is no increasing, on checking one short nearly two inches down. I had carefully knitted both socks simultaneously, two rounds at a time with a knot in the tail of sock 1 and a five bar gate to count so didn’t want to undo all those tiny stitches and risk not making identical sized socks. Usual solution is to use a crochet hook, 2mm hook was way too thick so ended up “knitting” with two pins. 

Not sure why last picture is so small, only one I have showing the pins with which I picked up the drop stitch. As I am not out and about there is no need for a portable project, instead I am working just on these socks, once completed I shall return to working the Moorland blanket. When we FaceTime our grandchildren Edward asks “how much has Mummy’s blanket grown?” It hasn’t. 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Sunday: Day 68

Just saying, I am isolating still as per that letter, so hope this blog isn’t too boring for the readers.  I’m pleased to say that DH is going out for a walk locally, avoiding close contact and shops. We are learning how to navigate Sainsbury’s online shopping list, I thought I’d purchased packs of 1 litre fruit juice, turned out to be 200ml cartons, substitutes are another problem, a block of mature cheddar cheese was requested, instead we were sent a small pack of grated cheese was substituted, we asked for sardines in olive oil, instead sardines in sunflower oil was listed so DH asked the very pleasant delivery man if the cheese and sardines could be taken back, they were. The other item that was substituted was chocolate but the alternative was so similar it was acceptable.

From time to time I am annoyed with myself for not achieving much, however I have been decluttering old knitting and crochet magazines, found a 10 year old pattern in Yarn Forward for January 2011,

for a girl’s beret, I had the Rowan wool to make two, this is my effort at Lief beret, blue is Big Wool, cream colour, called China Clay, is Rowan Drift. Not easy knitting with 10mm circular needles and such thick wool it worth the effort. Whether Alice likes them will be another matter, at 3 years old she has very definite ideas about what she will wear, or not, she has a habit of taking all her clothes off.

The lockdown has led to small changes in our lifestyle, shopping by post, as I said above using grocery delivery service, learning to use Zoom, following church services on Facebook and using Chromecast to view on larger TV screen. The streamed church services, 9.30 on Sunday to Thursday mornings and Saturday evening prayer has given us a structure to our day, although pleased it isn’t Zoom when we are in pyjamas.

A few years ago we extended the downstairs cloakroom into a shower room, the shower is an electric one, our upstairs bathroom has shower over the bath, takes the hot water from the tank, we had a different system for each bathroom. The downstairs shower was mostly used when the family stayed, DH realised he preferred the spaciousness of freestanding shower so effectively we have our own bathrooms now.

Our dining room is at the front of our house, in normal times we just have meals in there and spend rest of time in lounge/sitting room/drawing room/parlour/back room (what is the correct name?) or in kitchen, now we use the dining  room more, we can look out in the street, feel less cut off, see people, some of whom even admire DH’s front garden. Another change after clearing the larder to use up food lurking at the back we found a packet of ground coffee so we retrieved a cafetière from the depths of a cupboard,  read the rules and I will have proper coffee now on instead of instant. So flavoursome, the feeling of power and style pushing down the plunger is silly and fun.

Oh,  in case you were wondering about present project, just making more cotton face cloths using up yarn, these will be for face washing grandchildren, preferable to using disposable wipes. Picture of one made earlier, just garter stitch, cast on one stitch, increase in front and back of second stitch, knit to end of row, knit enough rows to diagonal of square and then decrease by knitting second and third stitches together.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Sunday : Day 54.

It has felt a strange few days, Thursday morning I felt so sad and upset, a school friend’s death was announced on Facebook, not from Covid 19, but from a stroke, Medwin had been suffering from terminal cancer, had undergone a leg amputation but battled on. An enduring school memory was her black hair, bouffant, never moving, like a helmet, she was one of those capable organised people who knew what to do, helpful, a mainstay of the South West Pony Association. Medwin’s death is the first of our class of which I was aware.

This was the second death of the week, Pam was a friend through our previous church and children’s primary school, again cancer took her. Another lady who was a ‘character’, boarding school, Swiss finishing school, not really a suburban person but adapted well to changed circumstances, handicapped by inherited deafness, rightly annoyed with me when I became more introvert and stopped entertaining even afternoon tea became too much, let alone dinner parties.

  This will have to change once we are no longer isolated, it is not fair on Ian for he is much more of a people person than me, I was surprised how I enjoyed a Zoom coffee morning yesterday, organised by our church, no raffle, no bacon butties, At the usual coffee morning one tends to just sit at one table so unless an effort is made to walk around one speaks only to the punters on that table whereas with a digital coffee morning everyone in theory can chat to everyone. As has been commented elsewhere it is interesting to see a small corner of other parishioners’ homes, often when watching journalists and others from their own homes the design and decorations are more interesting than their reports.

With that last thought in mind I’m delighted to tell you the sweet pea Attic24 blanket is complete, on the sofa/settee brightening up the dreary furniture. Even after many years I still feel the two settees were too heavy and bulky for the room, but are practical and tough when the grandchildren visit, no risk of fabric stains. They weren’t chosen for that, we thought the higher backs were supportive for our old spines, anyway this is now:-

Once this blanket was finished I started crocheting again as I wish to complete Moorland blanket for Daughter-in-law, however I have realised that crocheting aggravated my right shoulder where I have a rotator cuff tear, have had it on and off since September 2016. In theory it shouldn’t matter, I am left handed but in reality I’m not very left handed, it is mainly writing, sewing and using a spoon, probably because I grew up in a right handed household and learnt to adapt.  Even irons were designed to be used just by a right hander where the flex was in the way, nowadays the flex comes out of the centre of the heel.  I shall turn to completing Ian’s second pair of toe up socks.