January? Blink and you’d miss it
Dear Poor Neglected Blog,
The time I’ve spent with you over the last few months has been limited and I am ashamed to admit that I have abandoned you in favour of other more pressing priorities.
Isn’t life wonderful, everything in the garden is rosy. It’s a perfect world, nothing ever goes wrong for me and I’m as happy as can be.
Or so social media would have you believe.
Did you see the Tumbleweed rolling lazily by just then?
My blog has sat dejected and unloved for some time now. So much so, that I’ve even been toying with putting a stop to my rambles and searching for something new. It’s always been the closest thing I have to keeping a journal about my creative life, mixed in with a little more of me than I originally intended to share.
However, like a lot of things in my life at the moment, it could do with a good shake to get the dust off and then leaving outside to air for a few hours.
I can’t believe it’s been over a fortnight since my last post, even harder to comprehend, is how quickly the first five weeks of 2017 have flown by. Unfortunately, I’ve spent most of those weeks worrying about my youngest child’s health and the stress that caused, resulted in rather a bad RA flare up.
For the majority of my adult life I’ve been a mum
For all of my adult life I’ve been a mum, I had Dina before I was old enough to vote and if we’re being honest, I’ve grown up with my kids, the older two especially. You’d be forgiven for thinking, that I probably never had a chance to leave home before my children came along, but that’s not the case. I’d already been living ‘independently’, on and off for about two years, before I had Dina (whole different story and something akin to an Eastenders plot line).
So why don’t my hands work?
It’s a bit of a long story that actually begins with The Tour of Britain, which kicks off today and runs until the 11th of September. For those of you that don’t know, it’s an 8 day event, that will see some of the world’s top riders, race on UK roads in British Cycling’s premier road cycling event.
They’re working hands, battered and worn, there are scars on most of the digits and a callous on my right palm. My nails, whilst long for me, are so soft you can bend all of them bar my thumb ones, back, without it hurting. The skin, is always dry, no matter how much hand cream I apply and it curls up and dies, from contact dermatitis if I touch certain liquids. They’re a little tanned at the moment from the Summer sun, with freckles that have joined up to form larger freckles. These will become the age spots, I hope fascinate my grandchildren one day.
I’ve been looking at things for the magazine and as per usual it’s sparked a variety of ideas and plans. It also made me think about personal experiences, so I wanted to share my non knitting thoughts today. Forgive me if you’re expecting something else, my next post will be woolly and much more fibre filled.
The madness has abated round here again at least for a little while now the second issue of Olann and is out there, floating around for all to see.
I’m happy, Deirdre’s happy, we hope you’re happy too (sorry I realised I was listening to David Bowie, when I wrote this). I imagine our friends and family are slightly worried they’ll be the next to get a call to model for us. A g♥♥d friend has already been persuaded to lend us a child or two and we’re going to be looking for a volunteer or two, later at knitting group. (Ssh, don’t tell any of them yet 😉 they might decide not to come)
If you’ve seen the second issue, you’ll know I’ve been incredibly busy knitting and although I shared snippets, I wasn’t able to reveal my work before hand. I knitted the silver grey sample of Patricia Cox’s Sunset Cardigan for the photographs in the magazine. It’s actually a lovely pattern, with it’s detailed stitch panels, complimented by smooth stocking stitch. It was great to knit, the pattern has been extremely well written by Patricia, with a lot of care and attention to detail. Little things like the few rows of short row shaping around the neck, really help the whole garment sit much better.
The eagle eyed among you, will notice that I worked the decreases to create an obvious raglan line as I favour that look. Having used a solid shade in place of the beautiful Soft Donegal tweed Patricia used in her original, it also adds a little more detail.
The yarn itself, Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted was a pleasure to knit with. It’s smooth construction, meant it just slipped through my fingers and as you can see, it knits with great stitch definition and produces a fabric with a lovely drape and bounce to it.
The other knitting I’d been busy beavering away on, was the Turners Cross Cable Twist hat, one of my own designs. I knew what I wanted to make, having drawn some rough sketches out and armed with Barbara G. Walker’s Pattern Treasury books, I got down to some swatching.
Several samples and two and a half hats later, plus one test knit (thank you to my good friend Dr. Sock), I was satisfied with the design, except I wasn’t. Having had the shop for 10 years and spoken to literally thousands of knitters during that time, I know the majority of knitters still prefer to knit flat. However, there are a good few of us now that enjoy knitting in the round, myself included. So I re-worked the pattern to include the instructions for knitting the hat in the round using circular or double pointed needles.
Those of you that know me, know I love Tivoli Celtic Aran, see the review here if you don’t believe me. It’s an extremely underrated yarn, it’s a fantastic workhorse yarn, that is till 100% wool, doesn’t cost the earth, wears well and feels lovely. I’d love to see more colours available, but that’s only going to happen if everyone jumps on my Tivoli Celtic Aran bandwagon.
Anyway, it worked up just lovely for the hat, the stitches look great, especially the slipped stitch cable, which sits raised up proudly on the knitted fabric. It’s warm, woolly, easy to wear and will keep your head nice and snug.
In case you’re wondering about the name?
It’s because the handsome fellow (Shane), wearing it in the photographs for the magazine is from Turners Cross in Cork City of course 🙂
There has also been more knitting….
New socks, that I finished yesterday evening. What a great way to round off a very good day ♥♥♥
I’m hoping to get a little weaving in today, after some more work. Hope you get to spend some time doing what you love too.