Quarantine Q&A and a bit more

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Karen at NothingButKnit.blogspot.com posted another great Q & A on her blog, and I thought I’d share it and my answers here after reading about it on QuiteA Yarnblog.com too. Pop over there if you don’t know them already – always interesting stuff to read at both lovely sites. The world of blogging works wonders to take our minds off what else is going on around the world.

Karen’s questions:

How are you filling your time at home? Are you cleaning out your closets? Crafting? Maybe trying out new recipes?
Have you discovered anything worth watching? My local cable company is offering up free channels, is yours? Have you trying anything you’d like to recommend?
Have you found a silver lining to this whole stay at home thing?
Have you found a blog post that’s been particularly inspiring to you? Please share. It doesn’t have to be coronavirus related, inspirational is the only requirement.
And my answers:

Is it poor to admit there’s been a fair amount of tv watching? I have a good excuse, my hubby has been recovering from an operation of two weeks ago. He is usually such a busy bee but this is one way to make sure he rests a bit and if I stay with him he actually sits! We have discovered new box sets and a new tv series. On Netflix we started The Crown from the beginning, so far seen 11, entertaining but also like a history lesson, then there was a Finnish drama Deadwind , complete with subtitles, kind of heavy but watchable but one you can’t knit to as you have to concentrate. The second series of Liar has been on too – up to date with that, two new episodes over the next two weeks to come. I remembered I enjoyed the first series but had to keep pausing these episodes to explain who was who to my husband who kept asking ‘is this now or is this from the last series’ (!)

I’ve been knitting as well, oddly not as much as I thought I would have been, though I have two projects near my ‘tv chair’, a blanket and a mermaid I have already blogged about (see my own last post).

As for cooking and eating, it seems each day revolves around meal times. I am encouraging my husband and son to get more involved in choosing what we have – though at times it might have been simpler to just get on with it myself. As I look at the devastation after meal times I see why and I also notice a glass of wine accompanies my husband at each dinner prep. I reckoned if they got involved then I wouldn’t feel like the housekeeper who cooked and cleaned up after everyone … still wondering how wise the cooking part is, maybe I am more comfortable ‘owning’ the kitchen. Has anyone else had certain roles within the household highlighted to them in this way?

I had a giggle at ‘are you clearing out your closet’. Have to say I have thought about it more than once but no action yet.

A silver lining – yes there is one. My son is 22 and recently not been tuned into what happens at home. Truthfully who isn’t selfish at that age? I know I was, I thought my parents were as old as the hills and remembered nothing about being in their 20’s (oh the self-centredness of youth!). I was bemoaning that my son’s childhood was long gone. Hah! Since we have been told to stay home we three seem to be gelling more and it’s really nice to have him ‘back’ albeit a more mature version. I am thankful we are all together right now.

One last thing – I sit here looking out of my window at the snow – yes, snow is falling! We’ve had a lovely sunny week and taken a walk everyday, been gardening too. I think it’s a day to sit indoors and knit today. Hurrah!

So how are you doing with all this? If you want to play along, share your answers in the comments, or on your own blog. If you do share in a post, please link so we can go read your answers!

Keep safe everyone.

All the best from my armchair.

Tina x

Another knitting project. Too much admiration and inspiration?

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I am not ignoring what is going on, just trying to think about something else and not drive myself to an early grave through worry. In the current climate we are all very concerned about what the future holds, what is going on where we live, in our town, in our own country, where our loved ones are. We watch the news and we read online about the scale of Covid-19 and wonder what the future holds. We want to feel safe, we want others to be safe too.

There are positives to being told to stay home and for that I am thankful. Many of us are spending more quality time family time together, mine included. Although my husband was at home anyway recuperating from a planned operation my son is now at home too and we have had longer, chattier meal times, remembered past fun times, made new memories and as well have had serious mature discussions.

We’ve also had more free time, for me that usually means crafting and I consider myself very lucky. I have, of course, knitting and sewing projects already in progress. I am still enjoying them, mostly. My chevron blanket, above, is already past it’s longest row (thank goodness, that middle section grew so slowly). But, being online more in general leads me to meander to craft sites (think Ravelry.com, Pinterest, etc) and to discover more things I want/need to make! I know I am not alone with this. My usual weekly craft group is now only socially online and we are all sharing the inspirations we find and doing ‘show and tell’ on our social media platforms too.

It may look like it’s the start of a watermelon-y thing, but this is actually going to be a knitted mermaid! Pattern downloaded online from Lovecrafts.com

And then there’s the Crochet-Along I just heard about, starts next month … that could be a self-challenge as I am a very basic crocheter but given that there may be more time available maybe I should make myself learn something new? ..

And then there’s a new baby due in the family in two months, I haven’t finished the quilted baby gift yet. Top is pieced but that’s about all so far …

And then there’s another family baby due in the summer. I just saw the cutest pattern to knit a newborn hoodie and I know I have enough yarn in my stash … and another blanket pattern just took my eye …

What’s everyone else making during these troubled times to take their mind temporarily off what’s going on out there?

As the light changed at the beach ..

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Alongside the grey, rainy, cold days of last week were a couple full of sunshine and warmth. Then there were those which combined a bit of everything. I took off to the beach to enjoy what I thought would be a full day of the latter two and got the combination!

Whitstable is always a special place for me. I drove with brilliant rays streaming through the car window. Arriving in nearby Tankerton I intended to walk along the beach past vibrant beach huts into Whitstable town itself. The skies had blackened. Within minutes it was raining too hard to consider walking!

The skies upon arrival.

I went to park somewhere closer to town which meant I found somewhere quicker to ‘rest’ out of the rain (I mean, eat cake!).

The sun popped back up later so after a mooch in and out of the shops I sat on a groyne, face raised to the sky. I was there quite some time, even as the sun dropped. Bliss!

This was my favourite day last week. As for the crafting – knitting is a little slow but there is progress. Making it from corner to corner I think I am now on the longest part so a row takes nearly ten minutes! This will be a lap blanket one day.

Joy on a grey day

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Many people struggle in the winter. The sun doesn’t show it’s face much some days. The grey skies, the drizzle, the chills, it can all be quite depressing.

Whilst I wait for the days to get a little longer and the weather (hopefully) to be a little more uplifting I try to make the most or the ‘best’ of things. It doesn’t always mean I am bouncing along like a new puppy and there are things that don’t get done and some things aren’t enjoyed, but overall life is good.

A visit with friends, a phone call, reading a good book, doing some crafting, enjoying a film, the theatre, there are lots of things to make me smile.

So, a grey visit to Camden Lock in London. It was grey, there was drizzle, but company was fun and the street food tasty!

Attacking my yarn stash – if you follow my posts you might recognise some of this yarn as this blanket grows. It’s an interesting construction as you begin in one corner and zigzag to the opposite corner.

Also, I have just finished a good book – The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock by Jane Riley. Have you ever thought about the person who runs a funeral parlour? This is about a man who has inherited the family business, he has a good few OCD quirks, the business is a little jaded, he’s a little jaded, this is his journey towards a happy future.

What’s everyone else doing to keep the sunshine in life when there isn’t much actual sunshine in the sky?

A Wintry Seaside Visit

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I am never one to be put off by wintry weather. The recent stormy weekends haven’t stopped me enjoying a spell outdoors, albeit brief and I stayed safe. There were grey skies, a whipped up sea and walking into the wind was truly like being buffered by a freezing cold super strong hair dryer, but the brightly coloured properties of Aldeburgh, Suffolk made a trip there so cheerful (plus of course the fact it was a surprise birthday treat from my hubby!).

Being a hobby knitter I love that my woolly hats and scarves were useful this weekend. I even finished my latest project before we left (just off the needles in this picture, it needed wearing to look less wrinkled!).

Growing stripes and Creative Loops

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January 13th and here’s the back of the new project

I’ve been catching up on tv missed over the Christmas season and getting on with the newest knitting project at the same time. I’ve done more than the back but when I decided to snap a photo this was the best I got in the mid afternoon light. I love there won’t be any sleeve seams to sew up (imagine a tshirt shape) but it’s a cardi so there are two fronts, they’ve each a cable, and then there’s the front edge to pick up and rib so it’s not all so simple.

January seems to be a time to catch up with things and to start anew. I belong to a lovely weekly craft group called In the Loop. Towards the end of last year we talked about a joint project, calling it ‘2020 Vision’. We thought about what that actually meant to each of us and the plan was to each create something for a communal display – few rules, mostly about colours and size but no media rules so your entry could be anything you like with anything that meant something to you – be it perfect vision, plans for the new year, seeing what others see and so on. Many of us knit, crochet or sew, others paint, draw, bead and/or enjoy a combination of all and try new crafts. Hopefully you can see quilting, rug making, painting, felting, dorset buttons, a crochet mandala and glass fusion here. My own part didn’t come to fruition and the communal display is already up in our local Southborough Library. I just wanted to share what friends had made and say how proud I am of them (and not of me!).

It was so difficult to get good photos, the display is in a window glass box, just about big enough for someone to get in and pin things up and from outside it was impossible to take photos without getting my own reflection or that of the buildings opposite!

I hope you like my groups talents.

I look forward whilst I glance back

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The start of a new project, with an unimpressed helper! Using DROPS yarn.

Returning from a New Year break in rural France I feel fired up to get on with new projects, tidy up old ones and reflect back on the successes and failures, craftwise, of 2019. A few days in the countryside with added trips to the coast has fed my imagination!

I am still on a journey to use up my stash of wool. I cast on my latest project 24th December, just after I’d finished my final Christmas gifts. Using Nepal and Alaska by DROPS Design and who doesn’t love a stripe or two?!

I was quite prolific last year, although there were gaps in creativity and not everything was a triumph. Luckily I blogged quite bit so there are truths to be told here and I realise some things didn’t even make it the page. I also learned a few things, one of which was a new crochet stitch. I have now made four things with hooks rather than knitting sticks, adding a different dimension to my crafting bow.

A mini summary of 2019 makes is:

Helping a friend with a baby knit project, knitting hats for the homeless, four baby/toddler cardigans, one set of booties, one scarf, one dreadful lacy top, handsewing a big handful of patchwork hexagons, machine sewing other patchwork (part of a throw and three elephants), bunting and Christmas decorations, two hats for a 3 year old, a baby tunic dress in clashing colours, and two crochet blankets (one a gift for MIL, brownie points here!) , and adding a big applique ‘M’ to a little girls’ book bag.

So onwards into 2020 what plans are afoot for all? Crafting – I intend to learn at least one new thing, not sure what it is yet!

A patchwork pig made for a table sale in 2019