Pizza night on Thursday proved to be the last day of entirely unbroken weather. Friday was largely sunny but very sultry and heavy, with the odd rainy outbreak. It was difficulty to settle to anything. I had optimistically donned an old bikini but lost my nerve in the face of Stuart’s pruning and, for decency’s sake, layered on shorts and a cardi which rather killed off the Bond Girl vibe. Desultory knitting and Middlemarch followed. By the end of the day I had an uneasy sense that there had been “insufficient progress” – though progress at what was unclear. I got the rake out, the gutties on and, bravely removing the shorts and cardi, spent a couple of hours in the pond removing the blanket weed which had gone ballistic in the heat. I don’t recall and Bond films where a beauty emerged from a lagoon covered in green slime. The pond though is now splendidly weed free and I discovered, in my weed fishing, that some spotted orchids have colonised amongst the iris at the back. To see them you need to get in waist deep, so it is lucky that the flowering season coincides with steamy temperatures.
On Friday I determined to “get something done” before the rain set in and managed to pot up a raft of chillis, peppers and aubergines in the greenhouse. It was steamy work. Knitting and Middlemarch followed once more, after the rain set in. By this stage I was on the home straights with a small baby cardi and Middlemarch had reached climactic levels of excitements. Many liquorish allsorts were consumed.
Today started with positively monsoon conditions. I cleaned the bathroom for the sake of “progress” and, in doing so, noted sadly that there is a little dead fledgeling on the windowsill. It seems to have fallen out of the right hand (dunnock occupied) nest. The left hand side one still seems to be going fine though. I retired to my The remaining liquorish allsorts saw me through to the end of Middlemarch and the final sewing up of a baby cardi. This was my “light relief” knitting, commenced whilst half way through a rather different, trickier, red jumper (?) project which I have now taken up again.
The trickiness of the red jumper (? could still end up a cardi) lies in me being wholly undecided as to the finished style. It is all rather a saga and begins in Peru in 2013, with the family on a train rattling across the Alta Plana. In the middle of the journey, rather in the middle of nowhere, the train stopped and there was a ramshackle market grown up around the railway tracks. I bought a ball of soft, very fine red wool – alpaca I think though who knows. This joined our travels and finally came home to London via the Galapagos. From London it made its way to Ruthven and has been languishing since then in my wool stash. It was only a single, albeit biggish, ball and very fine. I had no idea how much it would knit up into and it was so fine that I would be looking at the skinniest of needles, so had struggled to come up with a plan. The story then jumps forward to this year, when my Mum bought a job lot of odd cones of wool from one of the mill shops – all manner of colours and textures, but all very fine and likely intended for weaving rather than knitting. (I have been steadily working through some grey and mossy green bouclé, trying them in different mixes and combinations with other yarn and with ribbons rather successfully). Anyhow, amongst this heady mix was a single cone of very fine two strand yarn, possibly silk, a twist of red and purple. The red was a good match for the Peruvian yarn so I twisted it together. The original ball has now grown to a very big ball – but I still have no real idea of how much it will knit up to. So I had the thought that I would twist up some of the red and purple yarn together into 3 ply and perhaps make the ribs and cuffs of that, leaving the soft wool mix for the body, and that way there might be enough to go around. Having twisted it up I started to knit what was to be a sample. However it gained momentum and so the sample has (nearly) turned into the back of a jumper/cardi. I am now looking at the remaining balls of the twisted 3 ply and thinking that if I finish this jumper/cardi with short sleeves it should still leave enough for the original plan. However I keep vacillating….This saga has further to run I fear.
Venturing out to the garden just now, to get away from yarn based dilemmas, I noticed that the strawberries are ready for picking so I have helped myself to a bowlful and resolved upon a deconstructed trifle for dessert. I have several small elderflower and strawberry jellies in the fridge as a starting point. My cooking is much like my knitting projects, I fear, I find something that looks promising then just get going without much of a plan in the certainty that it will be all right on the night.
Of course all this various activity is really masking the fact that I have some other, somewhat harder, projects lurking at the back of my mind, but I fear I shall be finding all manner of pressing displacement jobs to do before I can settle down. I know myself. I have even been looking speculatively at the ironing…