In which there is a well travelled cardigan

As previously mentioned I’m not that good at making the same thing more than once, the second one goes slower and slower and quite often stalls. I am an advocate of the two-at-a-time sock method for this very reason.  People sometimes say I should make things to sell but aside from the time-spent to price-that-people-would-pay ratio being an issue there is the problem that I find it really boring to repeat things (although for some reason squares for blankets don’t seem to fall into this category but don’t ask me why!) and for me the point of making stuff is to enjoy the making not to be a machine churning out lots of the same thing.

So when my mum asked me to make a cardigan for her the same as one of mine my heart sank, just a teeny bit, not very many people could get away with asking that but she’s my mum so she is one of the ones who can. She wanted it to be the same size too which also filled me with dread a little bit. I’m never great at getting the tension right on things, I’ve just got better at admitting when something isn’t going to fit and ripping out to start again and when I made the original cardigan I started it then realised the tension was not quite right, was too lazy to start again and decided to knit the 36 instead of the 34 because the drape of the fabric was ok and it turned out perfectly (it is my favourite cardigan, I wear it when I am nervous and have to look a bit smart or when I am pottering around in my jeans or over the top of my pyjamas sometimes and most of the time really) so the chances of duplicating this feat seemed pretty slim. Plus I didn’t write down what size needles I used in the end because I wasn’t expecting to make another one!

But she is my mum so I organised the wool with her, measured her very carefully and worked out she is not as tall as me so to leave out the extra length I had added into mine and that she is always cold so she might like long sleeves and said I would give it a go but it might take me a while. I managed to knit the whole thing whilst guiltily thinking I should take some proper pictures for the blog and then ploughed on with knitting it anyway because I was enjoying it so much so these are pictures that I took quickly on my phone just to send my mum some proof that I was really knitting it and not getting distracted with my squares. The pattern is Ysolda’s Pumkin Ale which has a really unusual construction and Ysolda is one of my favourite designers so maybe that is why I managed to knit it all without flagging, her patterns are always fun to make and the little details like the i-cord bind off on the edge and the way the cuff is joined on make them look really professional and I love it when there is no sewing up to do. When I wear mine I occasionally get a random knitter sidle up to me and say, ‘Did you knit that? It’s an unusual/interesting/beautiful/insert adjective of choice here pattern’ or ask me how the pattern works. 

I just spent an hour trying to get WordPress to arrange my pictures in a gallery – nicely but not too big and with the descriptions showing and it seems to be able to do one or the other but not both so here are all the pictures in one column because that is the only way I can get it to look tidy and display all the waffle so sorry it makes the post very long but I’ve had enough of it now and I’ve got some squares to make. Oh and some Smalls to play with before the sea of Lego drifts so far that I can’t reach the kettle. Maybe I can do both at once…

UPDATE: Also I just noticed if you are viewing it in an RSS feed thingy then the descriptions might not show up so have a look on the website instead, there should be a sentence or two to go with each photo but I don’t care enough to try and make it work properly any more!

In which there is a missing year

In which there is a missing year

It is well over a year since I posted anything, I have thought about writing something a lot of times this year – there were the really furry blue monster paw gloves for the monster who is friends with the bear and I failed to get a picture of, there was the Charlotte’s Dream blanket which kept me sane in the staffroom through the start of the year and while stuff was crazy at home (although I had to arrange the colours more in a more orderly manner than the pattern to satisfy that bit of my brain), there were baby clothes for a friend that needed finishing before we moved away in June and the baby is now two and a half months old, there was a big cross stitch which I started before I had the Smalls and which I finished in the eight weeks after we moved and had no furniture of our own, there was the Hygge shawl that I just fancied making and took to do on the plane but ended up watching lots of films instead (the Tom Stoppard Anna Karenina one is really good if you like that sort of thing – kind of a condensed theatrical version) and finished afterwards.

Every time I thought about writing something I couldn’t work out how to explain what was going on at home without getting really grumpy or sad and I thought that wouldn’t be nice to read. After more than a year of getting used to the idea I finally worked out that anybody who reads this probably knows what has been going on, where we are living and how I feel about it anyway so I have resorted to just carrying on without explaining and if you don’t know then a) tough titties, b) you’ll probably work it out as we go along and c) thank you for reading but I’m not sure why you are…

This is the view from my garden this afternoon – it is nearly 30°C, normally the sky is relentlessly blue but I hung my washing out and wanted to take a picture outside so it decided to be grey:

 

I had planned to come home for Christmas and left all the Christmas stuff behind but flights cost silly money so we are still here and last month I realised that we would need some Christmas stockings, they have been a bit slow because I am notoriously bad at knitting the same pattern more than once so making the same thing four times was a bit of a challenge but finally here are four stockings just in time:

 

And I get bonus points for using up lots of odds and ends out of the stash.

Mine has got my real name on the other side but since joining the Scouts here and needing a new name I have been reminded that when Tiny was more tiny than she is now she used to call me ‘Mouse’ so I added that too, this is my favourite bit:

Happy Christmas and I will try to write a bit more frequently now I have got past the not-writing-at-all bit!

A view from the fridge

Why the fridge? Well, having built various things for the tortoise, your normal host has been doing a good amount of research about hibernating Tilly. You need a good stable temperature of somewhere between 3 and 7 degrees which, you may well know is the sort of temperature a domestic fridge maintains. If you are shocked about the prospect of putting a pet in a fridge, don’t be, it is a widespread practice. Keeping a constant is important but getting too cold is not going to be good for her and too warm risks her waking up which also causes problems.

While a fridge aims to keep a good temperature, its own control system gives some variation and opening the door of course lets in warm air. The quest set was to see how stable the temperature is and what makes it vary. This is where some Shed Engineering comes in. You can buy various devices for simple temperature measurement which gives you maximum and minimum but if you want something that logs temperature, you are into industrial controls territory and lots of money. After being given a Raspberry Pi for Christmas a couple of years ago, there have been a couple of ideas for small projects that are in various schemes in different stages of development so why not have a go at another one.

Objective: measure the temperature of the box of soil in the fridge and record it so that worried tortoise owners can check on it.

I had already got a thermocouple unit so that we could calibrate the Rayburn oven temperature so as to burn the cakes less so we had a go using that. While that is good for very high temperature ranges, it is not great for sub-degree accuracy and early results showed things to be reasonably stable but not with the certainty needed.

The wonderful world of internet searches and open source development pointed me at a little device which would link up to the Raspberry Pi, allow regular, accurate measurements and be able to store them to look at them over time. The assembled nature of each of the hardware items meant very little construction was needed for the test and the various software tutorials  pointing you to the library files for the temperature board enabled very simple program to give spot readings. The Raspberry Pi Zero board shown below is the core of things for the processing and here is seen dwarfed by the cable connectors for the prototype.

The Pi

The fact that the operating system that is fairly normal for Raspberry Pi allows you to automatically run a program however frequently you like (a thing called Cron Jobs, which always takes me back to the time travel machines called the Chron-o-John in Day of the Tentacle, a game which distracted us from our final year studies for far too long, but that is another story) and has the ability to access web pages all means that we had something that sampled the temperature every minute and stored it in a database on a website for easy viewing where every you are.

Looking at a list of numbers is not that great. As much as selling my soul to Google goes against most feelings I have on the matter, looking for an easy way to turn lists of numbers into a nice graph without hours of coding led me to Google Charts which did just the job.

Having looked at the general temperature of the fridge, the box for Tilly was put in place and the measuring device refined slightly to make it suitable for being buried in the soil. This involved adding a small metal plate to one side to contact with the temperature measuring chip on the board and encapsulating the rest of the device so that it would survive being buried in soil which may be slightly damp.

Going Underground

The early results were promising in that the fridge appeared to be, and stay, within the required limits.

First Tests
It did, however, highlight a few obvious things.

The fridge has some sort of defrost cycle so every eight hours or so the temperature rises up a couple of degrees before settling back to its gentle wobble around its target temperature, varying just by the hysteresis in its control system.

Defrost

Putting stuff in the fridge which is warmer that the bits already in there has an impact on temperature, but not necessarily in the way that you think. If you put something room temperature in the fridge, you would think that the temperature inside would go up. True there is more thermal energy in the box. However, it very much depends where you put the item as to what happens. If, as we found (and is actually blindingly obvious) you put the warmer thing near where the fridge has its temperature sensor, it will think that things are warming up and run the compressor for longer to overcome this. The result is that the already cold bits of the fridge get very cold until the vital area gets cool enough to register all is well. While it does not matter if your milk gets a bit of ice on it or a small corner of your salad drawer gets a little frosted, your tortoise is a bit more picky and wants to avoid permanent eye or brain damage.

Too Cold

A few months of observations and experiments led to the happy position of a bottle of water always stored next to the sensor to give a) a cold mass to generally act as a sink for things going in and out and the air changes when the door opens (acting as a temperature dampener) and b) a physical reminder that you do not want to put a room temperature thing next to the sensor. A bespoke device was rustled up to make sure the appointed bottle does not roll away.

Bottle Stop

A couple of other refinements were made along the way.

Wrapping the box up in foil covered insulation gave the box an even slower response time to changes in the fridge so gives a very smooth profile.

Refined

The link to the website also gives a few more possibilities. The script that uploads the data checks the information to see if the temperature is within limits. If it is not, you can have an alarm condition to send you an alert. This is set up to be via e-mail and text message. E-mail is straight forward from the web hosting and there are many SMS applications that allow you to send text messages. Most have a free introductory offering but inevitably, there is a small cost to an ongoing service. Hopefully things will be stable enough to mean that we do not eat through texts as too fast a rate. The tests so far look good.

Given that you can run cron jobs on the web hosting too, it is set up to check every ten minutes whether readings have been posted (they should be there every minute). If there has been no activity, it sends an alert warning of system failure. This is not 100% sophisticated in that the fault could be that the Pi has stopped working or that the home internet which links it to the page has dropped out or that the reasonable value web hosting (which incidentally is the same used to host this blog) is having an off day. It may also be that the power to the house has gone off (and hence so has the fridge). However, given the relatively slow response time of the soil mass in the fridge with a reasonable amount of thermal mass (the general stuff and extra bottles of water), a Pi Failure alarm will not require urgent response as it will take a few hours to rise up to anything worrying if the fridge has failed as well. Anyway, the alert is there and someone can look into it.

The Finished Article

Tilly is just preparing for hibernation now – no food and waiting for her insides to be empty before a bit of cooling down next week and into the box thereafter. If you want to see her comfort levels (if you can call 5 degrees C comfortable) have a look at the Tilly Temperature. Don’t fret about some of the variations in the past weeks and months, these were the various experiments. Hopefully it will be a smooth line over the next couple of months.

Here is the display squashed into a small box on this screen. The real page is a bit clearer.

In which there is a UFO (and a flying saucer)

Here is the flying saucer:img_5566-copy

The UFO being the Un-Finished Object:img_5565-copy

Complete with purple boots because why not? This one is for Small after Tiny nicked the flowery one. I’m not too sure about it – the tension is very loose, it is coming up the size it’s meant to I think but it’s a bit gappy, the overall effect is better than the individual pieces so it’s a sort of impressionist space blanket. He’s pleased with it anyway and he has inherited his father’s lawn sprinklery sweatiness so maybe a lightweight blanket is better… Us chilly people, however, need a monster like this to snuggle up with (excuse the cat, she is a law unto herself and wouldn’t be in the picture if I asked her to but insisted on being there when I didn’t want her):img_5567-copy

Having almost finished covering all the beds in the house with crochet I’d better start some Christmas knitting if people don’t distract me with things like this, (thanks Pip!), they’d need testing first before I made any for Christmas presents, wouldn’t they? And my slippers are always broken (except when they’re not). And these would be much easier to fix when they wore out. Plus there’s a small person who I promised a birthday jumper to last year and he has doubled in size now so I’d better do it quick before he grows any more! Time to cwtch up with a big blanket and Ravelry this evening and do some planning.

In which there is nothing much happening

I have been really bad at taking photos of things: Grandad’s jumper is finished, maybe he’ll have worked out how to work his new camera and send me a picture by the time it is cold enough to wear it. The grey cardigan is properly finished, it is cold enough to wear that but am not capable of taking a photo of myself whilst wearing it.  A blanket for Small (because Tiny nicked my pretty flowery one and he said it wasn’t fair) is started but I haven’t taken any photos of that yet either. Here is an obsessive photo of some beans.

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Aren’t they nice?

In which there is a lot of catching up to do

I remembered my WordPress login, I updated all the stuff that I haven’t updated since March and I tried to upload some pictures but they are all bigger than 2MB and the silly thing won’t let me so now I have resorted to writing the words and hopefully the Man in the Shed will fix it for me later…*EDIT – He fixed it because he’s clever like that. Yay!*

Oops, I was going to write a new post in half term and it whooshed by like all the other weeks and I didn’t. This term has mostly been blankets, there was this one for a soon to be new baby which started off ok and then got ridiculously huge until there almost was no room for my lunch in my bag because it was full of blanket.

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There was this one which was a Stylecraft Crochet Along thing which just had to be made because it is so pretty, you can still get the pattern on their website but I’m too lazy to look up the links, I’m just going for speed and actually getting round to posting something. That was a much more sensible size for my work bag because it is made of small hexagons. It has since been commandeered by Tiny for a bedspread although it isn’t really big enough. I added a couple of rows to the border because I had quite a bit of yarn left over and why would you end with a red and pink row if you could end with purple and blue?

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There was this one which I started before the first blanket (but it isn’t a blanket) and then it got postponed in the middle to start the flowery one which in turn got put aside to do the rainbow one but they are all done now except the pockets on this. It isn’t meant to have pockets but I am incapable of leaving my phone in my bag and people tell me off if I keep it in my bra. It has got some nice cables on the back but you can’t see them because I put it up this way to dry.

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The holidays so far have mostly been making hats, very good stash busting hats. There is a pattern somewhere, I can look it up if anyone wants to know but I am being lazy, as I said, this is also why the photos are wonky and not cropped and well, never mind, at least there is a post. The rainbow one is mine, the striped one is Tiny’s, the scary red one is Small’s and the white one that isn’t finished is for a friend who ordered a lacy one. The Man in the Shed declined to have one made for him, not sure why…

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The Man in the Shed has been busy making an outside box (he didn’t do the bricks but he did do the cat proofing) for the So-Called Tortoise (so-called because she does appear to be a tortoise, I keep checking in case I’ve been mistaken and she is really a cocker spaniel or a greyhound but she remains stubbornly tortoise shaped) after only sixteen months stuck inside, poor thing, she is thoroughly enjoying it and I am deliberately planting weeds which goes against the grain a bit. She has been happily stumping around and sitting in the sun enjoying the flowers, I am starting to wonder if I am secretly a tortoise, we have a lot in common.

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I’m nearly up to date now, I had about nine months of housework to catch up on so the first week and a half of the holidays was mostly cleaning and getting haircuts (Tiny is very pleased with hers and mine is at least tidier than it has been, I’ve only been psyching myself up to get it cut again for three years this time…) The place is nowhere near pristine but I made enough of a dent in it to show willing, both the small people’s carpets have been visible enough to hoover this month and there isn’t that much washing left.

The second week was swimming, tiling the utility room and waiting for the rain to stop among other things and I managed to sort out some new uniform before the week before school starts this year. When I say ‘sort out’ you realise I mean that there is uniform that fits in the house, I still have a thousand and thirteen iron on name tags to do… Ooh and we accidentally managed to sort out school shoes on a day out in Cheltenham which means I don’t have to drag the Smalls into Cardiff, hurrah! I just hope they don’t grow now.

Now it is the third week, it is the first and only week on the calendar with nothing on it, the sun is shining and the garden is calling, it’s a jungle and the vegetables have all gone to pot, mainly because I left them in the pots and didn’t have time to plant them out – the tomatoes have just about recovered but the brassicas didn’t make it out of the greenhouse thanks to a bumper harvest of slugs and snails despite the slug pellets and going out in the dark with a bin bag to catch them (that was a lot of slimy creatures in one night), I forgot to dig up any potatoes while they were growing and had to harvest the whole lot in one go yesterday (ooh, that hurt!)

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I have finally managed to do some weeding (not very much yet but I managed to hack a path to the compost bin so that’s a start, I’m going back out as soon as I have written this) aided and abetted by my lovely and extremely thorough dad who started it off last week for me – there is one border which seems to have been all weeds and no shrubs by the look of it after he had finished but it is full of So-Called Tortoise friendly plants now: pansies, snapdragons, sow thistle and I’m trying to persuade some honesty to grow which I pinched from my grandparents in Hampshire but the soil is very different so I don’t know whether it will work. A couple of weeks ago he attacked a mountain of bindweed for me as well but I’m making him a jumper so I think we’re square.

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In which I got slightly carried away making hats

I haven’t posted anything since half term. My life is now ruled by the school calendar more completely than ever. Counting terms it is a difficult habit to break when you leave school having spent three quarters of your life there, it was just about wearing off when my own children started school and it started to tighten its grip again but now, working in school, I am back to counting down the days of term until the next break. The Easter holiday starts tomorrow and I have time to catch my breath again for a little while.

This term I have mostly been making hats (and a green jumper that I started three times but I’ll tell you about that another day). One of the teachers at school is starting her maternity leave today and she asked me if I could make her some baby hats (I mostly sit in the staff room with my knitting to give me an excuse for avoiding eye contact), she said her mum would do jumpers and stuff but hats were too fiddly.

I have found though that the trouble with teeny hats is they don’t take very long and there are millions of patterns so it is very easy to get carried away and think, ‘That’s a nice pattern, I’ll just do one more…’, on the other hand the good thing about teeny hats is they don’t take very long, are very small and portable and good for knitting in the staff room without having to hide an enormous ball of green aran in the bottom of your handbag just to avoid accidentally giving someone a withering look when they are the fifth person that day to say, “Wow, that’s a big ball of wool!” (For the record it is 400g and a perfectly normal size for a 400g skein of acrylic aran.)IMG_4126

Anyway, I made a lot of hats and thoroughly enjoyed it and I even potted them up before I gave them to her. I haven’t done anything in the garden yet this year, is it showing? Sorting out the veg patch is on my list of things to do in the Easter holidays and I am hoping that BBC weather has got the forecast very wrong otherwise I won’t get far down the list.IMG_4128

My next mission which I had no choice but to accept (the enormous ball of green aran is on hold for a minute, at least for away from home knitting as it is a bit unruly but it was five pounds in Aldi and it is the sort of green that makes me think of Grandad so it had to be done) went something like this:

Me: What would you like for your birthday?

Tiny: A big teddy turtle.

Me: Oh. Right. Where are you expecting me to get you a big teddy turtle from?

Tiny: You can knit one.

Me: Yes. I could knit one.

Pause

Me: How big is a big teddy turtle?

Tiny: About this big. (Indicates about eight inches with hands)

Me: (Breathing a sigh of relief at how big ‘big’ is) Oh. Right. If I did knit one that is quite a small present, what would you like for your main present?

Tiny: (Looks around room for inspiration) A chair. I don’t like that one any more.

Me: Right. What sort of chair? Would you like a rocking chair?

Tiny: Yes, a rocking chair.

Me: Really? You’d like a rocking chair for your big birthday present?

Tiny: Yes.

Me: Right.

This child is unique. So now I am knitting a turtle (whilst investigating rocking chairs). So far it (the turtle not the rocking chair) has two legs, a body, a tail, half a head and no shell. We compromised on the colour – she wanted it to be red and pink and purple but we found one with welly boots and a rain hat so it is going to be green with pink and purple boots and hat. I drew the line at knitting a pink and red turtle.

In which I haven’t fallen into a black hole

IMG_4043No black holes, only that I got a job (a miraculous occurrence if you know anything about me and interviews) in October and haven’t been heard of since.

IMG_4044Time is precious, the last three months have wooshed by and there is little enough time to make things now, without stopping to write it down and take pictures.

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I just about managed to finish the Christmas knitting. There were Vikings, Lego man gloves, Red Riding Hood/wolf costumes and I got them done in time, the people with birthdays in December and January were probably breathing a sigh of relief that they didn’t have to work out how to be polite about being given knitting again.

IMG_4047Now it is half term and I have almost found the bottom of the washing basket.

IMG_4048Christmas didn’t really count as a break because it had Christmas in it and was still busy although we managed not to have flu this year which is always nice.

IMG_4049We are decorating Small’s room at the moment, he wanted it red and orange.

IMG_4050We compromised, I said he could have one wall red and one wall orange if the rest were a very light colour.

IMG_4051At the last minute he decided to have red and blue instead and we found some blackboard paint which gave us an idea to make the blue wall more interesting.IMG_4053I think I’ve earned a cup of tea now.

A brief history of something or other

Time fascinates me – how we perceive time and the speed at which it moves, how a few years can go in a flash and how a few minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting for something. (Can you have ‘an eternity’? There must only be one if it is infinite.) I have alway loved stories about time travel – T. H White’s Merlyn (who lives backwards through time), Dirk Gently, Back to the Future, The Time Traveller’s Wife (not one for the fainthearted, I cried quite a lot) and the idea that maybe you could change things if you knew what would happen and whether you should.

I don’t know where the last three months went. It was nearly the end of term and I was flagging a bit, then both the Smalls got chicken pox which gave me a brief respite from the interminable slogs up and down the hill to school several times a day. I kept telling myself to just keep going to the end of term but then term ended and time kept going, it didn’t stop just because I made it there. Then it was the holidays and we had extra swimming lessons and church holiday club and I can’t remember what else but they were gone in far less time than six weeks, I’m sure. Then we had a couple of weeks of half days with Tiny starting in Reception and then we had a couple of weeks of children throwing up and they still haven’t both been at school for an entire week at the same time. I finished an enormous blanket, crocheted an anaconda, sewed a dress, produced an orange carrot and yellow corn costume, made six pineapples with lids for one of my friends who like to keep me busy with peculiar requests for unusual props, I have made a start on my List-of-things-I-have-been-putting-off-for-months-and-will-do-in-September (like the tax returns, I’ve done them now, may I have a trophy?) and writing a blog post, well, I’ve started that one at least and now it is very nearly October when last time I looked it was June. It is time for the Annual-slightly-obsessively-sorting-all-the-tomatoes-into-colour-and-size-order-ritual again, here is a pretty picture to break up all the waffle.

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Another thing about time that intrigues me is how as a very small child I can remember my grandparents saying at Christmas it seemed like we only just had the last one when to me it seemed like forever and now I am the one saying time has gone quickly. Does time get quicker and quicker the further through it we are? So is time faster for everyone now than it was thirty years ago or is it to do with your age? Does a six year old in 1915 experience time at the same rate a six year old in 2015 does and does every sixty year old in whatever year experience it at the same, albeit faster, rate?

I like the idea of time as a dimension, our changing perceptions of it make me think of how length and height and width can look different if you have to foreshorten something in a drawing to give the correct perspective. We were talking about dimensions the other day and how many we live in, three or four or more and somebody said it was three and a half because we can only go one way in time but I think four is good. One of my favourite teachers in sixth form college, Roger, (the other one was Eric and between them they somehow got me some A-levels even though I spent most of the time playing the piano loudly in the room right next to the maths department) liked to mischievously ask small children, ‘What do you get if you take seven away from three?’ expecting the answer, ‘You can’t take seven away from three.’ to which he would answer, ‘No, you can’t take seven away from three!’ I’m pretty sure time is a whole dimension, I just haven’t worked out how to go backwards yet. A pause button would be good too then I could sleep for a week without anybody noticing.

A swift report from the abyss

Sorry. I have been atrociously bad at writing any posts recently. I realised as well that I showed you lots of started things and didn’t write anything when they were finished. It has been a busy couple of months.

The treasure chest got finished, complete with added sea creatures by Small and Tiny inside.

Tiny Clanger got finished in time for the birthday and finally got to meet Small Clanger.

The Man in the Shed tidied his shed.

The aquilegias and all the colour in the garden came and went and I forgot to take a picture, now it is a green jungle again.

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I unraveled a cardigan which I knitted for my mum when I was less good at knitting and re-knitted it into a vest which I made up as I went along, was much better and I completely failed to take a photo of.

The Man in the Shed finished the bathroom so I can have a bath again. Hurrah!

I painted a backdrop of a cottage for a thing where it has to sometimes belong to the seven dwarves and sometimes to the three bears – spot the difference (and the mouse, don’t look Grandma!).

I rescued a swift with a damaged wing which has been passed on to the vets who might have a better idea what to do with it than me.

I started making a Sophie’s Universe blanket which I haven’t got a picture of yet. It’s a gorgeous free pattern which is available online and is really easy to follow as it has loads of photos. I’ve been printing the version without pictures but I did wonder whether it wouldn’t save some paper to follow it off a screen. That said it is not the thing I have printed recently that has used the most paper. But that’s another story, never mind, anyway, I paused in making Sophie’s Universe when I realised that the nursery teacher is about to pop and last time she was pregnant I made her a baby blanket and there are only a few of weeks left of term to make something. So I got on with it.

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It is blocking, it is pinned to the bed (which was the only sensible (debatable) place big enough to put it) with nearly six hundred pins to open up the lace edges which now means that a) I know I have well over six hundred pins (I thought I would run out when I started and there are more than half left) b) I have to keep the cats off it until it is dry (it is white and they are black) c) I have to get it dry before bedtime or explain to the Man in the Shed why the bed is slightly damp and d) I have to get nearly six hundred pins out of the bed before bedtime or explain to the Man in the Shed why the bed is slightly prickly…

 

UPDATE: 1303, 24 Jun 2015.

Slightly red faced update – despite having a maths degree I forgot to divide by two – * chain 3, cast off two, repeat from * gives half as many loops as stitches so there are nearly three hundred pins rather than nearly six hundred. But why let accuracy get in the way of a good story? Which is the principle employed, or so I am led to believe, by several of my forebears, well three of them anyway. Who’s been sleeping in my porridge…