Possibly the most spoilt bears in Wales

They have their own bunk bed. The blankets are finished, the boys have glued the other bed together and they have pillows and mattresses made from some spare calico that has been lurking in a box from when I made a practice wedding dress out of it.
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The blankets are done with entrelac knitting which is where you knit a little square at a time, you pick up some stitches along the side of a previous square and work back and forth just across those stitches whilst decreasing on the other edge to join it to the square at the other side. There are loads of online tutorials or patterns if you search for them by people who can explain it far more eloquently than me! It’s a bit fiddly so I wouldn’t recommend it for knitting big things but it looks interesting. It also taught me a new skill – I got thoroughly fed up of turning the knitting round every six stitches so I worked out how to do a knit stitch going from right to left rather than left to right and then not long afterwards Sarah on Crafts from the Cwtch did a tutorial on exactly that which you can look at if you are interested because I am too lazy to take a load of pictures to explain something when someone else has already done a better job of it.

The knitting part of the secret thing is finished so I had to take a deep breath and do the steek. A steek is where you put a few extra stitches into your knitting so that you can cut it later. It means you can knit things in the round which end up flat or which need an opening later on, for example you could knit a cardigan as though you were doing a jumper in the round (which is much better for trying to do fair isle because you are always looking at the front of the pattern) and then you cut it up the middle, tidy up the edges and do the button band and stuff.

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You can either machine sew over the steek before you cut it or crochet over the extra stitches, I decided to machine this one because it is going to have some binding sewn along the edge afterwards anyway.
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Hold your breath! It hasn’t unravelled so far…

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The Secret Thing, which is a bit bigger than I had planned (meaning I didn’t really plan it or work out what the finished size would be from the tension and just started it, oops) is blocking at the moment (blocking is when you wash it and lay it flat in the right shape to even up the stitches and make it look even better – the Yarn Harlot has written a nice thing here). After some considerable thinking I decided it would have to be pinned to the rug because it won’t fit anywhere else sensible but the rug is on the table because I was paranoid about the water soaking through and marking the floor, I did think about stripping the bed, pinning the Secret Thing to that and sleeping somewhere else until it is dry but I thought it wouldn’t go down too well with the other occupant of the bed, long suffering though he is, I imagine that would be a step too far. Although he only has himself to blame – it was him who taught me how to knit in the first place.

On a completely different note I currently have the ear worm of the suffragette song from Mary Poppins – “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid!’ which whilst this isn’t a view I particularly agree with (unless applied to the human race as a whole, regardless of gender – I prefer individual people to large mobs) I don’t see why I should have to suffer Glynis Johns being Mrs. Banks marching up and down singing about Missus Pankhurst being clapped in irons if nobody else does. Ready? One, two, three, go: “We’re clearly soldiers in petticoats”…

 

In which the photos take up more space than the words

This is just a quick update on a couple of things because I haven’t posted anything for a little while, I got all the photos ready and then didn’t do anything with them.

I finished the fruit for the tree over the weekend, it’s a little less baked bean can shaped than it was and I think it’s slightly less knobbly. I did enough layers of paper that I could sand it off a little bit so at any rate it is less wrinkly even if still has big knobbles. I’ve just noticed in the photo that most of them have the red side facing out but they are greener on the back. Hopefully they look ok from a distance although I don’t think the little green fellow there will be seen except from on the stage.

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The crocheted something or other is coming along nicely and just needs a head. Have you worked out what it is yet? There is a song about it if that helps, some people think the title of this song is irrelevant…

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The other thing that I promise I will tell you about next time is the bed jacket, which is finished, it is blocking at the moment. I thought that seeing as I have put off writing about it (because it would take a little while to explain and I didn’t want to tack it on the end of something else) for so long that is is finished then I might as well write about the whole thing in one go. Here is a peep of it until then:

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In which there is a little colour and I remember about Howl

Hurrah for antibiotics! I’m feeling a lot better and can have a proper conversation without a five minute coughing fit after every third and a half word. And the garden is waking up, I spotted the first bit of colour this year (apart from the green and brown, which clearly are colours, and the plethora of plastic toys that are a more or less permanent feature but don’t count because they don’t photosynthesise) and it’s purple.IMG_0080

I haven’t done much this week what with still feeling grotty but I did manage to finish a book. I used to read almost constantly – I spent the best part of my A levels either skulking in the music practice cupboard, bashing the piano loudly and hoping they wouldn’t hear it through the wall in the next room (which was where I should have been for a maths lesson) or when I didn’t need to be in the maths department I was normally sat in the corridor there working my way steadily through the fiction section of the college library. So it is very strange to not have the time to read and when there is time there is normally too much going on to concentrate on it anyway; I’ve been reading ‘Anna Karenina’ since August which has to be some kind of record, I think that even beats ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The book that I finished wasn’t that one, I was telling someone about ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ by Diana Wynne Jones the other day and then I realised I couldn’t really remember what happened in it so I thought I’d better read it again. It is another book (like Mr. Milne’s) that has chapters ‘In which’ things happen. One of them is ‘Chapter Six – in which Howl expresses his feelings with green slime’, there now, don’t you just want to read it to find out what all the slime is about?

I won’t tell you too much about it in case you do want to read it. ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ is about Sophie who should be young but is old because of a curse and can do magic without realising, she talks to things and tells them what to do or to be and talks life into them without knowing she is doing it. Another character is Calcifer, a rather grumpy fire demon, who makes the castle move and the castle belongs to Wizard Howl/Howell Jenkins who is from a strange land (can you guess which one with a name like that?) and who according to Sophie is a ‘slitherer-outer’ and who according to Calcifer is ‘heartless’. It’s a lovely story, it has shooting stars, the sosban fach song, mermaids, seven league boots, the Witch of the Waste, a yummy cake shop and the castle is fantastic – it scuttles around the hillside and is somehow in four places at once which is very useful and it is a different shape inside than it is out.

I like reading, I will read most things, grown-up books are ok and I enjoy them but fairy tales are great and kids books always seem like a lot more fun and anyway who says I have to grow up?