The sun has shone for a few days, which has meant I can open the windows wide and get on with washing down the walls ready for painting. I’ve wired in an architrave switch for the new outside light and dear husband has smoothed large quantities of filler over the conduit that we cut into the plaster – filling is not my strong point.
Another few hours of washing down and I can get a couple of coats of white emulsion on, which will brighten the place up. Before installing the light we will have to temporarily connect it to a power supply and balance it on something to figure out what height it needs to be at for the PIR sensor to work best. So there is still some work to be done there.
I have at last designed the upper portion of my gansey. It’s going to look like this – unless I change my mind part way through.
The Humber Stars are included because I grew up near the Humber. Hull was the nearest city and, as a child, getting there meant an exciting crossing on one of the three paddle steamers that ferried foot passengers and cars back and forth, the Tattershall Castle, the Wingfield Castle and (my favourite) the Lincoln Castle. The suspension bridge that replaced them in 1981 is rather beautiful but not nearly as interesting for a small child.
I’ve reached the armholes and I am now proceeding on two needles, one side at a time. I thought I would be knitting faster than before, in part because I am on only half the number of stitches (actually fewer, because the gussets aren’t knitted again until the sleeves are underway), and also because I am more comfortable on straight needles and the design is simpler, being several large motifs rather than lots of small ones. I can hold it in my head better, which saves time spent peering at the chart. However, I keep making silly mistakes through forgetting that I must knit the pattern stitches on every other row instead of purling them.
Earlier in the week I took the afternoon off to go with three friends to a yarn shop at Coldspring Mill in Cullingworth, which is very close to Haworth. The moors always look lovely on a fine day at this time of year, covered in purple heather, but I wouldn’t want to live in such a bleak place given our inclement Yorkshire weather. For every sunny day there are probably a dozen cold, wet, foggy or downright windy ones. It’s no wonder those Brontë sisters died young.
This was the first visit to Coldspring Mill for three of us, myself included. We were impressed with the range of yarns, although there was little in weights finer than 4 ply. The prices were reasonable too, that is to say lower than most other places. A coffee shop in the mill provided us with much-needed sustenance while we perused each other’s purchases and studied patterns to try and calculate how much yarn to buy on the second trawl through the wool shop. All in all, a good afternoon out. I bought a couple of balls of King Cole’s Riot DK in shades of grey. I will make a Wingspan shawl/scarf and, at some point in the future, the It Takes Two keyhole scarf in brioche stitch.
The test drives are at an end, thank goodness. We borrowed a Renault Captur from the local dealership and tried it in the garage. Not only did it fit, but our two bicycles will go into it (with the back seats folded forwards) without having to do any dismantling other than removing the front wheels. That is important because we often takes the bikes on holiday by air, and it is so convenient for an early morning departure to drive them to the airport ready-bagged for the flight. The Captur is therefore top of the list and I dare say we will order one just as soon as we have found the cheapest supplier. We will go for the 3 cylinder, 0.9 litre petrol engine which delivers 90bhp but emits only 113g carbon dioxide per km.
Saturday morning saw me at my knitting group, knitting my sock because I have learnt that I cannot knit the gansey and speak (or watch TV, or think) at the moment. A couple of young mothers have joined us recently, keen to learn to knit so that they can make clothes for their babies. Our local yarn shop sent them to us, which was great. One of the two could knit and purl already but had never followed a pattern and knew nothing of such matters as tension squares. She has started a simple, top down, baby cardigan. It’s lovely watching her gain her knitting confidence and take pleasure in what she’s creating.