What a strange couple of days this has been. Since the government changed its coronavirus advice yesterday morning, virtually everything that happens locally has been cancelled. All types of meeting from the Parish Council to the Rotary Club, as well as big and small events including the annual carnival and several festivals, concerts and even church services. The roads are about 50% quieter than normal and all bar the food shops have hardly any customers. We are effectively in coronavirus lockdown.
There are at least three upsides to this that I have noticed so far. Firstly, the reduced traffic makes walking and cycling more pleasant, and even those who are self-isolating due to contact with someone with the virus are allowed to go out for exercise as long as they keep away from others. Second, there has been a huge response here, as in other areas, from volunteers prepared to go shopping for the vulnerable or run errands. This may be a tough time, but I’m sure it will result in long-term benefits in terms of community cohesion. Finally, the interruption to activities means I now have more time to spend at home on crafting pursuits and getting on with all the DIY jobs I’ve been putting off.
I’d like to bet that suppliers of DIY materials do well from the coronavirus pandemic, at least while people still have money to spend. You can only ignore a dripping tap or flaking paint for so long when you are faced with it 24 hours a day. I’ve ordered some samples of kitchen worktops because we’ve been meaning to replace the old ones ever since we refurbished our kitchen units two and a half year ago. Unfortunately, they were supposed to arrive this morning and haven’t. Perhaps all the courier drivers are self-isolating.
After a pair of my ancient pyjama bottoms literally fell apart in the washing machine last week, I’ve cut out a nightie from some bubblegum-pink cotton jersey. It has dolman sleeves, so just two pattern pieces not counting the neckband. More on that next time.
I’ve also been working on the summer poncho I want to make from two balls of Senses Lace yarn. I’ve decided against using Orenburg stitch patterns, I’ll stick with the Shetland motifs I’m familiar with. Here’s a swatch I’ve knitted to determine the best needle size – the lower portion on 3.75mm looks good, I reckon, the upper part on 4.5mm is too loose.
That done, I know how many stitches I should cast on for the neck and the rate of increase that will give me the right degree of ease over my shoulders. I just need to work out which stitch patterns to use and how to incorporate increases into them, which is of course the tricky bit. Good job I’m stuck at home for a while.