Thursday, 23 August 2012

Are we nearly there yet?

'There' being the end of the school holidays.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my daughters dearly, but the long summer holidays do start to drag and finding things to occupy DD2 can be difficult.  Her disability means that even going to a  play-park can be stressful as her difficulties in understanding acceptable social behaviour can be challenging (I don't think I'll quickly forget the incident at the top of a slide where she pushed a younger child down because he was dithering and she wanted her turn).  The other day, she tried to use a bike and a scooter belonging to other children who were there, which caused them consternation and resulted in a mini-tantrum when I said that no, she couldn't use them.  DD1 has been away twice with grandparents - the first time for a few nights in Paris and then for a week on a cruise-ship around the northern Med, the lucky girl.  Husband has been working away for the whole month and is gone Mon-Fri, so I've been doing the 'married single parent' thing again.

The result is that I'm weary, fatigued, stressed and, at times, bad-tempered.  It also means that with the seemingly constant interruptions of children requiring meals, snacks, drinks, batteries, etc, etc, etc, my times has been very fragmented and I haven't got a great deal of crafting done.  Naively, I had the idea that I'd be able to get on with things whilst the girls were at home.  Delusional, or what?  I thought I'd be able to finish my Nympheas scarft.  Not a chance - lace + autistic child is not a good combination.  Spinning?  Pfft.  Not when DD2 wants to have a go. 

So, it's been stocking stitch and that's about it.

I sewed the ends in on these socks this morning:

They've been on the needles since mid-July, so I thought I'd finish them off.  They're made from Natural Dye Studio Unicorn yarn - 70% baby llama, 20% cashmere and 10% silk (I think) and they're soft and comfortable and a bit of an indulgence for socks because they'll probably wear out quite quickly.

I've also had the pattern for the Lucy bag for a while.  I'd also spun some natural coloured Jacob fibre and some burgundy merino, so thought I'd use it for the bag.  It only took a week to do the knitting.  It was a bit of floppy mess when I'd finished the knitting part:

Then I slung it into the washing machine with a pair of trainers and put it on a quick, 30C wash to see how (if at all - I wasn't sure if the merino was superwash or not) it would felt.  Then, I put it on a  40C 1hr wash cycle to felt it down a bit more.  After that, I looked for something to shape it round and decided the waste bin from the downstairs bathroom was the right size, albeit not quite tall enough.  I hung it up on the over-door hook between the lounge and the bathroom and left it there while we went off to see my parents as it was my Dad's 81st birthday yesterday:

It's now dried and I'm considering lining it as it's a bit fuzzy (I might put some sellotape over it to take off some of the fuzzy bits). 

The jacob felted down more than the merino did (but it was spun slightly thinner), but I quite like the slight puckering effect that's given the darker stripes.  The felted bag doesn't show it, but from the lowest cream strip upwards, there are the same number of rows.  Alternating the cream and the burgundy, I knitted 12, 10, 8, 6 and finally 4 rows of each colour, which took me up to 120 total rows from the cast on (the taller bag size).  I made the longer strap in burgundy - a little big longer than the pattern stated for the shorter strap - and the short strap in cream/off-white.

I've had a look through my fabric stash and have various Kaffe Fassett striped and plain fabrics that I bought years ago, so might make a lining out of those.  I shall have a think about it.  It might have to wait until after the start of the school year - I don't think DD2 and my sewing machine in the same room together would be a good idea.

I've cast on for my Breckon cardigan and am about half way through the 4" of ribbing.  I think the yarn I'm using will work better on smaller needles than the pattern calls for, so I'm going to be fiddling about with the pattern, using the stitch count for one size, but the dimensions of one size smaller than that.  Hopefully I'll be able to show you a bit more of that next time.

In the meantime, while there's still just under two weeks of school holidays left, I might wind some Lorna's Laces into balls and start another pair of vanilla socks.  I don't think there's going to be much else I'll be able to do without much frogging and swearing!

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