Striped cardigan for 3-4 year old girl

Striped cardigan (George and Annabel’s cardigan from Debbie Bliss’s book Eco Family, 2010)

The unusually intense heat of the beginning of this week (6 days of over 34 degrees C) has left me with little energy for getting the sewing machine out and making up the white linen cushion covers that are so near to being finished. Sweaty hands are even less good at handling embroidery threads than sewing machines, so embroidery too has been put to one side. Thank goodness for having this little cardigan in need of just its neckband, the joining of seams and the sewing on of buttons.

Striped cardigan (George and Annabel’s cardigan from Debbie Bliss’s book Eco Family, 2010)

Once again a Debbie Bliss pattern and one I’ve used before, simple and satisfying to make. I particularly like the fit of the semi set-in sleeves and the V neck is just the right height, not so low as to fall off the shoulders when fastened and not so high as to irritate at the neck. The pattern, called George and Annabel’s Cardigan from the book Eco Family, recommends DB’s Eco Baby yarn, but as the tension is the same as for her Baby Cashmerino  I could use yarn I already had. Here is another I made a couple of years ago, this one in coral with a Fair Isle band. I’m not sure about the buttons for this stripey cardigan (little stencilled flowers on coconut shell bought a couple of years ago from Ray Stitch) which I veer between loving and thinking they don’t work. I haven’t yet sewn them on.

Detail: Striped cardigan (George and Annabel’s cardigan from Debbie Bliss’s book Eco Family, 2010)

As we hunker down in our homes and real human interaction is limited I spend more and more time scouring interesting things from The Times, which thankfully is still delivered to our door by human hands at 7.20 almost precisely on a weekday. I particularly enjoy little regular unheralded columns which come with no blazing headlines or photographs and can be found in exactly the same part of the paper as they have for ever – well, for a long time. Recently I’ve noticed that Nature Notes, for years written by Derwent May is now on alternating days attributed to two other Times writers. May is now 90, so I hope he’s chosen to retire and wish him good health. I do, however, miss him. I also enjoy Paul Simons’ Weather Eye, a long thin column buried deep within the less frequented pages of the paper. Simons is always interesting and often enlightening about weather phenomena, like unusual cloud formations or the fact that Britain does have plenty of earthquakes, it’s just that they are never very big. I’ve also been following letters in the paper after a piece on August 10 by Benedict King “Good riddance to insanely expensive cathedral powers (no, “choirs” not “powers” – only just noticed this – was it me or auto-correction? Hurrumph!) I am, however,  happy to report that Times Readers are bashing King’s negativity to the boundary with intelligent and informed sweeps of counter argument and reminding us of the impact of the British choral tradition on the global music  industry, from rock and pop, to opera and classical music (not to mention cricket – sir Alastair Cook was a choral scholar at St Paul’s Cathedral!).

Debbie Bliss’s knitting pattern book Eco Family, 2010)

From the beginning of August, we wrinklies now have to pay for our TV licences, £157.50 p.a. Dutifully my husband has sent off our payment. There are many good arguments for and against and I have my suspicion collection of the fee may cost more than the BBC anticipate as there are rumbles of minor but inconveniencing civil disobediences about the matter. The Detection Van glowers over a new community now, so I was amused by the following story (possible apocryphal) in The Times Diary  of the 12th of August.  Just as a man was leaving home he was accosted by an inspector from a TV detector van asking to see his TV licence. The man said he was late for a meeting, asked them if they could return in an hour when his wife would be home and told them to tell her exactly where the TV licence was. An hour later the inspector returned and the man’s wife opened the door.  The inspector presented his credentials and asked to see her TV licence which he said he understood was “in the chest of drawers, third drawer down, in the blue folder.” The woman was stunned. “Crikey”, she said. “Those vans are really powerful aren’t they?”

Next week, there will be embroidery.


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  1. ceci
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I really like the flowered buttons – stripes and florals together generally in face. Sorry the heat is making it so hard for you all – I need to look up the conversion from C to F…. We are having the cool wet few days we occasionally have here in August, such a welcome respite after upper 90s most of July.
    But its all relative.


    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      That’s 93.2 degrees F which is probably nothing to you but being an island we’re used to the surrounding sea keeping us quite cool and then the air from the Atlantic in particular keeping us regularly wet. These bursts of heat are quite a challenge and we have to remember things like where we stowed away the fan that languishes idly for 50 weeks of the average year – usually we manage to find it just as the rain comes!
      I may stay with the little flower buttons.

      • ceci
        Posted August 18, 2020 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh no, 93 is hot, especially if its humid and buildings are designed to be cozy rather than have good cross ventilation as is probably the case there. The hottest I ever was was in Canada one August – there was not a breeze or a fan or a shaded window to be found, not to mention air conditioning! Much hotter than some places in Africa where buildings are designed to catch a breeze! So you have my sympathy!


        • Mary Addison
          Posted August 19, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

          Well, thank you Ceci, that’s interesting – the only cross ventilation we achieved was opening windows at both the front and the back of the house, though there wasn’t a hint of a breeze. The only time I experienced real heat was when we got off a plane in Cairo when we seemed to walk into a wall of heat. It took that trip to Egypt to make me realise how wonderful it was to drink cold, unadulterated water.

  2. Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Yes, too hot to think straight. I’m surprised you could even knit – I even set aside the crochet!

    And your rummagings in The Times do turn up some interesting tidbits, don’t they!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I think being so near to finishing the knitting helped me to get it done but the heat did make me go much slower.

  3. Amara Bray
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Such amusing stories in your Times. Thanks for sharing! We have been having an awful heat wave here in the Utah desert. Over 100 for a week and we aren’t finished. I should be grateful. My husband had to go south a few hours to help his mother moving some furniture, and it is supposed to have been 115 today there. Yuck.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted August 22, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I don’t know how you get anything done in those sort of heats, Amara. We regard 21 degrees C/ 70 degrees F as hot!
      I suppose you get used to higher temperatures than we have and adapt your life accordingly – though even you regard 100 as extreme, let alone a ridiculous 115.
      Well done to kind husband moving furniture in such heat – let alone driving to get there.

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