And yet another jumper with Fair Isle bands

 

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

Nearly 2 weeks ago I came to London by train for granny duties during the political party conference season and the train journey was very useful for weaving in the looses ends on this jumper so that it would be ready to give to my grandson on arrival – a good way to use up what otherwise can feel like dead time! Making this jersey has been a bit of a lesson in what you should never do when knitting garments. The back was knitted from a ball of pristine red wool while a ball of  crinkly wool of the same colour (previously knitted into an unfinished baby coat ) remained for the front. (Wrong way round surely!) Later bought balls of what I thought were the same wool (same colour, different dye lot of course) were set aside for the sleeves and now these look quite different from the body – but at least both sleeves are the same so, honestly, do I care and how many would have noticed if I hadn’t said anything? The colour is bright and jolly and suggests warmth at the very least. Youngling No 1 has worn it to school several times (and forgotten in once) and he seemed very cosy in it last Sunday on our drizzly trip to London zoo.

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Book 5

As with the jumper in teal shown here, the pattern used is the two colour raglan sweater from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5. My only complaint about this much used pattern is that I find the neck a bit too wide – perhaps next time I shalln’t pick up so many stitches at the front between the raglan edge and the stitches left on the needle holder? For details of the Fair isle see here.

Boy with conker collection. Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss’s Baby Cashmerino Book 5)

Jumper with Fair Isle bands (basic jumper without Fair Isle is from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Book 5

Autumn has come with a vengeance. In Cheltenham our little apple tree has been shrugging – no throwing – its apples off which hit the wooden decking beneath like small cannon balls. In the middle of the night you could be woken by the noise of a particularly rapid sequence of missiles, especially when zinc planters received random bombardment and rang with a bright metallic clunk. In Islington the neighbour’s prolifically fruitful pear tree was causing a different problem. No heavy thudding or metallic ringing, instead a slurpy plop and a generous splatter of pulpy pear. A tarpaulin was hauled over the new sandstone paving for protection which made the patio look like a return to the builder’s yard it had been all too short a time ago. The little pond’s cleansing mechanism found the pear tree’s largesse too much to deal with and gave up – fortunately there are as yet no fish. Bad weather kept us inside for a day or two and by the time we ventured out again the fallen pears were fermenting and the journey between back door and garden office left you a touch inebriated. Next year I’m going to find one of those long armed fruit pickers and try to nip the fruit off the trees before aerial bombardment begins. The horse chestnuts have done well too, as youngling No 1’s collection of 66 specimens testifies. Oh if only we could cope better with nature’s generosity!

 

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A bit of beading

Greek key beading using pearl and gold beads

My, doesn’t time fly when boring things have to be done! The refining and reducing of possessions garnered over our two families’ lifetimes (mine and my husband’s, 7 children in all) has culminated in us bringing the final dregs to a storage unit in Cheltenham. I say dregs in a rather offhand superficial way for in truth there was much to cause joy and delight utterly essential to any sort of decent happy life. Twenty or more boxes of my husband’s research material were welcomed to his bosom like the long lost friends they were and to his credit they disappeared into his minute study (shelves on every wall) in less time than you could read the daily newspaper (The Times not The Sun, obviously). Another Manhattan tower of boxes contains children’s books and these are earmarked to come to London for the burgeoning library here (because that’s where I am at the moment). And then there are my own collection of sewing and knitting books which, though not really essential in today’s world with so much online, I still cling to. As for the brown cardboard boxes marked ‘Zips’, ‘Ribbon’, ‘Bias Binding and Rick Rack’ ‘Blind & Curtain Fittings’, etc. I find I’m just not quite ready to get rid of them yet.  Finally – I wish – there are the boxed sets of children’s toys I’ve kept for the next generation. Surprisingly it all looks rather manageable and we hope to do away with the need for the extra storage in a few months time. Meanwhile another unit in the same store was taken out for daughter No 2’s possessions while she works abroad. My dreams are still full of boxes.

Greek key beading i(2″ and 1″ wide) pearl and gold beads

Well, that’s my excuse for the rapid fly by of the last few weeks – that and one of those colds you pick up from small children. You know the sort. They get it mildly while you are pathetically lethargic and find breathing while also lying down almost impossible. The grandson’s flu jab has been booked.

Greek key beading

Never mind, here is some beading done by my eighteen-year-old self for an evening dress. I  had a bee in my bonnet that I wanted a white crepe dress with bead banding in a Greek key design just under the bust and around the hem. Accordingly I set to beading  – the broad band is about 2″ wide and 33” long  while the narrow band is 1″ wide and about 100″ long – and making the dress.  I then took myself to Glyndebourne for the premier of a modern opera (no other tickets available) and spent the evening in such a haze of wonder I have little memory of it, though I do still remember the wonderful weight of the beaded hem thwacking and swishing around my ankles as I walked. The dress has disappeared but the beading remains. What shall I do with it?

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