Sunday 24 December 2017

Thursday 21 December 2017

New Model Sock ...

I've been working on my basic sock pattern, and I've made a few tweaks: I've introduced Kitchener toes and Dutch heels.

You can find my other sock patterns here: snuggly socks and here: spring into summer socks.

And to knit these socks I've used 4 ply sock wool (80% superwash merino, 20% nylon) that I dyed using logwood chips. You can read more about my logwood dye vat here: All the Purples.

Friday 8 December 2017

Internet can-do

It's a funny business growing up in the digital age, awash with information on any subject you care to google. Emi, affectionately known in the family as Sprocket - owing to his love for fixing things, or at least taking them apart so that they really need someone else to fix them - is soon to be 12. He came home from school yesterday with a sore throat, a headache and a high temperature.

Back in the analogue age that would have been a recipe for me to collapse onto the sofa and leave my mum to minister to my symptoms. But things run differently now, and I'm a lot more easily distracted than my mother ever was.

Poor Sprockers, I said absent-mindedly, not really paying him much attention. I got a brief grunt of appreciation for my sympathy, and he settled down beside me to get on with his homework.

I carried on working and paid little regard to the snuffles from behind his computer screen as he made a start on his maths prep calculating internal angles in triangles. For reasons that I don't understand he loves trigonometry. And whilst he'd never admit to enjoying homework, I knew he was happy to get on with it regardless of how he felt.

I could hear him adding up internal angles and minusing them from 180ยบ. Ignoring the odd wheeze and snort I felt fairly confident that he wasn't about to expire.

At length a small voice inquired whether we had any camomile tea.

Camomile tea?

No we didn't. Mummy doesn't do herbal teas; she only drinks builders' tea the colour of creosote.

He got up from the desk, went into the kitchen and came back with the towel that hangs on the radiator wrapped around his throat. I ignored him, thinking that he was being dramatic.

Several angles were calculated without further comment.

I'm going for a hot shower. 

He shuffled off upstairs. I passed no remarks. He often takes a shower when he comes in if he's been playing games.

Do we have honey and lemon? His voice croaked down from the landing.

Honey and lemon? 

It finally dawned on me that he was acting a bit weird: normally he's more of a chocolate and juice guy. I peered over at his laptop, and there it was, the Google search results for how to get rid of a headache and a sore throat. Having not received much attention from a mother who'd been more concerned about meeting a deadline of her own, he'd been working his way down the list of suggested steps on the Beechams' cold and flu relief page.

And that struck me as a commendably practical, thoroughly 21st century response to the situation. If your mum fails you, keep calm and google the answer.

All the best for now,

Bonny x

Thursday 30 November 2017

Succumbing to the C-Word ...

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ... We've even had five flakes of snow in London today!

I know. I know. It's still November. But if I can just hold my nerve for another day we'll be there: December with Christmas (almost) the next stop.

December is a busy month for me. I've got our wedding anniversary, Emi, my son's birthday and my husband's birthday as well as Christmas and trips back to the family in Ireland to fit in. And, of course, I've not done nearly enough preparation for any of it. Crazy days.

To distract me from the madness that is almost upon me I've worked up a new pattern for a mid-sized project bag. I've got one made up, and a few more cut out and ready to sew.

Friday 24 November 2017

Black Friday

It's Black Friday, which sounds more like an apocalypse than a retail event to me. Are you busy shopping? Or are you safely tucked up at home whilst all the hurly-burly takes place somewhere else? I'm not an enthusiastic shopper at the best of times, so I'm afraid it would take rather a lot to get me to venture forth on a day like today.

We didn't used to do Black Friday here in England. It's a very recent thing, and I have to say I don't understand it. Why do shops discount their goods in the run up to Christmas when they ought to be selling more stuff anyway? I understand that the term Black Friday is so called because it was the point in the year, just after Thanksgiving, when American retailers finally broke even: from here to year-end they were in the black. But cutting costs, and therefore margins, as you move into your busiest five weeks of trading sounds like the turkeys voting for Christmas: it simply can't be in the retailers' interests to do so. What am I missing?