It's the end of May and I shouldn't be knitting hot water bottle covers but I am. We turned the heating off long ago when the days were getting warmer but it went cold again a few weeks ago and I can't make myself put the heating on in May. Still, we have got the Aga in the kitchen so I can't complain and I'm not really. It's just that some nights it's blooming freezing between those sheets. So I thought I'd knit myself this hottie from Rowan Magazine No 28. It's made with two balls of Rowan Kid Classic which I picked up at John Lewis' for £1.30 each. I like bargains like that. The pattern was pretty simple but I still had to resort to 'The Big Book of Knitting' to find out how to do twisted increases and to get the decreasing slanting the right way. I also found the ruffle a bit difficult on the purl side - I can do knit1, make1 but I found purl1, make1 a bit hard and dropped stitches a few times. Still it's done and I'm really pleased with how it looks and feels as the Kid Classic is really soft. I hope it's cold tonight!
It's half term here in England which means another week off school. I had to go up and see my Mum again on Friday because she had a triple heart bypass on Wednesday. It was awful seeing her wired up to everything, mask on her face and feeling and looking very low. The operation went very well and she is doing well now but on Friday morning it was early days and I felt very tearful. I just sat and stroked her hand and sent love and healing to her. Then it was dash home to see that my Dad was OK and although he's 87 he's doing fine and being looked after by all his Indian neighbours. They make a lot of meals for him and generally keep an eye on him. I always find it a bit amusing that my parents live in quite a run down area but a place with a great sense of community. Then you get the nice suburbs elsewhere and no-one knows their neighbours and there is no community whatsoever.
On Sunday we drove to London for the wedding party of two of our old friends who 'tied the knot' recently. I found this lovely kitsch cakestand for them and it went down a treat. It was so nice seeing their friends and family that I hadn't seen for about 10 years. Lots of people remembered Amber as a baby and she was quite bemused by this as she couldn't remember anyone.
Then it was a dash back home as my my sister was arriving with her three children. I'm so happy - I love it when we all get together. The house is noisy, it's a squeeze around the kitchen table and the fridge is heaving but the children haven't been seen. Since last night they have played football, cricket, held a fete in the garden and now some of them are playing schools with Amber as the teacher. My sister cooked supper and I sat and knitted and we exchanged news about our lives. Bliss. In the middle of the week we are going up to stay with Dad for a few days. Why does time go so quickly when we're together................
Other plans for the week include making another bag with some felted knitting. I've been scouring the charity shops for jumpers and I did find this gorgeous dark blue one that I threw in the washing machine when I got home (it's much darker than in the photo). Jumpers are very unpredictable I've decided. You'll get one that will shrink to almost nothing at 40 degrees and another that won't even shrink at 60. I think some woollens are coated with nylon but you just can't tell as the label will say 100% wool. I think I will proceed with this particular design (two birds on a tree) but I want to make sure that it isn't too fiddly to machine.... so watch this space.
I'm also planning to dye some more blankets I got some really good results the last time I did it but the children at school used most of my supply. Luckily (for once), I made notes about all the colours I used and how they turned out so I know which dyes I shall use again. This time I haven't got much white blanket left but I'm going to try dying a very pale orange one I have. Over at big and little she dyed a green blanket and the results were very good indeed.
So, whilst the house is quiet I'm saying goodbye and going to have a cuppa with my sister (she's dozing on the sofa right now). Happy holidays to you all.