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we made it, sort of

cherrybag.Jpeg

This should put an end to cherries falling out the holes and rolling down the hill. Dr B doesn’t mind the colours (all of which were readily to hand when I started the bag).

Yeah, that went well. Not. I think that’s the best way to describe our Christmas, which was a topsy-turvy one, thrown into disarray by varying availability. In itself, that would not be a problem. We can work around that. Indeed, we did. But decisions to change things, and change them again, then change them a bit more… well, that was too much for me. I just sulked.

That is to say, I worked till the usual time on what is colloquially known as Black Friday. It’s the last working Friday of the year for many offices, mine included, when nearby watering holes do a roaring trade. At my place, we had an exhausted sort of in-house happy hour (the accompanying snacks were everyone’s bits and pieces of leftovers and Christmas gifts donated to the communal cause) then headed out the door. I was home about the same time as usual. From then on, I managed to misunderstand – or misinterpret or have to clarify to the point of seeming rude or stupid or both – almost everything that was said to me or requested of me by anyone else in the family, up to and including Christmas Day 😉

It reflected my level of mental and physical exhaustion, but there was no opportunity to rest or do anything I wanted to at my pace. When asked for a Christmas tree for photographic purposes, although it was considerably earlier than my traditional Christmas-tree-erecting-hour, I managed to dig one out of a box, throw a few lights and some tinsel at it, and call it ready in about five minutes flat. It looks awful, because I’ve done nothing else since, but it’s a Christmas tree. To be fair, it doesn’t look too bad when the lights are on. I put the Christmas wreath on the front screen door, complete with Santa. Major effort. Shiny-halo stuff, really. Right?!

Dr B and I celebrated a large wedding anniversary – not a particularly significant one, but lots of years – and I managed to stay awake long enough to share the toast. Then after everyone else was in bed, I wrapped some of the presents (those that required it). For the rest, I tied ribbon around a couple of hand-crocheted shopping bags and a waffle-y dishcloth (or facecloth; the recipient can decide which it’s to be) like the one I made Youngest Aunt for her birthday, attached a gift tag that included yarn-care instructions; and didn’t photograph any of them. So, yeah, I’ve been busy with making things but have no evidence. And I couldn’t get to my sewing machine, so no wine-bottle carriers have yet eventuated. Nor are they likely to, but it’s always possible I might manage them for birthdays throughout the year. In some respects, that 2018 is ending as chaotically as it has progressed is not at all surprising. But, as I’ve remarked a few times lately, we’re all still upright and relatively coherent most of the time. That might be enough for this year.

I’m about 20 stitches away from completing a crocheted market tote for Dr B (the one in the photo). It’s not in his colours, but he will enjoy using it when he goes out foraging for cherries up in the local cherry orchards. I made it specifically with small holes – no cherries should fall through them – and a long strap, so that he can wear it cross-body over his motorcycling clobber. And that’s all I have to do: simply join that long strap to the other side of the bag. Now that things have quietened down a little – visitors gone home, no more parties in sight till New Year’s Eve – I might be able to sit down and do that without too much trauma in the very near future. It will require me to count a few stitches to ensure it’s centred, but if I can find a few uninterrupted minutes, that’s all it will take. Oh, and sewing in the few ends, of course.

But you notice I said “if”? That’s because Dr B is in building mode, continuing to work on an upgrade to our pergola. It’s a big undertaking and, although YoungB and I have both helped as and when our work commitments allow, we’re not the ones doing the bulk of the work. However – you might have known there’d be a “however” – because I’m now home on so-called holidays, there seems to be this immediate assumption – there’s been no request; just an assumption – that, as well as dropping everything at a moment’s notice to assist more frequently with the building work, I’ll also take over all the domestica, including the cooking. Yeah right.

The cooking has certainly been going by the wayside since the construction started and I’m fine with that. After all, Dr B and I built our own house together. I know about the need to prioritise building work over food prep. Luckily, we have good local options for fast food that’s also nutritious: various Asian takeaway restaurants that don’t break the bank and provide authentic food that’s as good as what we’d make at home. I’m not a bad cook, and in the days when I did more cooking I enjoyed it; but our kitchen is not ours at all. It’s Dr B’s. We’ve been together for a long time and, if pressed, work well together in a kitchen – witness our having cooked and catered for a couple of rowing camps over the years – so it’s not even trying to find my way around the weird – to me – places he puts things that gets to me in this instance.

It’s that I’d like some equity! I ought to be able to get on with my own backlog of domestic work, of which there is plenty, because I have been so busy in my job-that-pays-the-bills that I’ve had next to no energy to do little more than the barest minimum of laundry and cleaning since about the end of July. I’ve been coming home and falling asleep in my evening meal (or going straight to bed almost as frequently) for almost half the year. Having a lie-in would be a good start to getting some energy back, but making inroads on those chores is by now pretty high on the list and some of them require access to my sewing machine. For example, there are these wine-bottle carriers I want to make…

I’d also like some time to read a book. Dr B goes out on weekly motorcycle jaunts (sometimes pushbike rides as well). I think I ought to be able to read a book in peace. It need only be one. I’m not asking for sufficient time out to read the entire trilogy I’m presently working my way through. But it would be nice to finish the first one which I’ve been reading for an uncharacteristically long time (I find it not good commuter reading because of the tricky typography and its physical bulk). Mind you, a good start on the second title would be fabulous, but I can’t see it happening.

On Boxing Day, Youngest Aunt and I were discussing my holiday, and what I plan to do during the fortnight I’m not at my place of paid employment. While we agreed that reading ought to feature, we also acknowledged it was unlikely to. Dr B seems to think I should be able to fit in some reading. At least, he asked if I intended to bowl over a few books while I wasn’t at work. Uuh, yeah, not so much. Unless he comes back to his proper place in the kitchen 🙂

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Posted by on December 28, 2018 in Crochet

 

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did I make it or not?

Firstly, happy new year. Personally, I hope 2014 is a better year than 2013 turned out to be but whatever it holds, I’ve no doubt at all that there’ll be more plans made and never fulfilled. I mean, for example, I’m already a year down with my plan to knit YoungB’s cabled jumper and I haven’t yet begun it! (That leaves me two years in hand, I tell myself. Bags of time, absolutely bags.)

Wrapping up with 2013 Sewlutions: if I put the Yalta top as a success and something I could or even would wear to work – and the answer to both of those is yes, since I would never be without at least a short-sleeve jacket in any paid employment, which would certainly hide a multitude of sins – then I came in as a completion. Since my original brief was something like that, perhaps I got there in time. (Excuse the poor picture, I was being lazy about the tripod; and I deliberately didn’t include my face since it’s presently suffering an horrific outbreak of cold sores.)

Wearable and respectable and a vast improvement on my old, faded tops. But is it acceptable to the Mistress?

Wearable and respectable and a vast improvement on my old, faded tops. But is it acceptable to the Mistress?

If, however, we take the view that my main purpose was to use that lovely piece of rayon to make a nice top? No, I failed quite dismally. I could have sat up late on New year’s Eve and done a terribly botched job simply to make the deadline (although, being among the earliest to greet the New Year, I’d have had hours in hand, that’s not actually an option when you know your day is already spoken for). But that’s part of the deal, too: I wanted to do a good job. For once I wanted to have all the seams finished nicely and the neckline tidy and the hems straight. In that case, the Yalta top doesn’t fit the bill either, since I made it in such a rush that there are bodgy bits of finishing. It’s perfectly wearable, just not brilliant.

Also – because on New Year’s Eve I was tired to the point where I couldn’t keep my eyes open even to read a book (rare, but it happens) I went to bed and was so soundly asleep that I didn’t hear Dr B and Eldest Aunt come home from the beachside fireworks display – I didn’t blog about my failure or read Karen’s post on the appointed day. I’ve since headed over to do that, sure she’d have pulled another rabbit out of the hat; and, you know, of course she had! But I had a feeling there’d be others who might also be in that grey area of not knowing quite whether to claim a success or a miserable failure and probably quite a few who didn’t manage to meet either the Sewlution or the deadline. That’s proved to be the case.

In a bigger picture way, I’m quite sure that my muddled output was a product of my muddled year. I did manage to knit a reasonable amount – 14 completed items, if my record on Ravelry is accurate, as well as two cardigans that are frogged or still WIPs, a care shawl that’s also still on the needles and the Noro Silk Garden scarf that’s growing slowly – but my sewing was less productive. I mended a lot of things, though I always think of that as rescuing them otherwise I probably wouldn’t do it! But let’s see, what did I make? A bandanna, quite a few lavender bags, several totes of varying descriptions, a little clutch I didn’t blog about but use all the time and three aprons as well as the galactic Yalta top. Not a large output, I think you’d have to agree. Perhaps this year I’ll manage to get that sewing room back to a better state of usefulness and improve my output.

So I remain uncertain as to the answer to my question but perhaps, if the Mistress is in a good mood, She might reckon I managed to meet the goal of making a top suitable for work. Otherwise I’m in for a terrible time. I hope you’re not also quaking in your boots!

 

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Knitting, Reading, Sewing

 

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