Long, warm Sunday

All kinds of ribby textures

It has been a long, warm day during which I have slightly run out of steam.  So, no, my slope rib cardigan isn’t complete and as I head off to my new job tomorrow it remains to be seen how long it will take me to finish this cardigan.  Not that there is any need for a thick wool cardi at the moment, and knitting is a relaxing pastime, not a competition.

I did buy some paper and start practicing my handwriting.  This was preceded by the ritual filling of fountain pens then scrubbing of ink off hands.  The pretty pen in the picture above is the most temperamental and it took some coaxing to get it working after a couple of weeks sitting empty.  The other two are rather better-behaved, if less pretty.  Isn’t that always the way?

There was no shortage of knitting time today, as there was another long Tour de France stage.  Unfortunately, the heat put me off the idea of knitting for the duration, although the Tour has been interesting enough to keep my mind off my knitting.  Yesterday Juan Antonio Flecha came in at position 134.  This is quite respectable.  He’s very much a support player for Team Sky in the Tour – just solidly getting on with making sure the team members like Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas get the support they need to do the stellar stuff.  Today it was a team time trial day and Team Sky came in at third place which is very good.  They were only 4 seconds off the lead.  Again, Flecha played a solid part as the team sped through the 23 kilometres.  Tomorrow is another long haul through the French countryside and I’ll be recording to watch in the evening.

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And they’re off

The essential equipment

The 2011 Tour de France is underway with the long first stage heading into the countryside of the Vendée after a scenic route along the coast.  I support Team Sky, because they’re British and because Juan Antonio Flecha rides for them.  I have a soft spot for Flecha.

I’ve gathered together the essential equipment for Tour-watching: knitting, route map, Tour guide magazine, remote controls, French biscuits.

Today also marks the start of the Tour de Fleece and across the world spinners and knitters in their hordes will have picked up their fibre or yarn and set off on their own competition to spin or knit their own pre-set goal (for example, spin a set amount of fibre or knit a jumper) through the duration of the Tour.  I don’t have any goals and haven’t joined any groups, I’m just not a joiner-in, but it can’t be argued that a competition like the Tour de France offers great blocks of time to sit on the settee and knit.

Will the sleeve of the Slope Rib Cardigan be finished today?  Will I simply grind to a halt and give in to the attractions of the French biscuits?  Join us tomorrow to hear how the day went.  I might well keep you updated with Flecha’s performance in the Tour too!

Where did my handwriting go?

Lovely pen

I used to be able to write neatly.  When I was at school I won a prize for keeping a neat notebook.  I have a love of all the paraphernalia of writing, the notebooks, the pens, the ink, the heady smell of a stationery shop.  So when did I lose the ability to write, and where did my handwriting go?  Did the rot start the day I first lay fingers on the keys of a typewriter?  Certainly, by the time I was taking my creative writing course I could write much more effectively sitting at a computer than handwriting on paper and then laboriously transcribing it.  I didn’t realise it at the time, but my handwriting was already starting to drift away from me.  Yet even a few short years ago I was capable of turning out page after page of readable script when I put my mind to it.  Now, it disintegrates into an ungainly scrawl which the finest pens and ink cannot remedy, and I can no longer love it.

I don’t know if my handwriting and I can ever be reconciled, but it feels like a part of me is missing if I cannot pick up a pen and produce something sweet.

 

Settling in

Palms socks
Palms socks

Now we know that Apple will no longer be supporting their web-hosting next year, it is time to make a move to a more ‘professional’ blog host.  Deep breath then jump right in.

Yesterday was crazy-hot and my camera decided to play funny when I tried to take blog photos so I ended up with very little to show for the time I spent.  And it was getting quite dusky by the time I got any photos at all.  Not sure if this is a sign that my beautiful camera is coming to the end of its life.  I do hope not, because I love it so much!

I have cast on for the second sleeve of my Slope Rib cardigan but haven’t got too far with it yet.  This blog set-up is taking a lot longer than expected.

Stick around for a bit more information in the coming days, once I get my head around this interface.