Rain, rain, go away

I think in Norfolk it has rained for the entire month of April.  I may be wrong, but not by much.  When it hasn’t been raining, it has been windy.  The sun has put in an occasional appearance, but on the whole it has rained.  Anyone with any sense at all has either stayed at home or, if they have strayed, has made sure they have an appropriate coat.

Appropriate coats

These two, for example, are wearing the finest that Noro has to offer.  (You can tell it’s Noro by the vegetable matter.)

Knitting

You can be forgiven for thinking that, given the inclement weather, I will have been sitting indoors knitting up a storm, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I’ve had an aching arm and an aching knee which have conspired to make long bouts of sitting and knitting unfeasible.  That, coupled with the fact that I’ve been rather out of ideas of things to knit, has left me with little real progress since finishing Laccaria and that seems like ages ago.  However, some inspiration did arrive last Friday in the form of two skeins of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn, one in Bright Charcoal and one in Lilac.  The Bright Charcoal socks are already underway.

Colinette Jitterbug in Bright Charcoal

Jitterbug is pretty much my favourite sock yarn because I find it endlessly fascinating watching the colours come and go.  When a yarn has this much going on in it, the problem of pooling doesn’t seem to have any relevance.

Cycling

My lovely new bicycle has had to learn that in real life you get wet, very wet.  When you’re a bicycle there’s an awful lot of sitting around in the rain.  It has also had to learn that it belongs to a girly and therefore it is going to have to go through the long process of finding the correct bag for her needs!  I have tried it with a Carradice saddlebag and wasn’t happy.  Being quite short, and the bike having quite large wheels (700c) there isn’t a lot of room for a bag to hang from the saddle and still sit happily above the mudguards.  Also, I found it fiddly to get stuff in and out of it effectively.  Lovely bag, though.

The Carradice Junior saddlebag

After this experiment, I bought a “Back Bag” which would sling across my back.  That was okay, but I wasn’t totally happy with it.  It worked well with one jacket that I wear to cycle, but was dreadful with my waterproof jacket.  And I’ve needed the waterproof jacket a lot!   I generally don’t get on with carrying things on my back, and although this is better than most things I’ve tried it still isn’t a favourite.  I currently have a rack on the bike and that is my preferred option as it means I can use the lovely Basil bags which I have collected, but this isn’t the sort of bike that a rack is entirely perfect with.  Because it requires you to sling your leg over the rear of the bike to mount and dismount, you are limited as to what you can comfortably do with a rack.  The search continues.

Well, the sun has put in a brief appearance and it is time for me to cook my tea.  More soon, I hope, but in the meantime enjoy your knitting and I hope the sun shines on you.

 

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Bikes and bags and secret knits

Fully laden Trek

So, when I want to do my grocery shopping, this is my modus operandi.  My Trek bicycle is my everyday transport, in that I ride it to work, for leisure, and for shopping.  And, yes, I use it in the wind, and the rain, when it’s light, or it’s dark, but I wimp out when it’s snowy or icy.

This is the Trek loaded up with a grocery shop.  Depending on what I’ve bought, it can be a bit of a haul getting home – groceries can be very heavy.  Sometimes it’s just bulky stuff like cereal and tissues so the weight isn’t quite so bad.  After a lot of experimentation the combination of bags shown works for grocery shopping.  There are two Basil designs which hook onto the rear rack of the bicycle.  The black and white one also doubles as a day-bag (well, when it’s not beyond use as it is now – waiting for the replacement as we speak!!) but the grey one on the side next to the wall tends only to be used for shopping.  The rack pack which sits on top of the rack is for overflow items, as I found that I always buy one more item than will fit into the two shoppers!

I’ve been really happy with the design of the bags from Basil, which is a Dutch firm.  They do a good variety, plain and fancy.  I also have a couple of their designs for little girls which are the ideal size for a ‘handbag’.

But I haven’t only been doing my grocery shopping.  No siree.

Unfortunately, what I have been doing is somewhat secret.  Hush.  Not a word.  There’s one secret knitting project which has a definite deadline which it might meet.

Hush, can't say

This is being knit in Wendy Supreme Cotton DK.  Despite hating working with cotton, this is actually very nice indeed and I’m really happy with how it’s knitting up.  Mind you, I’m getting nowhere near the “correct” gauge, either for the project I’m working or for the suggested gauge for the yarn.  Strangely enough, although I usually knit very loose, I’m rather tight on this one, although admittedly I’m using a size smaller needles than suggested.  But then I like the fabric it’s making so maybe I’d find the next size needle making a slightly sloppy fabric for my taste.

Then there’s another secret knit which I started this weekend.  This might have a deadline, or it might not.  It might be going to one person, or it might be going to a different person.  What the deadline is, and who the recipient may be, and, indeed, what the project turns out as, are all in the lap of the gods at the moment.  Given that I must complete the first secret project, I might not have time to finish the second one to meet the earlier deadline, in which case it will become a Christmas gift.  In fact, the yarn was bought with the Christmas gift in mind, so has been slightly hijacked for the summer gift idea.

No, really, can't talk about it

This time the yarn is raw silk.  I am calling the project Recalcitrant.  This is not because I’m having any problems with the knitting, but the yarn was a real problem to wind from skein to ball.  It has a slightly ‘sticky’ feel and kept clinging to itself and twisting into knots as I wound it.  Plus, I kept dropping the ball.  Note to self: must invest in ball winder one of these old years. The colours are just gorgeous, for either of the people I have in mind.  It reminds me of different coloured lichen growing on a rock.  Of course, if I was knitting this for myself I would be doing plain old stocking stitch.  Even as I’m knitting the very simple lace pattern, I keep thinking “Wow, this would look good in stocking stitch”.  It’s lucky that I occasionally knit for other people, otherwise this blog would just be a sea of stocking stitch.

So that’s what I’ve been up to this weekend.  How about you?