Knitting magazines have been popping through the door day by day! I love that. I love sitting, with a cup of tea, browsing through each one several times. When I find something I’m interested in, either a pattern I’d like to knit, or a stitch pattern that’s interesting, or even just the “give-aways”, I turn the corner of the page down to remind me. Some have crosswords in, and I always do those.

I scan any patterns into my computer, so I only print them when I actually want to knit them. Saves on the (laser printer) ink. When I’m done with them, they are given away, either to friends, my next-door-neighbour, who is also a keen knitter, or, this time, to a Women’s Refuge (along with lots of other stuff – clothes, board games, jewellery, unused toiletries). These magazines are fully utilised by everybody who sees them!

Today I went to Stitch & Sip at The Shop, hoping to ask for some crochet advice. But there was nobody there who is an experienced crocheter. In fact, I was the only experienced knitter there, so I was helping various people. That feels really satisfying – one of the women has started bringing her daughter, who is 15-ish I guess, and has just started knitting. She needed a little help with casting on 116 stitches (I always use stitch markers every 20 stitches when casting on more than 100 stitches, it really makes a difference). Then someone needed help working out how much yarn to buy for a particular pattern. Thank goodness for the calculator on my smart(ish) phone.

And most exciting of all, I learned basic use of the till. Now one of the young women is back at university, staffing the shop can be problematic, so I’m going to help out occasionally. What a lovely thing to be able to do. I live so close (7 minutes’ walk away), and love it so much. When it first opened I was there every day – had to stop that because I was spending too much money. Now I go to Stitch and Sip alternate weeks on a Thursday, and alternate weeks on a Saturday. This week it was Saturday, next week it’s Thursday.

The colours of the yarn in the shop are just beautiful, and very well displayed. It’s like a sweet shop, only no calories. I could spend much more money, though.

Current project is a Pimpelliese shawlette in babylonglegs semi-precious Silver Chair 4ply, with a black bead at the point of each triangle. Can’t wait to finish and wear it. Next up will be Bergère de France Short Jacket (from magazine 159, pattern No 6), in turquoise. Also very excited about that. And then I’m going to do the tumbling blocks (Octopush), which has been rumbling (tumbling?) around in my mind for a while. It’ll be a knitted version.

Also, in between knitting the shawlette, I’m trying to do the African Flower from Heidi Bears, but am struggling a bit. Which is odd, because the instructions are very clear, even though I’ve translated them from US to British crochet terms. It could be that I just need to use nicer yarn. But when I’m trying something out for the first time I tend to use old stash yarn, or free crappy yarn that comes free with a magazine.

However, just now, whilst typing this blog, I have found another set of instructions – here – which I’m going to try. With two different colours of Bergère de France Idéal, one blue, one lilac (ish) which I have spare, and which I like. Will let you know how it goes.

If you don’t knit or crochet, the excitement I feel when trying new yarn, or new needles, or a new pattern, is hard to explain. If you do, though, you’ll understand. But even at my age (I’m 58) it’s a real lift.

I’ve also just discovered how to add accented characters. My life is one long splash of excitement. Or maybe I’m just easily pleased, or a bit nerdy.

I have to go now and feed the cat. Again. Despite her full ration of  food tonight so far, she is crashing about in what we think of as “commando cat” mode. Eyes huge, ears back, rushing about, miaowing every time she bumps into a human. So biscuits it is then.

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