A couple of weeks ago I escaped back to North Wales again for a few days. Partly because I had work to do up there but also because I really did need a break, it’s been pretty hectic since I got back from the last trip.
It was also my mum’s birthday last week and at the eleventh hour I decided a handspun, hand knit sweater would make a nice birthday present (she often comments on which of the yarns I spin she likes) and she’s a very special mummy and eminently knitworthy. In fact possibly the only person I will knit for other than myself.
All knitters know the vexation when you’ve spent many, many hours crafting something for a present for it not to be received with the due joy and appreciation it deserves. Sometimes this is down to an unfortunate mismatch between item and recipient of course but sometimes it’s because non-knitters don’t realise quite how much love (and £££s!) go into hand made items. On Ravelry there are often threads discussing “knitworthiness”. My own feelings are that I do not have time to knit all the things I would like to knit, it’s my hobby and relaxation and I spin and knit for many reasons. Sometimes to challenge myself to learn something new, sometimes to experiment with form, texture or colour, sometimes to give me something that fits exactly with what I want to wear and sometimes it’s purely for relaxation and enjoyment of the craft. But because I enjoy it doesn’t mean that I want to knit merely as a process. So I decided some time ago to politely decline other’s requests to “knit something for me – I’ll even pay you!!”. I knit only for love and only my mother deserves that ;0)
However I’d left it too late really what with one thing and another. And it’s curiously hard to knit for someone in secret when you share large amounts of each other’s lives. We live next door to each other effectively as my home is an annexe of hers, we share resources because it’s sustainable and friendly and we wander in and out of each others living spaces as need be. This only becomes a problem when you’ve something to hide…like birthday presents! I resorted to knitting by night but you can only do this for so long. I’d washed, carded and spun the intended fleece like a creature possessed when Mum went away for a few days but knitting proved more of a problem being a slower process and I was designing as I went along to match her favourite sweater which is coming to the end of its life. I resorted to stuffing the knitting under a cushion whenever my mother hoved into view and whipping out a book to read nonchalantly as an alibi for sitting on the sofa – an unusual pastime for me, I’m not noted for sitting around doing nothing so empty hands would definitely raise suspicion!
So I decided that the best solution was to take the knitting with me when I went up North. I knitted solidly every minute I had spare. I knitted until bedtime with a cup of hot chocolate and the radio on. I knitted in the evening sunshine watching a bunny on the back lawn.
I knitted in the front garden overlooking the sea.
I knitted on the beach whilst watching the local boatyard putting the boats into the water for the summer sailing season.
I knitted watched by suspicious seagulls.
And by the time her birthday came around I’d still only got as far as the armpits and one sleeve.
So I placed the pieces in a box with the skeins of yarn, wrapped it up and gave her a promise I would finish it soon (and a couple of other small presents to make up for it!!).
Luckily she really likes it so far, appreciates the thought and I’m working on the rest of it. And it’s so warm at the moment that I don’t think she’d be wanting to wear it just now anyway!! Hopefully it will be nice and cosy when the chilly days roll round again.
It’s so lovely to see all the flowers out just at the moment, the wisteria out at the front of the house finally decided to flower after about 10 years of thinking about it. For a very brief moment the wisteria, the clematis and the roses were all out together.
I love these New Dawn roses, such a delicate shade of pink.
Roses everywhere at the moment. And strawberries!!! It finally feels like summer…