Friday 7 August 2020

Not in hibernation

just keeping busy. I dog sit Monday to Friday, as you know, and now I have a pair of Bichons in the mix. They are only here for one day a week at the moment, their owner is having a series of tests and now scans.

When her treatment starts that will probably escalate, Doggy Day Care in action.

There is some talk about the possible transfer of the virus from human to pet, apparently the current thought is that cats are at risk but not dogs. My neighbour works mostly on his own, and out in the elements or in his designated work building.

He drops off the dogs into my little courtyard and I let them into the house once he has left, we do it in reverse when he collects them.

My friend has been diagnosed with a Nasty and has been shielding.

I feel that collecting her Bichons and then returning them is safe as we have no close contact. I put them into her lobby and remove the collars and once I have shut the door behind me she lets them into the house.

It would be lovely to stop and have a cuppa and a chat but we are all aware of the possible outcome. So we don't, and none of us can see a time when we can be so sociable.

In the meantime we are all keeping busy. I have been organising the garden to make room for a solar tunnel, it is here and we will start putting it together tomorrow. I used to be quite good at the Tetris game,

The vegetable beds are keeping me tying in, cutting back, pinching out etc, and I have made a brassica cage using metal stakes and a reel of scaffold netting. Well less than half the reel which cost far less than buying said cage. I did have to sew 2 lengths together, 30 minutes including measuring.

Then there is wool, lots and lots of wool, ranging from raw "smells like a mucky sheep" to prepared yarn that smells like a clean slightly perfumed sheep.

Delivered in a feed sack, freshly sheared, by my lovely neighbour. There was one for Jess as well.
Once washed, dried and carded I broke out the spindle. This was a bit too fine for my purpose so it has been wound into a ball and set aside.
Time for some colour.

Some thick and thin, full of texture wool that is destined to go onto the peg loom and be a rug when it grows up.

There are many more days of dyeing, carding and spinning to come and I look forward to each and every one. The only small inconvenience is to do with the dogs. If I stand and drop spin they want the spindle and after one too many near misses I now spin sitting down. It takes a bit longer but I am in no hurry, this is pure unadulterated pleasure.

I have also dug out a bag of bumps of merino fibre and am spinning some of that. It is so smooth and I am spinning as finely as I dare.I have blended various shades hoping for a fade, they were only little bumps, and have around 35grams. I aim to finish the blues and then carry on with a contrast colour, possibly a pale grey or pehaps a very pale blue. Wind it into a centre pull ball and then ply it. That is how I did the pink and grey for my rug and it was so simple. Just the one ball to control rather than having 2 flying all over the place. Straight into a dogs mouth perhaps.
I have been reading quite a bit and we have had some Telly evenings and binge watched a few things. I sit closer now and am front and center of the screen so that I do not miss details. 
I am knitting vanilla socks and have just managed to finish the Penny sweater from Tin Can Knits that I started months ago. Cream wool and a good light were essential for the lace pattern and I love it.

My time is fully occupied with all the things that I love and I feel blessed. As I type away I have Herbie on my left, Revi and Poppy on my right and the Bichons on the back of the sofa washing my neck and ears. Once they go home I will have another shower.

Michael is busy in his man cave, The Shed. I can hear faint noises every now and then. I do believe that he considers that he is Tidying Up. The trouble is that hardly anything gets removed because it "might come in handy". 

I have been through the cupboards and the sewing room has a corner with several items in it. I have not used them for a good while and if they have not been used by the end of the year they will be leaving.
Some will be donated but much has had a long working life and is a bit too dilapidated to pass on.

Once again we have talked about having a fryer, our treat of fish and chips from the shop is but a distant memory. It is likely to remain that way for another year from the look of things. After much humming and hahing we have shelved it, we are happy to have the occasional meal of oven baked fish and chips, not as finger licking good as deep fried but so much better for us.

I think it is time to call a halt here, this is in danger of becoming a novella.

Keep safe
                           TTFN                          Pam


  1. Oooooh! Your yarn is gorgeous! I can't knit, crochet, or tat to save my life, so I admire what others do! I really love that you do everything from spinning to completing the final project. :-)

    Your Doggy Day Care for your neighbors is sweet. It's lovely when we can help our neighbors, isn't it? The only thing I am able to do is grocery shop for four terrific ladies who are 83 to 92 years old. They encouraged me so much when I was struggling to shuffle around the block while battling severe sciatica. We had to suspend our monthly Seniors shopping day (they no longer drive) and semi-monthly general shopping day when CoVid-19 arrived on our doorstep. Since I'm a younger senior and healthy except for the pesky sciatica issue, I offered my services as personal shopper instead of chauffeur. We have our system down to a science. It's much easier with reasonably stocked store shelves now. Still can't find disinfecting wipes or spray, and many cleaning products are in short supply--there must be a lot of sparkling clean homes in the Valley of the Sun!

    Unlike you, I AM hibernating from a very hot summer. We had a very mild winter and a gorgeous, long spring, both with nice rainfall. June, which tends to be wicked hot and dry, was almost comfortable this year. Since late June, temps have hovered in the 110F (43C) degrees range, with too many days at 115+F (46+C) degrees. Yuck! To be fair, it has cooled off to about 100F (38C) degrees for a day or so a few times. That, along with air conditioning, make our annual 8 weeks or so of miserably hot weather bearable. We're still awaiting our summer wind/rain storms. 'Tis an odd year all around, isn't it?

    Looking forward to slightly cooler weather. My treadmill and I are very tired of one another! lol

    So glad you have resumed posting. :-) I can visualize you surrounded by your charges and your DH in The She'd. I really enjoy learning about different lifestyles and the choices people make.

    Phoenix, Arizona (Sonoran Desert)

    1. I am with you on the sciatica front, when it bites it hits the bone. I do shuffle about as it hurts to sit and then get up, keeping upright is the lesser evil. It is all about choices, my life took a massive upswing when I decided to retire from "paid employment" rather than work. My time was my own and I have filled every minute that I can with fun things. I am slowly learning to ease off and, although I have my spinning wheels and sewing machines, drop spinning and hand stitching help. You can not put pedal to metal with a needle and thread or drive the spinning beyond the speed limit with a spindle. Take care.

  2. "The trouble is that hardly anything gets removed because it "might come in handy". "
    My first stepdad always said that there is still a little good left in it, clothes, tools, bathrobes that were so threadbare you could see through it.

    1. My Granny and Mother were both that way inclined, as was my Grandfather. I am sure that it was an essential trait aquired during wartime. I have that streak within me but strive to curb it, sometimes I win and sometimes fail gloriously. The yarn stash seems to grow daily.

  3. Good to see you are keeping busy, creative and productive, a bit of sewing and lots of knitting going on here....also Bushwalking.
    If you would like to have a distance catch up with your friend, you could take a thermos and a snack so you don't touch anything of hers while you have a lovely chat at distance in her garden or just at her front door.

    1. We do meet up and are careful, we are both busy creatures so keep in contact with our doings, both crafty and horticultutal.

  4. I am glad you are keeping busy. I love the idea of dyeing and spinning my own yarn. You are very lucky to be able to do so.

    God bless.

  5. It is thanks to my neighbour that I have the fleece, it is large enough to keep me happy for some time.


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