Monday 15 April 2019

Stepping in to Spring (Yarn Along April 2019)

This month I have been embracing a slower pace of life, partly because it's the school Easter holidays, so I have all three children with me every day for two weeks (which makes it a little harder to get things done), and partly because I am about to enter the final month of maternity leave, so want to make the most of the time I have at home with my still-small baby. I have been enjoying watching Spring emerge, starting with delightful purple crocuses on verges, swiftly followed by bright and bold daffodils everywhere, and now we're moving on to blossom; Spring really is my favourite time of year.*

With so much life stuff happening this month, my knitting has very much taken a back seat. A couple of weeks ago, I spent an afternoon rummaging through the deeper recesses of my stash and found a fair number of unfinished sock projects. Rather than hiding them all back where they came from, I am determined to finish at least a few pairs before casting on any more socks. The current pair that's getting my attention are DK weight, in some stripy Regia yarn; I'm knitting these for my brother as a slightly belated birthday present. Is a work in progress (WIP) still a WIP if you unravel the whole thing and start again? I don't know, but I'm counting this pair as a WIP even though I unravelled them before doing any more knitting as I decided I wanted to knit them from the top down rather than the toe up,** and that they needed a few more stitches.

I have allowed myself a new cast on this month: the Pond Street shawlette, which I bought the kit for at Yarndale in 2017. The shawl uses short rows (one of my favourite techniques) to create a chevron border, then more short rows to make the body of the shawl. The colours in this project are perfect for me: navy, turquoise and deep pink. The yarn (Baa Ram Ewe Titus) does have alpaca in it though, so ultimately I may have to give the shawl away at the end if it turns out to be too itchy against my neck (silly sensitive skin), but I'm enjoying the process so much that I'm fine with that.

One thing I have been enjoying in the past couple of weeks is dedicating some time to reading. I have just finished Notes from a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, which I bought on a whim from a bestseller-shelf in a supermarket. The book is a collection of Haig's thoughts on mental health in the modern age, interspersed with short narratives about things that have happened to him; it's engagingly written, and made me think a lot about how I, and wider society, use social media in a way that is not necessarily good for us. Throughout the book there are lists about all sorts of topics, and one point on a list about being kinder to yourself was 'Do something in the day that isn't work or duty or internet'; the quote really resonated with me, and reminded me that in spending all our time doing the things we think we have to do, we sometimes lose ourselves along the way.

I've just started reading The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sarah J. Harris. The book is about Jasper, a boy with synaesthesia (Jasper senses the world around him as colours), who has somehow become involved in a police investigation to do with the disappearance of Bee Larkham. I'm two chapters in and definitely hooked!

What have you been reading and crafting on in April? Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along.

*It's also my birthday this month, which obviously makes Spring even more significant to me.

**I used to knit all my socks from the toe up, but have recently had a change of heart and currently prefer to knit them from the top down.