Tag Archives: fabric

Essential equipment


These are the reading trousers.


Their virtues are legion:  they do not bite, itch, ride up, expose the ankles to drafts, generate electric shocks, or work themselves into vicious little wrinkles which dig in.  They enable much intellectual endeavour (also sleep), and accommodate not only legs, but any size of lunch.  Social graces should not be expected of the reading trousers when appearing outside the home, as they are not interested in public opinion.  Indeed, at formal gatherings they may spontaneously fall down.

Every reader should have some.



This is why you never throw anything away:

so that when you want a giant sandbag a yard long, you can cut up the recycled fabric from the worn-out cushions of twenty years ago;

turn the clinging velvet sausage right side out over the giant knitting needles used for an unsuccessful project fifteen years ago;


and fill the narrow aperture with rice using a jam funnel bought ten years ago to stop you spilling hot jam – which made jam spills even worse.


And we spuddlers know that we might need a yard long velvet sandbag at any time, day or night.  Don’t we?

Things to do when you can’t sleep: lxiv


lxiv : Teeny little stitches

Collect up the patches

1 patched

and start sewing.  Always looks a horrible mess, full of tacking and paper.

2 papered

It’s hard on the fingers.  I went to my sewing box and an old sewing box to find a good fit.  Something for generations of stitchers, with swollen hands or slim:  Britannia metal, celluloid, aluminium, plastic.

3 fingers

The tiny child’s thimble is heavily worn; all that sewing practice and pricking of small fingers. Pretty sure she is dead now.

4 practising

Sewing different fabrics together is always tricky – different thicknesses, nap, and stretch. And I’m not the world’s neatest seamstress.

5 cat's teeth

Looks as if it might work.

Standards are slipping


Demoralised failures:

Ordered TWO batches of knitting yarn before breakfast.  Extravagance, and it’s once more becoming a challenge to ram home the cupboard doors on the stash.

Found some ground rice with a use by of 2013.  Not auditing kitchen stores – another black mark.  But as I wanted to cook shortbread, I merely inspected it for crawlers trying to make an exit, then tipped it in.

magnificationGreed.  Ate a lot of shortbread.

shortbreadThe standard of shortbread remains unslipped.

Remember Langora?


Q:  What do you do when you find a large chunk of half-done knitting, and can’t remember what pattern you were knitting to?

A:  Start yet another jumper, of course.

not knittingNow I have got past the 20 skeins mark with the alpaca, I want to do a prototype jumper for it.  The yarn I am spinning is some nameless slubby thick-and-thin weight, but probably nearest to 4-ply.  I picked out an ancient pattern for Jaeger’s Langora yarn which I must have knitted up some time in the 80s, a lambswool and angora mix which was a big purchase for me in those days – but oh the delectable pale green haloed cloud that filled my lap while I worked upon it. It made a lovely gift, if I say so myself.

now knittingThis is a very plain pattern, Jaeger having correctly decided that their yarn required no blobs or bibbons to show it off.  I’m making it up now in a mohair/acrylic mix, very déclassé by comparison with its Langora predecessor, but I hope the slight hairiness and the random effects in the yarn will stand in well for the far more precious alpaca.  I like fine knitting but must admit I was glad to get past the 4000 stitches of rib on twelves and reach the easier ground of stocking stitch on tens.

Meantime there were lots of Escape Pod stories, and enough tea to get from Wight to Cromarty, and from Fair Isle to Fitzroy.

shipping forecast