Hauling Home

June 6, 2018

road home

Summer is here, still, the work that’s been keeping me chained to the desk is finally over and I have even started to dig my way through the pile of stuff that’s been waiting for this moment leaving me with a bit of free time (which actually feels a bit weird). Obviously, that means getting out into the garden as much as I possibly can, but I have managed to ring the changes with a spot of retail therapy, which in my case means a good truffle through Bigtown’s charity shops, looking for all the things I have on my list to look out for next time I was in a charity shop, which is my idea of shopping. Indeed, I’ve decided the real reason I like charity shop shopping – notwithstanding the benefits of saving money, avoiding more new stuff and supporting good causes – is that it takes aaaages to actually find the thing you’re looking for in them, which usually means not having to buy anything at all, which doesn’t bother me at all.

My current mission (apart from that most elusive of secondhand quarries, a bookcase that will fit a specific spot in the house, the measurements of which I have committed to heart just in case one shows up) is glass storage jars for our pantry. Indeed, I saw some in a charity shop a couple of months back but I hesitated and they were snapped up before I could go back for them, because the other thing about charity shop shopping is that when something does come up that you’re looking for, you have to act fast.

charity shop jars

Yesterday I hit the jackpot: four ex-sweetie shop jars (actually five, but by the time I’d sorted out how I was going to get them home, one had already been snapped up). The problem was, I was on a bike and four large glass jars, I can report, are effing heavy. They also don’t all fit in my pannier and even if they had done I don’t think the bike would have handled at all well. In the end, I got two in my pannier, bodged a bag onto my bike to take the other two, and wheeled them* to the edge of Bigtown where the car was (the other half having cycled across town to work) and left them there. Sometimes cars have their uses, if only as handy town lockups for the over-ambitious bike shopper.

Then it was just a matter of riding home, unburdened. I thought about taking a different, more scenic, route as I was starting from a different part of town but then decided to just head back to my usual road. ‘It’s boring’, I thought, ‘but it’s less effort.’

road home

But you know, when it’s June, and the sun is out, and the birds are singing, and the hedgerows are blooming like mad, and the roads are quiet, there really is no boring way home…

road home

I think I might be getting a bit spoilt. But I have dreamed all winter of days like these, and I’m glad that I’m finally managing to have the time to enjoy them.

filled jars

And our new jars are bringing a little order to our lives, so it’s all good.

* Bumping into my regular bike shop guy out on a lunchtime walk with his dog on the way. The fleeting look of horror on his face as he thought he might be roped into an impromptu bike repair on his lunchbreak was a picture…

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Pounce First, Ask Questions Later

August 16, 2017

So, I haven’t knitted anything for a while, due to various reasons mainly revolving around the only so many hours in a day issue (although to be fair, if I combined all the time I spent on Twitter with all the time I spend standing in the bedroom wondering what I’d come upstairs for* I could probably have knitted the Bayeux Tapestry by now).

Anyway, yesterday I was truffling around in Bigtown’s charity shops when I noticed one was stocking knitting yarn – several bags of mohair to be specific.

The problem with mohair is that while it’s lovely and fluffy, it’s lovely and fluffy which means that pretty much all the knitting patterns for mohair wool just look a bit (well, a lot) eighties (as a teenager in the 80s, I remember we used to look at the fashions of the 70s and scoff at how ridiculous everyone looked. Ahem. I speak as the proud owner of a knitted giraffe-hide patterned off-shoulder jumper which I thought was the absolute bees knees in approximately 1985 (although If I’m honest, I still think it was pretty cool. But then I also had a rah-rah skirt (and a pair of purple pedal pushers which really were the pits. Don’t tell anyone))).

mohair patterns

The 80s. Truly the decade that style forgot

So obviously, sensibly, I gave the mohair stash a skip and went home and laughed at all the random mohair patterns out there on the Internet that I just happened to google, and then today when I was in town I just happened to glance into the charity shop in question just out of random curiosity, only to find that all but one of the bags of mohair had gone…

mohair knitting wool

Well, what would you have done, fellow knitting people?

More to the point, what would you do with 8 25-gram balls of mohair cotton mix, that won’t end up with me channelling my inner Lady Di?

mohair cotton nylon

* Usually a jumper, but the design of our house is such that our bedroom is about 10 degrees warmer than the rest of it, so although I was cold when I set off upstairs to put another layer on, by the time I get to where the jumpers are, it seems ridiculous, this being August. I could probably save a lot of time and effort by just storing my jumpers downstairs.