Time is expanding and contracting constantly these days.
During the week Time expands and drags. I'm still "working from home", but this work bears little resemblance to my actual job (bringing families and their extended support networks together in joyously chaotic, face-to-face planning meetings). Everything is now done by phone, or email, or via "Zoom", and it's exhausting, and slow, and a poor substitute for the real thing, and I constantly feel like I'm working blindfolded, with my hands tied behind my back. During weekends and evenings, on the other hand, Time contracts, seeming to fly past me in the blink of an eye. There are never enough hours for the sewing and knitting and making, or the gardening and walking, or even the housework and odd jobs and grocery shopping!
So I've applied for voluntary early retirement, or, failing that, to reduce my hours, because lately all I can think is that time is more precious than money, and life is too short, and there are so many other things I want to be doing...and if we can manage on the income I'd get from my pension, or a reduced wage, plus what my husband earns, then what's stopping me? Hopefully I will find out whether either of these options are viable within the next month or so, and Time will then start to move at a steadier, more predictable pace.
Meanwhile, another quick catch-up is all I have time for!
- A tiny water-colour doodle for a friend's birthday card. Trying to capture the soft, frilly prettiness of scabious "pincushion flowers".
- My daughter commissioned me to make two pretty heart-shaped pillows for her best friend, who is having a double mastectomy at the age of 27, after testing positive for the BRCA gene. The pattern can be found here. The pillows are designed to fit comfortably under each arm to help take pressure off wounds/drains etc. I can't really say much more about this simplest of sewing projects, other than that it made me feel very sad.
- A huddle of mushrooms spotted in the woods at the park, on a long, autumnal, weekend walk. When I experimented with an 'Accentuate' filter (using Snapseed) the green leaf in the foreground suddenly "popped", and I rather liked the slightly psychedelic effect!
- This photo doesn't really do justice to the "Thea Rachelle Raglan" tunic I made from my recycled duvet-cover fabric. It's really well-designed, with darts to make the raglan sleeves sit nicely on the shoulders, and handy side pockets with a curved opening (photo below). It's a very versatile pattern - different sleeve/body lengths, with/without pockets/pleats - and came with easy-to-follow instructions. It's a bit on the roomy side - I'll probably go down a size when I make the next one (there will definitely be a next one!) - but it's perfect for layering over long sleeved T-shirts in winter, and has a nice, crisp cotton feel to it (making it even more comfortable than it was in its former incarnation as a duvet cover). My daughter said, "Hmmm. Quirky." when I wore it last weekend, but as I told her, I'm surrendering completely to sartorial eccentricity, and from now on will mostly be wearing kaftan-like garments fashioned from defunct soft-furnishings.
- Another Snapseed-enhanced photo. The unfiltered version didn't quite capture the brown-woodiness of the acorn cups, or the dull-green-and-yellow-oakiness of the leaves that caught my eye when I stopped to take the photo. I'm often too impatient to stop and fiddle around with light/colour settings manually, to arrive at a really accurate version of what I think my eyes saw, but I find I'm often drawn to the "poppier", more "technicolour" end of the spectrum in the pre-set filter options!
- Hot off the needles is this iconic Love Note sweater, designed by the wonderful Tin Can Knits. Light as a feather but wonderfully cosy and warm (ok, maybe even a tad too cosy and warm for mature ladies at a certain time of life, but probably fine for long, cold, winter walks, or working from home when the central heating is off during the day). Because I basically live in jeans (and assorted comfy tops and tunics fashioned from defunct soft furnishings) I wanted to make it in a denim-like colourway. So this combines a light grey, slightly flecked 4ply sock yarn with a fluffy, denim-blue alpaca/silk laceweight yarn. Sounds expensive, but I already had the sock yarn, and only needed 4 balls of the alpaca/silk, which went an incredibly long way, so I reckon the whole thing cost around £16 (I know, we're not factoring in the cost of the sock yarn, but I almost certainly bought it in a sale years ago, so just humour me). I am a bit worried about the handwashing it will need. I have never, in my entire life, managed not to shrink hand-wash-only woollen garments, but I'm (optimistically) hoping that the superwash sock yarn will counterbalance the intrinsic shrinky-feltiness of the alpaca/silk, and I am going to be oh-so-very careful...
- Finally, yesterday's 'Leaf of the Day'. Covid restrictions permitting we will be travelling to Seahouses for a couple of nights in a self-catering cottage next week. This 'First Excursion From Home Since February' is so close now that I can almost smell the salty sea air, and if all goes well I will have some 'Shell of the Day' photos to share in my next blog post, because all I want to do is walk and walk and walk on that beautiful mother-of-pearl blue beach. But I'm holding my breath and crossing my fingers until Monday, because the only thing that's certain at the moment is that nothing is certain, and one can't count any chickens until they are hatched.