Mindful Magpie Makes: 2020 week 13

Week 13 - a quarter of the year gone already, and I'm feeling that usual sense of disorientation that comes with having forgotten the clocks were changing. I'm one of the people that likes the change, the sudden expanse of evening opening out and all the activities you could do. Of course at the moment, we have to be careful about going out on longer walks. I only left my flat yesterday to walk 5 minutes to the local shop (and was ecstatic they had eggs)

But having had that short walk, I felt I shouldn't go out for a walk for exercise too... Not that I normally need an excuse to stay in and craft instead, but I want to be doing the right thing, an am erring on the side of caution.

It's helped that the weather has been kind here this week - bright skies and brisk breezes make pottering about weeding a pleasure - because it's just that little bit too cold to sit down without wrapping a blanket around you. I've resurrected some pots, and have a few herbs and vegetables sown or growing, which is making me hopeful about the future. The leaves suddenly unfurled on my little Japanese maple tree, a splash of green against the white wall, and the promise of trembling dancing shadows in weeks to come...

With my projects, I am back "on track" - I have worked on project #13 in week 13! This week I have really got my knitting mojo firing - it's been around a month where I have been learning to crochet, and doing sewing projects. I also started on my first ever test knit! It's great to have the designer "on call" to message when you want to know if you're on the right track, and discuss progress with.

#09 - I never promised you a rose garden (crochet)

I now have 7 rows joined, in a rhombus shape, I am working from the longest side of a triangle toward the point. I do keep wrapping this around me, and it is the perfect length for a shawl, so I think I will join on two more rows and then sew in the (millions of) ends. I'll be able to swan around in it then, and decide if it's destiny is to be a shawl, or if I will extend it into a blanket...

I've another ball on order of the variegated Opal sock yarn I am using to join together - am thinking tassels might be fun too !

#12 - Charlie's test knit shawl (knitting)

I saw a shout out for test knitters for a squishy soft shawl design on Charlie's Instagram account, and decided this was the perfect project for lockdown! Just find ~100g DK, some sock yarn and mohair from the stash and start knitting!

The DK I used was Sirdar Hayfield Spirit in colourway Melody - definitely moody blues! I am going to pair it with (probably! I keep changing my mind!) a stellina natural sock yarn so there is a bit of sparkle showing through a haze of turquoise Rowan Kidsilk mohair.

I have been knitting this on 4mm needles, after discussion with Charlie, as some "loose knitters" had found that 100g didn't quite stretch far enough with 5mm needles. With the smaller needle size, I have only used 60g so far, so we have decided I can add another pattern repeat to use up more of my DK. I have to say, I absolutely love collaborating with a designer like this, it really ticks my boxes to be learning and helping at the same time.

#13 - Yarn'n'Yarn Community Window (knitting)

No pictures, no surprises! Yarn'n'Yarns is my lovely local yarn shop, and Angela also runs a YouTube channel where she talks about the Community Window project. Basically, a display created by customers and watchers of Yarn'n'Yarns. The theme is "little", and there are washing lines of tiny clothes, gardens of flowers and animal inhabitants. It's something to really look forward to seeing when this lockdown is over

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