Today we’re having a bit of a catch up, with some knitty chatter along with some discussion of recent reads during lockdown. I’m also gardening quite a lot at the moment, although not always making great choices when it comes to plant acquisition (smelly Buxus, anyone?). As there hasn’t been a lot of actual knitting to discuss, today, it’s more of a covid time capsule of what’s going on here. My hope is that I can keep you company for 30 minutes or so, a little bit of light entertainment with a side of knit.

What I’ve Been Knitting

There hasn’t been a huge amount of knitting at Chateau Shiny. I’ve noticed on social media that this seems to be a fairly common problem for knitters at the moment. As such, there has been a lot of planning and looking on Ravelry, and not a lot of knitting. I’m taking the attitude that this is like an athlete preparing for a race. More of a mental approach to knitting.

Life in lockdown continues

The children continue to alternate between being bored and being too tired to do any school work. The Beast produced some choice Covid artwork, declaring her death from ‘bore’. It was terribly Victorian of her.

Not Charlie Dimmock

Gardening has featured in the creative pursuits over the past week. I’m not the most accomplished gardener, so it’s been trial and error, including the regrettable purchase of four Buxus balls. What I didn’t know from Pinterest, is that English Buxus smells of cat pee. Joy.

I’ve also been accidentally ordering massive plants from the local garden, due to not having any pictures or dimensions. I’ve been planting some Begonias into hanging baskets and playing frost roulette. They’re not supposed to be planted out yet I don’t think, but I went for it as the weather is due to be good for the next couple of weeks. As long as it isn’t frosty, it should be fine.

If you have any good recommendations for gardening people to follow, who aren’t too serious, please let me know!

Mini Driver

Lockdown has reignited my love for driving. A new car is high on the list for post-covid life. My current ride is called Norman. Remember the Twix advert that was all grey, and the main character was Norman? He had a very grey and boring life, until he ate a Twix. This is how Norman the car makes me feel.

The speakers are – frankly – inadequate for singing along to Tiffany. Wholly lacking in bass, despite being the upgraded speaker pack. You can hear about how Norman tried to kill me in the pod retreat 2 episode.

Poppy the Naughty Nova features in the first car story. My Mum is an absolute demon when it comes to running cars on fumes. The Nova was once stolen and used in a smash and grab at Debenhams. Despite me thinking my second car was called Rob, I remembered afterwards it was actually Derek.

Curry has also been bringing me deep joy in lockdown. My favourite curry house has reopened and is providing the fine people with excellent curry. Gratitude has been high. Lockdown has recreated a semi-permanent feeling of post-China come-back, where when you find a little victories in being able to get things easily. Or read signs. What things can you do today to get a little victory?

Not Knitting

Knitting-wise, there hasn’t been a lot, as afore-mentioned. It’s difficult when knitting is a method for grounding and calming the mind, or as a creative act. I’ve found it strange that I don’t want to knit. This is also for no good reason; it’s almost a mental block. I’m not at a hard point in the pattern, I’ve enjoying the yarn, I just can’t be arsed. Not being able to be arsed isn’t really a feeling I am accustomed to associating with my knitting.

Instead, I have taken to researching what patterns I will be knitting when the mojo comes back. I have just purchased Evolution by Susan Crawford.

Orchidaceae by Susan Crawford. Image Copyright Susan Crawford.

Orchidacae is definitely my pattern for the Nurturing Fibres yarn.

Denby by Susan Crawford. Image Copyright Susan Crawford.

I also love Denby, which is part of the collection. This is a colourwork hat with both a beanie and slouchy option. You can order the printed book at and you will receive all the pdf patterns as they are released, followed by the printed book.

Beaded knitting seems to be calling to me at the moment. I might need to knit a Boo Knits pattern when I can get some beads. A lot of people don’t enjoy the stop-start nature of beaded knitting, but I just love the fancy sparkly effect.

Enquiries have been increasing from people looking for baby knitting yarn. I’ve also had a lot of people asking about learning to knit resources. I will cover these in the next episode as the free resources can be incredibly hit and miss.

I’m also planning to crochet an African flower blanket.

Recent Reads

Reading I’ve read the following recently:

Recipes for Love and Murder – Sally Andrew
Death on the Limpopo – Sally Andrew
Old Baggage – Lissa Evans
Unnatural Magic – C M Waggonner
The Last Smile in Sunder City – Luke Arnold

You can find me on Goodreads if you want to connect there –

Music for this episode is by kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys, available on iTunes.

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