What I Did On My Non-Holiday

If one were to judge from social media and memes alone, there are only two experiences of lockdown: Exhausted Parenthood and Exorbitant Boredom. (Clearly, this overlooks other experiences such as Having to Work Despite Feeling Unsafe, and Fearing Your Family Will Starve to a Covid-Free Death, possibly because the people having those experiences don’t have a lot of time for memeing.)

Personally, my experience of lockdown was busier and more stressed than my ordinary life, due in small part to the technolofication of all communications, and in large part to publishing a book in the middle of NZ’s Level 3. Publishing in a Time of Pandemic: not recommended.

But in amongst the stress and confusion and delays, I did manage to fit in a bit of sanity-maintaining handwork. I did a moderate amount of tatting, including a very simple lace collar, and two bookmarks.

simple tatted lace collar

Unfortunately while my tatting skills have improved, my photography skills are still fairly minimal, which is why the bookmarks are not shown. Moving on!

The cold of winter being now upon us (note to self: refill log basket and move laundry in on to rack before rain recommences), I knit a pair of fingerless mitts for the Caped Gooseberry. They are exceedingly simple.

Cast on 56 stitches (4ply, needles to suit) and “join, being careful not to twist,” as the patterns always say. Knit in K2 P2 rib for 4 inches. Change to stocking-stitch and knit flat (back and forth) for 2.5 to 3 inches. Rejoin and knit in the round in K2 P2 rib for a further 1.5 to 2 inches. Cast off in rib. Ta da!

fingerless mitts

Useful for using up odd bits and ends of yarn, and, despite the chilly thumbs, useful enough that they got a bit worn and pilly before I could snaffle them for a photo shoot.

Finally, for a bit of colour and cheer, I took some green and white 8ply cotton yarn and made a dishcloth. Again, a very simple pattern: make a magic ring, chain two, make 12 Trio into the ring, fasten to beginning of round and tighten loop. (Why two for a turning chain and not three I do not know. Feel free to experiment.)

In the next round you increase in each stitch. In the third round you increase in every second stitch, and so forth. Change colour every couple of rounds and stop when it seems big enough. (Or do another couple of rounds, because you could be wrong about that.)

green and white striped circular dishcloth

I think I got the increases a bit wonky at some point (as I say, it was a stressful time) so the cloth doesn’t quite lie flat all the time, but it works no less well for that. I think I’ll make another one (being more careful about the increases this time) in red and white stripes. Nothing like a bit of bright colour to liven up a wintry kitchen.

What has your experience of lockdown been? And how have you bolstered your sanity?

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