A nose for the past

It’s often said that dogs live in the moment… that they don’t tend to bear a grudge, that the last thing they did is their focus. However, I’m beginning to think that it’s human beings who are so focused on the “latest thing” that they completely forget about what happened in the past – even the recent past. Ever since it was brought to my attention (by Terry Pratchett, in fact) that dogs can detect the history of a location because, unlike sight, smell can last for days, I have been intrigued about the idea. In the blink of an eye, our perception of a place or an incident is replaced by a new one, so it is all too easy for us to dismiss past experience because of the overwriting of it by our present perception. Not so if you are a dog. With smell as a much more important sense, life must be lived in a world of past and present – always being aware of incidents that have gone by, but have left their signature and evidence in the olfactory world.

Spaniels’ noses are very important to them

I’d love to be able to see the past…. for example when I pick up a discarded piece of crochet, realise that I removed the hook for another project and then wonder exactly which size it was. If I could just see the project in an earlier stage, I’d know exactly what hook to use to make progress. What a lot of time that would save

But can you imagine what this sort of overlaying of events from different times would do to our interpretation of the world? No longer would politicians be able to dismiss an incident with words, if we could still see a shadow of it for days or weeks or months to come. Our memories distort the past and unscrupulous, or even well-meaning, people can seek to take advantage. History, as they say, is written – or photographed, or painted, or sculpted – by the winners. What a different world we might live in could we see more than those inevitably biased descriptions. Just a thought.

Home Alone

Like many resources, time is finite. We can’t make more of it, we can only use it better and not waste it.

And so, as Mr Snail disappeared off down the road yesterday afternoon, on his way to new adventures in Reading…

Bye-bye Mr Snail

Bye-bye Mr Snail

…I began to wonder what I was going to do with my week-day evenings for the next six months.

I know that it’s all too easy to feel sad about being alone and I don’t want to focus on the negative aspects of this time, so I have decided to make a list of all the things that I want to achieve… and we’ll see in March whether I have done any of them!

Well, to start off with, there are a few pressing activities that I need to complete:

  • I've made a few more squares

    I’ve made a few more squares

    Finish Mr Snail’s birthday slippers (late already, although the yarn only arrived last Friday and his birthday was on Saturday… more on this exciting yarn in a future post)

  •  Create lovely things for the Contented Crafter to add to her danglers (keep forgetting about this, but at least I have now decided what to make her)… it really does make sense if you are in the know, just ask Narf over at Serendipity Farm
  • Make another few squares for our fund-raising blankets, as there was a call put out for more just the other day (fortunately this is easy and I have already made a small pile of them)

And then there’s some of the on-going projects to continue with:

  • Continue to work on my sofa covers (this is a HUGE project)
  • Work on my tapestry cushion cover
  • Make more items to sell
  • Finish writing up the roosting pouch pattern (nearly done) and then test it

Plus I want to make a start on the Bavarian Crochet blanket that I bought yarn for at Wonderwool.

And that’s just the crafty things… there’s also gardening to continue with and lovely activities like choosing and ordering seeds. Plus, I need to make (yet) more soup for the freezer (there are STILL courgettes to be processed), and get on with apple processing (I’m coming over soon, Perkin!)

I find that it helps to write things down like this – it feels like I’ve made a commitment to each project… which is exactly why you don’t see ‘paint the hallway’, ‘shampoo the carpets’ and ‘tidy up’ on my lists!

So, I’ve taken over the sofa with yarn and Mr Snail will just have to squeeze in next to it at the weekends!

Heaps of yarny goodness

Heaps of yarny goodness

 

The waiting game

My mum is currently in hospital having had an operation. When she comes out, she needs someone to be with her and had asked me if I would oblige. In theory she could have been released as early as yesterday, so I was prepared to set off in the afternoon to be at the house by early evening (it takes a couple of hours to get over there). I called the hospital in the morning and was told that she probably wouldn’t be released; this was confirmed in the afternoon. So, I’m still at home. Will she be released today? That remains to be seen… I need to phone again soon.

Preparing to make borders

Preparing to make borders

The upshot of all this is that I just haven’t been able to settle down to do anything… there is paid work to be done, but I can’t concentrate on that at the moment. There are diploma designs to work on, but my mind keeps wandering. So the answer seems to be crochet and an audio book. The arrival of the New Lanark wool for the masterpiece borders means that I have lots to do.

The squares are all supposed to be about 15cm (6 inches), but some are a bit bigger and some a bit smaller, so I need to ensure that each border makes the squares a standard size. To that end, I have made myself a cardboard template, so that I have something to aim at and I don’t have to keep getting a ruler out.

Squares with borders

Squares with borders

I can place the squares on the template and ease them into the right shape, quickly getting an idea of how much edge I need. Of course, the stretchiness of knitted and crochet work does give me a bit of leeway, but it will be good to have squares that are close to a standard size.

I’ve just read the latest post from Katrina at Crochet Crush in which she talks about making crochet flowers in spare moments whilst waiting to collect her eldest from school. So what do you do when you have spare minutes or, like me, unsettled hours to fill?

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