Well, its definitely spring. Over the last week the hedges have greened up, the ash buds are breaking, the chestnut leaves are unfolding themselves, and the fields are full of little wobbly lambs.
This means also, of course, that we are having interesting weather. Some lovely sunshine that has been making it feel more like summer - and also rain, hail, snow, sleet, wind, and frost. I don't think I've missed anything out. You know what they say about the English weather - if you don't like it, just wait. It will change in a minute.
I have still not finished Mine.
I've finished all the knitting, of course. I've also worked all the bands, all the seams, and woven in all the ends. It is rather nice - in fact, more than nice, it is lovely. It works very well indeed. But, of course, that's not all there is to it.
It's the beads, you see - they have to be attached one at a time, and this is going incredibly slowly. So far, I've nearly finished beading the neckline. I still have to bead all around each armhole, and although I'm loving the result - this is stunning, you know - I'm not loving the process one bit.
I'm using the fine nylon monofilament sold for use in beading, because glass beads such as these Swarovski pearls may have sharp edges to the hole, which can cut through thread. The monofilament is, I am reliably informed, much less susceptible to this, so that's what I'm using.
But it is not nice stuff to work with. It wants to bend in the wrong direction all the time, it springs out of your hand when you least want it to and catapults your beads across the room - and to add insult to injury, when you knot it, the knots don't want to stay done up.
Also, of course - and not least - it isn't any sort of a fibre, and that grates. I don't like using something that feels so very plastic, as part of my nice knitting. The only positive point about it is that I don't need to use a beading needle, I can just push it straight through the beads.
I do wish I could work a bit faster though. I need good light for this, so I can't work in the evenings. I'm placing a simple knot at the back behind every fourth bead - not every bead, that idea didn't last long. And at the each end of every piece of monofilament there is a good knot, and a teeny drop of superglue. Just around the knot, you understand, not actually coming in contact with the knitting at all. Hopefully.
It feels so wrong going anywhere near my knitting with an open tube of superglue - but it is necessary. The things we do......
Actual knitting - well, not so much. I've worked a little more on the first Kaffe Fassett Earth Stripes sock. When I get to the toe, I'm going to do the grafting without using a yarn needle, hooray. Excellent thought. If I can get my act together, I'll put up some photos and a 'how to' - maybe others will find this method as useful as I do.
Still need to finish Pia, also the Cobblestone Pullover. Both of these have rather lost momentum, as I'm sure you've observed.
And after that - I know I said that Spook was next. (In Anthracite KSH) However I am back in my usual state of indecision, because I am reminded that Clovelly and Truffle are both waiting too. Also the Grandad Top from Studio 5, and also Tender from the Calmer Collection. I may not have mentioned these before.
Currently I think that Clovelly is in the lead, mainly because it will be the quickest to knit. (Cotton Jeans, shade 360 Canvas, by the way.) I intend to change the sleeves a little - I am not so keen on the little half-cable-y bits at the top of the ribbing. Just some nice straightforward bell sleeves, I think. I was wondering about a garter edging, to match the edging at the neckline - but it occurs to me that it will want to flip up, because garter edging in a situation like this always does. So maybe ribbing instead, to match the lower edge of the body.
That's if I ever get these beads done, of course. Really, I'd rather be knitting.