We are back. We had a truly wonderful holiday, but it is good to be home again. Actually, we've been back since Sunday last, but I haven't managed to find the time to post.
It really was a lovely time. Living on a narrowboat is different from living in bricks and mortar. The impact on the environment is so much less..... 50 gallons of fuel lasts us most of a year. We get a lot of our power from a solar panel. You go to sleep when it gets dark, you wake when you've slept long enough. There are lights, of course, but as the daylight starts to fail we tend to light candles rather than flipping a switch. Water consumption is more considered. We have a good sized water tank - 250 gallons - and it is easy to fill it at a water point - but a tap is never left running. We bought a newspaper once. We listened to the radio occasionally, and we didn't even turn on the television.
It is so separate from 'normal' life. Even in a city centre, the waterway will always be a quiet ribbon of trees and water, within the city but distinct from it. In the countryside, you find yourself away from roads, in beautiful isolation. When you want to, you can stop, moor up, and stay as long as you choose. When you want to move on, you move at rather less than walking pace. There are locks, you see - sometimes a lot of them - and that slows you down well below the normal 4mph speed limit.
We arrived back suntanned and well rested
It wasn't the nicest of homecomings, actually, because when I opened the front door the very first thing I noticed - well, I could hardly fail to notice it - was a smell. A very, very bad smell indeed. I mean really unbelievably awful. It practically came out the front door to meet me..... It turned out that we'd had a power cut at some point over the last three weeks, the circuit breaker on the main board had tripped when the power came back on, as it has a habit of doing - and so there had been no power to the fridge freezer for a quite a while. The fridge, of course, was pretty much empty apart from a few things in jars - but the freezer had had a normal amount of food inside.
So we had to deal with that.
I still cannot get the smell out of the fridge, by the way. I've tried everything I can think of - wiping out with bicarb solution, leaving a cut lemon in there, leaving some bicarb in there in an open dish - and still it lingers. Currently I've got several fridge deodorisers in there. They seem to be helping a little bit, but it's an uphill battle. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can deal with this, I'd really appreciate it!
I really wish I could show you what I've been doing, but my camera isn't working at the moment. We think the battery is dead, and we've ordered a new one, but until it arrives I am camera-less and blog pictures will have to wait.
I have finished three projects.
The Lenore socks are done. These were the second-to-last of the Blue Moon Sock Club mailings last year, and it has taken me a quite disgracefully long time to finish them. This is mainly because I haven't been working on them, of course. I like them, even though red/black is a colour that I would never have chosen myself. They fit well, and are comfortable to wear. I made the medium size, and changed nothing at all. Nice straightforward pattern, well written, and lovely yarn. I do like Blue Moon yarns....
Bark from Rowan 38 is done. This pattern is by Anna Tillman, and it is a chunky crochet shawl. Not my usual sort of thing at all, and I don't know quite why this project caught my attention the way it did - but I really enjoyed making it, and it well definitely be worn when the weather gets cool enough to warrant it. Although it is called a shawl, really this is more of a scarf, certainly in terms of wear. It is soft and thick, gorgeously textural, and wraps beautifully - to be fastened with a pin, I think. Very 'organic'.
I didn't need as much yarn as the pattern said, by the way. There are four colours of Chunky Print required. For two of the colours, you need just one ball, and for the other two colours the pattern says two balls- but I only needed to touch the second ball for one colour (the dark brown,Pit). The edging is in Big Wool Tuft, and the pattern says 3 balls - I used 2, which was fortunate as I had only been able to find two. So, leftover Chunky Print in the stash now. This will probably be a hat at some point, I expect.
The Lacy Raglan Top from All Seasons at the Mill is done, too. I used the last of the All Seasons Cotton in Slick, a dark marled grey, long discontinued, from stash. This is a nice straightforward knit, and makes a nice straightforward shortsleeved cotton top for me to wear to work. I made size L, and it is comfortable and looks fine.
Currently on the needles I have Dauphine, from Rowan 43. I haven't finished the first piece yet - currently I'm working on the back. The armhole shaping is done, and I'm heading up towards the neckline. This is pretty, and it's growing quite fast despite the fine yarn, mainly because of the stripes, I think. Very more-ish, if you know what I mean. Not entirely my usual colours - I cannot remember when I last knitted with anything like the pinky red in this - but the rest is mainly blues and greens, so not too far out of the comfort zone here.
Cookie, I'm afraid, hasn't been touched. I will get back to it soon.....
Also, I am trying very hard indeed not to cast on for Alloy, in black Bamboo Tape. This is calling my name right now.........