For those of you in the UK who may not have heard about it – the postal rates go up this week. For the general public and those vendors who are too small to qualify for a RM online business account post will now be charged by shape as well as size. Up to 2kg is now £3 (£2.60 second class) providing it will fit through a slot 8cm by 45cm by 35 cm (or if it’s a 16cm cube or a tube of various sizes) and if it’s under 2kg but the wrong shape then it’s £5.65 (£5.20 second class). Parcel rate has been “simplified” but from where I’m sitting it doesn’t look like it. The other thing that changed is the compensation you can expect if your package is lost – it’s been more than halved to £20. Working out what to charge for combined postage was more than I could face so I declared it to be a holiday and closed my Etsy shop until I feel like dealing with the chore. (ETA – mostly done now although one cup of tea wasn’t enough)
I’ve had a few comments in real life about how strange it is to be knitting a Christmas stocking at Easter and I can’t think why. Christmas is coming and I know it’s a long way off yet but knitting stores well and I will have plenty of other things to be fretting about come November. This is one present finished (oops, the hanger) and out of the way even if I haven’t decided know who it is for. This is my third Victorian Christmas stocking, the white is something unlabelled from out of the wardrobe and the red is a ball that was condemned to the scrap bag for pooling offences. With this one I started with a provisional cast on then came back and knitted the hem last. This was because I wasn’t certain that I had enough of the white but it works better that way. If you do the facing last after having knitted the body of the stocking then you can see when it’s long enough to cover the top of the cuff. I could aim to get the facing to end exactly in the right place to sew it to the back of the braid. When I made the other stockings I was bored rigid with knitting the facing and kidded myself that it was long enough when it wasn’t but when you can see where it needs to end there’s no excuse for knitting it too short. I knitted it as written except that I added the little diamonds before the heel to reduce the length of the floats where the leg pattern finished and I used the same needles throughout, reducing the stitches in the facing by 10% to avoid it flaring. There was plenty of white yarn left but another time I still think I’d start with a provisional cast on, it’s worth it to have the facing finish in the right place.
With my Easter stocking finished I did a bit of spinning, the green is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend spun as a chained three ply for socks. They are very Spring colours but they aren’t speaking to me right now which means they are doomed to be shop stock until I feel more Spring like or have navy dye in the pan. I stuck with chained three ply for the next bobbin even though there’s no call for maintaining the colour changes when the fibre is plain brown. I do have another 50g of this roving (brown merino/possum) but it didn’t really want to be spun fine and picking out all the bits and sticks was hard work. I don’t want to face the second half, that can go and sit in the corner with the shop until I know I have to do it. I’m intending this for gloves and there’s a fair chance that I can get a pair out of 50g of yarn so I might get to ignore the second 50g altogether.
This is as far as I got before the school holidays struck. At the moment I have a couple of ends near the middle that are misbehaving but I hope that will settle down in the next foot or so. The yarn has done exactly what I wanted it to do and (so far at least) I am well pleased. It’s clearly showing three bands of colour and I’ll be happy with that, there were five in the batt but the lighter shade between the purple and the red isn’t as obvious as the others. I’ll have to go back over my calculations because I was expecting it to be wider than it is, obviously I was limited by the yardage that I had but I’m sure that there should be less space at the edges than there is. This is probably going to sit about for the next two weeks until the school routine kicks in again, I get to admire it every time I walk past the loom and it will still be there waiting for me when I have time for it.
It’s time for me to egg wash my croissants now, another experiment with dough. Photos to follow (but probably not of the first one I made)