Bye Baby Bunting

 I have lost track of the list of resolutions I made last year…somewhere in Edinburgh. I know that some were based around being indoors most of time. Some on reading and language learning, which have really tailed off since joining a boat. I was thinking winter should give me more time, but knitting and blogging use a fair bit and I am not finding myself bored. 

Knitting projects in particular keep arriving often in the form of a new baby related to me or a friend, and I have 3 to complete as soon as possible, since the later you do them, the bigger the baby gets, and you might have to make a bigger item. But in addition,  to my surprise, Paul, from Birmingham, contacted on Hogmanay to tell me about a crafting project to make bunting to celebrate Hadrian’s wall becoming 1900 years old. They would like people from all over Britain and beyond to make 1900 flags to make the Roman themed bunting. I thought one small flag won’t take long, but couldn’t find details of dimensions or patterns in any of the links related to the organisers. Eventually I found the co-ordinator was on Facebook and I looked there. There were some crochet flag designs, requesting test crocheters, which I can’t do but, but no knitted ones. Learning to crochet may be a new year’s resolution in itself. This person runs courses, but the canal doesn’t go as far north as Hadrian’s wall, where she lives, so I can’t join hers. I sent a message asking about knitting designs and dimensions and she replied saying there wasn’t one (journalist might have been a bit misleading in the news article then) but she would be delighted if I could supply one and gave me the size of the flag. So either I learn to crochet or I have to write a pattern myself, definitely a new challenge for 2022. This will be a joint project with Bryn! Luckily he was about to join us on the boat again, and didn’t flinch at the suggestion on Hogmanay, and he wasn’t drunk either.

The boat doesn’ t like to stay still long, and so we planned to get moving soon. There are some closures ahead that affect where we can go and where we might get stuck. Marple refuse centre is closed so that is another reason to move on. The locks are going to be closed but aren’t yet, though it looked a little like they had started early when we passed a CRT boat carrying a lock gate. 

Lock gate, anyone?

We saw Bryn and Nye on New Year’s Day and then all three of them yesterday for a last chat with Nye and David before going. It has been very good catching up but the weather is a bit touch and go making driving when it is good very important in the short time available. We don’want to drive in bitter cold and rain just to charge the batteries. We did experiment with putting the  water on the hob in stead of the kettle and that doesn’t make the system send Shane alarm emails, like using the kettle did, when the battery is low. Still it doesn’t switch itself off so Shane is not switching to the hob as an energy saver long term.

So today we have moved down to Macclesfield. We stopped at Higher Poynton for water. The tap and our hose just don’t seem to agree here and it was spraying wildly again, this time it was my turn to get wet trousers, not quite as cold a day today as last time though. We had some nice exchanges with 4 boys magnet fishing. We have seen quite a few people with these kits, especially after Christmas – may be this year’s popular gift. They helped me with the tap and we tried to help them with one of their magnets that was stuck –  they pulled from the boat  to get a different angle but it didn’t work – it is either firmly wedged, or attached to something huge! Then they gave us a push off  as we got going again.

I wanted to show Bryn the trolley system for socially distanced serving, with the Santa sleigh. Shane doubted it would still have Santa with it being after Christmas but it was and for some reason it had an upsides down reindeer too. Bryn fancied a hot chocolate so got to see the system in action for himself. The hot chocolate was too hot though burning his tongue. Still he seemed to enjoy it and the chocolate cake  he got there.

Bryn joined us last night and though we didn’t travel yesterday, I got the chance to look at the flag samples with him and he made a grid as a knitting chart.


Roman shield chart design – first draft

I gave it a go and managed to finish a first version of the flag but we need to make adjustments to the number of rows and proportions and the pattern of the central boss on the sheild. I also think it needs to be double sided as crochet looks the same on both sides but knitting does not. More experiments are required and I am glad it is only little and not as big as the flag in Marple where we were moored! It could do with being double sided as well though as, due to the wind direction, the writing has been reading backwards for us all the time.

Mirror writing of Happy New Year on the flag

I hope I manage to get the pattern sorted out. It should be nice to be part of a project that inspires others who might be feeling isolated, anxious or bored,  to feel involved in a community and do something others might enjoy. It is funny that I had a conversation with a woman in Marple just before we left, as I was taking a picture of the winter Church display, about exactly that. I did not know then I would be involved in one myself so soon.

Wool icicles ( knitted) and snowflakes ( crocheted) adorn Marple church.

I am looking forward to Bryn’s help in the Bosely locks. It is already fun having him here with help at the shop, knitting pattern designs, jokes and tonight he gave himself a haircut. Fewer locks for him today but more locks tomorrow!