Spindleknit and Betty

Inch closer to me my dear reader and let me tell you a story. What I have to relay to you is part mundane diary entry and part boot confession. It all seems to have begun when I met a new pal at the weekend. Betty Lurcher has allowed friends of ours to adopt her, gracious I think you can agree. I must say that she is rather good fun. We went for a countryside walk at the weekend and I spent all afternoon guarding her undercarriage from enthusiastic hounds who sensed she was at her most…beguiling. Anyway, whilst we were chatting, she began to tell me all about her collections. They are vast and eclectic, including a hypoallergenic sporran and an unidentified seed collection, belonging to Mary Somerset, Duchess of Beaufort, the celebrated lady gardener of her time.

Betty has not broken the news to her new slaves that she comes with considerable baggage and that it is currently being shipped over from New Zealand. I listened with interest and a great deal of sympathy. Hector and the Tiny Terror both have a sordid history of collecting…well…everything. Spindle Towers is packed full of numerous adored artworks, medical apparatus of dubious origins and specialist leather goods (most boxed, mercifully). 

I myself am not a natural collector really. The closest I come to this is probably my flirtation with shoe hoarding. They are ideal to nibble on, hide things in, and in rare but emergency occasions, wee in. My favourite ones are the collection of Dr Marten boots that the Tiny Terror insists on stomping about in. Barely a day goes by when I don’t hear her muttering words that most good citizens would shy away from in horror, as she can only find one of a pair. The other is usually in my bed…or hidden in the garden. I just can’t help myself. I also sometimes do this to punish her when one of her errant musical playlist begins. For example, the one she called ‘A good hard bang’, began to screech away at me earlier. No, my dear Sir, I do not want to ‘Walk this way’, or indeed ‘Talk this way’. Why she can’t just get a grip and settle down to something more sedate I will never know. 

There other news is that I was assaulted by a roaming scamp of a pheasant on my evening walk! What a dreadful shock it was to me. I was ambling along, minding my own business, when I heard a noise from the nearby bush. The bush quivered, and being of a keen, enquiring mind, I went to investigate. What can one do when a bird simply flies out, straight into ones open, salivating chops?? I was literally spitting feathers and had to sit down with a small libation to recover my senses afterwards. My staff did not believe my of version events when I reenacted it with a cushion later, which wounded my feelings somewhat.

In other news I have to report that it is getting colder. I am not a fan of the cold. In an unspoken complaint about the lack of heating in Spindle Towers, I have taken to roaming around with my blanket still wrapped around me. This is one reason why Betty and I have decided to take up knitting. It is a peaceful, relaxing and warming pastime and also means that we can knit everyone something for Christmas, meaning we can save our pennies for our motorbike and sidecar. 

The Tiny Terror gets leg warmers, that is a given. She loves them and has a vast collection of these woolly tubes that encase her chicken legs. I am knitting Hector a cable knit tool belt, so he can keep all of his precious things with him at all times, never to be wrenched from his wrench again. Nelson is going to have…well…that is a rather delicate matter that I won’t divulge to you, he has had a difficult time of late. Betty is going to knit her dad a beard cape, he has a lustrous ‘Brian Blessed’ chin covering, warming his face and she thinks it should be celebrated with a cape. She is then going to knit her mum, the kooky little moppet that she is, a pouch to keep her fossil collection in. This way, she can whip one out at a moments notice if the conversation calls for it during drinks and canapes. 

We have set up a den at Spindle Towers for our wool based pursuits. I urge you to think of the skill that it takes to mobilise and coordinate our lengthy limbs to cast on neatly, let alone the heady mix of knit and purl. Betty is rather good I must say. Apparently she once crocheted a blanket for a convalescing tortoise she was quite fond of when he was suddenly struck down, in his prime, with a terrible case of influenza. Sven (aforementioned tortoise) recovered well I am pleased to report and is currently terrorising a selection of fresh fruit and prospective mates in Oslo. Whilst discussing this I relayed the argument as set out in the blog post ‘Tales from Kent’, about the correct pronunciation of tortoise/tor-toise/tortus, which did get quite lively at one point. Betty it would seem is very firmly set in the ‘tortus’ camp. I kept my counsel and did not pursue this madness, not wanting to sour a new friendship.

After hours of merrily clacking away however, we discovered that we were using the same ball of wool for our separate projects and had met in the middle, much like the meatball scene in The Lady and the Tramp. Unsure of what to do, and not wanting to waste hours of work, we decided to join our two respective garments together, and thus came up with the first ever ‘Tool Cape’ (patent pending). A cape to keep one’s tools warm and neatly packed away. Alongside this we also developed a self help book for hounds who wanted to knit, entitled, ‘Non perilous purl with a paw,” catchy I think, and yes, one is still a slave to alliteration. Or as has been unkindly suggested, illiteration.

So it is in a relaxing scene of wool that I leave you today, my dearest reader. I wish you well and trust that the sunshine of the day shall forever warm your ear flaps. Until next time, pip pip. 


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