Dooby doo – intermission (hum along if you wish)

Once upon a time there were pauses in TV transmission, times when there was nothing to watch, shocking though that might be, times when you couldn’t buy strange costume jewellery at three in the morning or watch re-runs of shows you’d seen earlier or endless spiralling repeats of news items.

Test cardBut TV engineers, like the elderly neighbour who made my first spinning wheel, needed something when they worked on broken sets. And so the test card was born. You can still see its modern incarnation from time to time – the coloured stripes – but the most famous UK version was probably the child with the sinister clown doll and the blackboard (for what it all means, check this out).

Due to circumstances beyond my control – storms trashing my garden and HMRC trashing my time, OK, I could have done my tax return earlier but hey – I need an equivalent. So here, to the accompaniment of jingly jingles, is the first of my test cards, dum-di-dum:


Colinette Giotto, made up into a huge long scarf in basket weave. Two skeins, from their sale room, and I should be going there tomorrow. Providing I get on with the tax return today. Ahem.

And now for some handspun, which has become another scarf,


A girl can never have enough scarves. I know people who say that about socks, but I speeet upon them. Scarves and shawls. I have a drawer full and will soon need another. Shame I’ve only got one, slightly defective, neck.

natural dyes

Some naturally dyed small skeins from one of our Guild’s dyeing picnics. These are going to be incorporated into a zig-zag throw with more handspun and some Colinette yarns, hence tomorrow’s excursion. If I can find all my paperwork. (I think I’m doing some sort of colour therapy, possibly in contrast to the bleakness of the Giant Doom-Laden Heap of Receipts. One of my friends, a barrister, used to put all her receipts in a shoe box and empty it onto her accountant’s desk. In contrast, I just spread mine all over the house. Equally irritating.)

Finally, dum-di-dum-di-dum-diddle, a taster detail,

Eyelet shawl

of my eyelet shawl which I have finally managed to write out in response to requests. I’ll be posting the pattern here once a friend has test-knitted it – rather like never editing your own writing because you can’t spot the logical leaps or the mistakes, you can’t rely on your own test knitting. I also need a better name for it. Somehow I don’t think the ‘HMRC Deadline Shawlette’ really cuts it.

Back soon…


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