Friday, 24 December 2010

Short Break

I will be taking a short break from blogging until the New Year. Unfortunately life is a bit difficult at the moment and I need to divert my attention elsewhere for a while.

My Mother has been taken seriously ill and will be spending Christmas in hospital.

I hope to return in the New Year. Have a really Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Today was not a good day in some ways. I woke up in pain and the bitterly cold weather has moved in again. We managed to go out and do some food shopping on Saturday but the journey back from the shops was stressful. We faced a 10 minute walk on sheets of ice and compacted snow to get home. My OH was great as usual and carried most of the shopping bags. He went out again in the snow today to get a couple of things that we had forgotten to buy. On his way back home he fell heavily on the ice. Luckily he only suffered some bruises and did not break any bones.

This weekend has had its good points too though. My OH made a lovely lemon drizzle cake to cheer us both up. Also he spotted some yarn for sale in a local charity shop. On investigation I discovered a bag of very good quality chunky yarn, enough to make a sweater, and a skein of hand dyed double knitting wool. I bought both for just a few pounds.

This afternoon I sat down to write the last of my Christmas cards. However, I discovered that I was a bit low on cards so decided to make some of my own. During my various City & Guilds courses over the past 5 years I have collected quite a range of paper, card, ribbons, beads and sequins. Now seemed like a good time to delve in that stash and do something useful with it. So I sat at the dining table in my living room and made some cards. It was quite strange sitting there creating Christmas greetings with the snow falling steadily outside, but strangely comforting at the same time. The resulting cards would not win any prizes but I am quite pleased with the way they turned out. I only hope that they get to their respective recipients in time for Christmas.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Knitted hats and other cosy things...

Following a suggestion by Crafty Cripple I have attempted to recharge my creative batteries over the last few days. I have been browsing through Ravelry and also through my yarn stash. It is small by most knitter's standards but big enough for my very small flat. It was great to sit and look through my collection. Many of the skeins have been purchased on special days out with my OH and dear friends so it was soothing to think back to where and when I bought each one.

I came across two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in a lovely mix of blues and greens and some Malabrigo Worsted in a glorious purple colour called Velvet Grapes. With the bad weather approaching again I am now knitting a hat with the Silk Blend. It is a Woolly Wormhead pattern called Limpetiole. I hopefully should have enough left over to make a scarf.

Limpetiole by the lovely Woolly Wormhead

As for the Malabrigo it will probably become a shawl/wrap. I have had Hawthorne by Susanna IC in my Ravelry Library for a while now and the Malbrigo would be perfect. The only worry is whether I have enough of it. Oh dear, another excuse to buy more yarn!

On the beading front I have just received the latest copy of Interweave Beadwork. So I plan to settle down tomorrow evening with a mug of hot chocolate and have a browse. So watch this space!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

What shall I bead next?

For some reason this past week has been a bit of a struggle. I have found the cold weather particularly hard to cope with. Probably as a result of this I have found myself completely demotivated when it comes to my beadwork. I am finishing a couple of things but cannot really get inspiration for anything new. Hopefully this is just a temporary state of affairs. I am going to spend the next few days looking at my beading books and magazines to see if that sparks any ideas.

I normally have some knitting in my bag and try to knit a few rows in spare moments such as during my lunch break. I usually have a sock, hat or pair of gloves on my needles. However I also seem to have run out of steam where my knitting is concerned.

Maybe a break for a few days will re-energise me!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

We have been very lucky in my part of Southern England recently and missed out on the snow, that is until Thursday. We woke up to find everything covered in a white blanket. It looked just like a Christmas card and was a complete surprise. It continued to snow quite heavily during the day. We apparently have our own micro-climate in Bournemouth, due to the proximity of the Isle of Wight. It is very rare for us to get snow here, at least snow that settles on the ground.

I was unable to get to work as I rely on public transport a lot of the time and lifts to work from a kind friend. She was unable to get her car out of her drive and I did not think that I could cope with the long walk. It would normally take me nearly an hour to walk to work in normal weather conditions so I dread to think how long it would take me in deep snow. Two of my friends who live nearby put me to shame by making the effort to walk. I know it sounds really feeble but I have problems with my left leg at the moment so like many others I worked from home. I am glad that I did as a bit later in the day the decision was made to close the University. I am fairly new to the wonders of broadband Internet access but it was great to be able to read my emails, work on a presentation and also help by staffing our online Chat service, all from the warmth of my living room. All due to the wonders of technology.

This is the scene that greeted us when we woke up.

After several hours of steady snow fall this was the view from my kitchen window.

The poem 'London Snow' by Robert Bridges sums it up completely -

'When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled - marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare...'

I first read this at school and growing up in the far South West of England, kept warm by the Gulf Stream, I had never experienced heavy snow, and it was very hard to imagine. Looking out at the scene on Thursday morning I was reminded of his vivid description. When I went out to take these pictures the normally busy road was eerily silent

And finally a picture of a gorgeous cake that my OH made for my Birthday (the strange round things on the top are Maltezers). Another reason to cheer up and forget about the winter weather. As one of my friends says 'There is never a bad time to eat cake!'