Monday, 2 February 2009

Odds 'n ends

It's days like today when I am more than happy to be self-employed - what a relief it is when there's no need to battle snow and ice simply to get to work. Believe me, there's a great deal to be said for being poor but happy in your work! I don't envy anyone who has to set foot outdoors in sub zero temperatures just to earn a crust, especially today when heavy snow has caused most of the UK to grind to a chilly halt.

The view from my kitchen window this morning - brrrr!

Sunday wasn't much better weatherwise; we nipped out for our usual supermarket trolley dash in the morning and by the time we were driving home, the snow was falling thick and fast around us. We spent Sunday afternoon indoors with the fire toasting us - lovely! I twiddled with my knitting, while Stuart battled the crossword and read his newspapers ... we're practising hard for full Darby and Joan status and if the weather doesn't improve soon, will qualify much earlier than anticipated!

My stash!

My plan for yesterday had been to finish the little jacket I've been knitting for a show bear, but I did a silly thing when I bought the wool in a sale and underestimated my needs, so halfway through the final sleeve, the inevitable happened and I ran out of wool. Needless to say the wool has since been discontinued and my local Hobbycraft store didn't have a handy spare ball for me. Undaunted, I put in a Google search on the computer and managed to find a matching ball in Edinburgh. I reckon if you are online you can find almost anything with a bit of determination!

Fingers crossed the extra wool I need to finish this jacket arrives from Scotland soon!

As you may already know, I've been knitting since I first worked out how to cast on almost twenty seven years ago and although I have a clearout from time to time, I always seem to have a considerable stash of odd balls. Now and again I put them to good use for knitting projects such as the knitted dollies I recently gave to my nieces for their birthdays, but even so, my stash rarely seems to diminish! I hauled it out yesterday because I wanted to twiddle with some intarsia knitting from a gorgeous book by Debbie Abrahams. (In fact I treated myself to two of her books recently, one full of lovely modern cushion designs and the other wonderful throws, which would make fabulous gifts for special occasions.) The books recommend using Rowan wool, which I agree would be perfect to work with for a special item, but pretty expensive otherwise - in fact I worked out it would cost about £100 to knit one of the throws using the specified wool, so instead of bankrupting myself this month, I decided to put my stash of spare wool to good use.

'25 Cushions to knit' and 'Blankets and throws to knit' - I love these books by Debbie Abrahams!

Practising intarsia knitting ... these three flowers took me all Sunday afternoon to complete!

I had forgotten how fiddly intarsia knitting is - I haven't knitted intarsia since I used to make picture sweaters for my children when they were toddlers; I usually prefer to knit texture, either lace, aran or other textured pattern - techniques which don't have nearly so many loose ends to deal with! I had to make a special trip to my local Hobbycraft to buy bobbins (entirely necessary to avoid creating a nasty tangly mess - the bobbins keep the colours neatly ready for use on the back of the work, so you don't need to use unruly balls of wool). After several hours' work, I had managed to knit two thirds of the first cushion panel (I need to make three more panels of four flowers if I'm to finish the front of the cushion, then bind them all together to create the overall design) and was congratulated by Stuart for managing to keep quiet all afternoon ... cheeky blighter! I'm not convinced I actually enjoy the process of intarsia work (or keeping quiet all afternoon! Ha!) so this panel may be the only one I finish. It did set me thinking though ... I do remember very much enjoying fairisle knitting years ago, so maybe I'll use my stash to play around with that next time I'm faced with a 'curl up in front of the fire' Sunday afternoon!

Wey hey, those little white blobs are real snowflakes captured on 'film' ... er, memory card!

Monday afternoon snow update: it's now early afternoon and both my kids are home from work ... Fay has updated her facebook status to advise family and friends of the 'Fay shaped bum print' that can now be found in the snow outside our house (she's going to have a cheeky bruise!) and I'm delighted to have recorded the falling snowflakes on my point n' shoot camera simply by using a little flash! Yes, I do realise I need to put in a little more effort and perhaps venture outside if I'm ever going to become any good with my camera, but in the absence of any commitment to getting cold and wet, these are my Monday afternoon snow pics!

Our road, turning whiter by the hour ...

Work abandoned for the afternoon as the neighbours come home early. It's estimated that only one in every five workers are in work in the UK today!

And finally, my Puddle cat - she couldn't resist going out to play in the snow, but only stayed out long enough to leave a trail of tiny cat prints. Here she is, pleading to come back into the warm lounge - ahhh!

3 comments:

Sarah said...

I luvs your snow photos! Those snowflakes are wonderful!

I understand your reluctance to go outside. The photos of my hens in the snow on my blog were took from INSIDE the conservatory!

Hugs, Sarah x

The White Bench said...

Hi Paula! I always love visiting here...
Can't wait to see the finished cushion, those flowers are so vivid! And your kitty is just adorable! My 'girl' also loves to play in the snow, but then only wants to curl up on the sofa by the fire... !
Monica x.

Donna Griffin said...

Paula - Your Puddle cat is the reincarnation of my Annie who lived to be 13. She always loved Halloween as she seemed to know that was her holiday. Hugs to you both!
Donna

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