Monday, 4 January 2010


It has snowed non-stop on and off, if that isn't too much of a contradiction, for a week and the snow, where undisturbed, is about 20 cm deep! I have not seen snow like this since my childhood, when we would make bobsleigh runs in the tracks made by trucks going down the many hills leading off our road. While it looks beautiful, it is becoming a nuisance for people who have to drive in it. Joshua arrived home from college at lunchtime today and said they were closing it down because there were so few people turning up. His class was the largest today, with only 6 people! The cats have not even gone near the back or front doors! Thom was standing on the windowsill at the top of the stairs last night, up on his hind legs and trying to catch the falling snowflakes! Mostly he has, like the other two, spent his time at the windows or sleeping on the sheepskin rug on the sofa.

I have been extremely recalcitrant in my blogging of late and my new year's resolution (if I did resolutions, which I don't) is going to be to blog more regularly!

I have fallen into spinning in a big way! I have only just begun to achieve finer yarn and I am frustrated that I have to keep removing the small 'singles' from the spindle because they affect the spin after a bit. Having a spinning wheel will give me more control and consistency, and I will be able to spin the finer yarns I love so much! For the moment the spindle is okay for the chunkier yarns I want for Saartje items and the sock yarn weight I like for gloves, non-lace scarves etc. In fact I called one of my yarns' colours Saartje after her love of pink and purple.

I have named my hand spun yarn Spingle - yes it's a cross between Spangle, spin, and 'single' as well as being the cute name Saartje has for Spangle! The reason for calling a yarn after one of our cats? Well, obvious if you know her, but by way of explanation, the 'tops', pre-spinning, are soft and fluffy, just like Spangle's thick, luxuriant fur.

I am waiting for Amy's Rainbow and Shunklies to list more, but in the meantime I am more than happy with Lime Green Jelly. I have just received five lots of tops from there - yes, I know - decadent, but I had to sepnd my Christmas treat money on something and since I already had Lush and L'Occitane stuff aplenty, plus loads of new books, and I do not tend to buy general 'stuff' I decided that buying some merino would be three times the treat: once when it arrives and I get to look at it and feel it etc; once when I spin it and see the resulting yarn and then once when I have knitted it up into something truly unique and gorgeous. Also, someone else gets pleasure, not just me, because whoever I knit for gets a lovely (hopefully - ha ha!) hat or scarf or pair of gloves.

So.....these are my lovely treats:

Sweet Dreams (70% Merino/30% Tencel)

I Know where It's At (70/30 Merino/Tencel)

Edge of Heaven (100% 21 micron Merino)

A Fine Romance (50% Merino/30% Baby Alpaca/20% Silk)

Girl Talk (100% British Blue Faced Leicester)

Needless to say the BFL above is going into Saartje's Hat and mitts, and the Merino/Baby Alpaca/Silk is going to be made into a fine yarn to make myself a scarf and gloves.

Speaking of gloves, I finished two pairs of wristwarmers just before Christmas. One pair in Freedom Spirit for myself ....

......and the other for Schnatz in some gorgeous blue/purple/turquoise sock wool, the same as the ones worn by her favourite "Twilight/New Moon" character Alice. I got the pattern from here. Needless to say she is absolutely thrilled with them.

I have just begun knitting some "Jaywalker" socks for Nicola, in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino (shade: Winterberry) and just this evening cast on for some wristwarmers which Fiona has commissioned; I am knitting a basic wristwarmer/sock leg pattern from Knitty Fall '09 with an added thumb, using Fiona's choice of my suitable available yarns - Royal Platinum Alpaca (shade:Santa Fe Skies):

So....I have three W.I.P's left from 2009: Cold Mountain - shown as it has been knitted thus far;

Kernel (on back burner until Cold Mountain is finished and which, hopefully, I will finish in time to give to my schoonzus Ellen when I see her in early Spring/Easter); and the Catses' Blanket in Patons Inca. (Why was I going to type Sirdar Peru, which I have never had?!)

New Year was okay. Then on the 2nd Hev came round and we talked and drank some wine. On the 3rd - Sunday - I was making apple crumble and was a bit overzealous with the apple-chopping and ended up with enough apple for two crumbles, so I made an extra one for Hev and Keira and as soon as they were ready I ran round the corner to give it to them while it was still hot from the oven. I do love surprising people, and sharing my apple crumble!

Well I guess I've caught up to this week. Tomorrow - Thursday - is normally an easy day for me and I intend to have a lie-in and read some more of my book (Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts) then get up around 11 and wander down to the Garden to see the guys and find out what's what for next week's work. Then I'll spend the late afternoon/evening on Fiona's wristies. What a tough life, eh? Oh well!!

I'll end with this lovely photo of a mischievous little Saartje playing in the snow over in Leiden:

Tot ziens......

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