Friday, 28 December 2012

December Blues

Despite umpteen projects this December is proving a real hard slog and I have found everything hard going and despite Mr S trying his best to cheer me up I have found myself sitting and crying over nothing.  The weather this year hasn't helped much either - wet, wet wet!  I hate rain it makes pushing a wheelchair a nightmare, wet push rims and the spray from the wheels and within minutes you are wet through and going no where fast.  Plus from at least the beginning of November shops have done nothing but push Christmas - why anyone wants to hear Carols in November is beyond me and certainly doesn't help with my yearly blues. 

Think that if I hear Noddy singing 'I wish it could be.............' one more time I might actually scream and news readers bemoaning the fact that people will find it difficult to get to spend the holiday with their families because of the weather just make me want to hide.  Families are greatly over rated in my opinion (you may disagree - fine) but my memories of family Christmases are not happy ones - my Grandmother and Father disliked each other with a deep deep hatred that stemmed from the 'you're not good enough for my daughter statement' made sometime after their marriage - or so I am told.  Christmas brought out the worst in both - sniping and back biting on a global scale, which left Mother in the kitchen getting quietly tipsy on sherry and then after the usual bickering over the lunch table I (as the daughter of the house) was required to wash up (well dry up actually) while my brother was allowed to play!  This as you can imagine didn't endear me to him and one year I rebelled and refused to dry the cutlery - saying it was unfair and that it was time he did some of the chores.  All hell broke loose - I was ungrateful, disrespectful and was sent back to the kitchen.................did I?  No I did not and I have never ever been allowed to forget this episode.  Can you believe that when Mr S and I decided to go away for Christmas rather than go through another family Christmas this was brought up as an example of my selfishness................

Since then we have only spent two Christmases at home - now we go away in our caravan and spend the time doing things in our way - no tinsel, no carols, no turkey and definitely no mince pies or cranberry sauce - just us and Molly and several bottles of red wine.  We have just got back home from a week in depths of rural Devon with little or no Internet and a very iffy phone signal.......  The place was cut off by floods during the week before we went and access was down a very small country lane.  But we did get to walk by the sea and throw pebbles and the sun did shine for a short period and there are now only three more days of December to be got through, I think that I might just make it.

Just to prove we were really there - see what I found on the beach


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Introducing - Hiawatha

Over the last few weeks I have tantalising all my friends with hints about a new wheel - well time has come to unveil.

Picking up this wheel was delayed by the floods at the end of November, but Wednesday dawned bright and sunny so Mr S and I drove down roads that only 2 weeks before had been rivers - it was quite surreal and the damage done by the floods were clear to see - road surfaces broken up and fields and drains still full.  But I digress,  so Fanfare..................................

This is an Indian Spinner, made for Guild member by her husband.  It is a double drive

with a single treadle

She has been stored in a garage for couple of years as a result of which there is some water damage to one leg

This is mainly cosmetic and the actual wood is sound so I have rubbed down the wood and cleaned away the mildew.  The wheel had been varnished which isn't good so I have sanded it smooth and used a wood balsam to enrich some of the very dry bits.
As a result of being stored, all the metal and leather bits were very rusty and dry, but again they have all cleaned up very nicely with brasso, saddle soap and some elbow grease.
As this photo shows the oriffice is made from copper pipe

She needs a new drive band as the present one is stretched and the cover is split in places, also the tension spring needs replacing as does the wire, but these are little things.............

I also need to pack one of the feet to level her up (I think she has always been a bit wonky) and add rubber feet to stop her running away as I spin.

So please welcome Hiawatha to family - The Murmering of Spinning Wheels now stands at nine......

And here is a little spun yarn - not a lot but the drive band keeps popping off, so until that's sorted.........

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December a Month for Knitting

Knitting - the process of using two or more needles to loop yarn into a series of knots in order to create a finished garment or some other type of fabric.  In past times it was a skill that girls had to master along with spinning!  In all my research into the topic I can't find that it has ever been a remedy for depression - so for Woolly Wednesday - knitting the cure all.

I am not a fan of December and I definitely do not enjoy the so-called festive season!   Eating and drinking too much, forced jollity and spending time with people that you don't like just because they are family just isn't my idea of fun plus having spent a major part of my life providing 'Christmas' for the extended family just because I was the daughter and that's what girls are supposed to do, and never really ever being thanked or even appreciated, Mr S and I decided to be selfish and celebrate in our own way.....we go away in our caravan, and on 'the day' we go for a long walk preferably by the sea and throw pebbles as a way of remembering those who are no longer with us.  We go back and eat Tartiflette with a big green salad and have a bottle (or even two) of French wine from the Languedoc - which reminds us of the warm summer days we have spent in southern France..................heaven on earth!

I have been a knitter for most of my life, I was taught by my grandmother at the age of three, using dish cloth cotton and awful plastic needles, and find that I can lose myself in the intricacies of a pattern - a habit that has stood me in good stead many times. 

For personal reasons I really find December a difficult month and in the past have struggled to maintain a semblance of normality.  I sometimes feel that I suffer SAD but only in December.  Little did I think that knitting would help me through the dark days, but last year I found the perfect solution to those December blues - knitalongs and particularly the Advent Scarf on Ravelry.  Twenty-four clues over 24 days leave you with no time to feel too down in the dumps - so for those who like me find December a hard act to cope with I can recommend an Advent Scarf.

This is after Day two.....

and this is my scarf on day four (apologies for the photo but its gets dark so early and I didn't get the clue finished in natural light!) This is a lace yarn with gold sparkle dyed Nutmeg - the day two picture is closer to the colour - and accented with bronze beads.  I wrote most of this yesterday, as today I have been down to Dorset to collect another wheel - more news on that later - but at about 2am this morning it dawned on me that I was using sock yarn, not lace and even worse I didn't have enough yarn to finish the project - so today is Day One - I have started again in white lace yarn and black the rest of these musings may never come to fruitition..........although I have knitted in the car so am onto the second clue!

But then there are lots more hours in a day to fill, so I fill these with other knitting projects.  I had been looking for a poncho pattern - but all were too long for me and I didn't want a point at the front - so I decided to design my own. 

This, I have decided, will be a square shaped poncho worked from the top down with a large cowl collar which I am knitting in a bulky yarn which a friend dyed a semi-solid black!   And so far I am here - just starting the third 100 gram ball, bulky doesn't seem go very far when you are used to knitting with lace yarn! 


Then I have a shawl or two on the go, just in case I find that I have time on my hands -

If that not enough to get me through to January then I have just treated my self to Wollmeise Lace Garn for the Walk on the Moon Shawl in lot 11. 
So knitting, not only a series of knots, but a remedy for December blues - knit on........... 

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