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Archive Entries for December 2007

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Monday December 31, 2007

Books in December

  • At Risk Patricia Cornwell
    Her 2006 novel, but without Dr Kay Scarpetta, although it had a detached professional heroine Scarpetta look-alike. I thought the book read slightly oddly, and I now see that - like the last Michael Connelly I read - it was originally serialised for the New York Times. I have a love-hate relationship with her books - they are exciting and absorbing, but these ice-queen heroines do not evoke any empathy - even with detached professionals....
  • Agatha Raisin and the Wizard of Evesham M C Beaton
    Finally back in sequence, finding out what led up to the last two Agatha books I read.
    In this book, the author digresses a bit more than usual in talking about Evesham and its history; I feel she must like it very much, and it has certainly caught my interest, as it's an area with which I am not familiar.
    As I have mentioned previously, these books are, at face value, very light weight reading, and don't need to be pondered over to find some inner enlightenment. But really they do describe some very telling experiences which I find all too familiar, and make me laugh twice over; are all professional women in their 50s like this... or is it just me?! Here are a couple of quotes from this book:
    On grey hair: "She had bought one of those colour rinses but it had turned the grey to purple."
    On visiting the museum at the Almonry: "Agatha became uneasy as she saw household items she remembered from her youth."

Posted on December 31, 2007 at 8:34 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Friday December 28, 2007

Mobile Working

So here we are sitting on the ferry at Dover. I am working on-line (this is a great novelty for me - my former PC refused to co-operate with my 3G card or dial-up ever since the hard disk failure/replacement in August 2006).


Anyway - now we are about to sail, I have to stop - there is a high wind and the stewardess has just informed us that it is very rough. I feel pretty queasy already and we are still in the harbour....

Posted on December 28, 2007 at 3:31 PM. Category: Oddments and stray thoughts.

Thursday December 27, 2007

Quiet time

All my guests have gone, leaving George, Deborah and I to enjoy a peaceful time together scoffing wonderful cold meats and left over trifle. It is very quiet at work as well, so there has been much sitting in front of a comfortable fire, and admiring our perfectly proportioned tree (heaven knows how we got such a nice tree after a fraught and depressing evening at a DIY store in the week before Christmas, where they had decided, with 7 days still to go, that Christmas was over and it was time to remove all signs of the festival, leaving everything in total building site disarray! Anyway - we did - and it's lovely).


I received lots of really inspired gifts. Sheila gave me a set of hand made oriental table mats - a real labour of love - they are lovely and we used them throughout Christmas.


My sister gave me extraordinary blue and pink pastel Argyle Wellingtons; George's sister gave me a Debbie Abrahams knitted bag kit;


Alison gave me a great book of vintage sock patterns taken from old Weldon's magazines, (published in an era preceding Stitchcraft); and George, tired of my finding myself short of projects while in France produced the following:


I hope everyone else enjoyed themselves as much as I.

Posted on December 27, 2007 at 9:00 PM. Category: Red Letter Days.

Sunday December 16, 2007



By special request, the Santa-in-the-chimney stocking is complete, and due in the mail (special delivery) tomorrow.
And a real pain in the neck he was. Thank goodness I didn't have to make the whole crèche of figures - although I am full of admiration for Jean Greenhowe, who has presented dozens of little Christmas characters from the same basic design. They all look convincingly different with the simplest of detailing to fit with the small scale.

Posted on December 16, 2007 at 6:56 PM. Category: Knitting.

Thursday December 13, 2007

Stocking fillers

Not much in the blog but a lot of activity. I was working some very long hours traveling up and down to central London last week, so I've been pretty tired - but have been able to knit during the commuting.
The tedious painting and sanding continues in the bathroom - last weekend I made a couple of shelves. I am really poor at woodwork, and cannot cut straight - so the fact that they look like a couple of normal shelves is an achievement in itself.

I have been very focussed on sticking to plain knitting, one item at a time. This may sound normal to others but it's not usually how I work. The result is that the occasional finished item has just popped out of the woolbag, almost unbidden. An astrakhan cardigan from Debbie Bliss's "Out of Town" book - sporting wonderful buttons purchased at Saratoga Knitting Arts.


I needed small knitting for traveling up and down to London all last week, and Terry's Christmas socks have been the perfect project. One of the Austerman Step balls has been completely transformed and the other is in progress (I have 8 hours on the train next week going to Plymouth). Meanwhile here is "Pebble":


But never mind the fillers - I am supposed to be knitting an actual Christmas Stocking. It is very late in the day now, but as the request has been outstanding since last Christmas it seems unreasonable to have not found the time! I need to recruit some little elves....

Posted on December 13, 2007 at 5:38 PM. Category: Knitting.

Sunday December 2, 2007

Cleaning up and clearing out.

Have been feeling a little glum - but only due to minor things, like I cannot get my new computer notepad to work properly - more precisely, I can't get the software to work properly.
And I spent much of the weekend working on the "finishing touches" to our bathroom - it is starting to look really nice - well, half of it looked nice already of course - but it's a hard slog of filling, sanding, and painting - o and cleaning.... which I especially love.

SparklingStole4.jpg Still - nothing like finishing a bit of knitting to cheer you up, eh? So Pattern of the Month December is now complete and the pattern available on the site.
Here I am looking very glamorous.
OK - take it from me - I look much more glamorous than I did during the DIY and before the shower.

This made me feel quite Christmassy, in combination with making my (or rather Delia's) Whisky Dundee Cake for said festival; I much prefer it to traditional Christmas cake. [I get to make it, so I get to choose.]

In addition, I have made my Vintage Patterns link live, for any of you who have a strange love of old patterns. I seem to find them weirdly desirable even when I have no intention of knitting them. Most of them are there in the hope of finding someone to love them like their own - not because they are hot property, I'm afraid.
And yet, in posting them on the site, I felt very inspired to actually knit some of them - in fact, this morning, I even went as far as searching for a vintage yarn on eBay (Wendy Pampas) to match one of the patterns!
However, I hope my time in listing them is worth it for someone, as it is another (in the words of Hollis) "great time-suck". [But a wonderful excuse to review old patterns.]

Posted on December 2, 2007 at 6:40 PM. Category: Knitting.