Saturday, 26 January 2008

Saturday's Final Whites.

This is my last post in the Winter White series. Thanks to Mary Jane knowing about it and to Shari for hosting. I've loved seeing all of the photos and reading new blogs. I hope you enjoyed visiting mine.

Here are three different things to finish off with.

My new winter coat ( see previous posts for sartorial worries ). And my new hairdo, I was at the hairdressers yesterday and as I don't own either a hairdryer or straighteners, this level of elegance will never happen again. I'm so pleased with the colours.

Archie's Apron - My other half spent an entire afternoon cleaning the cooker this week. What a star.

Soup in the making. Not the whitest of images but soup made with carrots, leeks, onions , celery and potatoes is one of my winter staples and feels to me quintessentially Scottish.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Wooly whiteness

More of a creamy whiteness really but it is cold enough here to require many many wooly layers today. Someone ( Mo'a at ) asked if the spindle in the earlier picture was mine. Oh yes indeed. I've been knitting for a good while now but late last year two members of my Knitting Bee arrived armed with a spindle and some fleece in order to lure me over to the Distaff side. I didn't need much persuading, Great Aunt Nan and Great Aunt Ina had worked in a local weaving factory many years ago and I have often wondered if that is where my fibre leanings came from. That and my grandmother's skill with needles.

This weekend was the Spinning Guild meeting and I brought my carders along in order to ask for help in learning how to use them. Not only did I get a lesson, I also came home with at least one sheep's worth of fleece. A huge smelly sack full. Every day I have been washing at least 100g worth in order to work my way through. I love the transformation, seeing the mucky water pouring into the sink, many times till it runs almost clear. The fleece is soaked in Nan's old jeely pan and it is hard to believe when you see the mucky mass within, that just a wee while later, dried and carded into rolags, this filthy fleece becomes clean and cloud light. Full of glorious possibilities.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Graveyard White.

A week or so ago I had a Flickrmail from someone in Canada who had seen one of my photos. The photo was of headstones in Brechin Cemetery and she wondered if I would like to go back and look for the grave of one of her relatives. Yesterday we went off to look and one thing that caught my eye was the amount of floral tributes on the stones. I suppose that over Christmas family members come to remember the people they have lost and bring the flowers with them. A lot of the tributes were made from plastic which brought a kind of gaudy cheeerfulness to the place. We have had some gale force winds recently and flowers have been swept all over the graveyard so it is hard to tell who they were originally intended to commemorate. I like that - a sort of sharing among the dead.

Did I say that it never snows here anymore? Right this minute there are soggy flakes falling from the sky and no life in my camera battery.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Winter Blues.

Part two of the Winter Whites Week.

There has been a lot of rain and frost this year so even though the snow is lacking, there is still a need to dress warmly. One day I will coordinate my knitting so that I look cosy and chic, instead of just cosy.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Winter whites. is hosting a week of Winter White photos and I thought I would join in. The deadline is today ( Tuesday ) and hopefully I'll be in time even though I'm on the UK clock.

Here is what it says on her blog......

If you would like to play along, post one winter white photo or piece of artwork each day this week. photos can be taken inside or outside and do not have to be solely white.

Today's wintery whites come to you courtesy of the ice at Forfar Loch, in Angus. Taken in December on a day when it was too cold for the ice to melt at all. We've had no snow this year so chilly will have to suffice. An off white photo too - my friend Julie gave me a slightly wiffy fleece and here is some unwashed handspun. It blooms beautifully when it is washed for the hundredth time!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

With maturity comes responsibility.

My new coat arrived this week. A proper winter coat, 100% wool and brand spanking new. I've spent most of my coat buying years in second hand shops but this time I decided to forgo the glories of other peoples' clothes and get my own. This has nothing to do with Archie picking me up from the station last week wearing my usual winter coat - a fabulous second hand Crombie. It suits him so much better than it ever suited me. So it has nothing to do with that whatsoever, obviously.

A proper new grown up coat is a tricky business, for one thing, it cost me a lot of money so I won't be able to fling it to the floor or watch unconcerned as it slides off the seat in restaurants. It makes me look smarter and already people in shopping centres have tried to sell me credit cards. I'll have to hang it up properly and not sit on it to save me from damp park benches. Much care will have to be taken to prevent food spillages. I'll have to avoid white cats. I hope this sudden rush of maturity is worth it.

Over on the Ravelry site, I've signed up for the Stash Knit Down Knit A Mile challenge which, as the name suggests, means that you try to knit a mile of yarn from your stash in a month. So far I'm on about 300 yards out of about 1700. Still a good while to go though. I have a sickening feeling that more time will be used trying to work out how many yards are in my yarn than will be taken up with real knitting. Still, if it gives me more cupboard space I'll be happy.

Before the coat arrived and changed everything I made some marmalade, the recipe called for the grapefuit to be boiled whole till soft and then left in the water overnight. Even if I hadn't made it as far as the marmalade stage it would have been worth it for the beautiful smell from the boiling fruit. The house is a bit sticky but our toast has been wonderful.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

New Year - New Cold and some gratitude.

It's the time of year for resolutions and stuffy noses. I'm very good at having colds and not so good at keeping my New Year Resolutions so while I'm under the duvet and snuffling into my hankies, I'm only making one new decision.

This year I'm going to be grateful for things. Not in any pious or self denying way, I just want to feel glad about what I already have. So, in that spirit, I'll review the festivities in the Mog World according to what I was grateful for.....

1. I was glad that we didn't do Christmas in the usual sense, we didn't give, or get gifts and dinner was hummous and cheese and pears. No stress, just good company.

2. We had a lovely walk on Christmas Day with my big brother Tom by the side of a beautiful frosty Loch.

3. En route to my old girls' New Year reunion in Kent, I spent an evening with my friend Stefanie's family. We haven't met for about fourteen years and it was a lot of fun. Spookily, I now agree with Stef's father on some politics. That would never have happened before.

4. The Girls - Oldest and dearest chums, I don't think I have the words to say how grateful I am for them. I realised that they are the women I talk to about things I would never discuss with anyone else. Proper plain talking good friends. Much laughter and tears.

5. I am incredibly grateful for the partner of one of these friends, who fed us, kept us topped up with wine and took the children away for the night so that we could talk into the small hours.
T - you are a wonder.

6. Today I am grateful that I don't have to do anything or go anywhere except the long walk from the sofa to the kettle. There will be football commentary on the radio, a cat snoring nearby and a mile of yarn to knit.

Happy New Year to everyone.