Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Out with the old, in with the new...

I'm looking forward to 2009. I'm hoping for many eccentric, funny and improbable moments. Parts of this year have been unexpectedly and discombobulatingly grim, thanks to the hand that fate deals sometimes. I'm determined that the new year will be lighter, more frivolous and without too many sideswiping events directed by chance and the inevitable vagaries of life and death.

People here have been invaluable in providing a gentle cushion during the grimmer moments, but it's been those who are far, far away who have touched and moved me with their consistent good humour, optimism, conversation and friendship. They have provided a greatly appreciated counterpoint, probably without knowing just how much they have helped.

I have various existential resolutions but they are works in progress. It is for the moment far easier to consider some knitting resolutions:
  • to learn how to do a provisional cast on
  • to stop being stubborn about avoiding charts (I can use them, I just remain fixed in my preference for letters and numbers over squiggles)
  • to practise kitchener stitch from the right side (though doing it inside out is working for me at the moment)
  • to reduce my stash (or find a way to make it invisible and to take up a third of its volume)

Overall, I could do with being less impatient with my knitting, and less patient in non-knitting matters. Patience is not always a virtue. Here's to frivolity, excitement, novelty and adventure, whether in knitting or other matters.


Resolutions little by little

Today I'm sure various resolutions for the New Year will occur to me. I may drip feed them as they occur.

I woke up thinking of some, and then I read the latest entry from the incomparable Nothing to See Here. Now that is a blog I wish I had thought of doing, and indeed wish I had the time to follow in person instead of in the ether.

In 2009 I will resolve to visit Postman's Park. I used to work nearby and didn't know it was there. I am kicking myself for not knowing, but only slightly for I can go anyway, and pay it justice instead of a snatched few minutes in a lunchbreak.

Mystery Outing

I was taken on a mystery outing this evening, a late extra birthday present from my mother and sisters. First there was supper cooked by my sisters, then off we went past the Christmas lights in the trees along the streets of Camden, Islington, Farringdon, Blackfriars and Waterloo to the surprise destination. I love surprises (well, nice ones), and this was a good one.

They kept me guessing until we turned on to the South Bank. Somehow my sister had bought tickets to the sell-out production at the Lyttelton Theatre of August: Osage County. I had tried to buy tickets earlier this month but they are sold out for the entire run of the play. My sister remains enigmatic on how she acquired the seats. My mother had even brought chocolate ginger and Christmas cake for the (two) intervals. I wore my new Hourglass sweater, which I finished yesterday (and which I am loathe to take off).

LinkPhotograph: Karen Robinson (borrowed from The Guardian)

I should, I realise, say something learned and wittily critical about the play, but I tend to think that people far better at reviewing have already said much on the topic. It's won myriad awards, as have the cast members, and deservedly so.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

... and Happy Boxing Day!

The temperature is dropping fast here. Boxing Day brought a trip to Richmond Park to walk briskly in the cutting wind at sunset, then home for tea. We have a Christmas Day birthday in the family so there was belated cutting of the cake with its combination of candles, tiny snowman and Christmas tree. One year we may take pity on the birthday person and ask if she'd prefer a Victoria sponge rather than fruitcake.

Richmond Park at sunset, Boxing Day 2008

Sun setting over the pond in Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

The cutting of the Birthday-Christmas cake

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


I am no longer languishing. Indeed, the languishing soon had to turn into dashing, to make up for lost time. There is secret festive knitting taking place. If I don't speed up enormously, the dashing is going to turn into hopping, when the recipient of the secret ends up with only one sock.

SQ Peacock cables unstretched

I am inventing a sock, which is quite fun, a bit like painting. I was on the train, trying to put every spare minute to the present which risks being only half a present. The sock leg seemed to be a bit loose so I scrabbled around and came up with a little stitch marker, and cables appeared. These locking stitch markers are perfect as cabling needles (or does everyone know this except me?). The leg tube is now just the right elasticity.


The yarn is Plushness in Peacock by Skein Queen, November's instalment of the Autumn Sock Club. The angora and cashmere give the cables a bloom, producing a water-like quality, that changes dramatically when stretched out.