Sunday, 22 February 2009

Post-prandial Doubt

So there I was at the cinema this afternoon. I should have been soaking up the Pulitzer Prize history and the Academy Award Nominations oozing out of Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in 'Doubt'.

Instead, right in the middle of the key speeches, I had this going on in my head:

'Hm, nice moss stitch shawls... I wonder what that yarn is...

Rowan Kid Classic? Hm... no, I think it looks thicker than that; maybe it's on small needles, but then it would look different...

[Meryl Streep gives performance with gusto; there are tears, accusations, dramatic denouments galore]

... Maybe it's Noro Cash Iroha... no, I don't think they make it in solid black...

It looks like... well, ... hm...

[High drama, more tears, priests, nuns, and The Bronx crash past on the screen...]

... it looks as if it could be Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, perhaps in aran or chunky weight, but then with the chunky the stitches might look bulkier... I wonder what needle size they were making it in...'

Note to self: do not attempt to go to a matinee at the cinema after eating a generous helping of stir-fried ho fun in Soho the day after Unraveled.

One word...

Your Word is "Think"

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Love is in the hair

I went to get my hair cut this morning (a very rare event for me). As I was leaving, my hairdresser went into a side room and emerged with daffodils and a large box of coloured sewing thread, and said they were for me*. What a lucky person I am.

The poor man had recently been fished out of the Thames after falling off a walkway and becoming trapped between a boat and the Thames wall. He broke a rib, bashed his ankle and briefly knocked himself out. Scary stuff. I am very glad he has fully recovered, not least because he is clearly a man of generous spirit but also because for a few hours only I look as I have grown-up hair. Tomorrow will be another story, but then I will have daffodils to admire and threads to gaze upon.

* Well, OK, the threads are actually for my sister, but I can pretend, can't I?

All sensible and completely non-sensible offers considered...

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Primavera Mitts: performance update

I am very impressed with Sundara's sock yarn. My sister came to visit today, wearing her Christmas present Primavera mitts. I pounced on the mittens as soon as she came through the door to see how they'd been doing since December. Not a bobble or pile or over-stretch or merest sign of wear and tear. They've been well tested: worn nearly every day since Christmas, and in particular during our recent wonderful snow days. They were even lent to a large-handed but absent-minded boyfriend who went to Amsterdam in the freezing cold without any winter clothes.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Conversations on a Train: Part 1

I was knitting on the train the other evening on my way home from work. Three women in their seventies or so sat in the adjoining seats and conversation soon turned to the rarity of seeing someone knitting these days. We got chatting. They had all been prolific knitters before the advent of machine knits and, for one, osteoarthritis in her hand. They told me stories of wartime knitting, which was part of the primary school curriculum with compulsory homework in the evenings. They made sweaters and long socks for soldiers, the wool laden with oil that left their hands rather rough. Each evening they had to complete a required length of knitting for inspection at school the following day. The soldiers, never previously known to the children, would write to say thank you, sending notes about the sweaters and socks from the battle zones and postings. They also talked of soldiers going through recovery and rehabilitation who were taught to knit (though this may predate WWII, from the look of the photo I found).

This had been utilitarian knitting at its utmost, and there I was, with my ball of fairly high-end wool and a half-formed sock, knitting for no other reason than pure luxury. I don't need any more socks, and already have far more than is sensible. Knitting with yarn imported from Japan is hardly a frugal option; for the price of one ball of wool I could probably buy five pairs of mass-produced socks from a chain store. I could not think of a single reason other than luxury, creativity, relaxation and entertainment for what I was doing. A sign of the times.

Monday, 2 February 2009

A London so rarely seen

We have snow, proper snow, not a sprinkling, not a dash, but proper drifts. It's the first time in my life I have not been able to get to work or travel because of the snow. For anyone for whom snow is not unusual it may be difficult to convey just how exciting it is to have heavy snow in London. Indulge me - there are a few pictures of the snow.

A road normally busy with cars, shut to traffic this morning

My sister just looked out of her window in another part of London and saw this: