Sunday, 20 January 2013

January blues or January bleahs

One of my friends said in an email this week that she had the January blues as a number of things weren't going very well for her and her family, on top of the whole post-holiday letdown and poor weather.

I don't think I've got the blues so much as the 'bleahs'.  As in, Bleah my job is boring, Bleah I can't seem to sleep a full night any more so I am chronically tired which makes job even more challenging to cope with, bleah to commuting, bleah to mounds of paperwork at home waiting to be tackled, bleah to housework / laundry / cooking meals when I'm not hungry, and just generally Bleah.  I seem to have some snuffly thing which is either a strong allergic reaction or a sinus infection, not sure which, so my nose is permanently running and painful and I just have no energy.

Nonetheless the show must go on, and yesterday I had my quilting club.  We have started our new group project which is a Mystery design challenge.  I've basically told them they can make whatever they want, but they need to pick a theme and a dominant colour, and they need to demonstrate that they have followed each of six clues I will provide.  The clue for January was to make a block with their theme expressed as one word using their dominant colour.  After some thought, I am going to make a large carpet bag to hold larger knitting projects.  I've ordered a 16" inner tubular carpet bag frame from u-handbag.com, and yesterday I made two blocks with the word 'knitting' fused on to them.  I used the method where you print the word out on your computer then trace it mirror image onto the fusible.  After that I pieced another hexagon and a half for Sarah's Stars Stack n Whack.  I am loving the colours for that.

On the commuter knitting front, I've completed four repeats of the Featherduster Shawl chart but I've decided to stop knitting on it so that I can save it to use as airplane knitting for a holiday we are having in February.  So instead I have started a project from my queue: the lacy fingerless mitts called Cranford Mitts, which is a free pattern for p/hop on Ravelry.  I'm using a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in 'The Elephant's Dream' colourway which is a lovely green, with a contrast of some spare sock yarn in a multicolourway of pinks and lavenders.

Work knitting has continued to be the Pretty Thing cowl in a cheerful red Adriafil Carezza Angora.  I've finished the main body of the chart and am just knitting the top edge now.

I love this yarn, and in fact TV knitting this week was knitting some 'liners' in pale blue Carrezza to line the collar stand and inside cuffs of my Rowan Scottish Tweed DK cardigan.  I hardly ever wear it because the wool scratches my neck and wrists.  I knit two bracelets in soft angora and stitched them inside the cuffs.  Then I knit a flat collar stand in angora, short rowing to turn the bends, and stitched it on.  It isn't 100% as the very top edge of the collar is still scratchy but it's a huge improvement.  I wore the cardigan all day yesterday for sewing club and it was fine.

I finally got the Kaffe Fassett fabric lone star quilt onto the frame.  This will be the last quilt before the frame gets taken down, and probably the last time the frame gets used in this house if our house move goes ahead as we hope.  I still have a couple of tops but one is really complicated and would take ages to custom quilt, and the other needs a lot of custom quilting as well, so I've decided to call it quits.  The frame has been up since October and I think we've all had enough of it.  I don't feel I've been as successful on it this time round, especially the first few quilts I did on it.  Hopefully in the new house I will have a studio where I can leave it up all the time and use it regularly, so there isn't such a learning curve each time.

I've also been working on the Medieval Panels quilt - I finished all of the quilting and am now working on the hanging sleeve and binding.

We've continued to pack things.  We packed 14 boxes of books from the living room storage unit, and I have managed to go through almost all of the magazines from the attic.  I threw out loads to recycling after tearing out what I wanted, but I am keeping all of the old Miniature Quilt, Miniature Collector, American Miniaturist and Nutshell News magazines because there are so many good things in them. I now have a huge collection of torn out patterns and clippings which I will need to sort out into some kind of system in the new house.  But for now I have packed them up along with the empty magazine holders.  I know some people put their clippings in plastic sleeves then into binders, but I just have so many that I don't know if that's feasible.  I've tried keeping them in hanging files, but those are hard to search and the clippings tend to slip down under their own weight and become curled.  I've tried box files which just get filled up and are hard to search through.  I suppose in this digital age I could scan them all in but I tried that with recipes and the result was that I never look at the digital recipes because it's easier to pick up a physical cookbook.  Suggestions are welcome if you know a better way to deal with loose patterns and magazine clippings.

It feels kind of good to be having this rationalisation and clear out, like a fresh start to a new leaner lifestyle which will be physically easier to relocate. I'm looking forward to how much bigger the house is going to look once we start emptying out the rooms. I'm not looking forward to having to keep it pristine during the months that we are having viewings by potential buyers.

And of course we had some snow here in London, very unusual so kind of exciting.  As usual, the mere prospect of snow brought the country to a standstill, with my train company implementing an adverse weather timetable (cancelling my normal train) before a single flake had fallen, and newspapers recommending only essential travel should be undertaken.  Nearby Heathrow airport cancelled flights and someone said that thousands of people were sleeping on the floor of the airport but I don't know if that's true. We had about three inches fall on Friday, and the roads were fine, just a bit slushy.  I left early on Friday for fear of transport chaos but it was fine. We've had more snow today, but tiny flakes like icing sugar that aren't really settling. It makes me laugh in a way, when I remember minus 40 degree Celsius temperatures in Ottawa, Canada, and several feet of snow and yet somehow life still went on.  But I do understand that it isn't economically feasible here in the southern UK to be prepared every winter for severe weather that rarely arrives.



1 comment:

Daisy said...

With cuttings about gardening I stick them into a scrapbook (divided up into months of the year) for inspiration/jobs that need doing. I'm not sure if that would be feasible with knitting/crafting cuttings though?

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