Saturday, 28 December 2013

Post Christmas musings.

This will be another of those posts of many parts I think. I sit here in Boxing Day looking out of my living room window at the start of a beautiful day. It's nearly 9am and the sky is still tinged with sunrise pinks and oranges. The ground is covered with a hard, white frost. I wonder if we might have snow later?

I'm snuggled under my log cabin blanket. It's cold in the house this morning. Matthew cleaned the fire out last night and I think the lack of residual ash meant it burned out quicker. It's stubbornly refusing to give out any significant quantity of heat at the moment. No matter! Between my blanket, my PJ's and my stripy socks I'm good. Coupled with a brew, my knitting and a book, I'm sorted.  

So far this morning I've finished cleaning the kitchen following last night's epic dinner. I've also sterilised and filled a couple of Kilner jars with the scary amount of goose fat that was produced! I'll pick over the carcass later and make stock from the bones. I'm not sure if it'll make good stock, but I'll sharpish find out!

Week in review and feeling the love - 
Christmas Day came and went. Dinner was served on time,(ish) but the goose took a little more carving than I originally anticipated, so I think the accompaniments could have been warmer. Ben had a great day, I think he got what he wanted, and he spent it equally divided between his Xbox and  us.  Matthew took the dog out for a walk on the fells while I got dinner started. It was a lovely day. 

I read a book called 'The Husband's Secret' by Liane Moriarty this week. It was a pleasantly unchallenging read. It's been ages since I read a book. How bad is that!? I picked it because it was the first book at the top of the best seller list on iTunes that wasn't soft porn! Honestly!! I nearly died when I saw the top 2 titles!? And me, a good convent girl and all!!? *cough* 

The story follows the lives of seemingly unrelated women as their lives become entwined by the secret of one man. As the book progresses you can sense the threads coming closer until the book reaches it's conclusion. It was a 'no-brainer' read. I knit and read and was entertained. It was just the kind of read I needed this week. Nothing too complicated, but enough going on to keep my interest piqued. It's not Liane's only book, I'm not sure I'll read another any time soon, but it would make great holiday reading. 

On the knitting front I still aim to clear my WIP's from 2013. Matthew's socks got finished yesterday morning 3 and a bit days after they where cast on. A record for me. He likes them and they fit fine. 


Next on my hit list is Annie. It's a cowl I cast on ages ago. Remember? From that pink Louisa Harding silk blend yarn? I pick it up and put it back down regularly.  It's not that I hate knitting it, it's just that it won't grow. It's a DK weight yarn, but I keep knitting and the cake doesn't get any smaller and the cowl doesn't get any longer! I'm thinking it's going to finish as a scarf rather than a cowl. I bought 4 or 5 skeins and I've got one and a bit left. The fabric is only 32 inches long so I'm thinking I'll just knit until I run out and leave it there. I don't think I can face grafting the ends together, but we'll see. 

Time has passed and it's now Saturday and Annie is finished. I knit until the last inch of yarn. I actually over cooked it slightly and I had to graft a few inches I cut off when joining the last ball to the end of the project to finish the cast off. Now that's cutting things fine! I know I could have ripped back a row and finished that way, but I wanted to get as much fabric as I possibly could. Needless to say I've decided it's going to be a scarf rather than a cowl. Life's too short. It may be that this scarf is too short as well, but when it's washed and blocked it's in the gift drawer for next year! 

This leaves three WIP's - Jean's vanilla socks, the Silver Birch socks, and Mara's mitts. I'm now concentrating on the vanilla socks. I've finished the first one and I'm working my way to the heel of the second  as we speak. 

I'm onto another book too. I'm reading Rachel's Holliday by Marian Keyes. I'm approaching half way. It's a story about Rachel. She's a drug addict in rehab at home in Ireland. Again it really isn't my usual read. I'm not sure how I came to have it on the iPad. It must have been a freebie as I really can't see myself buying it. It's not bad actually. The parts of the story about her time in rehab and what goes on in group therapy are interesting. I see many traits of the addicts I work with- the denial, the blame etc. Rachel's thoughts on therapy are interspersed with memories of her life in New York. Some of those memories are a tad raunchy, you have been warned! I'll let you know next week how the next half progresses. 

On the horizon - 
Another bitty week. I'm in work Monday and Tuesday although I'm hoping to get away early on Tuesday. We're closed on Wednesday for New Year and then normal service is resumed on Thursday. 

I hope to get the vanilla socks done by the end of the year. I can't see me finishing the silver birch and Mara's mitts by then, but I think it's likely to be the mitts which next feel the love. 

Until 2014, have a great new year. 
PS - if any of you have ideas for my next book, let me know. I'm open to suggestions. 

Ellen x