Friday, 19 November 2010

Trying to keep warm

It’s cold here. Is it cold where you are? It feels like winter now, but it’s the nice part of winter where the air is cold and fresh and feels a bit sparkly and expectant, and if you walk along briskly enough you can warm up. It’s not yet that terrible January-type-winter where you can’t get warm whatever you do, and everywhere looks damp and faded. Even so, though, I have to say that active life is mainly being sustained at the moment by endless cups of tea (or, shall we say, endless great big mugs of tea. Do you recognise the Herdy mug? It’s the one I got in the blog hub swap earlier this year, and it’s been in constant use ever since!).
On the Road, when I've never got further on a road trip than Cromer. And why is my tea spotty? It wasn't spotty
As the sun goes down – like, in the middle of the afternoon – it gets colder still. Every evening I can be found positioning myself in front of the new fire, the better to soak up any residual heat.
Fire, der der der, I'll teach you to burn, der der der derrrrrrr
When I first moved to Cambridge, we lived in a flat with electric storage heaters. I’ll just pause here for those of you who have lived with electric storage heaters to wince with me. Electric storage heaters! What do they store? Nothing but the resentment of people who have to live with them, that’s all. You’d get warmer if you invited a small asthmatic poodle to come in and breathe on you. That was a winter spent in various pubs round Cambridge and walking endlessly round shops to keep warm. I actually think the cold got into my bones that winter and I’ve never properly got it out since. So I am inordinately – let me say that again, inordinately – grateful for our functioning central heating, and the new fire, although I suspect the current happy times of having the fire on every evening will last until we get our electricity bill, when it will be turned off forever in an avalanche of mutual recriminations.
Old skool tie. Deconstructed!
I have been patchworking the lovely silk from Mountain Heirlooms. It’s great to work with. I’m making a bag, and I’m using a mix of bold stripes and small prints on a black background. I was thinking along the lines of a quilt in the Jane Brocket quilt book where she mixes striped tie silk with woollen suit fabric, but I wanted to do something a bit different, and I’m liking the wintry-jewel-colour combination. I must get away from patchwork squares and do a different shape, but I’m still liking squares at the moment and I want to do a few skirts before I move on. After that, log cabin, beware.

I wanted to tell you about a couple of new books and things I’ve seen around.
  • First, Malka Dubrawsky from A Stitch in Dye has a new book out – I love, love, love her style, and although I accept this isn’t strictly relevant, she’s a really nice person as well. I once bought a mini quilt from her etsy shop which got lost in the post, and she was so helpful with trying to track it down and finally making a new one for me that I look at it with fondness every time I see it in its place in our hall (the original apparently turned up eventually, having been on an exciting trip to all sorts of inappropriate places). I think this book looks great, I might have to buy it.
  • Also, there’s a new Stitch’n Bitch book out – did you know? I didn’t know. How could I not know? Anyway, I had a flick through in Heffers, and it looks worth buying, although there don’t seem to be any techniques in it that haven’t been covered all over Ravelry etc. If you’re a fan, though (I do tend to be), it looked worth getting.
  • And a fabric find - I was in Oxfam earlier, and they had packs of fabric squares from The India Shop – they looked at least 4.5” square, and you got 60 for £4.99 – I almost got a couple of packs to make a quilt, and then I thought, no, Susie, step away from the squares. They don’t have them on the website, but if you’re going past Oxfam it might be worth having a look in.
  • And one more thing – I’m late to the party with this as ever, but a while ago my brother Dan gave me a CD of the Dresden Dolls – if you haven’t heard them, go out and buy/ download whatever, now. That’s all I’m saying.
Keep warm, everyone!


Moomin Mamma said...

Electric storage heaters! *cries* *grumps* *shivers*
I have those in my living room. Really OLD ones. They are useless. *grumbles*

Why IS your tea spotty?

Susie said...

Moomin Mamma you have all my sympathy, electric storage heaters were invented just to mock us. And yes, why is it spotty? It must be reflecting something. But what? I think it must be a ghost. I'm going to send it off to Take A Break Fate and Fortune.

Marushka C. said...

I've never read On the Road, though I did enjoy Steinbeck's Travels with Charley and I always confuse the two when people talk about Kerouac. (For some reason I leave the oddest comments on your blog, Susie -- I don't think I replicate my quirkiness on other people's blogs. Perhaps I should just say "Nice job!" and leave it at that.) Seriously though, I love the silk squares you're putting together.

mooncalf said...

Mmn, tea.

I stayed in a B&B last March that had storage heaters. Utterly freezing.

I think the new SnB book is about 5 years too late.

I had a long patchwork silk skirt when I was a teenage hippy. I had to spend hours fixing it every time I wore it because the seams frayed. But it was beautiful and the repairs probably kept me out of reckless teenage escapades.

Susie said...

Marushka! I love your comments, you be as quirky as you want. I might have a look at the Steinbeck book as I seem to be reading at the moment, knock on wood. Mooncalf, you have put your finger right on it re the SnB book and your skirt sounds lovely, but you are right, silk frays like a MoFo (have I got that right? Me <> cool), I am going to have to overlock every single square.

Every single square.

Every one :-(.

Anonymous said...

Ahh Cromer.............the place of my birth *exits wistfully thinking that I only live twenty miles away despite my attempts to stay away from Norfolk - how did that happen?*

Really enjoying your blog right now,
thanks to MummaTroll for reminding me to read it.