Tuesday, November 29, 2005


This is the view from my office window into our garden this morning. Brrrr! It's bloody freezing today!

I've never been much of a winter person. I get cold easily. I dislike wearing layers and layers of clothes. They make me feel claustrophobic, make me feel like I can't breathe. I get depressed and sad with the lack of sun and the lack of colour. In spring I eagerly await the first splashes of colour that crocusses and other early bulbs provide, starved and thirsty for the fresh and vibrant greens and yellows and purples of those early messengers of spring. The mild but wet winters in the UK, rather than making things more bearable, actually feel worse to me. Snow lightens things up a bit, rain doesn't.

Recently, though, I have found that I have gained a new appreciation for winter. Or rather, for the possibilities that it offers. Knitting possibilities. All that wool! Snuggly, cozy and warm wool that is just waiting to be worked into sweaters and cardigans and lovely toasty scarves!

See, I like wool a lot better than cotton - not that cotton is bad, but for me it doesn't have the same comfort feel that wool offers. Summer knitting is all good and I'm sure that towards the end of this winter I won't be able to wait to start knitting some summer tops, but there is something about knitting with and touching wool. It makes you long to finish whatever sweater or cardigan you are working on, to put it on and TO FINALLY BE WARM.

Like for example my burnt orange Jaeger Shetland Aran Hourglass Sweater. I have been knitting up a storm in the last few days and have now started the second sleeve. I have even sewn up the hem as I went along rather than leaving it right to the end. Ditto the weaving in of yarn ends. That's how impatient I am to finally wear this sweater. Not long to go now. Here it is, in all its one-sleeved glory:

Doesn't it look cozy? The Jaeger Shetland Aran is so soft and snuggly that I can't stop touching the yarn. The knitted fabric has a lovely thick texture that will hopefully keep me toasty over the next few months. :-)

Apart from that, I have not been doing a lot. A bit of spinning - some Wensleydale tops that I dyed with Kool Aid a while ago - but no pictures yet, as I have to first do the plying. And in order to do that I have to dye up some more fibre, which I will hopefully accomplish today or tomorrow...

And finally, I've been meaning to do this for a while now but always forgot... Just got to ask - what the heck is this:

It was one of those wedding gifts that made us go HUH?!

Any ideas? Yes, it is a miniature toaster (an imitation - it doesn't toast bread!), with four knives (without sharp blades) sticking out of it, but what is it for? It's fairly small - the pen that you see is for size. I am guessing that it's for buttering toast, but why do you need to use those miniature knives when everyone has perfectly good normal knives?


  1. Anonymous12:39 pm

    I would say those are cheese knives for a party. I have some cheese knives that have funny men on top and they look very similar.
    I know how you feel about knitting with wool. I've just picked up a sweater I had started about two months or so ago and am trying to knit as fast as possible so I can wear this cozy thing! Cozy warm!

  2. Anonymous2:39 pm

    LOL! The spreaders are, in fact, for buttering your toast (or spreading jam, preserves, cream cheese, or what not). It's just another way for a place setting to get extra specialized and is used in addition to the usual 5-place setting (dinner fork, salad fork, teaspoon, place spoon, and serrated 'steak' knife). Most silverware settings, however, come with a dinner knife, which is usually referred to as the butter knife, instead of the serrated knife.

    Butter plate is on the left above the forks and the butter spreader is placed horizontally across the butter plate with the blade facing down-handle on the right. A butter plate is not usually used for a formal dinner.

    How's that for more than you ever wanted to know about silverware? My spreaders match my place setting and I've never been one for novelty/holiday spreaders. If you've got them, though, they do make excellent items to stick in a cheese ball/spread at parties ;-)

    Would it surprise you to know that I also have large chunks of Crane's Blue Book of Stationery memorized?

    ;-P Secret Pal

  3. i think they are butter knives as well! my mum taught me never to stick knives in the toaster, though ;-)

    love the hourglass - it's going to be super comfy! bergen is bloody freezing as well today. i'm wearing three pairs of woolly socks...

  4. Hi, I love the greek sweater below. I think I like it maybe more without the chiffon? I don't know but I do know what you mean about the length. It looks good on you though.
    Brr at your garden!! Thank goodness for kids I say because if I was still working I would have been stuck in the snow on the A419/17 last night. Thankfully I was home with my babies.
    The orange looks lovely. I want to knit me something instead of all of these Chrimbo gifts.
    LMAO at the wedding pressies. Yep, I'd say spraders to put on the table when you are having toast. Why?? and also who on earth thinks they are a good idea. I am a bit concerned when we get married that we'll get loads of dodgy pressies because my darling other-half takes great pride and delight in finding strange and unusual things for friends weddings.

  5. Anonymous3:00 pm

    We got something similar from someone for one of our wedding presents. They are butter or pate knives. Not one of my top priorities in life to have separate spreaders, but there you go! Hourglass is looking lovely; I must dig out my Shetland Aran and start one for myself.

  6. Knitting in wool is my major frustration about where I live. I don't really need scarves or gloves, except for the four days that I spend in the mountains each winter!!
    Your Hourglass is such a fantastic colour to add sunshine to winter in the UK!!

  7. Yep, like everyone else said - posh butter knives. I think they're incredibly cute with their little toaster!

    Oh yes, I'm with you on the knitting with wool (or other winter fibres). I'm not a big cotton fan either. The Hourglass sweater is looking great.

    Boo hoo we must be in just about the only area of the country that hasn't had snow yet! I hate wet winter weather too - but cold, crisp and sunny? Love it!

  8. I would say it's for toast, but just to be used when you have company or something like that. It's cute!

  9. Anonymous10:10 pm

    Like you I don't like being cold. But somehow winter has got its charm when you're cosy indoors knitting woolly, soft garments...

  10. Anonymous11:26 pm

    I'd say they are for giving away to someone at work for christmas - no - that's nasty - I didn't mean it! Evil Donni! :) Loving the orange - want to see it finished froliking around in the snow! :)

  11. Here is a similar set on ebay! (just in case you were ever interested in seeing how yours would fare). If you still have the box maybe you can re-gift them! Great color on the sweater. Please post a picture of it when you finish.

  12. Anonymous7:58 am

    I'm with Nic about the 'never sticking knives in a toaster' thing. I got an electric shock that way, once. Even though it's a pretend toaster it gives me the heebeejeebees (sp?).

    My maternal instinct also says it's a Bad Example for Children(!)

  13. Anonymous4:25 pm

    Your hourglass is going to be so wonderfully snuggly and the colour just makes me feel warm. You can look out your office and window and tell the snow you just don't care! We had a very similar device to your toaster, unfortunately it all became separated over the years and I think there might be one knife left somewhere lurking in the cutlery drawer.