Wednesday, 11 December 2013

yarn along

















 


It's lunchtime, and the mist that crept up from the river and hung around the woods this morning, is still dragging it's feet,and casting a weird, white light over everything. It's damp and cold. But I love it. 

It makes me want to snuggle up and do nothing but knit and read. I'm reading Livingstone by Tim Jeal. I'm only on page 41 but finding lots to admire in Dr David Livingstone. 

He didn't have the privileged  upbringing that I'd imagined, but was born into a poor family who lived in a single, fourteen by ten foot room that belonged to a cotton mill, on the banks of the river Clyde in Scotland. From the age of ten, Livingstone worked in the mill six days a week, from 6am until 8pm. It was heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit because the humidity was thought to produce finer thread. It must have been an awful life for a small boy, extremely hot, dangerous and very noisy.

His father was a Sunday School teacher and  an avid reader who passed on this love of books to his son. After a long, hard working day, he would go to the company school until 10pm at night. But even when he got home from school he didn't rest on his laurels, he would read until midnight. This hard work enabled him to to complete his education, studying to be a Dr of Medicine, despite all odds. 

Livingstone sounds like an amazing man. Perhaps not the most instantly likeable...a little unusual and rough around the edges, not very talkative and slightly socially awkward. But I think that endears him to me, even more. He was so inspirational. I can't wait to read his adventures.

And knitting...I finished the first pair of Totoro mittens for a stocking-filler. They looked lovely and the alpaca yarn felt  soft and cosy, but something wasn't quite right with them. The shape of the glove pattern is unusual for me. The thumbs are set into the palm of the hand and I found them really uncomfortable when I tried them on. I want the thumb to be set into the side of the glove. That's how I'm used to making them, and wearing them too. I find that a much better fit. 

So I unpicked the thumb and stitched up the stitches where it had been, took a deep breath, then cut a slit on the side and picked up stitches to knit a new thumb ,where I'm more comfortable setting it. That's where I am now, experimenting with thumbs.  Then I'll start on some of these.

Oh and the other book I'm reading is  this, and planning what to cook from it for supper tonight. At the moment the roasted potatoes and aubergines are favourites, along with the caramelised carrots with gremolata, page 355. But I also would love to make these Braised Greens or these  Roasted cabbage slices. I wonder which would go best with fish...Decisions, decisions...





Sharing with ginny for yarn along today...coming?

debx




12 comments:

  1. As I just mastered the art of knitting mittens, I'm impressed by yours! Lovely colorwork!
    Jolande

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    1. Thank you Drie, They are such fun to make too. I love doing things like this.
      debx

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  2. hi debbie, now i really want to read your book, knit the mittens and especially eat that food! well done on adjusting the thumb, i am finding that too, going back to the simple construction that works best for me. i recently read a book on livingstone too called livingstone and africa by jack simmons, it didn't give too much of his background life as yours did, i think i'll look around for your book now. one of the highlights of one of our trips to africa was seeing his statue at victoria falls (zimbabwe). he was an impressive amazing man.

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    1. Hi Lorie, Those gloves are lovely to make and the pattern is simple, but for some reason that style doesn't fit right. It's a fascinating read Lori. Apparently most of the other biographies have focused on his missionary work and missed out on his early life. It gives so much more insight into the person he was. I've only ever been to North African countries but since I was a little girl dreamed of going to countries like Zimbabwe. I would read books with pictures of vast plains and watch old movies of safaris. Hopefully one day I'll see that statue too.
      debx

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  3. I love the knitting pattern and we've watched that movie many times so it's a dear memory.

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    1. Hannah loves all the Studio Ghibli films, they are nice and gentle. I can't wait to make the little Totoro's now.
      debx

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  4. That's too bad about your mittens but hopefully the repositioned thumb will be the perfect fix. And Livingstone - wow! - I had no idea. Now I'm interested in learned more about him.

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    1. Thanks Kelly, I'm still working on it. The pattern is lovely and easy to make but just doesn't feel right. Seems he was an amazing man. So different from what I expected. I imagined he'd been born into a very privileged life but on the contrary he worked very hard to get to the position he was in.
      debx

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  5. I love the HFW veg book too. I find it a good family cook book, although it maybe has more sophisticated aspirations!

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  6. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for coming over. I love it too. It was a birthday gift and I'm loving reading it and trying out the recipes. I will eat anything with vegetables and like that he brings inspiration from all over the world to humble vegetables.
    debx

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  7. Hi, thanks for visiting me! I have had my eye on that HFW book for quite a while - it is good to see that you are enjoying it.
    Love your gloves and in complete awe that you are cutting them up to install another style thumb - very brave and way beyond my skill level!
    The Livingstone book sounds fascinating. I do especially enjoy reading about people who have managed to achieve a lot from a difficult start in life. Juliex

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  8. HI Julie, You're welcome. You have a lovely blog. I'm loving the HTW book. I've only tried out a few of the recipes so far but like his use of ingredients and twist of spices etc.
    I'm still enjoying the Livingstone book too but haven't had time for much reading this week. I hope to remedy that over the holidays.
    debx

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