Sunday, October 25, 2009

GMT blues

British Summer Time ended last night, we turned the clocks back an hour and this evening feels very wintry with the lights on at 5pm. We have had some blustery weather for a few days and the last of the apples came down along with the leaves from the trees and the Virginia creeper. I was beginning to feel gloomy but a passage from Carel Kapek's The Gardener's Year came to mind:
Bare trees are not such a forlorn sight; they look a bit like brooms or besoms and a bit like scaffolding ready for building. But if there is a last leaf on one of these bare trees, quivering in the wind, it is like the last flag flying on a battlefield, like a standard which a dead man's hand is clutching on the field of the slain. We fell, but we did not surrender; our colours are still flying.

So, having put the last of those apples to stew gently on the stove, I went out again to look at the bare trees and found that there were, indeed, a few leaves fluttering nobly in the wind. Heartened, I came back inside and read Ecclesiastes - a very good book to help one put things into perspective! And then I listened to Eva Cassidy singing Who knows where the time goes?

Time to shake off the end of summer melancholy and think of the positive aspects of long evenings by the fire: the knitting and sewing needles have already made a start on the mound of projects I have to get through in the next few weeks. Did you see the snug neck warmer over on Rattling On a few weeks ago? Here is my version, knitted in Sirdar Click Chunky yarn, with a large wooden button to finish it off.

Thanks, RO, it really was quick and easy and will make a lovely present for someone if I can bear to part with it!

I've also made Christmas stockings for my two granddaughters:

and here is my work in progress:

Gloomy moods don't last long around here. A few hours of sunshine would help to dispel this one, especially as it is the half-term holiday and there are lots of visitors in the area, hoping to spend a few days on the beaches before winter arrives. If the weather forecast is accurate, they'll have to settle for brollies and boots instead of buckets and spades, but the rock pools can be just as exciting as building sandcastles.


  1. Aieeeeeee. You make it so hard to remain indolent. Adorable neck warmer, Christmas stockings that will look as good in 20 years as they do now, apples stewing ... I can smell them from here.

  2. Actually, it all sounds perfectly wonderful! I love that feeling of cozying in on a cold night, peering through the windows at the bare branches being backlit by the moon, dinner cooking on the stove and, later, tucking in to a good book. Yep, this is one of my favorite times of year, although we have to wait a week for that to happen. Our time doesn't change until next Saturday night.

  3. e, the needlework is my excuse to be indolent! If I'm sitting sewing or knitting then I can't pay any attention to the housework.

  4. Karin, I do like autumn and winter evenings but it is such a dramatic change when the clocks go back. Nature would allow us to get used to the darker, longer nights much more gradually. I'll be fine in a few days.

  5. Maureen, love your version!
    The Christmas stockings are fantastic. My girls have knitted ones that I made many years ago. We love getting them out each year.
    Weather appalling here. Need I say more?

  6. RO, a friend knitted stockings for my children and we still get them out every year. I had hoped to knit something similar for their spouses and babies but my skills in weaving colours in knitting are not good enough. The quilted stockings were much easier!

  7. Gosh that scarf works Maureen
    it's lovely

  8. Yes, Val. I've not come across this double moss stitch before, it makes a very soft texture and is easy enough to do while watching television.

  9. Maureen, you are an example to us all! Despite sunshine yesterday afternoon couldn't stave off feelings of gloom.
    Will give Eva a miss, though, fab song but it might make me cry!
    Nice neck-warmer - do you take orders ;)

  10. Ali, the sun is actually shining here at present but gloom predicted by the Met Office.

    I am not such a fast knitter as Rattling On, who made the neck warmer in a couple of hours but it really is easy. My son has commissioned me to make a Christmas stocking for a friend's baby so watch this space - I could end up with an Etsy shop yet. Or NOT!

  11. Thank you for posting that passage from the Gardener's Year. I thought it was so beautiful, especially the last line. I'll have to look that book up.

    The colors you chose for the scarf are beautiful.

  12. Jodi
    The Gardener's Year is full of insights and humour and some very clever line drawings - I'm sure you would love it.

    The Sirdar Click yarn comes in a wide range of random colours. I'm working on another scarf now with red and blue tones in the wool.

  13. Your stockings are so cute! I also want to have one, because I'm a little pink pig!


  14. Karla
    If I have time to make another before Christmas, you shall have it!

  15. I'm so pleased that you benefited from the comfort of apples in the gloom. We have had the most amazing days of balmy temperatures here that we hardly know the clocks have turned...

  16. Colleen
    I have been gaining comfort and inspiration from your posts on apples. I would love to have access to all those varieties. I'd love some of your balmy days, too. We are not called the Wet Country for nothing!


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