the times, where we can enjoy the weather are well and truly over! there's no snow left, most of the white has melted in the fields and the garden - but not on the roads:(( unfortunately all the cars that travelled during the snowy times compacted the snow on the roads, then it started to thaw - and then the big freeze arrived. yesterday we had to go to town to get a few essentials such as firelighters, loo paper etc. - and it was obvious that using our bicycles would be a no-no. we took our rucksacks and our toughest boots and went... as soon as we left our gravel road to the house, we saw that the main road was sheer ice... for a while it was ok to "walk" (more like climb, because of holes, grass clumps and bramble shoot footangles:(() at the side of the road, but it became worse the further we got - in some spots I couldn't cross the road to the safer side without scratching some loose soil out with my hands to throw it over the patch of road! we found several abandoned cars along the way and I was very lucky that a neighbour passed halfway and offered me a lift! it took me two hours to get into town, most of it was spent on foot of course:(( the town itself was ok, but when we left the supermarkt it started to rain! I had the idea to buy a 3 kg bag of cat litter to throw in front of me when hitting really bad parts on the road, but halfway home not only did I run out of the stuff, it was also nearly dark at that time! I am not someone who scares easily, but at that stage I feared that both DS and myself would not make it home in one piece - it was bad during daylight, but impossible to walk home further in the dark! it was sheer luck that another neighbour passed in his 4wheel drive - the only vehicles that are still able to get around - and after he passed us and my heart sank - he turned back and picked the both of us up. I can't describe how it felt to know that we'll make it home safely after all! I only really realised that we'd been very lucky when I was in bed later and couldn't sleep, because I kept thinking about our "adventure" and how foolish we had been! that scare taught me a lesson - I'll get some shoe spikes asap - even if it means that they stay in a box unused for the next 10 years! and more emergency supplies for storage! the worst is that there is no relief to come, more bad weather at least until the weekend! and we are lucky! even though our hot water froze (it's back today) we still had cold water, the washing machine ran and of course we get drinking water from the well, so no problems there. we have enough food as well and are all set for at least the next 10 days or more. but we saw on tv that some people are less lucky - the doctor can't reach the old people's home in the next village etc.!
amazing though that the postman (my hero:)) made it on those roads! and he brought me a late christmas present - with a very nice surprise. I don't often receive handmade gifts, probably because people think that I can make them myself? to my great delight I unpacked my first nostepinne (an old-fashioned but very practical wool winder) and an inch gauge - both handmade and both things I didn't own! both were wrapped in a very pretty handwoven bag, in double weave made from handspun yarns, with a lovely handmade cord and mother-of-pearl button.
this was really my only "textile" christmas gift - apart from a subscription for 2010 for "wild fibers" and the back issues of 2009:
I also finished the second bag made from the small cone of texere linen that I bought at the K&S in Dublin. it said in the pattern that it would be enough for two bags, but actually I made one following the pattern, made the second one a good bit larger and added two handles plus a drawstring - and still have a little bit leftover. that was certainly good value for money! the net is extremely stretchy and can accomodate quite heavy loads - and the linen is very tough and hardwearing, but nice enough to work with. it's easy to carry around because it can be rolled together tightly and bound with the handle.
...and rolled up.
I also finished two sets of wrist warmers, which I made from leftover silk/merino in gray, with leftovers of angora yarn in light lilac. I thought they still look a bit bare, so I added some beads and also a few embroidery stitches in darker purple. not the most ambitious project, but they are very soft and warm and are nice to wear, esp. right now:))
after the first set I still had leftovers, so I used the last bit of angora for the borders - I will add some embroidery to the grey part to make it look a bit less bare.... the colour looks a bit odd in the photo, the lilac is far softer in real life.
(I got the inspiration for them here: a german blog "farbenfaden")
tomorrow I am going to start the next "proper" project - I have to dye the sock yarn for Janel Laidman's tree of life socks from "the enchanted sole"... in a hurry, what's new? this will most likely not change for "twenty-ten":))
A happy and healthy new year to all - and better weather for all those in ireland, who can't put a foot out of their door right now!