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Winter hobbies or The Difficulties of Trying to Knit with a Cat on your Lap


By ange2


I suppose many of us who are at home most of the time have been trying out hobbies to pass away the longer, darker hours now that the garden doesn’t seem quite so alluring as in the brighter months.

What are you all going to be doing? Is there a house decorating on the horizon (either Christmas-wise and/or painting-wise)? I find Christmas decorations more of a chore each year. I like putting them up as I like an excuse for a glitter-fest, but, my goodness, I loathe taking them down and tidying them away. And I’m sick of the sight of them after about 5 days.. I think the word is ‘conflicted’!
We have lots of painting to look forward to in the New Year. We’re hoping to freshen up a bedroom and the TV room. Does anyone else feel like me; keen to decide on new colours and styles, much less keen when you have to face up to the fact that you and OH are going to be the ones knuckling down to rubbing down, stretching into far corners and crawling round the skirting boards? And worst of all, hoping against hope you’ll be able to stand up again afterwards?

On a more interesting note, I have been picking up the knitting needles again in the hope that I will turn into my Mother… She was a whizz at sewing and knitting as most of the war generation were. She made most of my clothes up until my late teens, and my wedding dress too. This year I have begun a long cardigan for me, but I am hampered in my attempts by cats (any excuse, I know). They will sit on my lap and love nothing better than trying to help by chewing on the wool or laying on the garment:

I have been doing some garden related jobs though. I had a delivery of seeds and have been scarifying ginkgo pods. What a job! They are very hard to keep hold of and I’ve managed to sandpaper more of my fingers and nails than their husks. Still, I have hopes of a veritable forest of them (well, eight anyway) in 20 years time… when I will be too old to care..

Will you join me in confessing what you have been doing to pass the dark hours – please don’t say housework, you’ll give me a complex.

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not housework but I do need to tidy a temporary craft table in the lounge. Then to tidy that I will have to sort my craft room and tidy that before I can put stuff away.

I have been after doing our bedroom for many years now. Hubby's response is always 'why? we spend most of our time asleep' But your thoughts about doing it certainly chimed with my thoughts.

I have been making Christmas table mats to sell as well as Christmas tree decorations. I've not got any knitting on the go at present though I will need to do 2 cross-stitched cards for the girls.

28 Nov, 2022


The painted autumn leaves card that I showed on here is now being printed thanks to much needed encouragement! I’m now planning to paint some”snowy” bookmarks for my literary friends.

I’m also enjoying writing my memoirs, helped by the journal that I have been keeping spasmodically over the years. The format was a bit random, but having just read Richard E. Grant’s diary-type book, I’m reassured that “random” is actually ok. And it’s good to have a month or two without needing to do much in the garden.

28 Nov, 2022


Let me preface by saying that this country (USA) I live in is driving me nuts. We are unable to define genders and we label everything or anybody or any action we don’t like as racist. I am of the gender XY and I consider housework to be racist. Setting those specifics aside, I am spending my winter hibernation by catching up on my reading. Upon my lap right now is a book by the name “The Creators” which is the story of the creators in all of the arts and is 811 pages long. Of my two pups, Charlie is my lap dog and is on my lap together with my book. With my fireplace on it doesn’t get better than paraphrase Dickens ...I don’t deserve to be so happy... but I am!

28 Nov, 2022


Sbg, I know what you mean about tidying away. One job always leads to plenty of unintended consequences. This is, in part, the reason behind my current desire to declutter.. The more I keep, the more there is to find a home for! (OH is not as keen as me..)
I have some sympathy with your OH's viewpoint. Our bedroom carpet is inherited so at least 16 years old, and it looks like it! If it didn't need replacing then I doubt I would get my OH on board for the decorating.

Oh, Sheila, I feel a breather from the garden is long overdue! Good luck with your memoirs, what an interesting thing to do! And I'm glad you have a printer for your cards - they will be special.

L'strife, I sympathise very much with your viewpoint. It's the same here and watching the teams in the World Cup getting into such a knot with their armbands, hats, kneeling etc. etc. is bemusing. And there's me thinking it was just about kicking a ball around...
On a more serene level I love Dickens in the winter, especially 'A Christmas Carol'. Perhaps we should also add here or in a new thread which novels we are reading with a quick resume to give those of us who enjoy it a few new ideas of which new titles to pick up. Your 'Creators' should keep you busy for a while. It sounds fascinating. I find cuddling the cats very soothing, I'm glad your pups make you feel the same way.

28 Nov, 2022


Lovely cats trying to help you :) Bella is so independent she never bothers me !

There's such a lot to do in the house but I haven't got the energy any more, so I'll just go with the flow, and if the walls in my new kitchen extension are not painted by the spring I don't care, and if the pile of stuff in the small bedroom doesn't get sorted through I don't care either.

I am looking into my ancestry and want to visit some archives but I'll only do it if the weather is mild. I've gone back too far for the online sites, I've been doing it since the 70s.

I was hoping to do some ceramics but my 'workshop' (old garage) is full of junk from a demolished shed so that will have to be tidied first.
Maybe I'll do it over Christmas, I've cancelled that since being on my own (I was never very fond of it anyway - too much fuss ...)

I've got loads of old photos and I'm hoping to label them and scan them into my computer. Some are very old going back several generations.
I've got lots of my own family as well as my late partner's. If I don't do it nobody will know who they are.

I'm not in a hurry to do anything though, most of the time I think I'll just hibernate, or go out for a walk and have a coffee somewhere :)

29 Nov, 2022


This is the time of year Ange when I go through wardrobes and drawers to sort out clothes for the charity shop.
Clothes, I might add that I look at, then think..oh well..I may wear that again and most of them get put back!
But this year I am making more of an effort as someone out there may be glad of them.
And it gives me an opportunity to buy more! lol
If the garden dries up, then I still have work to do outside.
I also love to read and have found an author Santa Montefiore whose stories revolve around Italy.
Her story telling and descriptions gets my imagination going and am in Italy in the sunshine and eating the delicious food!
I also have started playing my piano again, but have to be in the mood for it!
And of course, I wouldn't be without goy, although there is not much going on at the moment!

29 Nov, 2022


Hi Ange yes it's just dull here , foggy, drizzly no damn joy in garden at all, each year I look at gardens and think I'll give it up when it looks pretty dire.

I also not a huge lover of decorations , especially tinsel - can't stand glitter absoloutely hate the stuff lol. Last year I was into concrete projects but all done now. Maria and I go out round town a bit but never really buy anything we need , well I don't. I go to music mixing in the winter usually , played guitar years ago , don't even bother with that now. Not much else to do but clean up

29 Nov, 2022


Hywel, the cats also try and help by digging up the stair carpet. The worst culprit is Cookie (in the pics) who is an incomer from my daughter. She was chased and harried badly by one of her other cats and ended spending all her time outside. Not now, though! I have to teach her some manners - the scratching on the carpets sends me mad! We also have photos to scan. My brother is the one who has been working on the family tree, mostly hail from Suffolk apparently.
Yes, winter is definitely the time to hibernate. When we have spare time to do things that seems to be when we achieve less. Must be some law or other about that!

I'm feeling smug, Rose, I cleared my wardrobe a month ago. The drawers aren't so overcrowded, either. It seemed to me I had a lot of stuff I hadn't worn in years. We don't go out anywhere fancy, so those bits went as I'm always in (very) casual here.. And the clothes the 'fantasy self' thought they would fit into again at some point went to charity. I am determined to get rid of clutter as I'm the one who has to tidy and clean it! It's interesting how some of us seem to be turning back to hobbies we haven't looked at in years. Good luck with the piano playing and thanks for the reading suggestion.

Paul, I barely look at the garden now, it's just a muddy mess after days of rain. Thankfully we've enjoyed a really lovely autumn. Trouble is, when we have a garden we can't really give up on it fully (unless we cover it in concrete completely!) I know what you mean about looking round shops: we've been looking at wallpaper today but we're so bad at making up our minds and then we run out of enthusiasm for the whole idea! I think it's the winter lethargy creeping in on a lot of us, don't you?

29 Nov, 2022


Ange do not start me on the decorating saga, I have been asking for help in the hallway stairs and landing for a very long time, years back I would just get stuck in and do it myself but at 75yrs old I now need help, I cannot for the life of me get his lordship to oblige me at the moment and its winding me up.....GRRRRR!!!!!! The winter is the time to do those jobs to my way of thinking as I cannot be in my garden so much, if the weather is okay I don't really stop, however the last few weeks has been terrible, constant rain so my asthma has been bad, even working in my g'house has been a no go for me....Sigh !!
As regards my winter pastimes, I don't have any hobbies as such, cannot knit or sew at all now as my arthritic hands won't allow me too, was never really keen to do either anyway, used to always have huge jigsaws on the go but have not been able to do that since my eyes went bad, someone recommended a blue light bulb so I'm thinking of trying one again, see if I can do one without hurting my eyes....
I like to read, always have a book on the go and have always had an interest in history and archaeology, I like to research which is very easy to do now without having to buy books or go to the library....I have made a start on clearing my cupboards and drawers out though so I am at least getting somewhere....

29 Nov, 2022


Yes Ange - I need sun - warm sun

29 Nov, 2022


I also picked up knitting and crochet this year Ange. I have not done any for many years. Although, I do not have any cats to cuddle with (due to allergies)
I am mainly experimenting with different types of stitches and patterns. I like the Japanese lace making and some other intriguing methods. I do not need any garments any more but I did few casual shrugs to keep me warm and recently a blankie for my OH (he asked for it). Presently working on our dining room chair seats covers.

29 Nov, 2022


Oh Ange, I think we are all in the same boat! Please count your blessings folks, I do it every day. I've spent a lot of the time in bed and when I get up I just sit in a chair with a book. And a cat of course...I just keep taking the meds and hoping for the best, and thank the good Lord that I found a gardener,even if its only a couple of hours a week. Its very frustrating though and goodness, I have clean fingernails!!!

29 Nov, 2022


Oh dear, Lincs, I can sympathise. My OH forgets we're not as athletic as we used to be and still expects us to do all the decorating ourselves - which means it never gets started or it does get started with long breaks in between so I'm falling over pots, stepladders etc. for far longer than I want to! You get the picture. I hope the blue bulb works for you and that the drawer clearing continues apace!

I hope to teach myself a bit of crochet this winter, Klahanie. I have knitted scarves, gloves and hats for the family this year as presents. How well received they will be is a guess!!

Stera, there's nothing to beat a comfy chair, a book and a cat to set you up feeling cosy. I'm glad you've found a gardener that can help you out - how wonderful to have clean nails.. I marvel at all the youngsters with their false nails that look like coloured talons, they can't do much cleaning or gardening. Perhaps we girls (!) should all try them. What an easy life that would be. But I do count my own blessings even though I realise things in general could be improved a lot in the larger scheme of things.

30 Nov, 2022


If you do read Ange, look out for her books.
They can just draw you in and take you wherever she "goes".
I have never been to Italy and always wanted to go, but it is very difficult now with my hubby being in a wheel chair when we go out, but these books just take me there!
They are all romantic books though, not sure if you are into those!
I have also got drawers full of dresses which I wore on holidays abroad and for some reason cannot part with them!
But this winter I am going to!

30 Nov, 2022


I was knitting recently & suddenly the wool came to a very soggy end( in the middle of the row, of course). The cat had bitten a chunk out of it! Now, that is not very helpful, have to be very careful now, as she sits beside me on the settee.

30 Nov, 2022


I will, Rose, thank you. Don't get rid of all your dresses; who knows, we may continue to have summer heatwaves at home!

Typical, Fever. I used to have a cat who would swallow wool if he got the chance. I pulled lengths of it out of his throat more than once!

30 Nov, 2022


We used to have a cat that chewed wool - ate the fingers out of some gloves once. The vet said they do it when they are short of company but I found that very hard to believe...

2 Dec, 2022


Me, too, Stera. Ours had a companion.

2 Dec, 2022


Me too, my cat sits beside me all the time, however, I don’t think they like you to be concentrating on something, IPad,
book, jigsaw, knitting, whatever, so it might be a bit of the old attention seeking.Don’t forget that I’M here. The wool appeals because it’s soft & fluffy, so the will try & eat it.

3 Dec, 2022


You're right, Fever.

3 Dec, 2022

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