Yes, more of the white stuff has fallen and everyone is off school again. Actually, it isn't, strictly speaking, a snow day for me, since this is my day off anyway. I have to say that the novelty value has well and truly worn off. Everything does still look very beautiful smothered in white, but I am no longer enjoying walking a mile to where I have left the car in the morning and back up the hill again in the evening. Dancing on Ice had nothing on me yesterday, as I did a series of triple salchows with toe loops on the icy slopes!
George got chilblains on his toes (snowballing and sledging in trainers) and I took his mind of them by showing him this little book as we searched for a remedy:
Published in 1839, it provides wonderful evidence of what daily life in Victorian England was like, not least the hazards of serious illness and the homemade 'cures' used to treat them. The treatment for chilblains (the application of, among other things, vinegar and honey) was one of the less worrying. More seriously, the fear of falling into abject poverty pervades the book. The Poor Law Amendment Act had recently been passed (1834) and with it came the end of any help for poor people outside of the workhouse. So the book is full of ways to scrimp and save and make the most of everything - not that different to today's recycle, reuse, DIY philosophy. Except, being Victorian, The Frugal Housewife combines handy hints with a good deal of moralising about the 'reasons for hard times' - much of it, apparently, to do with the extravagance of women with regard to 'ribbons and trimmings'...
I hope my attraction to wool and knitted adornments will not drive us into the workhouse...A nice little package arrived yesterday, despite the snow, from www.garnstudio.com with the Drops Alpaca I had ordered to make the garter stitch jacket from Drops Designs (free pattern here). I am making it longer by casting on 100 stitches (the pattern is knit in one piece, sideways-on, using short row shaping and garter stitch). The alpaca is sport weight, so is used two strands at a time (on 5mm needles) and I am combining two shades of green. Already, the small amount I have worked feels and looks fabulous. This is now going to be the first of my 12 sweaters for the IntSweMoDo2010 on Ravelry (see last post for details). I didn't like the original project I had started and have ripped it out (extravagance, again)!
And finally, I have started a pair of Knotty Gloves, this time using up some Fyberspates wool I already had. I need these now but they will not be rushed. Four needles, fine wool and cables, it was lucky our TV wouldn't receive a signal last night or they might have lived up to their name!