Monday, 31 December 2012

Clickety clack, clickety clack...

What's that? Clickety clack, clickety clack - its the sound of a commuter knitting along the track. Well - not actually 'on' the track - that would be a hazard! Just as a train passenger (but that doesn't scan as well).

In my November blog about how I love reading, I confessed to having purchased in excess of 150 ebooks in a two year period. This was in no small part due to my daily commute, when there really isn't much else to do for 25 minutes either way, but

  1. sleep (but I might miss my stop and end up in London/Bournemouth or Manchester depending on the direction of travel);
  2. listen to other people's conversations (always entertaining - especially the two young ladies who I often end up sitting near to on the 8.10am, one of whom has possibly the worst housemate in the world)
  3. read - the Metro used to keep me entertained when I first started commuting, but my kindle quickly supplanted my news reading, as I'd always rather be kept amused by something made up, rather than being depressed by how awful the world/state of journalism has become.
Obviously there are some other options, but they're not very 'me'. If you're in the right carriage and have the right sort of earphones you can enjoy almost a full episode of something that wasn't a commercial success on the train TV. I know some commuters even work on their laptops, or email on their blackberries. I refuse to accept the latter (work have offered me one a couple of times) and although I have a laptop, it generally lives a snug and comfy life in our living room, only brought out to be taken as far as the sofa, or the dining room table.

So that leaves only one other pastime for commuting that can help keep my bank balance looking a little healthier - knitting! I really only thought of this because I'd wanted to make Izzy a scarf for Christmas, and as the second week of November loomed and all free time at home was spent in the kitchen on edible goodies, the only time left available to me for making it was during my journey to and from work.

The pattern is from the MillaMia Bright Young Things book and the yarn is Debbie Bliss eco baby (100% organic cotton) in mint and white. This was my first real attempt at intarsia, or stranded, knitting - and required me to learn the continental knitting technique (where the yarn is held in the left hand) for my second colour. I chose a cotton yarn because Izzy has sensitive skin and I didn't want it to be itchy, but this did mean that the scarf was a bit prone to rolling up, even after pressing, so I backed it with some organic fleece I had left over from another project (and which, by the way, turned out to be the first time I used my new sewing machine!). One toddler scarf, completed in 6 weeks of commuting (6 weeks x 4 days = 48 journeys of 20 mins or 16 hours + time to apply the backing, which obviously wasn't done on the train.)

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