Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pottering around

I love days when I can just potter around...days when I have no commitments and I can idly move from one activity to the other. Of course, there were many things I could and probably should have been doing, such as supermarketing, cleaning, or preparing my tax return, but I've chosen to do none of these.

Over the last few days I've had an urge to make another small shawl (I'm absolutely refusing to use the ugly word 'shawlette'). I wear my small Ishbel frequently. It's a wonderful buffer against the rather severe air-conditioning of my office and just enough decoration for plain clothes. So I've been looking at patterns on Ravelry and weighing my options. Initially I thought I wanted to make something silky and light, but (predictably) I found I was attracted to simpler, slightly heavier shawls. Eventually I decided on LaLa's Simple Shawl, significantly influenced by Mustaa Villaa's recent adaptation. I went searching through my store of yarn, and the choice was again predictable. I rediscovered a skein of Kauni - a Danish yarn with the same slightly prickly texture of Shetland yarns. I love the fabric these yarns produce and I find the slight prickliness is offset by the way scarves made from these yarns fall and cling to your clothes when you wear them.

So, I pottered around to assemble pattern, yarn and needles and cast on to begin knitting the small shawl. The yarn's in a wonderfully retro combination of blue and brown.

blue shawl

By mid-morning I pottered off to have coffee with some of my neighbours at the local French patisserie.


There is a standing arrangement that anyone who is around about mid-morning on Saturday can meet at Gwen's for coffee and pastries. A great way to catch up with neighbours and the local gossip. 'Gwen's' is more formally the St Germain Patisserie (corner of Rosehill and Boundary Streets in Redfern if you're interested) and has a great range of traditional French cakes and pastries, cooked on the premises.

Later, I pottered off to All Buttons Great and Small at Newtown for buttons for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan that I hope to finish this weekend.

Button shop

This beautiful shop has such an extensive range of buttons - you can potter around within the shop and continuously discover new and beguiling buttons. Eventually I bought some metal buttons whose finish echoes variations on rust - perfect for the brown tweedy fabric of the cardi.

And then I pottered to SSK at Barmuda in Newtown for more coffee, more knitting on my shawl, and more idle conversation - this time with fellow knitters. I always love the light in the upstairs room at the cafe in which SSK meets. It has a mellow quality that suits the pleasures of knitting.


I'm now home - pottering with this blog post while waiting for my pot of osso bucco to cook slowly. A perfect day.

PS In re-reading this I've realised it sounds like advertisements for my favourite shops. On reflection, I don't mind if it does. These places give me a great deal of pleasure.


Sonia said...

Ooohhh… the button shop looks wonderful. I love a good button shop where you can 'potter' and look at all the buttons. I've been to a button shop where MOST of the buttons are not EVEN in view, and you have to rely on someone else to pick the winning buttons, and sometimes that person is a new employee and hopeless… but I digress.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely succession of pottering places. I do miss the button shop in Newtown.

DrK said...

sounds like the perfect kind of day really, esp the avoiding of 'shoulds'! and that shawl pattern is stunning, you really do have impeccable taste in these things!

M-H said...

One of the things I love about blogs is the sense of pottering along with people's lives. Sounds like an almost perfect day to em.

Rose Red said...

Thank you for sharing your pottering Saturday, what a lovely day. When I potter (which is frequently) I rarely get as much done as you have!

missfee said...

I am too being seduced by the shawl at the moment

and I lvoe the sound of your weekend - I agree with M-H in regards to pottering and watching other people pottering

SSK looked great I am sad I missed it

Sally said...

Thank you for this delightful post! I enjoyed vicariously "pottering" around with you and especially loved the button shop pics. Thanks again!

Unknown said...

I love that mellow light there too. I used to potter about on a Saturday in Newtown - but I was looking at clothes and records and books back then.

Kate said...

That sounds like the day I would have like to have had instead of the day I had.
Pastries, buttons, knitting, knitting people - lovely.

Cecilia said...

Sounds like the perfect day!
The button shop looks amazing. I really need to make a trip. I like less than half an hour away and I'm bit ashamed I haven't made it there yet.

Denise said...

What a fantastic, unhurried, enjoyable, and pleasure-filled day. The button shop and French patisserie sound especially delightful! I really like the sound of the regular Saturday morning catch up with your neighbours.

I look forward to further pics of your small shawl!

Probably Jane said...

I may have to visit Sydney just for that button shop!

Wonderful reflections on a day positively spent.

Emily said...

Oh! I miss SSK and all of you!

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