Hello there, we're back from a week in snowy Tuscany, the house is a total mess, I've got enough laundry to last me till July - just in time for the next holidays... great. - the puppy refuses to poo outside, my ironing basket is overflowing, there are toys and legos everywhere... need I go on?
Tuscany was great though.
We had snow.
And cuddles with 'nonno'.
We had long walks
And big boys who refused to have their pictures taken too
We also had an insane amount of food, lots and lots of laughters, and many fab presents. What we don't have at the end of it all is many pictures because yours truly forgot her camera at home... oh yes, it happens to the best of us too!
Anyway, enough about me... how was your Christmas?
I've got a serious case of knitting fever. Perhaps it's because I've done so much sewing of late and my sewing mojo needs a rest... who knows. Whatever the reason I'd love nothing more than sit all day and knit.
I know, hilarious thought. Sitting around all day doing nothing - because let's face it, that is what the world at large would think, right? - a week before Christmas, three days before we fly to Italy... Actually the thought of going to an airport during the Holidays with three children and a grumpy husband (he hates the combination airport/children) is enough to make me want to pretend that is not happening and hide in a corner. With my knitting.
Anyway, to cut a long story short (I've got knitting to do) when in town the other day I couldn't resist the sale in my local yarn shop... they had 10 gorgeous balls of thick luscious Rowan wool for less than half price. It had to be done. And I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them:
Isn't it cool? It's called 'Dill'. I casted on straight away. Fabulous yarn. Worked for about 20 rows. Stood back from the work and realised it would have fitted a pregnant African elephant. Frogged it. Went down 2 needle sizes (from 9mm to 7mm). Started again. Worked for about 20 rows again. Then as I was casually and lovingly glancing at the picture my blood froze in my veins... 'Dill, in Little Big Wool' it said.
LITTLE BIG WOOL?
Pants. I wasn't using the right stuff.
I almost cried... Pathetic eh?
What a silly mistake. As much as I loved the pattern, I didn't feel generous enough to carry on and giving it to a non-pregnant African elephant for Christmas. The nights do get cold, but the days are so hot over there it wouldn't have been that appropriate a gift anyway. Luckily for me there was another pattern in the book I liked a lot so I was able to (RE)cast on and (try to)get on with life. So now I'm doing this:
It's called 'Anise'. And it has the added bonus of requiring button-shopping.
Using again size 9mm needles it grows really quickly and I've virtually finished the back already. I would have done if I wasn't telling you this!!
So buzz off everyone, I've got to ignore my children and knit for a while.
It's like an itch, isn't it? You gotta scratch it.
It is a truth universally acknowledge that the result of our creating efforts is not directly proportioned to the efforts themselves. Not always anyway. But sometimes it is.
Let me explain. I spent months knitting this bag. Ok I wasn't working at it constantly, but it took a long time. I followed the instructions to the letter but at the end I was quite scared of this monster tube of yarn. I attached the handles with skeptical detachment. I was ready to be disappointed, let's face it... how could this 21" by 29" horse feeding bag turn into a bag?
But it did.
Two hot washing cycles later and a day in the airing cupboard and it's a soft, strong felted tote perfectly sized at 9.5" by 11". A miracle of nature and machine and hard work. Sometimes the efforts pay off.
(Pattern from 'Alterknits', knitted in Lamb's Pride Worsted (85%wool-15% mohair), shades Kiwi and Ink Blue, from www.getknitted.com)
Sometimes the results are surprising even after a 15 minute stint - like this Christmas plate
The frost has finally arrived. I hadn't realised what a warm winter had it been till now...
Suddenly walking the dog it's not that fun anymore!!
That's why I stayed home instead (I think the 40 minute chasing the boys and the football in the garden count as much as a walk... right?). Also I had to finish the 2nd sock. HAD TO.
Gosh what a relief. I'm having this compelling urge of finishing off unfinished projects. Scary. Almost as if I wanted to begin the new year with a clean slate... Which is a ridiculous plan - maybe if I had started last January...
Anyway, had to make presents for the teachers:
coasters and a bottle of wine. After a term teaching my children... they deserve some!
(two pieces of Moda fabric from a couple of years ago... found lying dormant (forgotten...) at the bottom of a box)
I've really enjoyed the last few days. Without the pressure of getting ready for the stall I've caught up with my never ending list of to-dos and I'm slowly getting into the festive spirit.
Christmas cards were written and posted
(with the help of No 3 on stamping duty)
The Christmas tree was put up last night and old ornaments were discussed and 'remembered'
(this is one of my favourites)
And now that I can spend my evening sitting on the sofa (and not chained to the sewing machine - not that I complain when that happens!) I even managed to get some knitting done.
These are for a little fellow who should be appearing soon in the New Year. The pattern is from 'Last minute knitted gifts' (although it does take more than a last minute to do them... unless I'm a snail-paced knitter) and it has the very catchy name of "Baby's denim drawstring pants", just in case you thought it was a teacozy or something.
And look... I even learned to do an 'l-cord'. Cool eh?
Now I'm on No 1's second sock. Don't get me wrong, I'm really grateful my children have the correct number of limbs... but aren't second socks boring, or is it just me?
The craft fair came and went and I'm so glad it is all over! It went well, thank you all for your kind thoughts. The weather was atrocious and all the other stall holders told me there were half as many people as last year... but the good thing was that since I didn't really know what to expect I actually feel very very happy about how it went.
I've got money in my pocket to buy more fabric (hurray!) without feeling too guilty, AND I've got some ready made presents...
And and and I've met the lovely Simmy (her stall was full of gorgeous things!).
I'm going to take it easy for a while... I've got a lot of catching up to do in terms of Christmas and getting ready for it... be good ok?