Thursday, 29 November 2012

At Last - The Twelve Knits of Christmas

No longer just 9 - I have finally managed to finish all 12 of the Knits of Christmas!

This feels like a major achievement - I had reached the point where the project had become a real chore. But I couldn't just give up - whose ever heard of the 10 1/2 knits of Christmas! So I persevered, and now I feel a sense of calm and satisfaction.

So here are the final 3 Knits of Christmas.

The leaping lord....

The piper....

And the drummer....

Put them all together with the 9 knits completed last Christmas and they do look quite impressive.  Sorry about the picture quality but the light was fading and I was determined to get them finished and photographed today.

I think that's finished me off for Christmas knitting this year - I need a good old cardigan pattern to relax with.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas Bear

I have to confess I have lately been distracted from my current work-in-progress.  The approaching Christmas season is finally catching up with me and I couldn't resist crocheting a cute little bear to celebrate.

Here she is.

She has a beaded flower headband, a full skirt and some stripy leggings.

She stands 23 cms tall (that's 9 inches) and is made from double knitting weight yarn (with a little bit of 4 ply for the flower).

The PDF for the pattern is available for free, here.

Of course, she doesn't just have to be for Christmas - she'd look just as good in a different colour scheme and make a lovely birthday gift.

I hope you like the pattern.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Trying Something New

I decided to set myself a challenge and try something new - some knitting techniques I've never tried before.

Using Kate Davies's pattern for a Fair Isle headband (available as a free Ravelry download, here) I did a provisional cast on and an i-cord bind off.

The  headband is knitted in 4 ply yarn in the round and has a plain lining.  The double thickness makes it extra snug and warm.

It looked a bit of a mess whilst in progress but looks pretty nifty now it's finished.

I used oddments of Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply (sadly, now discontinued) which accounts for the garish combination of colours.  The provisional cast on was easy and I wonder why I've never used it before - very versatile.  The i-cord bind off was a bit slow going but gave a lovely edging to the band.

All in all a very satisfying few days work.

My next challenge will be - as usual - to finish projects already started and not to let myself get distracted by setting other challenges!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Picking Up the Pieces

Thank you all so very much for your wonderful messages of support following the death of my Mother-in-law.  Your kind words have been so appreciated.

We have received so much kindness and warm wishes over the past week, and shared our memories, it has given us lots of strength.

Now it's time to pick up the pieces, be positive and look ahead.  I haven't felt like crafting much over the past two weeks but I'm ready now to pick up the needles and enjoy creating again.

Last Christmas I started knitting the figures from Fiona Goble's book, the Twelve Knits of Christmas.

I made eight (or was it nine?) of the characters but ran out of time and enthusiasm as Christmas approached. I've now resumed the work and will definitely have the full set by this Christmas.

The trouble is, at the moment I can't remember whether I knitted the lady dancing or not.  I don't seem to have any photos of her but I'm sure I did make her.  I shall just have to wait until I get the Christmas decorations out of storage to find out.  In the meantime, I'm busy with the leaping lord and the piping piper!

It's one of those projects where you wonder why you started it!  But it'll be worth it in the end - even if just to say "I stuck at it!"

PS. I've just found the picture of the dancing lady.

So only three to make to finish the set.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

So Sad

We have had a very sad time over the last week.  My wonderful Mother-in-law died last week after a short illness.

Although she had reached the grand old age of 88, she still lived on her own in the house she loved and we thought she had plenty of years left in her.  It felt like a cruel blow to have her taken away from us so suddenly.

We have received so many wonderful messages of sympathy from family and friends, it's wonderful to see how well loved she was.

She did so much for us to make our lives easier and I hope that, although we might not have always shown how much we appreciated her, she knew that we were grateful.

My husband is an only child so Grace and Eve are her only grandchildren.  They were her whole world and meant so much to her.  They will miss her so much.

1924 - 2012

Simply the best.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Another Blanket

With the arrival of cold weather my thoughts usually turn to warm and woolly sweaters but this year I've been thinking more of blankets.  Perhaps it's an age thing?!

Anyway, I've started another blanket, and these are the colours I'm using.

There's less pink than I normally use but still plenty of yellows.  For this blanket I've extended my colour palette to include some greens and turquoise - how daring!

I'm using the Neat Ripple Blanket pattern by Lucy at Attic24.

It's very basic and straightforward to do but it's fun choosing the order of the colours and seeing how they turn out.

It's looking very jolly and as it's getting bigger it's already keeping me snug of an evening.  Blissful.