Sunday, 30 December 2007

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

Spinningmaid knit a sock:

I've called it 'Durmstrang' because of the strong Nordic influence, and as I'm full of Potter enthusiasm at the moment:

a) I have just re-read Philosopher's Stone
b) I got 'Charmed Knits' for Christmas from number one Pottter fan, my eldest son, Daniel.
c) I'm very excited about the Hogwarts kit swap starting soon (see button).
d) I watched Order of the Phoenix last night with Fabulous Dave.

I referred a lot to 'Knitting in the Nordic Tradition' to design this, and was very inspired by Which Chick's 'Hot Heels of Iron' socks which appeared in Socktoberfest (and are also on Ravelry). Helped by a significant level of illness keeping me to my bed (Christmas fluey, coughy thing) I've managed to get it done very quickly. I'm very proud of how the fairisle motifs alter for the decreases. I've worked a spell with shirring elastic in the cast-on at the top of the cuff (the cast-on was too loose).

Other news:
The decorating is finished downstairs, just a little to finish on the top landing (study area). So I strung ivy up the banister rails for a lovely Christmassy touch in our now elegant hall.

At the Spinning Guild Christmas meeting I got a wonderful hat in the Secret Santa, spun and knit by Carol Leonard. And it suits me amazingly well (I am very difficult to hat!). So its been on my head every time I've left the house since. Thank you Carol.
My package went to Jasmine, an Indian lady in the group. I was really pleased about this - it felt like poetic justice because I've had to put up with so much dreadfully racist rubbish from my decorator recently.

Must go now and conjure up a meal for hungry family.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

On The Third Day of Christmas

'Spinningmaid wrote a blog!
Two finished socks,
and a right load of family!'

These are the socks, modelled by the Fabulous Dave for whom they were knit with lots of love:

The 'load of family' came for Christmas Day - eighteen of us altogether! Daniel was sous-chef, assisting me to create a fabulous dinner (goose, Yorkshires, roast potetoes and parsnips, sprouts and carrots, spiced apples, vegetarian pie, two gravies, and of course Christmas Pudding with Remy Martin sauce - yum yum yum!).

Pressies? I got the Harmony needles set I had asked for, and 'Victorian Lace Today' (fantastic book), and 'Charmed Knits' (lots of fun), plus the usual smellies!

And now I'm off to finally allow myself the pleasure of casting on the Admiral fairisle socks I've been itching to start since I got the yarn at the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate.

I apologise for letting the blog slip somewhat during advent. (I'm sure all mothers will understand this!)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Christmas Angel

A quick post today to blog a couple of projects (I only have five minutes to do this!). The first is a bauble I've painted to be a present for Mum:

I'm quite pleased with it. It has gold stars and says 'blessings at Christmas' on the other side. Any painters reading may note a strong JoSonja influence.

As I'm not a wage-earner, thoroughly dependent on charity from my WM, I decided to knit him some socks as well as order the gooseberry bushes he's asked for (and will have to pay for himself!). So I found a lovely free pattern on Ravelry for 'Gentleman's Socks' and have made the following progress on the first:

If you look closely you'll see that it has a slanting rib, and eye of partridge stitrch on the heel.
Toodlepip - son and nephew to collect from nursery!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Cozy and warm

Actually, I'm rather cold as there's not yet a radiator on the top landing where our computer is situated (one of the many projects on Dave's list). However my MP3 player should be very cozy and warm wearing this, knitted today using the Wensleydale I dyed recently:

Sorry for the pooor picture quality. The camera is playing up, and I've given up in disgust after many attempts to get a decent image. The cozy is my own pattern, my second go at one. My first is going in the Secret Santa at the Bradford spinner's guild (along with a few other bits that I definitely will keep secret!).

Apologies to anyone who's been waiting (like my sister) for me to update my blog. Having left Christmas preparations until a time that felt appropriate (i.e. not too early) I am now (of course) frantically working to get organised for the season. Our tree is up ( darling sister and children stayed last night to help decorate it), and I have splashed out on some LED lights for the windows. The marathon jam-making session still faces me though. I am finding it difficult to get on with large projects like that because of all the work going on around me with the halls, stairs, and landings being decorated. Lovers of tradition will like to hear that we have bought lincrusta panels for the main hall ('Edwardian Dado'). I have to ply our decorator with regular top-ups of tea (far more regularly than I drink it, and I thought I was a tea-lover).

The yarn I ordered from Nancy's KnitKnacks three weeks ago finally arrived today requiring hefty customs and Royal Mail handling charges paying - I will be more careful in future. Anyway, I think its too late for me to hope to finish scarves for both Annie and Aidan before Christmas, so may settle for just the hats for now, and knit up hats for Tom and Toby too (the hats knit up relatively quickly) . And I'm still struggling against the temptation to cast on my Admiral fairisle socks!