Sunday, 12 January 2014

New Year roundup

a little late, but still, a very Happy New Year to you all!
It was a lovely long break over the holidays, all of it sadly long forgotten within an hour of getting back to work, but nonetheless.

Santa brought an early present on the day before Christmas Eve - my mother and I had gone to buy all the Christmas food and after tea and mince pies at Glanmor's took the obligatory tour around the many charity shops in Caerphilly and spotted this beautiful, completely solid pine chest of drawers with four great big deep drawers. I really wasn't looking for more furniture but I kept hovering around it, trying to figure out where we could squeeze it in in our house and in what is possibly one of the most extravagant moves ever, I now have a sizeable item of furniture dedicated only to.....storing my shawls!

           Also works for storing the occasional cat

There were many lovely christmas presents - some yarn, a Saroyan scarf knitted by my mother, an ice cream maker, some more Trollbeads from Mark and something that I had asked Santa for: a set of KnitPro Symfonie interchangeable needles. A few of the members of my knitting group have them and I'd always sort of scoffed a little and thought if I had a set, I would just swiftly lose all the components and didn't quite see the point of them.....until I found myself regularly borrowing bits from Jan's set.
Of course, with my mother's sewing and embroidery skills in the family, I wasn't about to have to keep them in their original plastic packaging, but in this lovely, personalised case instead :)


And I must admit, for my original reticence , interchangeable needles are great! In a bid to escape all the garish, hard core, depressing commercialism of Christmas in the UK (not easy since Mark works in retail) , we tried to barricade ourselves indoors with knitting and Julie Andrews movies as much as possible, and it was really liberating to be able to just think of a project idea and cast it on straight away without worrying about not having the right size needles at hand.

I started on a scrap blanket with all my sock yarn ends. I'd tried to crochet granny squares with them before, but the odd thing about variegated sock yarns is that on their own or in pairs, they look fantastic but loads of them together just comes out all blurry and horrible. Plus, even crocheted, sock yarn is a bit pointless as a blanket, so I really liked this idea - Sediment Scraps Blanket - of holding several strands together to knit. Firstly, it's really quick to knit, the colours all blend together better, and even with just 3 strands of 4ply, it makes a really nice, thick, useable blanket.

I also finally received the extra hank of Finnish wool that I had asked a friend to send me from Helsinki. I bought a green and a deep teal when I was up there last year, but then decided that I needed a third colour so that I could make a Colour Affection shawl, another one of those cult patterns on Ravelry with tens of thousands of projects, and incidentally designed by a Finnish designer which I thought would be appropriate for the yarn and as a memory of that great trip.


So there we are, that's some of what I did in my Christmas break (along with eating untold amounts of food). What did you do in yours?

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