Yes, this Christmas was surprisingly good, very calm and bright apart from a couple of power cuts the second of which was from just after midnight until 11.30 am, we stayed in bed until it was over. So there has been a lot of this
in front of this
because outside it looks like this
I hope the weather isn't dampening your festive spirit.
You know I never have big aspirations for Christmas, in fact we couldn't even decided about what to eat this year until Mr FF announced he'd be quite happy with sausages. That made me think we should make an effort so we bought ourselves a duck, I shall make some interesting stuffing and maybe a sauce, easy and delicious. We don't go overboard with presents for each other, we've worked on a maximum spend of £5 for the last few years and never put the figure up. This year I blew most of my budget on one item so Mr FF will only have two gifts in his stocking but he tells me he only has two for me, so that's fair. We don't have a Christmas tree, I did see a friend's post on Facebook saying they'd put a tree up for the first time in about 8 years and couldn't wait to take it down. Lisa I'm with you on that.
We have put white lights up outside the house, on a large pine tree and along the balcony so everyone in our road gets the benefit. I have a little wreath my sister in law kindly made for me at the door and a tiny tree below it that Mr FF rescued from the gutter when it was just a seedling and potted up. I might decorate it though if it stays as windy as it has been I won't bother as the baubles will end up in the next village.
We went down to Yorkshire last week on a Santa run, exchanged presents and saw lots of family and friends which we really enjoyed. It was lovely but now its nice to be home and settle in. The weather has done its best to make things festive, the fire is glowing, I have knitting.
I hope your Christmas is everything you want it to be and that you too have enough.
I love an on line yarn bargain and its so easy to log on if I need a few balls of something for a quick project like the birth of a new baby, obviously there's never the right stuff in my stash. Even using my bus pass the thought of travelling 40+ miles into town doesn't appeal much and at this time of year I am not prepared to traipse round the shops listening to Christmas jingles so most of my gift shopping has been done on line too. However, I was on the outskirts of Edinburgh recently having a belated birthday lunch with Helen and we came across a beautiful new local yarn shop. Be Inspired Fibres is full of luxurious goodness, cashmere, alpaca, all the things we love and there are beautifully knitted examples to fondle and admire. There is definitely much to be said for experiencing yarn first hand and we were soon fired up to knit ourselves wonderful soft shawls and make gorgeous tiny baby items. However Helen has made me promise that I won't ever visit the shop without her, we will definitely be back in 2014 encouraging each other to spend in this little gem. I've been enjoying the Channel 4 fly on the wall tv programme about Liberty of London, which follows this landmark department store as it prepares for Christmas.
All the staff are amazingly dedicated people, who wouldn't be content and motivated working in such a beautiful environment, but these two lovely ladies in haberdashery (love that word) are my favourites. I have no idea what they are knitting but it looks as fabulous as they do, what a joy it would be to discuss your next project and select yarn with their help. So next year remind me to stop adding yarn to my stash just because it's great value, to buy less on line and more in person. You might also encourage me to change my glasses and wear more beads. Photographs from Google images
Quiet days here, fortunately after the storm last week that put our power off for almost 12 hours and brought down several big trees in the area, everything is calm and the weather is kind. Having said I had enough scarves, I embarked on yet another. I found this Rowan kit, pattern, yarn, purple needles and label, in a charity shop for £3, its Kidsilk Haze which is a gorgeous soft mohair and silk with some silver shimmer that makes it quite festive. I made the scarf slightly wider than the pattern suggested so its not so long just enough to tie round my neck, its a thing of beauty.
As is my cable wrap, I have just 100 g left to knit, its big, its cosy, the colour is so flattering, I love it and can't wait to be wearing it.
Mr FF has been fairly busy, he had to repair the oven door last week, it just slumped and wouldn't close properly. While waiting for replacement hinges to arrive he decided to give the door a good clean, unfortunately on the kitchen table where he burnt the top with some horrible chemical.
The upside is he has sanded down the table and revarnished it. He did the sanding outside then moved the table into the conservatory. When I took a look he had re-arranged the dining chairs and conservatory tables bistro style in our eat in kitchen, made me laugh though no we are not open to customers, we are enjoying the lull too much.
And probably the main reason we are chilled is that the presents are bought, wrapped, cards written and we are set to do a Santa run to Yorkshire sometime next week. Please let the weather be OK, that's all I ask this Christmas and I should get what I want because I have been good all year.
The side of my brain that is organised and analytical identified a selection of yarns that would reduce the stash and be suitable for gloves, baby socks or various other little stocking fillers. I put them in a bag ready to use and sorted some other odds into a bag for the charity shop. Two pairs of fingerless gloves later the other, naughtier, side of my brain took me back to the stash and I fished out some more options.
I bought this unknown yarn in a charity shop ages ago, the lady said it was £1 a 50g ball which I thought a bit expensive, its obviously man made fibre. She then asked me how many I was thinking of buying, they had loads, and we agreed on 3 balls for £1. I'm knitting a pattern from my new scarf book, Midwest Moonlight by Ivy Biglow. I shall probably get a longish scarf from 1.5 balls and the yarn is coming up much better than I expected though it's a slow knit.
Back to the stash I came upon this gorgeous Ethical Twist oatmeal and immediately cast onCoin Lace and Cable Wrap from elann.com. The pattern suggests using 2 strands of dk, but I've used one, reduced the needle size and added a couple of pattern repeats. The yarn is 70% organic wool 30% alpaca from happy well treated animals, it feels beautifully soft and luxurious. I have 4 x 100g balls that I think I may have bought on ebay, I want to produce a biggish shawl/scarf that I can fasten with a pin.
So now I'm knitting two scarves that don't figure on the Christmas present list at all and my good intentions are forgotten. I'm not a girl who is short of scarves, not my any means, but despite what good brain says I am using up stock. I am loving working both patterns and my friend Pam says you can never have too many scarves or handbags. Impulsive brain would add toiletries to that list but we won't go there today, that side of my head has already had too much its own way lately.