And while I am not doing anything in particular for Christmas (so I don’t have that excuse) the days have been full and crochet is proceeding very slowly.

The vest is still only partially sewn up and has been languishing in the basket next to the sofa (even though I really want to wear it).

I have this much done on the first cushion cover for the dining room.

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It’s nowhere near big enough yet.

I will share a couple of links with you. I’m hoping to get them to copy paste nicely. The first is bobwilson123’s You Tube tutorial for a basic granny square. I think she does a chain between each group of three and two chains in the corners, whereas I usually do one chain in the corners and none on the straight edges. But it depends on your tension and whatever works to keep the squares flat.

The second is an interesting find via Ravelry. I favourited the post so I could find it again. It’s a clever way to work in your beginning tail when starting a new colour. It’s Bethintx1’s video here.

Sad news today. My mother-in-law passed away (or, as I call it, “passed over to the bright side”) today. It was not unexpected. Tai Chi Man already had his flights booked for a trip back, anticipating the event, so we will be apart over Christmas. That’s okay, we will make up for it when he gets back.

I’ve been baking up a storm today so that I have cookies for the library knitting drop in group this afternoon.
Marzipan chocolate chip cookies, which spread into one big cookie, so I had to cut them apart!

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Gluten-free thumbprint cookies, though I didn’t use the buckwheat flour suggested. I used the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend to replace all the flour in the recipe.

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I used less sugar in both recipes and added some chia seeds to the marzipan cookies. Taste test later.

I hope you are enjoying this time, however you choose to celebrate it. Remember to relax and enjoy the light and the love and don’t sweat the small stuff!

My yarn has nearly run out. I have made one large square for the upper back and 20 smaller ones, which I think may be enough. I steam blocked them to 16″ for the large one and 8″ square for the smaller ones.

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The leftover yarn is probably not enough to seam the squares together. I also want to add an edging along the front/neck. So I’ll have to pick up another ball tomorrow.

It’s so close to being done though so I’m looking forward to wearing it with my Lanesplitter skirt.

Next, I’m going to make cushion covers for my dining room chairs from the Knitpicks Brava (in Currant) and my multiple Willow Wash colours.

I have to show you this before I sign off…

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What can I say?! I love Hello Kitty!

Once I’d finished the cowl, I had a fair amount of the yarn left from the second ball so I decided to make a matching headband.

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It’s in half double crochet too, starting out at 9 stitches wide, increasing in a couple of places to a peak of 13 in the centre, and decreasing back down again for the other side. Narrowest measures 4.5″ and widest measures 6.5″. Circumference is about 20″ once the ends are overlapped and buttoned.

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Circumference of the cowl, which I didn’t mention earlier, is about 26″ and it’s about 8.5″ wide.

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I had about 5 metres left of the two balls of yarn once the cowl and headband were finished, which I thought was pretty good going. I didn’t want to be left with anything.

Super bulky can vary so much, I’ll note down here the ball band gauge in case you need to know – on 9mm needles, knitted gauge is 9sts/12rows to 4″, and recommended hook size is 9mm/US M13. No crochet gauge is given but mine is about 8sts in hdc/7rows to 4″. Loops and Threads Cozy Wool.

The yarn that my friend gave me this week for helping her with the arm knitting has already been mostly transformed into something wearable.

I just started with foundation half double crochet (16 stitches wide) and then worked straight until it seemed long enough for a cowl, allowing for a half twist before seaming.

I used about 1.4 balls of the Loops and Threads Cozy Wool which is approximately 125 yards, and a 9mm hook.

It only took a couple of hours, most of which was spent at a coffee shop with friends.

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Again, a photo taken in artificial light. The greens and blue-greens in this Earth Tones colourway are pretty.

This cowl is intended for the receptionist at Tai Chi Man’s office.

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The fabrics, cords and zippers that I showed you a couple of days ago are now transformed. I made two zippered pouches and two drawstring bags. The zippers went in nice and neatly and I even remembered to half open them before I sewed around the bag so that the bag wasn’t eternally inside out!

I had salvaged a couple of those little cord-gripping-drawstring-holding-thingamajigs a long time ago, can’t remember where, and they came in useful tonight for the drawstring bags.

Now we can attend our Tao events in style carrying our black Chinese slippers and other accoutrements in these attractive bags.

I met a friend today at a cafe for tea and an arm knitting lesson. We spent a pleasant couple of hours and she left with a completed scarf. She gave me some yarn as a Thank-you gift – the two green skeins in the photos below.

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I received it with gratitude even though it’s partly wool. It’s Loops and Threads Cozy Wool. I expect I will make a gift with it sometime.

Then I went to Michaels with a 50% off coupon burning a hole in my purse. Also the flyer had mentioned that certain yarns were discounted this week, so I ended up with two skeins of Zoomba in pink and purple for another arm knitted cowl, two skeins of Red Heart Unforgettable in Dragonfly and two more in Sunrise. I’ve been meaning to try the Unforgettable for ages.

Before I use these, though, I must finish the Marble Chunky vest. And when I was doing my housework this morning, I was reminded that I was going to crochet cushion covers for the dining chairs, so I probably should get to that soon too.

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And I need to make some bags out of these batiks that I bought at the fabric store (on my day off). We love batiks.

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I didn’t get to touch my crochet hook for a couple of days because Friday and Saturday were work days and there was other stuff going on, and then today was an all day dharma class which was very fulfilling but, again, tiring.

However I whipped up a couple more squares tonight making a total of four smaller ones and one large one, so the back of the vest is done. Of course they aren’t sitting very flat as they need some blocking, or maybe just a good wash and dry when assembled.

Looking at the coat design in the original photo tutorial, I will need 12 squares for each front plus a little more yarn for edging the fronts and neck, if I go that route. Hoping I have enough yarn.

The photo is showing the colours paler than I see them.

So what was I learning about today? Wu Wei, flexibility and detaching from form. We are studying and discussing the 15 Buddha guidelines and also trying to remember to put them into practice in our daily lives. As usual, we shared some amazing vegetarian food so returned home spiritually and physically fed. And now I really must go to bed…….zzzzzzzzz!

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