…Christmas/Yule/Solstice or whatever you like to celebrate in December!

Woke up to this this morning…

  We have seen snow at higher elevations before now, but last night it snowed on us!

I am not good at planning far ahead for December festivities as we don’t make a huge deal of them, but one of the things I do like to eat around Christmas is mince pies. The last couple of years, I haven’t bothered to make mincemeat, but this year I decided it was time to make the effort again. You may be aware that a lot of commercial mincemeat is made with added suet (animal fat) unless you buy a specifically vegetarian brand, and even then, it’s so easy to make one’s own, why not just do that? Then you know what went into it.

The recipe I have says to make it four to six weeks ahead, and I’m just squeaking in on time, what with Christmas being only a month away. 

I don’t remember where I found the recipe as it was years ago, but it’s vegan, fat-free, and divine. 

Mincemeat recipe

3 cups currants 

1.5 cups golden raisins or sultanas 

1.5 cups Thompson raisins

(I think you can use any combination of your favourite dried fruits; I usually use dried cranberries in the mix too)

1lb chopped apples (say 3 good-sized ones or 4 small)

2.5 cups sugar (it’s tempting to cut back on the sugar but it is probably there for preservation properties)

1 teaspoon allspice 

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 2 lemons (and zest if organic)

0.75 cup fruit juice (please, not from concentrate)

Mix all together in a large bowl, cover and leave in fridge overnight. Pack into sterilized  jars with lids (no need to heat or vacuum seal), refrigerate for 4 – 6 weeks. 

This is really delicious used in tarts (small or large) for a traditional taste of a British Christmas. 

113 squares so far…62% of my intended total of 180.

That’s not to say I’m 62% of the way to finishing, as there may be a border later.

Having a nasty cold and calling in sick to work meant I was tucked under my Groovyghan plus this new blanket for a good part of the day, with tissues, cough lozenges, water, tea, Netflix and cellphone to hand. Now it’s 4pm and I have to get some food sorted out for the family.



We’re hosting a teen potluck here on the weekend and I’m hoping that we will all be gathering in my not-so-big living room for some good food, fun and games. Rather than borrow a bunch of extra chairs, we have invested in half a dozen body pillows (20 X 46″) and I ran up some pillowcases for them tonight. It didn’t take long, and the cool thing was that it used up my Hello Kitty and flowery stash that I brought home from work as remnants. Once this event is over, I’d love to turn our family room into a comfy place to hang out, so I’ll be looking at ways to make it look less stark in there. These pillows will be a good start. 

The top pillow (pink Hello Kitty) is not as well-covered as the others as I was limited by what I had. 


A very quick hat made the same way as my Very Vivid Hat which I blogged about here.  Photo taken last night so not very sharp. This is a super-super bulky yarn, and though I used a 15mm hook I think a 19mm would have been better. One always thinks that the bigger the hook, the easier the work, but while it goes fast it can be quite a workout for the arms!

This is Red Heart Vivid in Purple Pizzazz, one skein, plus a purple  fake fur pompom from Premier Yarns that we sell in-store at work. They are in my opinion expensive for what they are, but there was a grab bag in the staff room one day with some freebies and I nabbed this.


IMG_4407-0IMG_4408-0Well, this is exciting. I updated my iOS today on the iPad Mini, AND noticed a WordPress update in the App Store. So I felt lucky enough to try a post in the app (I’ve been using Safari for months because of crashing problems). And yippee, the photos uploaded. I had some much needed home time today and finally spent enough time in my sewing room to get the ironing done, sew three infinity scarves and make a no-sew vest. 
A pretty remnant I brought home from work.

The above fabric is a lovely soft greyed blue. It’s like knitted sweater fabric, and so soft. This piece was 150cm wide and about 90cm long. The result is wide enough to wear over the head as well as around the neck.

The pink version is also from a piece of fabric 150cm wide (which becomes the length of the loop) but only 45cm long, so it’s skinnier than the blue one.

The no-sew vest is made from identically-patterned fabric to the other one that I made, but in a pink rather than a turquoise colourway. I had to mess about  to get the photos to display, and they are at the top of this post and it’s too much effort to move them! It is hung up with a black turtleneck underneath. I’ve had customers admire my first one at the store, wanting to know how it’s made. (Dead easy!) In fact, this one was even less work than the last, as the colour went all the way into the selvedges and I didn’t have to trim them off.


Grandma’s Knickknacks

Look! A fancy tiled mosaic of photos. When I went to write a new post tonight, my WordPress window looked different, and when I added these three photos I had the option of different layouts.

My Ravelry project page says I’ve had this blanket as a Work in Progress for six months! It has obviously been languishing as I have been giving more attention to other crochet projects (sorry, blankie).

The last couple of days have seen four new squares added on, hence the update. There are now 100 squares and now that a new row has been started I am committed to continuing on.  My original plan was to make 180 squares and I should really stick to that. It’s not like I have a deadline to finish it, and now that the wintry weather is here (single digits and wind whistling around the house tonight) it’s keeping me warm as I work on it.

I had an 8 hour workday today and I really didn’t feel like making the effort to go out and meet my friend for a swim, but I did, and I’m glad.  Feels like I’ve really earned the crochet and couch time tonight.









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Two photos of the same mitts. I flipped them over in between shots. Definitely fraternal twins!


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