More February finishes

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It’s been another crafty week, in between work shifts. I worked Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but still managed to get some crochet and sewing done.

Tuesday was a nutso day for snow. I went in at 9 that day and my boss said she had taken 40 minutes to drive to work when it usually takes her 15. So she decided to postpone that night’s staff meeting and rearrange the shifts so that we could run the store with the minimum amount of people. What was supposed to be a four hour shift, followed by two more hours in the evening, turned into an 8 hour one (though it was cut slightly short because the store closed early due to the snow that had been falling all day).

Continuing on with the “Bash the Stash” theme (Ravelry group ‘British Banter’ has a Bash the Stash 2019 thread, The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast has a Love your Stash CAL, Smells Like Yarn podcast has a Stash from the Past thing going on with his own yarn and others are welcome to join in) I used some Caron Big Cakes yarn to make the granny bag pictured above. This is a pattern/tutorial from the bobwilson123 YouTube channel. Clare suggests two sizes – a small bag with a 16″ starting square, or a large one with a 24″ square. I made mine 18″ as I wasn’t sure how much yarn the top borders and handles would take. It’s a fun bag and very roomy.

And as I had yarn left over, I crocheted up a zippered pouch to match….and I still have some of that yarn left!

I made a few fabric items this week. One was a no-sew vest (waistcoat) of which I’ve just realised I don’t have a picture. Basically you take a metre of a lightweight knit fabric and fold it and cut two slits for armholes, and that’s it! I’ve had a lot of compliments on my old ones when at the store, so this week I made two more. One is now on display at the store and I wrote up an instruction sheet for it. The other is for me!

The other items are made from something called sueded knit. It really is soft.

It’s a pyjama set. I bought two metres of fabric with the intention of just making pyjama bottoms by copying an old and worn out pair. I cut them along the seams, laid them out on paper, and made a pattern for the new ones. They fit beautifully. There was enough fabric left over to copy a summer top that I own, though I should have added a bit more width when cutting out. It fits, but only just.

And there was yet more fabric left behind from that, so I made a quick drawstring bag too.

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And today I used some old stash yarn to make this headband, though I should have gone with my gut and used a bigger hook. Pattern called for bulky yarn and a 4mm hook! Normally I would use a 6mm with this James C Brett Marble Chunky. I ended up using a 4.25mm but had to do extra repeats of the cable pattern to get the length I needed. (My Ravelry project page is here.)

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Thanks Sally, for looking after my steamed headband while it dries!

It may be Family Day tomorrow, and a statutory holiday, but I’ll be working. Our tradition in previous years has been to go to one of the nearby ski resorts on Family Day, but with me being scheduled to work, ds3 working, and Tai Chi Man going in to the office for some paperwork-catching-up time, it’s not going to be a family day for us. (It was on Family Day last year, February 12th, that I broke my wrist snowboarding, and I have felt no urge to go this year anyway.)

If you’re in Canada, have a lovely long weekend.

 

Some fun projects

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Hello! It’s been a fun week. My shift schedule conspired to give me four days off in a row. Two of those days, I was crocheting this crocodile. It will be going off to its intended recipient soon along with a book called The Enormous Crocodile that my boys absolutely loved when they were younger. I must have read it 500 times! My Ravelry project page is here and the pattern for Colin the Crocodile is here. I did have to fudge a little on the head part, as the eye hump was coming out off-centre! It was easy to fix and the rest went as per the pattern.

Thursday, I had a PJ Day! We’ve had the coldest weather of the winter in the last week. I think it dipped to minus 20 Celsius one night. So having a PJ Day was the best! I had a project to sew up for work, so the morning was spent making this apron to go on display at the store, and after a month I’ll get to bring it home and keep it.

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(All my photos are indoor shots, some in my sewing room in the basement. Not the best lighting.)

This was made with a cotton/Spandex blend in a gorgeous Spring-y print. It was easy to make, even including the bias binding for the ties. I was careful to make my stitches neat and even because I knew it was going to be inspected by co-workers and customers at the store. (The pattern is in the photo. McCall’s 2947, I think.)

The afternoon of my sewing day was spent cooking dinner and dessert, then the evening saw me back in my sewing room. I made two lined fleece neckwarmers from remnants I had brought home ages ago. The video tutorial I followed was from The Crafty Gemini. They were so easy I had both made in about half an hour.

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Using exactly the same technique, and more remnants that were lurking in the drawers, I made two infinity scarves as well.

I love these and have already worn the turquoise plaid one a couple of times.

Finally, I whipped up another cowl as a gift, using up some more stash yarn (Loops & Threads Facets).

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I took a leaf out of Ross’s book last week. He has the Smells Like Yarn podcast and is currently on a kick to use up some yarn stash. So what he did was pull out various yarns, assign them each a pattern, print them out, and have them queued up ready to cast on in the near future. What I did was queue up about five sewing projects and five yarny projects from stash, so when I spent all that time in my sewing room the other day I was ready to roll. I felt so productive!

I worked today but I’m looking forward to a fun Sunday with Tai Chi Man which will undoubtedly include a cup of tea at our favourite tea shop, a stop at the Holistic Market, and some gym time. Stay warm, folks!

 

 

Activities and acquisitions

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Activities and acquisitions

Hi all. Another Sunday has rolled around and I’m glad to say I didn’t have a shift today. It’s been a beautiful sunny day and Tai Chi Man and I were able to walk along the city waterfront with just sweaters, no coats required. My car’s thermometer read 12 degrees Celsius in the sunshine.

We followed up our walk with a long sit at our favourite tea shop. I brought crochet with me, of course, and before leaving home I picked out a pretty ball of Loops & Threads Facets in Light Azore to take with me. My plan worked out. While drinking two delicious Cowboy Fogs (tea lattes) I made a cowl and was able to give it to the owner of the tea shop before we left. She loved it and put it on immediately.

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It was just simple double crochet in the round, using a 9mm hook, with a row of shells along the edge before fastening off. The sewn bag in the photo is one I made last year. It’s designed to hold a ball of yarn and you thread the yarn through the hole in the top flap. It worked well! The only downside to something like this is that there are no extra pockets for hooks and things, or anywhere to put a project-in-progress. However the hanging loop was handy for attaching it to my handbag with a carabiner.

There was much excitement this week when my Wool Warehouse order arrived. Here it is!

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A box of gorgeousness! Scheepjes Stonewashed and Riverwashed XL (aran weight), 15 gram balls in all 50 shades. No specific plans for this yet. And…

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Five 50 gram balls of the Stonewashed in Moon Stone as a neutral, should I decide to use it with the colours in the box. It rounded my order nicely up to 1000 grams of yarn. And the bonus was, it only took 15 days to arrive.

My friend went to Vancouver Island last week and we met up for a cup of tea afterwards. She bought me this lovely stuff.

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Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop in the colour Ocean. She knows me so well! Fifty percent bamboo, 50% cotton, so it fits in with my 2019 goal of more natural plant fibres.

My heel is no better, though wearing the shoes all the time means it (mostly) doesn’t hurt. However last night we went to a friend’s house for a potluck and our hands were full with food going in, so I left my gym shoes with the special insoles in the car. By the time I had been sitting at the dining table for a while and got up to walk back to the kitchen, the pain was back and I was limping.

I did 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym yesterday morning, while Tai Chi Man did weights, and today we are going back for more weights. I am alternating weights/cardio as I have four days off and if I am good and go every day then I need to mix things up.

My weight loss program, started about nine days ago, involves pretty much eating half of what I usually do. It worked well the first week with a 4lb loss. Last night’s potluck meant a lot of calories going on so I’m being extra careful today and eating just fruit and vegetables.

Finally, we had a big dump of wet snow this week, which looked lovely but left our road axle deep in snow. We are third level (out of three) priority for the graders, but as long as we clear our driveway we only have about 100 metres to drive to get to the clearer road.

I am grateful that Tai Chi Man did the clearing because my right wrist would have complained bitterly at shifting all that wet snow.

It’s almost time to get changed for the gym so I’ll say Auf Wiedersehen for now. Talk to you again soon.

WIP and health update

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WIP and health update

Hey everybody, how’s it going? I’m enjoying a day off with very few commitments. I’ve been to the gym, put on some laundry, loaded the dishwasher. Not very onerous.

I have been having some heel pain lately. I will be sitting on the couch, get up, and get a nasty pain in the bottom of my right heel making me limp to the kitchen or wherever. Now, I know that Googling one’s symptoms often results in a lot of false hits, but this time I think I found the cause. It fits with plantar fasciitis. I assume it’s caused by my longer times on the gym treadmill including the running segments in addition to walking. Of course, I am also on my feet all day at work, on a concrete floor.

Apparently the best treatment for this is a combination of stretching, arch-supporting footwear and ice. I bought some insoles yesterday especially for this condition, and have taken to wearing my indoor gym shoes in the house as well. Friends say I should keep shoes on any time I am not in bed! Felt kind of odd at first, but now I’m finding it very comfortable.

Last night, Tai Chi Man and I went to the gym and I just did weights, but I went again this morning for some cardio and decided on the low-impact option – a stationary bike which is a recumbent style and has a very comfortable seat, unlike the ones with a standard saddle.

Onto yarny matters, my Wayfarer Wrap is growing at last. Picking it up when I watch Netflix certainly helps, and it is now 33″ long. “Only” 17″ to go.

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The billion ends along the edge are being left as a fringe, perhaps in bundles tied with overhand knots. I haven’t finalised that part of it yet.

Yesterday I met a friend for tea in the morning, then hit Costco for a bunch of food. I had plenty of time before I had to be back at home so I stopped in at my favourite tea shop on the way home for another cuppa and some crochet time. I like to make sure I have something portable with me when I go out. You never know when you might need some emergency crochet!

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This is what I worked on while I was there. I added a little last night. I think it’s deep enough, but I’d like to add some sort of edging. This is a moebius cowl similar to one I made last year, where I start with a row of foundation stitches rather than chains (I used half double crochet this time), give it a half twist, then join and start working in the round. You end up with a true moebius which makes for a really comfortable cowl as the place where it twists is lower and fits perfectly under your chin.

It is also using up some stash yarn that’s been hanging around for some time.

After my last post in which I showed you more hats, I had quite the stack, so I filled a bag with about a dozen beanies and took it to the local Food Bank. Hopefully they will give them out to whomever wants them and someone will be warmer as a result.

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Finally, I found some lovely soft flannelette at work that’s a bamboo/cotton blend. It has a fun tea/coffee cup print so I bought some. I figured I could make something nice for the tea shop owner as well as for myself.

And with that, it’s time to say Goodbye for now. Hope you have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Bountiful beanies Part 2!

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I have seven FOs to show you since my last post. I’ve been enjoying some destashing and some stash enhancing. Ahem!

This cowl is a basic C2C stitch pattern, worked as a rectangle, joined in a tube, and with a pompom added on (to use up more yarn). That was a cake of yarn finished up.

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The pinks are way more pretty in real life.

Another quick project, again with stash yarn, was this shawl. It’s called the Me Shawl, designed by Clare at bobwilson123, and her video tutorial is here. It’s a quick and easy pattern, only took me a few days, and I just love the way the yarn worked with it (Lion Brand Mandala in Troll). I did make it quite a bit bigger than she made hers. And I took out the lime green section of the yarn cake and used a bit of turquoise from a second cake for the bobble border.

Another way that I reduced old stash was to make some super bulky beanies. I made four of them yesterday (Loops & Threads Zoomba) and the green one is Red Heart Vivid and I made that in about 20 minutes tonight.

The four in the picture above are made from my own pattern, linked in the sidebar – the Gio hat – and the green one is just half double crochet and a 19mm hook. It’s funny to think there are only 23 stitches around that beanie. Talk about fast!

And finally, my new yarn. There’s a smaller city an hour’s drive south of me which has a small yarn shop. They are closing down and going mobile. So all their stock is on deep discount and I thought a road trip with a fellow yarn-loving friend would be fun. Yesterday we drove down there, had a good look around and left with some treasures. We stopped at a coffee shop and pulled out our knitting and crochet, while we warmed up with tea/coffee. Later, we drove back north, stopping at a small town where there’s another great coffee shop (I did suggest to my friend that we make a documentary, Coffee Shops of the Okanagan) where we had more tea/coffee and a snack. Next door is a cool little shop where I bought my vegan leather Espe bag last year, and my friend bought herself an Espe bag to replace her worn out purse. What a great day!

Here’s what I came home with:

The buttons are hand-made in South Africa, giving employment to women in that country. The variegated skeins are Berroco Espresso and weigh 150 grams each. The yarn is a bulky weight blend of cotton and acrylic. The Easter Egg coloured skeins are Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, 100 grams of soft worsted weight cotton. So pretty.

I was left with small balls of leftovers from the cowl and beanies and I’ve added them to the giveaway bag of yarn and changed their status on my Ravelry stash page to “all used up.”

So it’s definitely been a yarny week. The pile of hats to donate to the needy via a local church is growing by leaps and bounds. Along with the crochet, as often happens, I’ve been delving into Netflix again and have been watching Line of Duty, a British police series. Very gritty! And now I must leave you, for I have work again tomorrow. Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

Bountiful beanies

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In the first six days of 2019, I have crocheted four beanies. Two of them are not worth showing off. They are made with vintage acrylic in shades of brown and I am just glad to get some of the yarn used up and done with. The other two are nicer. The one above is made with Sommer-Wolle Carnevale, a gorgeous wool blend that I bought in Switzerland last summer.

I don’t usually buy wool but last August I really wanted to make Tai Chi Man’s cousin and his wife some beanies to keep their heads warm while camping in their trailer, as they were so generous with their time and food when we were in Switzerland. In a Co-op in St Moritz (those two things don’t seem to go together, somehow!) I found some of this Sommer-Wolle in the beautiful shades of turquoise which seemed perfect for red-haired Lisa, and a masculine shade of Sommer-Wolle Venezia in dark greens and blues with black/white sections for Andreas.

The beanie below is mostly black and white because when I made the first two hats out of this skein I cut out some of it so it didn’t dominate over the coloured sections.

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I can’t remember how much I paid for these balls of yarn, but I got three crocheted beanies out of each one. And by making these this weekend, I cleared out some stash.

I also cleared out a bagful of ugly old acrylics and weighed it – 1200 grams – which I will be donating to a thrift store, along with some of the beanies I’ve made. So when I tell you that I ordered yarn this week, you will understand that it’s totally ok because it’s still a net loss in the stash account!!

What did I order? Well, it’s a rather pretty colour pack from Wool Warehouse. The Scheepjes Stonewashed/Riverwashed XL colour pack has 50 little 15g balls of all the shades in those ranges in a lovely presentation box. It’s going to be like having a big box of candy arrive on the doorstep. How will I bear to break into it and actually use the yarn? I don’t know! In addition, I decided that it would be a good idea to get some extra of the lightest shade, Moonstone, so that I have a neutral that I can use with the brighter colours. Of course with Canada Post’s union woes, it could take a while to arrive, but I’m hoping they have their problems sorted out now. (Tai Chi Man’s birthday card from the UK took a month to get here.)

If you’ve never ordered from Wool Warehouse, I have to say they are brilliant. You order in British pounds but they give an approximation of the exchange rate next to the pound figure on each page. Their shipping is an incredible £3.99 – seriously, that’s amazing considering they are sending 1 kilogram of yarn my way across the expanse of the Atlantic!

Here’s a screenshot if you don’t want to click through to their site…

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My goal for this year is more out than in, so that the stash doesn’t grow. And new stuff has to have plant fibre content, not be 100% synthetic. The Scheepjes yarn is 70% cotton.

We’ve had surprisingly mild temperatures this week – two of the days this year have hit double digits (Celsius) according to my car’s thermometer. The snow has melted quite a bit and we’ve seen some sunshine.

I hope you’ve had an awesome weekend. Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what your yarn goals are for 2019.

 

 

 

 

2018 – a review

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2018 – a review

One of the things I love to do at the end of the year is to look back through my Ravelry project pages and count how many Finished Objects there were. It is such a good way to record everything you make, what yarn you used, how much yarn, which patterns, and so on. I do sometimes make something more than once and it’s helpful to have a record of the hook or needle size I used with a particular project or yarn.

I just made a list of everything and here’s the final rundown:

  • Hats 20
  • Cowls/scarves/shawls 8
  • Dishcloths 8
  • Yarn ball holders 5
  • Phone/giftcard cosies 4
  • Blankets 3
  • Sweaters 3
  • Mini Christmas stockings 3
  • Mittens/fingerless mitts 3 prs
  • Cup cosies 3
  • Mini keychain backpacks 3
  • Earrings 2 prs
  • Afghan blocks 2
  • Rat sweaters 2
  • Doll and clothes 1
  • iPad stand 1
  • Mini cup and saucer 1
  • Crystal cosy 1
  • Nosewarmer 1

That makes 74 FOs for 2018 which means it was one of my more productive years. Amazing, considering I was out of action for part of the year after my snowboarding accident.

My favourite project of the year has to be my Groovyghan (pictured at the top of this post). 

My favourite hat? The one I just finished in two days flat and gave to one of my co-workers. Not only am I happy with the FO but I also had the satisfaction of giving it to her and seeing her reaction!

This was made with Red Heart With Love in Daffodil with extra touches of Holly Berry, Black and Eggshell. For more info, see my project page here.

I also finished the crocheted Candy Cane hat that I showed you as a WIP last time, and a brown slouchy beanie with some old stash yarn – James C Brett Marble Chunky.

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One of my current goals is to make beanies with the older acrylic in my stash and donate them.

Looking back on 2018, there have been some definite highs and lows. 

January: I set a goal to make 12 sweaters and sew 12 garments in 12 months. Well, the sewing was a bust. But I was going great guns on the knitting and crochet until…

February: Any and all plans were called off as I broke my wrist while snowboarding on Family Day, February 12th. I had a fetching pink cast applied to my right arm. img_7227

February 28th I had surgery for my distal radius fracture which involved acquiring a piece of titanium screwed to the bone, which will stay in indefinitely. I traded in my pink cast for a huge splinted dressing. Life was interesting, to say the least, with some pain and discomfort, and learning how to wash and dress with one hand.

March:  I was off work for nine weeks in all, so this month was all about recovery and not being able to drive, as my car is a manual/stick shift. I was so desperate to knit or crochet that I learned how to crochet left-handed with an adapted style. Knitting was too painful.

April: I was visiting rehab regularly to get my healing progress checked and finally returned to work. I also managed to get the Paper Bag Princess finished after a long hiatus for my grand-niece.

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May: I was back at the gym and doing all my usual activities. I was back into knitting – this hat was for my father-in-law and was my first knitting project after the break – and I was also sewing up project bags for fun.

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June: More project bag sewing, and some yarn stash organisation with my new yarn ball winder.

July: This was the peak of forest fire season, and we had multiple fires burning at once in our valley. fire

August: Tai Chi Man and I had an awesome vacation in Switzerland, spending time in the mountains near the Italian border and in the Bernese Oberland. We had a wonderful time, visiting his cousins and meeting up with other family members, and having some couple time for the last few days.

September: This was the month of the Groovyghan. It took almost exactly a month to make. It was a very addictive project.

October: In full swing, churning out lots of FOs.

November: Back to the hospital, this time to have a stapedectomy (replacement of the stapes with a prosthesis) in my right ear. This fixed the hearing loss that I had as a result of otosclerosis, a hereditary calcification and fusing of the bones in the inner ear. Now I am the proud owner of not one, not two, but THREE pieces of titanium (one in each ear and one in my wrist). Recovery from this surgery was painless and, thanks to a different drug, easy, without the insane vertigo that I experienced in 2015 when I had my left ear done.

December: We had a beautiful few days at one of our favourite retreats for our 31st wedding anniversary. There was a little scare with one of our sons suddenly having a partially collapsed lung. Chest pain led him to call 911 and he was taken to the hospital by ambulance (we were away at the time) and sent home in the morning with a pump in his side to draw out air and fluid from around the lung. Thankfully it was only needed for three days at which time they removed it and he seems to be fine now.

The lead-up to Christmas was pleasant, and we enjoyed lots of good eating including mountains of home-made fruit cake. I still have a fruit cake in the freezer. I ended up making four, two with wheat flour and two gluten-free. Cake #1 was scoffed by Tai Chi Man and me over about three days before Christmas. Cake #2 went with us to our friends on Christmas Day, where we had a lovely time playing games, exchanging gifts, eating too many calories and having a singalong around the piano. The remains came back and were demolished. Cake #3 went to work with me on Boxing Day and everyone seemed to enjoy that. Cake #4 will be defrosted later this week when I hope to get some of my friends together in one place for a belated Christmas cuppa.

I just remembered that, of the four jars of mincemeat I made, I still have one in the fridge, so there will have to be some more mince pies in the near future. The store where I work has a big sale every New Year’s so I had work today and will be going in tomorrow, but then I have five days off in a row. That will give me time to actually clean my house (rather overdue) and do some more baking. I hopped on the scale at the gym the other day and it wasn’t showing an upward trend so I think I’m OK!! We did go gymming every day for four days up until Christmas, and dragged the boys out for a long walk on Christmas Day, so the exercise has not been neglected.

What a year! I am looking forward to seeing what 2019 has in store. I hope you all have a wonderful year – you know it’s going to speed by and before we know it it’ll be Christmas again! Make the most of it!

 

Deep dark December

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Deep dark December

I love December. I love that we have the Solstice, with its shortest day (8 hours and 5 minutes here on the 21st), and the long dark nights, and gloomy days, and sunny days, and cold weather that makes you want to wear all your winter knitted/crocheted accessories.

I love that it’s our wedding anniversary on the 10th (31 years so far) and we get to go on a retreat most years to just be the two of us, without anyone else around. This year it was a cabin we’ve visited a few times before, about 1.5 hours drive away, with a woodstove and a private hot tub. It also has underfloor heating in the bathroom and baseboard heating, so not TOO rustic, and it gets warm enough that we can actually open the window, regardless of how cold it is outside. It is close to some cross country (Nordic) ski trails with snowshoe trails marked out, and we tromped through deep snow for nearly 2.5 hours one day. Seeing moose tracks was my favourite part of that!

As usual, the month has whizzed by with leisure activities and work commitments and our three night retreat. While we were away, ds2 gave us a scare. Messaged us to say he had spent the night in the emergency room with chest pains. He was in enough pain that he called 911 and an ambulance came and took him in. Turns out it was a partially collapsed lung, the treatment of which involved having a tube inserted between his ribs into his chest cavity to drain fluid into a plastic container, which he had to manually empty every day. He was sent home in the morning, and in his message to us said he was fine and we didn’t need to come home early. Thankfully after three days and follow up X rays he had the tube removed and now seems back to normal, but that was a worrying experience.

And now it’s time for Christmas baking. We are not buying gifts for each other this year. We had our tree and lights set up in the living room on December 1st, and our celebrations will simply involve fancier family meals, and a visit with friends on Christmas Day. My work outfit this week included Christmas light earrings and leggings, and a string of battery-operated lights around my neck adorned with some Christmas ornaments!!

Today I baked two fruit cakes (I completely forgot I was going to make them gluten-free, and dumped regular wholewheat flour in with the dried fruit, apple juice and oil before I realised what I’d done). I also baked two dozen mince pies using my own  mincemeat, which I made four weeks ago and tucked away in the fridge.  I will have to bake more fruit cakes using the GF flour so I can share with friends and co-workers.

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The meals have been planned for the next few days, I have done my last Costco shop (amazing that I actually found a parking spot on my first try) and now I have lots of cooking and eating to look forward to. (Of course, we will be going to the gym now and then to try to burn off some of the extra calories. We had a great yoga class at 8.30 this morning; different teacher, different style.)

There has been some knitting and crochet. I took the garter stitch wrap with me to the cabin…

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I played around with a knitted rat sweater and a crochet version too…

 

I made a Secret Santa gift for work’s Christmas party (sadly I didn’t get a photo of the nosewarmer with its white pompom as it was an afterthought)…

 

I bought some clearance yarn at Michaels (whoops)…

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(Caron Cupcakes)

I sewed a quick tube skirt out of some sweater fleece in my stash so that I could show off my Christmas light leggings…

 

And I’ve been making a toque similar to the Joyful and Bright Slouch Hat that I made last year…

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(Using the Candy Cane colourway of Bernat Pop, left over from the knitted Fair Isle toque I made recently.)

What a picture-heavy post this is, but it has been a while since my last update. I didn’t think I’d done much, so hadn’t posted because I didn’t think I had anything to show you.

Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Solstice/Yule/Christmas/whatever.

 

Little things…

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Little things…

 

 

Again, I’m distracting myself from my main WIP with little projects. I finished the pink dishcloth that I started ten days ago as a portable project with Scheepjes Linen Soft in the colour Hummingbird. And I threw together a very plain grey dishcloth with some leftover Knit Picks Comfy Fingering in the colour Whisker. I triple-stranded the Comfy by using a Navajo plying method that I’ve seen on a You Tube tutorial. You do it as you go. It’s very clever.

I have to confess that the soft focus on those dishcloth photos is caused by a smear on my iPad Mini’s camera lens!    >_<    I only realised later on when I went to take a photo of my Thermos cosy.

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This photo therefore benefits from a cleaner lens! I love making things to fit stuff as I go. This shape is pretty easy to cover, though I found once I’d covered the base I had to decrease on about three of the lower rounds to get it to suck in a bit. I thought the popcorn stitches would help with grip. And I hope you can tell that that’s a teacup appliqued to the front!

I was also rather tickled that the cosy coordinates with my Christmas cactus. 🙂

I have added this to the thread in the Little Drops of Wonderful group on Ravelry, where we can post about our makes in the Cosy Up to Winter MAL.

Another couple of things I made for Christmas gifts this week are these:

They are knotted fleece blankets, each made from two metres of fleece fabric (one for each side). I cut down the bear print and the tan pawprints to make a square blanket, and the green dog print and green pawprints I left at one by one and a half metres (the full width of the fabric). I’ve seen these made before but this is the first time I’ve made some, and they are simple to do. I had both finished in one evening. As you can imagine, we sell a LOT of fleece at the store where I work at this time of year. They make cosy gifts that anyone can manage, even if they can’t operate a sewing machine.

I’m coming to the end of my medical leave now. Back to work Friday. I also work Sunday and then there’s a stretch of a few days until my next shift. Tai Chi Man and I have booked a three night retreat at a little cabin in the woods that we know of. It’s our 31st wedding anniversary on the 10th and we always have a little getaway around this time. (It wasn’t so little last year, as we had a week in Maui.) The main room has a decent kitchen/living room/bedroom set up, there’s a woodstove, heated floors in the shower room, and a private hot tub outside. I really hope that there will be snow, because we can take our snowshoes with us. It’s always extra special to be in a hot tub when it’s really cold and snowy out too.

If you take enough food, there’s no need to leave the cabin at all! Though we may take a drive up to the nearest town a little way north.

I hope you’re loving this time of the year and enjoying all the good things about it. What’s your favourite way to spend a winter day?