Tag Archives: anniversary retreat

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?

 

 

Skylark Scarf

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I started this scarf this week because I was itching to use this yarn. I had two full balls plus a partial one of the Lion Brand Unique (Garden colourway), and if I need more I can move on to the Stylecraft Harlequin, which I blogged about last week.

The Skylark scarf is asymmetrical and crocheted in rows that are staggered. Each row is always 90 stitches long but they are offset by 5 stitches every other row. The pattern was written for Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, which is worsted weight, but I’m using bulky yarn with a 6.5mm/K hook. I don’t know how big it will end up – right now it’s about 48″ long, and 8″ at its widest point

I worked 8 hours yesterday and 6 today, so I’m looking forward to a couple of days of homebody stuff. I’m covering someone else’s shift on Wednesday so will get a few extra dollars in my paycheque this week. Tai Chi Man and I have decided how to use our week’s vacation in December. We’ll be going to a vegan spa-type retreat for a whole week, right here in BC. Maui can wait!