Tag Archives: Window on the Weather

2020 knitting and crochet – a review

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2020 knitting and crochet – a review

Good morning, Monday! Thanks to the fact I worked Friday/Saturday/Sunday, today is a day off and it feels like my weekend!

I stayed up late last night reading a library book. It was compelling enough that I wanted to finish it, and by the time I crawled into bed it was 1am. That meant that this morning it was nearly 9am when I got up. I really shouldn’t go to bed after 11. My face doesn’t like it 😀

I have a bonus Window on the Weather for you. We have fog today and wet snow and our view has all but disappeared. (I made it the featured photo at the top of this post – I’m sure you can click on it to see it bigger.)

So, what did I knit or crochet in 2020? You’d think that with the seven-week covid closure of my workplace back in the spring and fewer outside activities I would have made more stuff, not less. However that’s not the case. When I looked at my Ravelry project pages for things finished in 2020 there were only 32. Some years I have achieved twice that. I know it’s not a competition, and quality is better than quantity, but I feel a good deal of satisfaction from looking at my Ravelry notebook!

Of course there was a huge amount of sewing in 2020, which took up a lot of the time I could have been playing with yarn, so it’s not that I wasn’t making stuff, it’s just that I was absorbed in a different craft. I sewed masks and bags and journals and cuffs and was really enjoying delving into something bordering on textile art, not just utilitarian sewing. The new Janome sewing machine contributed to that too.

Here are the screenshots from my Ravelry notebook. If you are interested in more info, you can go check out my project pages here.

Even though there are 32 project pages, I actually made more than 32 things, as some projects include multiples of the same thing.

There are 3 shawls, 2 sweaters, 5 pairs mitts, 6 cowls, 1 pumpkin, 1 pompom garland, 1 blanket, 6 hats, 3 bags, 3 earsavers, 5 baskets, 3 hearts.

My one WIP is seeing me into the new year and then I have plans for some knitted fingerless mitts for Mr Fixit as his are wearing out. He is happy to have purple ones so I’ll use the same yarn as the current sweater, but probably at a tighter gauge. I’ll just use the Ann Budd pattern out of the Handy Book of Patterns. It’s easy and written for multiple gauges.

Since tidying up the stash, I am feeling an urge to do some stashbusting crochet projects. The desire to crochet has been a little weak in 2020 but I have that beautiful set of KnitPro Waves hooks just waiting for some attention.

The snowflakes just got bigger out there and I am appreciating the fact I can enjoy them from inside a warm house! Take care, everyone 🙂

Window on the Weather – Day 10

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I caught the light just right yesterday, about 4.20pm on Wednesday, as it was getting dark. I had switched on the fairy lights around the deck and there was a golden glow coming from the houses across the way.

This morning, yes, more snow!

(The walnut tree dwarfing the apricot tree on the left, and our massive maple in the front yard on the right.)

It took quite an effort to clear the driveway yesterday but it felt good to have the exercise, and I went to the gym for a half hour on the elliptical too.

Writing this in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, the sun is shining and everything is looking very sparkly and pretty. I went and had a look in a couple of shops, as my favourite jeans wore out on Monday – suddenly, there were holes when the previous day there hadn’t been any – and I found some nice-fitting Levis at Mark’s. Of course I couldn’t just buy jeans, and I ended up with T shirts and sweaters too! But the last time I bought new clothes was back in May and I do need to look reasonably well turned out for work, even though we can wear jeans. It’s not like I’ve been spending much money on anything else in 2020!

The plan for dinner is a lentil chestnut loaf, potatoes oreganata (sliced, layered and baked with oregano and olive oil), broccoli, and salad, followed by mince pies, but fancier ones with phyllo/filo pastry. I bought a pack the other day so that I can recreate something I made years ago. It won’t be a late night as I’m working tomorrow, and anyway I can’t keep my eyes open past 11pm these days.

I wish you all a Happy New Year. Let’s wish for covid to be crushed, masks to be tossed in the bin, and a time when we can again meet up in cafes and tea shops and chat for hours with our friends, preferably with a yarny project in hand.

Window on the Weather – Day 9

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Wednesday, and we had more snow overnight. I would have taken a photo of the driveway but it was such a white-out it was hard to tell where one thing finished and another started. Mr Fixit cleared part of the drive when he went to work, but more snow has fallen since, and I do plan on getting out there and doing some shovelling, especially as my plan is to buy groceries today.

Window on the Weather – Day 7

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I held out a little longer for a photo this morning. When I got up around 8am, it was pretty blah, though I did get a good action shot of squirrels running across the snow. Then the sun came out, and that was the photo I decided to use.

The four squirrels must have signed a peace treaty, as hunting in the snow for buried walnuts is taking precedence over territorial squabbles. Since Mr Fixit cleared out the broken lilac, their superhighway across the treetops has been slightly interrupted, and a black squirrel was on the cherry tree at the end of the main branch, and I could hear its thoughts as it hesitated……….WTF happened to my usual commute??? After a moment, it decided to jump anyway!

After all my manic sewing pre-Christmas, I haven’t done much this week. But I did finish these:

two more cuffs

A few days ago, I traced a seahorse from a colouring book onto fabric using a Frixion pen. After layering with batting and backing I free-motion-quilted the seahorse in three different colours of thread, then ironed it to remove the lines. The stitching is a little rough but I have a lot more control now that I wear the non-slip gloves with the little plastic dots all over. I didn’t know what I was going to make, but in the end I decided to make a small bag using some flowery fabric that echoed the thread colours for the back and the lining.

This is the last day of my week off. I’ve done a little sewing, some knitting, some reading, a lot of cooking and eating and relaxing. It’s been great! Tomorrow I’ll have to switch on the work brain and get back into the swing of things.

Window on the Weather – Day 6

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Two photos, taken a minute apart, at around 8.30am. Fresh snow. What you can’t see in that photo above is that there are four squirrels in that walnut tree, running around and making clouds of falling snow!

The sun was creating a beautiful glow through the pines. My phone camera isn’t great. Mr Fixit has promised that we will be getting new phones soon. I can’t wait!

Window on the weather – Day 5

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Another calm cold day, cloudy this morning but with the potential for brightening up later. The snow on the railing melted off, but there’s still lots of it weighing the trees down. Mr Fixit was outside yesterday while I cooked Christmas dinner – on the right of this photo, behind the railing, you’ll see a large pile of wood that he cut off the lilac. Some of it broke with the heavy snow.

Much of my day was spent in the kitchen yesterday, and I am always grateful for this view: the mountains, the lake, the trees. I am grateful to live in a safe place, with light and warmth and abundant food. I am grateful that my family is around me and we are well. I am grateful for the ability to talk to my mum and sister via the internet, because they are a long way away.

Our Christmas dinner, traditionally for us eaten on Christmas Eve, was a Greek feast this year. Vegan pastitsio (pasta layered with a mushroom walnut tomato sauce and Bechamel sauce), lemon roasted potatoes, Greek salad (with tofu “feta”), olive rosemary bread, three new recipes (which can often be a recipe for disaster 😛 but in this case worked out great) followed by apple crumble and mince pies with whipped coconut cream. Oh yes, and apple cider and vegan nog too.

Everyone enjoyed the food, we played Mexican Train Dominoes after dinner while the food digested, and then the men finished cleaning up the kitchen.

Links to the recipes I used are here:

Pastitsio

Lemony roasted potatoes

Olive bread

I tweaked the recipes to my preferences (no garlic and onions) and when it came time to baking the olive bread I just used a baking sheet rather than a Dutch oven and baked it like I would focaccia.

Have a wonderful Solstice/Christmas/Yule time. May you have a calm and peaceful turn-of-the-year and an optimistic attitude to carry you into 2021.

Window on the weather – Day 2

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As you can see, the snow really built up over the course of the last 24 hours. I think we have a couple more casualties of the heavy weight on the tree branches out there – a branch on one of our hawthorn trees looks to have cracked, and the lilac is bent down to the ground.

There is some blue sky today, and the temperature is hovering around freezing, so most of the snow will probably hang around, except on the roads.

Progress has been made on the Turtle Dove swoncho.

The twisted rib hem has been finished on the front and I have a couple of inches to go on the back. Then I’ll need to add the sleeves, which will be pretty short because of the style of this garment. I think I only need to do 6 inches of stockinette and a couple of inches of ribbing.

Mr Fixit was commenting last night that his fingerless mitts were getting worn out. I have darned them a little in the past. We couldn’t remember how long he’d had them – our guesses were way off – turns out I knitted them in January 2010! The beauty of Ravelry is that I was able to look at the project page and find out that they are 11 years old. No wonder they are wearing out, but I’m impressed that they’ve lasted this long. He uses them every winter around the house. Not sure I feel like knitting him some new ones, but maybe I should just do it anyway!