Wow, December already! I have felt Christmas building up for a couple of weeks now and have been avoiding it. Personally, I don’t start anything to do with Christmas until 1 December and then I get our fresh real Christmas tree on the first possible weekend. I also get into planning for Christmas lunch. It will be a quiet one this year as it will be only the immediate family. Now that there are grandchildren involved, each of us wants to be with them on that special day.
I have a few things to complete for Christmas so I started my overall planning last Monday. I did that by doing lots of mini-post it notes and sticking them on a large calendar print out of the rest of the year. That way I can move them if there is a change in plans. I usually do a weekly planner (also shown) so will update from the master plan as necessary. Most of the tasks are concentrated on the weekends and from there I know what I need to carry through the week.
This week held no surprises and ended with a quick trip to Sydney. I was able to drop stuff off to my daughter and bring some back, along with a relaxing Saturday and two visits to my son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Bonus! Here are some views from my week.
I finished my Elton cardi! I managed to finish it on Wednesday night after sewing in ends and sewing on buttons. It took a concerted effort Sunday to Wednesday to get it done. Thursday, when I returned from Canberra, I blocked it and now it’s ready for its first outing. I think it’s going to be great for those cooler summer days. The temperature varies so much these days you need to have something with you at all times. I had the buttons in stash and I think they go very nicely. They’re shell and delicate to match the delicate cardigan, though I hope not too delicate because I broke one when I was sewing it on. This is not one of those cooler summer days, being 34 degrees Celcius so I’m not going to model it today!
And I reached expert level at tubular bind offs. I can stop at any time, walk away from the project and know exactly where I am when I pick it up again. It is a good skill to have as it is a nice stretchy finish but, boy, does it take forever!
I also realised why I have many WIPs. This is because I struggle to do one project for too long. Particularly if you’re on a deadline when an enjoyable project can feel such a chore because you feel obligated to finish it. Fortunately, I don’t have too many of those. I could have chosen to not bother finishing this in time but I was too close to give in.
It was so nice to pick up something else after spending so much time on Elton. I gladly grabbed the Sharman Cocoon and I’ve worked my way out of the blue colours. Purple is a nice change, for now anyway. As I probably mentioned last week, the rows are getting longer so it’s taking longer to get through each colour section. The first part went so quickly! You can see that I managed to get some knitting done while soaking up some Vitamin D and listening to my book. Not a bad way to spend an hour on a Saturday afternoon. My next step on this will be to close off the band at the neck join. Those two bits are on provisionally cast on and they need to be joined as if that’s one piece. Once I have done that, I’ll be able to get an idea of length. I’m concerned that I won’t get through all the colours as I’m still managing 6 rows with each of the little balls. I still have several more stitches to increase before I get to the bottom and I think there may be one more six-row colour left. These are the colours I’d like to get onto this and there are still a couple more.
As I was heading up to Sydney for the weekend, I only packed easy knits. One of those was my Black and White top (not on Ravelry). I managed to get a good 20-odd cm done and changed to white. My top is navy and white, as shown. The yarn, Brisa, is a 60% mercerised cotton/40% viscose mix which makes it very slippery. It slides off the ball and twists, as I have shown below – quite frustrating, but it will feel lovely when I get to wear it. The intarsia will start when I get onto the front panel.
Easy projects always include socks and I got these ones into the cuff while watching some old Gilmore Girls episodes. I’m working a 1×1 normal rib and have about 8 rounds left to go. I’m looking forward to getting onto the afterthought heel and seeing how it looks with the self-striping yarn.
This week I did not manage any crochet, sewing, dyeing, patchwork or stitching but I’ll be home all weekend next week and hope to get onto some of each. And no acquisitions have arrived though there may be one or two in transit.
While I’m sewing, and at other times like driving, doing housework, etc, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts. I belong to Audible and get all my books there as there’s no time to read real books. I just finished listening to In the Woods by Tana French. It certainly kept me listening but after about mid-way it was increasingly harder to “put down”, so to speak. In the end, everything else went by the wayside till I got to the last word. I’m now onto Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly. It’s the latest Harry Bosch book and I love that series. The narrator is the same for all the books which makes it like listening to a friend. I hate when they change mid-series; I actually stopped listening to one series because of that – many years ago now.
My entertainment when knitting is usually video podcasts or Netflix/Foxtel. I’m currently watching The Honourable Woman on Netflix and Outlander on Foxtel. Re podcasts, I am subscribed to so many but my Wednesday evening entertainment is Dunderknit and, on Thursdays, it’s the Stranded podcast, as that’s when they are uploaded. The rest I work my way through during the week. I love getting to see what everyone is making and often add things to my list.
I have several audio podcasts that I follow and I’ll touch on these in separate blogs. Highest on my list at the moment is the Happier podcast by Gretchen Ruben. It’s such an up-lifting podcast which I’d recommend to anyone and everyone. It’s up to Episode 197 at the moment but I started at No.1 (which I highly recommend) and I’m only up to Episode 39 from November 2015. I’m working my way through quite happily, no pun intended!
Yes, that is a totally made up word and I can’t think of a better one for my version of Vlogmas. Nearly all my knitting/fibre podcasters have started a Vlogmas and will be sharing a short video each day for the whole of December. I had a think about how I could participate in a similar way and I have decided that I’ll do a Picmas for December, adding a photo a day to my blog each week. To draw a line in the sand, as I do with the rest of the blog I’ll do Sunday to Saturday each week and that means this week there’s only 1 day to show. I have participated in Photo a Day on facebook before but this is different, showing what I’ve been up to, not trying to fit a random word into my day. This is the night view from my daughter and son-in-law’s place in Sydney showing the lights of the city and the fireworks. The sky was fully dark but has come up looking very light.
Well, that’s probably enough babble for this week. Until next week, may your end of year planning go easy on you and you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!