Hi friends! Welcome to the final blog for 2019. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas week. For me, this week has been a bit of a whirlwind spent with wonderful friends and family. On Monday, we had our regular fortnightly catch up breakfast. I had intended to ride over to Huskisson as I normally do but the smoke from the fires was so thick it was difficult to breathe just putting out the garbage. The fires are still burning in the areas around us.
The rest of Monday and also Tuesday were spent baking. All my present wrapping was complete so I decided I would make a Gingerbread House. Except that I don’t like gingerbread so when I saw Marilisa from A Girl Meets Yarn podcast making one with a chocolate sugar cookies recipe, that was the perfect solution. It was a lot of fun making this but it sure doesn’t take 5 minutes! I also made a Zuppa Inglese which is a fabulous recipe from the Woman’s Weekly Italian Cookbook. I have been making that recipe probably twice a year for the past 20 years!
Wednesday was Christmas Day and we had a wonderful time with our daughter in law’s family. There was a lot of fun and food to enjoy! I was amazed at how well the gingerbread house stayed together, surviving a 1.5 hour drive without anything dislodging. It was still standing even when nearly half the walls were taken out. You can see the creamy Zuppa in the photo below along with a yummy plum pudding and custard.
On Thursday, Robert and I took advantage of the Boxing Day sales on our way home from Wollongong. As expected, the shopping centre was crazy with others doing the same thing. We didn’t spend a lot of time there but we came away with a couple of bargains. All the kids arrived on Friday and we’ve been having a wonderful time, with Miss Evie stealing all the attention. There’s still some smoke around but it’s mostly high up. You can tell from the yellow hue on the photos, and the sun always looks red/orange. There was a strong north-easterly wind yesterday so we went to Moona Moona Creek for a paddle. That was followed by a quick visit to the Jervis Bay Brewery.
I’ve had much less time for crafting this week and the time has been spent on the same things as last week. I managed to finish the socks for my son in law and we have measured them for placement of the heel. I’ll be cutting into them for the afterthought heel today! So far they fit OK as tubes but will be much better once the heels are in.
I also finished the second golf club cover and made pom-poms for each of them. I made my own template for the pom-poms and it was hard deciding on the size to get them big enough and I think the centre hole was probably a bit bigger than I needed. I’ll need to get myself a set of those pom-pom makers if I’m going to be making more. I had trouble cutting the yarn between the cardboard templates as the yarn wanted to fall into the hole that wasn’t very full. I think they look OK though, and I’ve worked out the sizing of these club covers now if I need to make more.
The Outline scarf is ongoing but I never did get caught up. You can see in the photo that I’m knitting day 21, about to add day 22. Once the afterthought heels are done today I will work on finishing this off.
Day 25 included a wonderful surprise of extra gifts. There was a full cake of Willow and the Wisp‘s Hand Dyed Slub yarn, 90% superwash merino/10% nylon, along with some great little stitch markers and a crystal! The slub yarn doesn’t have a colour name but it has lots of different colours, including mint, turquoise, magenta, blue and lots of others. I’ll have to show how it knits up. I wonder if that yarn is suitable for socks? It may be a bit too textured.
This year I didn’t do a Christmas Eve cast-on. I had my hands full with these Christmas knits and no desire to get further behind with them. I do have plans to do a New Year’s Eve cast-on, which is a tradition of mine lately. Reviewing this year’s Make9, I managed to finish five of the projects and I am working through the sixth one. With the others, I think I’ll do the Sevrine cardigan by Vanessa Smith instead of the Boothbay cardigan by Hannah Fettig and the Mori cardigan instead of the Kagerou top, both by michiyo in the Hikari Collection. I still think I’ll make the Carbeth cardigan by Kate Davies. I have the yarn for all of these. I don’t think I’ll do a Make9 for 2020 – instead, I’m planning on using stash for both yarn and patterns. I’m obviously not going to limit myself to that if something shiny and new pops up that I just have to make but I want to cut down on stash as I love what I have and want to use it. I also want to finish the WIPs that I have waiting patiently. Not just the ones I abandoned for Christmas knits but there are a few that I want to finish that have been there longer.
The main acquisition this week was receiving a tensioned Lazy Kate for Christmas! I had put it on my wish list and that wish was granted. Of course, I got other wonderful things for Christmas but this was the only crafty one. I was also given some yarn to make something for Evie so that could well be the New Year’s Eve cast on if I can decide what to make. I put my Lazy Kate together and it’s ready for me to use once the visits have left. I have a chain ply started but I don’t want to hassle with it when there are so many wonderful distractions at the moment, spending time with all the kids.
I did manage to watch the remaining Vlogmases but have not had much opportunity to do anything else. I have started a new book, The Godmother by Hannelore Cayre, translated by Stephanie Smee. Originally written in French, this novel won the European Crime Fiction prize and was well received by Leigh Sales and Annabelle Crabbe from the Chat 10 Looks 3 podcast. I have barely started it so I can’t make any judgement but I’m looking forward to getting into it further.
I’m hoping the fires will die down and give some relief to the affected areas and all the volunteer firefighters that have been hard at work for several weeks now. It’s such a sad state of affairs and many families have suffered so much this Christmas.
There are no plans for New Year’s Eve at this point so it might be a quiet night at home. We’ll see what happens in that arena. And the week ahead is looking to be quiet also, apart from packing up the house. I’m hoping to get some beach time in amongst the packing. It hasn’t been the best for the beach in the past week or so.
Now it’s time for me to cut open those socks. I’d like to wish everyone a wonderful end of 2019! So, until next week and into the new year, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!