Hello friends! Welcome to the remnants of 2020. I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday week, however you celebrate. We had a very social build up to Christmas day with a breakfast catch-up to start off Monday. We had family arrive on Monday and also on Tuesday and on Wednesday we went to the local park with Evie. The playground has just been updated and it’s state-of-the-art – well, for what we normally have around here! On Wednesday evening, we had the new neighbours over for a few drinks and it was fun to be on the deck even though it was a bit fresh. Thursday was spent finishing Santa sacks and a Christmas stocking, and then wrapping all the gifts. All the good plans to have it all done early went out the window somewhere along the way! Christmas morning was very special with Evie having a wonderful time, totally surprised by the glorious sight of all the presents left by Santa and given by the family. Finn wasn’t too impressed, happy to sleep through it all but watched the opening of his presents later. We had a few more visitors arrive for lunch which was the usual feast of roast turkey, pork and vegetables with gravy and a beetroot, bean, spinach and fetta salad. Mary brought an awesome leg of ham with a maple glaze. After popping some crackers and telling jokes, which were actually quite funny for a change, and we’d devoured the feast, there was more to come with a flaming plum pudding and a white chocolate cheesecake slice. We had lunch on the deck but it was unfortunately a bit cold which required rugging up somewhat.
My festive cooking happened on Monday and Tuesday and consisted of a large Christmas cake, a pudding and some fruit mince pies. This was all made from the fruit mix that I had put down to soak with some rum. It’s an old Woman’s Weekly recipe that I’ve been using for over twenty years, missing only last year. The different options are wonderful and Robert and I love having them all, though the kids are not too fussed with any. Kim eats a little bit of pudding and Erin likes the fruit mince pies. The boys don’t partake of any, Shaun preferring the cheesecake to anything else and Steven likes the ice-creams. I forgot to take photos of the mince pies.
Today is a beautiful summer day, after several days of mixed weather but mainly cool. The prediction was for 31 degrees Celcius and I don’t think it reached that but it was lovely at Moona Moona Creek this morning with the kids. Evie is not overly enamoured of the water but is getting more used to it each time. Finn spent the whole time asleep in the beach shelter while we paddled in the water
There has been very little knitting action this week with zero knitting for a couple of days. After all the Christmas activities on Thursday, I was able to pick it up again and I’m still a little behind on my 25 stripe socks, currently on stripe number 23. It won’t take much more to catch up but I’ve changed plans a little bit. Because they are so long, my intention is to now make two using afterthought heel and cuff. I had allowed for 24 to be for cuff and 25 for the heel but I will knit them until finished and dye some more yarn for the second toe, and both cuffs and heels. Halfway at 24 isn’t quite long enough for my foot so I’ll add those as stripes before adding the toe.
The focus this week has been mostly on getting Christmas patchwork finished in time for Santa. I think I mentioned that it took considerable deliberation when cutting the pieces to extend Finn’s stocking to be the same size as Evie’s one and I took a leap at sewing them on but the process worked perfectly. I finished the stocking, barring a couple of stitches on the end of the binding and Finn’s name but it was perfect for leaving for Santa this time. I’ll now finish it off properly. Finn can actually fit into his stocking but he looks cute lying on top of it! In comparison, Evie looks big though she’s only little.
The other Christmas project was the two Santa sacks – for Evie and Finnick. I had put together some fabric a couple of weeks ago and now added what was required to finish the sack. On the bottom of each I put some Christmas cat fabric because it’s so cute, adding a couple of inches of more neutral fabric at the bottom. For most of the seams I sewed them at 1/2 inch and I folded them under at each side, stitching down to secure. This sack will be used for a few years to come so I wanted it to hold up to the use. The only seam I didn’t do that with was the cat trim – it was a border fabric so I could only manage a quarter inch between strips. With that, I stitched down each side of the border after adding. I used matching red and green Christmas fabric for the E and F on each sack and some matching fabric as a facing on the opening. I stitched a channel of one inch at the bottom of the inside facing for some cording to cinch in the top of the sack. I still have work to do on these – there is no cording yet and I have to blanket stitch around the E and the F. I’m hoping to get that all finished this week.
Last Sunday night, I did some work on the Superman quilt but it was put aside to get the Christmas projects finished. I have started stippling in the picture blocks. That will continue this week and the intention is to finish it as soon as possible.
As a little side project, I made a little mattress for Evie’s baby cradle. I intend to make more bedding in the next few days. This was just a piece of fabric covering two lengths of wadding. It’s not a thick mattress but it will do the trick.
The only crafting gift I received for Christmas was from Mary who bought me this awesome Sculptural Embroidery Starter Stitch Kit by Meredith Woolnough. Mary and I have taken a class by Meredith and it will be great doing some more. We’re planning a workshop day to work on these!
As a Christmas gift to myself, I purchased two new patterns as they were both 30% off. The first was the Hello Gorgeous Puff Sleeve tee by Pattern Emporium and then I bought the Hope Woven dress by Style Arc. These are both Australian designers and I saw some samples on the Dahlia Sewciety Youtube podcasts – the Hello Gorgeous top and the Hope dress. She made some lovely pieces which inspired me to get the patterns. I’m looking forward to making up some of my patterns in the next few days.
It’s another late post this week as I’ve been busy with family today. I have managed to keep up with most of the few Vlogmasses that I’ve been following while working on these projects but have watched little else. I finished the second Season of Blood on SBS On Demand early in the week and only watched one episode of The Queen’s Gambit yesterday.
It’s almost time for me to go to bed now! I hope the last few days of 2020 are enjoyable for you and I look forward to chatting with you again in the new year. Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!