Friday, 28 December 2007

Christmas Gifts and special purchases

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas... was Santa Claus good to you ?
Well Santa Claus did visit our house - and left some very good presents for the little people who live here (and some for the bigger people too!) . He also managed a minor miracle , in that up to 6.30am on Christmas morning two wee souls were not very well! We had flu and sickness bugs before the big day. But a combination of Santa Claus and Grandma and Grandad visiting seemed to pull them round .
Do you recognise these .... its Dr Who toys ! and yes we watched Dr Who featuring Kylie on Christmas evening (when I took unwell , and no , it wasn't the mulled wine! ) .
Here are little Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy - a BIG favourite , along with Dr Who .
I even received a Knitty gift - my mum knitted me a little short sleeve cardi in Wendy Chic - it went perfectly with my Christmas Day dress. Nice and sparkly ! Unfortunately - I can't get a decent picture - will need to wait until March when the light here gets better !
And here is the sweater for DH - got it finished on time , hurray , and I put a bottle of Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir cologne in with it (gave it a wee spray about before hand - gorgeous spicy , fruity scent!)
My other Knitty gift was a pattern a day calendar - of course I couldn't wait until January the first to look at it , so I've had a wee peek . And guess who submitted the pattern thats on January 1st 2008 - none other than our own Katharine from K1 yarns . Its the felted bucket bag , and only needs 3 balls of Jamiesons Shetland marl , mmmmm , may need to do some substitution as I'm on a yarn diet as of January . Its my first New Year resolution , lets see how long it lasts !
Anyway , its a wee while to New Year (at least 3 days!!) , so I paid a visit to John Lewis,who had a Clearance event (note , not a sale , but a Clearance Event!) , and oh what an event it was , Noro Iroha - Half Price! , Rowan Big Wool - Half Price! , DB Cashmere - Half Price! *Sigh* , I'm beginning to sound like one of those awful television voice-overs for Sofa sale adverts !!
So , I treated myself to some gorgeous Rowan Country , in reds, and the pattern book too .
It was the pattern by Antoni and Allison that caught my eye - take a wee look , the Antoni and Allison pattern is on the right , that beret is gorgeous too . And the other patterns are just as beautiful .
Here are some of the other designs !
Our local church minister was in Cafe Flava on flavaknits night - and admitted to being tempted to take up the needles , a scarf was suggested as a first project , something chunky and plain , but using a beautiful variegated yarn . So she was off to John Lewis the next day to the Clearance Event, to get a Rowan Scarf kit - we'll see if she kept to her word on Sunday!
Jill , our minister , is a Scottish version of the Vicar Of Dibley , petite, plump and vivacious , and a bundle of fun! - the knitting will apparently be some sort of dieting aid , to help stop the night-time nibbles - mmmm , a new slant on knitting! Knit ,n Slim !!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Friday, 21 December 2007

Frosty wind made moan...

Normally , I can see the river from our window , but today freezing fog covers it all. It gets colder and colder all the time , so its wrap up well weather.
And here are some knitterly Christmas gifts before the wrapping - there are still a few more to go , and some are being sewn up as we speak. I finished DH sweater with only two inches of yarn left , so a frantic phone call was made to many sources , and eventually I got some more from John Lewis (with DH being messenger!) The stress!
But its not all been stress - I've been out to a lovely farewell/Christmas event with the Tramwayknits group . Our fellow knitter India, is leaving for Zurich , so we had a little farewell party , along with a knitterly basket . It was a lovely afternoon/evening , and we pulled many a strange look from the other revellers in the hotel , as they passed about twenty women knitting together !
And last night was Flavaknits Christmas evening - a small glass(es) of wine , some cake , Gayles South African Caramel , Secret Knitty Santa , some more wine , and a happy evening was had by all. I think we may have even persuaded young Lewis to sign up for the Weakest Link - more on that later ! And photo's to follow on the gifts (yes I forgot to take my camera!)
Thank You Tash for your comment - thats great that you're going to take up the Pay-it Forward challenge .
I know its difficult to commit to yet more gift giving at this time of year , but it is such a lovely thing to take part in , AND , after seeing Kerries Blog, and having a good think, non-bloggers should join in too. So , in the words of Father Teds' housekeeper , Mrs Doyle , go on go on go on go on (or was it go an go an go an go an - I'm not very good at Irish accents!) all you bloggers and non-bloggers
And I don't want to have to send out this guy - he's mean , don't let the hat or the t-shirt persuade you other wise , look at those teeth!
He's out to do business , not even the fat guy in the red suits going to con him!
Oh well , the tree is decorated , presents wrapped (almost) , there is a smell of pine in the air .
The Christmas stockings are hung by the (gas) fire , awaiting dear old Sinterklaas , Santa Claus , Father Christmas , Pere Noel , Saint Nicholas - well the good guy who brings gifts .
And my Christmas Cacti is flowering - that means.... it must be nearly Christmas .
Footnote :-
And a thought for those whose loved ones are lost in that foggy river above .

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Deck the Halls with boughs of Holly

tra la la la la lala la la!
The Christmas Tree is finally up - or rather purchased from the garden centre , taken home in the (very small) boot of my car , dressed by the kids , fallen over , set back up , and now sitting in the corner looking.... a bit small! However , it was chosen by two small people (my children) who think its wonderful , but it is... still small.
Now I am suffocating under all the Christmas Knitting , so I've decided to rationalise it . A sweater is about to turn into a hat , and some folk are getting bathrobes from Primark instead of scarves! Once I decided to do this, the headaches ceased . And I'm beginning to enjoy Christmas , and the gifts I am actually making . So much so , that I'm looking forward to making some more AFTER Christmas !
And then I saw this at Heathers - Pay It Forward .
The idea is acts of kindness are done without expecting something in return, in the hope that the person/s for whom you do something kind will pass on their own act of kindness. Et ad infinitum !
So ! I will make a Handmade Gift for the first 3 people who leave a comment requesting to join this PIF exhange . Go on - you know you want to !
The handmade gifts will be sent within 6 months - so I'll have plenty of time to get something really glamourous, gorgeous and delectable to you . It will probably be knitted , as my sewing skills are minimum , or it may be baked , or both! The possibilities are endless .
And now I must go and rearrange my furniture to make my small tree look less ..... small - I'm thinking a table !
PS - remember to leave a comment , in the words of Mrs Doyle - go on go on go on go on !

Thursday, 6 December 2007

A Christmas Carol

Listening to Classic FM , they are definitely getting into the Christmas spirit, playing Carols and Christmas Music. They played Christina Rossetti s' "In the Bleak Midwinter" the other day - it always brings a tear to my eye. We were taught the final verse as five year olds in Primary One , and sang it at the Christmas Carol concert (this was before I learned to read!) , so I always find it quite poignant , a link back to my childhood .
Here is Junior jnr re-arranging one of the many Advent Calendars - if you look closely you may see some of the many Christmas toys , along with the usual train sets etc.
Had a wee visit to K1 yarns the other day - and here are some of my purchases - the first is the gorgeous Colinette Iona , isn't that red just so seasonal - its going to become a Christmas gift (*sigh*)
And just look at this Artesano Alpaca Aran - it feels wonderful and knits like a dream - again another present (well two really, I've started the first, a "stripe" scarf , the stripes being made of alternate garter/stocking stitch) .
DHs' Christmas sweater - the photo doesn't do justice to the sheen and texture of this gorgeous yarn - Rowan Cocoon, and a reasonable quick knit since its on 7mm needles . I'm now two thirds done on both sleeves as I'm knitting them together .
And this is a wee sneak preview of another gift I've made - can you guess what it is ? The yarn is Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed , and Limari by Araucania - it was wonderful to knit with, may need to get some more .
I am helping out with the Nativity at the school next week - guess which group I'm overseeing , the SHEEP! Rather appropriate , don't you think .

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Christmas Past and Christmas Presents

Today is the start of Advent - "what is advent ?" I ask the kids, "its when Santa's nearly here!" . " No , no, no! Its the 24 days leading up to when we celebrate the birth of Jesus" - blank look , "yeah, that too mum!" Still , on the first day of advent, I let them take out the Advent Calendars (One religious, One for sweeties with Santa, and one that makes up a Winter Scene in the park - don't ask, its a Playmobil toy basically) , and... the Christmas Toys. These are soft toys or mechanical ones that we have been given over the years, the only one we bought being a Pooh Bear and Tigger on a Sleigh , that sings Jingle Bells when you press their paws . That one was a life saver , as it was the only thing that stopped my colicky baby from crying - we love it!
And the remainder are, one Santa Claus on a Trike with bag (!) , one Dancing Teddy Bear dressed as Santa , various Reindeer (none looking remotely like a real one , which we have seen!) , various teddies with Santa hats/bags etc. and a wee Santa Claus thats actually a book (I think that was me , a wee secret santa gift for Junior). Oh , and nearly forgot the various "Stockings" that have been given - Babys First Christmas , Babys' 7th Christmas and so on and so on .
AND..... , this is before we put up any decorations!
On the gift front , Santa knows what all the family will be buying the kids , and he gives accordingly (Knowing wink ;-) . Unfortunately Santa does it differently in everybody elses' house , oooohh , and on the TV too. "And mummy, is there really a Santa ? , because we saw this film/programme ......" Santa , should really be regulated , just to keep the magic ! I blame Coca - Cola myself .
Now these two skeins are going to become gifts for someone - one is baby camel , and the other is Rowan Biggy Print.
I had to suppress a cough when DH said to wait until Christmas to give him his sweater....*!*.... well yes darling , thats what its for !
Was sitting last night waiting for the Jonathon Ross show , where Hughie FW was supposed to be on , then discovered it was on another channel, an hour later - honestly , meant me having to have another glass of wine or two! lol ! Still, it was worth the wait , as a tipsy Hugh FW outwitted the very naughty Mr Ross.