Nice weather for ptarmigan

A week before Christmas, the weather did this –

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Now, bearing in mind that until 3 years ago I lived in England, I was expecting it all to have melted by Christmas Day, as I can’t actually remember seeing any white Christmasses at all – a few white early Decembers, but generally, Christmas Days in my memory have been clear and sunny.

It didn’t, it stayed – and maybe I’m daft, but it just added a little bit of magic to the whole affair. In the week leading up to Christmas the kids and I watched The Box of Delights – sitting all curled up indoors in front of the tv with the snow coming down outside was a real treat.

Since the snow arrived average temperatures have dropped steadily. While we were away in Aberdeen for Hogmanay the house got so cold that the freezer part of our fridge-freezer defrosted. It’s an issue with fridge-freezers in low temperatures, and I’d heard of it before, but seeing as our kitchen isn’t a garage I wasn’t expecting to come back to soft bread and runny icecream… most of the rest of the food in there hadn’t started to defrost, but we did end up having a few unusual meals at the start of the week.

If there was ever weather to be hunkering down indoors with my knitting, this has got to be it.

Work on the molecules was all done halfway through the third week in December, which while it was longer than I’d hoped, wasn’t too bad – but there was definitely a knock-on effect on the planned Christmas knitting. (And so far, there’s still been no spinning.) FOs that did happen, and hopefully are keeping their recipients toasty warm –

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I managed to get the fingerless gloves finished and in the post in time for Christmas, which I’m really chuffed about. It’s a free pattern from Berroco.com, Ken, with one modification – I only knit the fingers half as long as the pattern suggested, before casting off loosely. It’s a nice straightforward pattern for standard men’s gloves, I’ll definitely use it again. (The yarn is a discontinued one, Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran.)

My dad’s socks made it on and off the needles – I used Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up Sock pattern, knit using aran weight yarn (New Lanark Aran), on 4mm needles. In my haste to get them posted in time for the 25th, this was the only photo I got round to taking (and as it was, the Royal Mail delivered my parcel on the following tuesday).

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The ribbing over the foot was to compensate for the fact that there’s little elasticity in the yarn itself – without that, using the thicker yarn and bigger needles, what I was making was more sack than sock.

I knit a pair of Fetchings for my sister, from Rowan Cashsoft Aran in the Mist colourway –

clearance rowan cashsoft - mist

Er, I suppose you could call this the ‘before’ picture. (And I only used one of those balls – most of the others in that picture became the original Bokaclava.) I didn’t take a photo of them before they were wrapped, but basically they looked like they should’ve done – and only took a total of three hours from start to finish, so they made it into the parcel that theoretically got there for christmas.

Between them, the fingerless gloves, and the really rather impressively cold weather, though, I’m starting to feel a pull towards knitting some serious Folk Mitten type mittens.

The freezing conditions gave me the impetus I’d been missing to finish reseaming elder daughter’s jumper, initially ‘finished’ two years ago (I can’t believe that. Good job I knit plenty of growing room into it, eh?)

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She’s happier with it than she appears to be, honestly. She’s worn it pretty much every day since I put the arms back in, at the start of this week, in fact. It’ll need a wash soon.

Younger daughter got a relatively vanilla, but plenty cosy hat – she was too busy to model it for me, so Pudsey offered to stand in for her –

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I do still have a couple of WIPs. There’s a pair of socks, for my brother-in-law with the size 14 feet, and a pending knit for my brother – currently really just the yarn and the needles sitting there potentially being another pair of Ken gloves. If I’m honest though, I’m not entirely sure what he’d like, and we’re intending visiting down the road in the next couple of weeks so I might just wait and ask him what he’d prefer.

Oh, and there’s the lacy mazy something still on the needles, biding its time.

I’ve no garden news to report, because we’ve not been up to the allotment in over a month – there’s been little point. (I was a tad disappointed about not getting any parsnips for my Christmas dinner, but I’d have needed a pickaxe to get them out of the ground.)

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