And out the other side…

Wow. Well, after that last post, the snow didn’t exactly let up, and the ensuing festive chaos kept me fairly well occupied – once I’d reassured myself that all the gifts for the girls were sorted (it was touch and go for a while, with all the postal delays), and we had enough food to stay indoors till February if necessary, I did manage to relax a little into the festivities.. and then everyone caught the flu. Other half and daughters had all succumbed by Christmas Day, I managed to hang on in there until New Year’s Eve, but bleurgh.

Still, the unusually low temperatures brought lots of wildlife into the garden, which always cheers me up – and when all you feel like doing is sitting on the sofa staring vaguely out of the window, it’s nice to have something to look at.

This is possibly my favourite photo from christmas –

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I feel very fortunate to be able to take photos like this from the comfort – and warmth – of my living room.

Severe weather always brings the roe deer down into our gardens, it’s such a treat. We’ve also had the usual birdy visitors, several squirrels, plus the slightly more unusual long-tailed tits, woodpecker, and new for this year, bullfinches, bramblings and siskins (I put nyjer seed out along with the usual food this year, which is what attracted the siskins, I think – there’s one sitting out there on the feeder right now in the middle of a hail shower, so they must really like them).

Aside from gazing out of the window… I finished the other half’s hat, dug out my car several times, got carried away with all the festive food (I used my new hand mincer to make terrine! and sausagemeat! which amused me far more than is probably normal), and I did a bit of christmas knitting. No spinning, though.

It’s been gloomy and rainy here for most of the day, but the clouds lifted earlier so I took a few snaps. The ‘christmas’ knits have still not reached their destinations – the postal madness meant that even had half the yarn arrived in time to be knit for the last post, the last post didn’t have a chance of getting them there anyway… so I’ve been taking my time over finishing them (which is lucky as it’s hard to knit when you’ve got a flued-up and miserable three-year-old camped out on your lap).

I was planning to take them down the road to my family myself this week, but continued lurgy means that’s not happening now either – I’ve got the last sock to finish, then they all need the ends weaving in, and a quick handwash – and then I think I’ll post them down while they’ll still be some use in the chilly weather. Here they are, anyway –

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They’re all toe-up short row socks knit using Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up Sock pattern (the only pattern I’ve ever knit socks with – I’m not a big sock fan, but that was what people wanted, so that’s what I’ve knit). From top to bottom, the grey pair are for my brother, knit from Jaeger Matchmaker Merino Aran leftovers; then there’s a pair for my dad, knit with some natural BFL aran bought from the bluefaced.com man on ebay several years ago; the blue/yellow ones are for my sister, who is a big fan of Valentino Rossi (though apparently, his new Ducati colour is red, but that’s just typical); and the one sock at the front in Jamaican colours is for my brother in law, who was rather taken with the pair I knit for his dad – the other one’s still on the needles, hopefully not for much longer! Both these and my sister’s socks were knit from King Cole Merino Blend DK, bought from Texere Yarns.

Here’s a close up of the socks for my sis – quite pleased with the stranded knitting I did for them, a first for me as I’ve only previously knit stranded flat. Juggling the float tension – particularly when they need to be able to stretch over a heel – proved ‘exciting’, shall we say?

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As soon as that last sock is done, I have another pattern project to undertake. Preliminary numbers and construction ideas are rolling about in my head, and the yarn was delivered yesterday –

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Cygnet Grousemoor Aran, 400 grams a ball, again from Texere… yep, another clava. Watch this space!

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