Wednesday, 28 December 2011

In which there is peace and quiet

The kids are out at soft-play with their grandma, my Beloved has a bit of a cold and has gone back to bed, one cat is asleep (looking like a tortoiseshell-and-white cushion), the other is gazing out of the window at the horizontal rain, and I'm peaceably blogging. The weather has been wet and windy and for the last few days we've been more or less stuck inside so it's nice to effectively have the house to myself for a little while. Lovely and cosy though it's been, peace and quiet has been in shortish supply, although thankfully there were no Annoying Toys That Make Noises this year - we seem to be past that stage!

So here's what I've been up to!

My elderberry/onion-skin dye from just before Christmas turned out like this:

Photo taken on Christmas Day - there's dedication to natural dyeing for you!

I'm very pleased with the colour, a very subtle reddish-brown. I don't know if the elderberry (if that's what it was - may have been blackberry come to think of it) made much difference but it was certainly worth chucking it in, rather than out if you see what I mean!

The run-up to the festive season was all about secretive knitting - first a forum Secret Santa present for my friend CJ:

They're based on the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern that I like so much, with a few tweaks. The wool is St. Magnus DK by Orkney Angora, which is like cuddling a kitten! I made the cuff with a split in it and added a wrap around tab in a contrast colour (done on smaller needles for finer stitches) with a button - non-functional, it's just sewn on because I thought a button on a cuff would never stay done up! The buttons are by Susan Sharpe of Susan Sharpe Ceramics and just couldn't be more right for this project! Aren't they gorgeous? I bought a set of three and kept the third for myself - I have a plan for another hat-with-a-button. We had a sort of unofficial aiming-for-handmade theme to our Secret Santa swap this year, so, quite apart from the fact that they're just lovely buttons, it was nice to get them from a small-scale seller rather than an anonymous haberdashery department.

CJ is very creative and artistic so it was fun trying to create something special for her - she seems to like it anyway!

And there's the traditional Ooops-didn't-quite-finish-in-time-for-Christmas project - this year it was fingerless mitts for my brother:

The pattern is Coler by Stephen West and the first one knitted up so quickly that I was sure I'd get them finished way before Christmas. But I didn't count on December! It's not a difficult pattern by any means but the cable section does require a degree of concentration and decent light that I just didn't get enough of in December. So I wrapped up the finished one along with that picture of the second one and I'll finish them off this week - at least with gloves/mitts/socks there is the option of at least giving the completed one!


Sakthi said...

Those mitts are just lovely! I feel like I need to try knitting with angora now... :)

Peeriemoot said...

It can make you sneeze, that's the only problem. It wasn't too bad once I got going but the first few rounds I had to make sure to keep any of the fluff away from my nose and eyes! The end result was worth it though - soooo cuddly!