Hello, Woollydaze here…
It has been a holiday of eating, drinking, merry-making and crafting. We have celebrated with friends and family, relaxed and enjoyed the slowing down of time. Whilst the return to real life and work is never welcome, it is necessary. It is the contrast that creates much of the enjoyment and appreciation.
To follow on from where I left off, the snow came. The builder (to put in the wood burning stove) didn’t, and the carpet fitter didn’t. The stoic electrician got a lift in a 4×4 and did turn up, which was appreciated as he was the breaking point for us uninviting all of our guests for New Year. We didn’t want to risk having seven children under the age of six running around the house if there were still bare wires sticking out of the walls rather than sockets, and no lights. So after he had worked his magic, we were able to use the lounge as a dining room with the loan of some trestle tables from the local Methodist chapel. It felt like eating in a school canteen but at least we were able to seat everyone.
And back to the curtains, which are progressing. I’m three-fifths of the way through. I’ve made two roman blinds and one set of curtains, so the office is much more snug. Next on the list is the biiiiiiig curtain for the lounge, but I need the space of the carpeted lounge in order to sew it together.
My sincere thanks to everybody who has helped with this project, including Woollydaze Too who spent Boxing Day sewing finishing touches under the guise of learning to make curtains. Also to the kind friend who came to visit in the week before Christmas and got me started on the making interlined curtains; my enthusiasm had waned after making the blinds and the company and expertise she provided got me going again. Thanks also to Mr Woollydaze and my mother-in-law who have done far more than their fair share of childcare to give me the time I needed. Two hour of naptime sounds like a lot of time, but in the world of curtain-making it can take that long to sew one hem.
I had to take a few days out of the curtain-making schedule to make my Secret Santa present for the New Year gathering. The criteria changes each year and this time it was to spend no money – so Freecycle, regift, , skip diving or reusing something already in the house. I had ideas; bath bombs (needed citric acid); muffin mix (needed tropical fruit mix and a suitable jar); something from the ‘junk’ lying around the farmyard (needed welding skills and lot more time and creativity).
Attempting to stay true to the agreed principles, I decided to raid the wool stash and knit a pair of Fetching and a mobius cowl. I went searching for an aran wool. I found a super-chunky wool already knitted up as a scarf that was in the stash to be frogged. The colours were perfect for this particular friend.
I found a different pattern; Bella’s Mittens. Woollydaze Too ‘persuaded’ me to unwind, wash and hang the wool properly to try and remove the kinks (she’s a wiser, more patient person than me). Ignoring the issue of gauge, I started knitting.
Ouch, ouch, OUCH! 5mm needles plus super-chunky wool plus knitting cables is a painful combination. My gut feeling is that the wool the pattern is originally knitted in is a chunky, not a super chunky. It’s necessary to doubt the wisdom of Ravelry occasionally. I did manage but ended up with plasters covering blisters and was unable to do some of the manoeuvres in the pattern because the wool was just too thick. The finished mittens are certainly sturdy and warm but do not allow for much movement once they are on the hands. There might even have been some cheeky references to ‘oven gloves’.
So that was the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. Despite all this busy-ness, the list of things to make has certainly not got any shorter. Is it supposed to? The day I survey my wool stash and find nothing in it will be a sad, sad day. I’ve finished the next project, but more about that next week. Oh, and Mr Woollydaze has been crafting too, in his own, manly way. That was my Christmas present. I’ll share that one once the installation is done.
Here’s to a happy, crafty 2011.