Monthly Archives: December 2008

finished project: Alex’s BMP Knucks

Pattern: Knucks fingerless gloves pattern, combined with BMP sock pattern, both published on

Yarn: Charcoal: Rowan RYC Extra Fine Merino DK; white and green: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK

Needles: 3.5mm

Notes: These gloves were inspired by (by which I mean shamelessly copied from!) Turtlegirl’s. They were fun, easy and quick to make, despite having a gazillion loose ends to sew in afterwards!

Alex wanted me to make him a pair of BMP socks when that pattern came out, but I never got around to them. This year he asked for some fingerless gloves, so these seemed like a perfect solution. Luckily he loves them!

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on our holidays we are…

… baking bread …

…for lunch with soup …

… doing a puzzle …

… walking the dog …

… while wearing new gloves

… playing PS3 games (while wearing new socks) …

… playing guitar …

… and knitting, watching old movies and The Muppets …

Whatever you are doing, I hope you are having/have had a good holiday break!

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the shape of Christmas

I was feeling a little sad at the weekend, having had to cancel yet another of our Christmas social fixtures due to the flu that Steve and I were fighting off.

My wise friend Cath said, ‘You know, sometimes Christmas just isn’t the shape that you want it to be, or think it ought to be. It’s still Christmas though, and it will still be lovely in the end. It’s just a differently-shaped kind of Christmas, that’s all.’

So, we are ensconced in our cottage, with a wood fire permanently lit, the tree up and decorated, the stockings hanging over the fireplace, the Christmas knitting (very almost!) finished and the presents (mostly) wrapped. We have decided not to go on our sunny new year holiday, but to stay wrapped up here instead. It’s warm and cosy and relaxing, and just what we need right now.

Whatever shape this time of year is for you, I wish you all the best for it and hope you have a good break.

Merry Christmas!

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finished object: diagonal cross-rib socks

These are Steve’s (non-secret!) Christmas present, modelled by Alex. I hope he likes them! Here are the details:

Pattern: Diagonal Cross-Rib Socks, by Ann Budd, in Favourite Socks

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, in colourway Stonechat

Needles: 3.25mm and 2.75mm

Modifications: I added woolly nylon to the heels to make them more sturdy. Other than that, I followed the pattern exactly.

What I learned: How to do the Old Norwegian cast-on. This was fiddly to learn, but is a pleasingly stretchy and unobtrusive cast on.

Notes: I found it quite hard choosing a pattern for this yarn. I’m not really a fan of variegated yarn –  I’m such a control freak that the unpredictability of the colour combinations makes me go a bit wobbly! I also dislike how multi-coloured yarns tend to obscure many stitch patterns, and yet how without any stitch pattern there is even less chance of controlling what the colours may choose to do.

I chose this yarn because the colours are so beautiful, and they are also the colours that Steve wears often, so I could be pretty confident that he would like it. And in the end, I think the simplicity of the stitch pattern works reasonably well with the Malabrigo.

As it has turned out, I don’t mind the stripes that have emerged too much. But there are elements to the colour patterns that the perfectionist in me would rather not have. If you look at the bottom photo, you can see that the stripes at the top of the sock are quite narrow; they get broader further down the leg and are broader still on the foot.

This is because the top of the sock is worked in larger needles to accommodate manly calves. After a few inches you change to the smaller needle. The slightly smaller circumference is what causes the broader stripe. Then on the foot, the circumference is smaller again, as the cable pattern takes up more yarn than stocking stitch in which the underside of the foot is worked.

However, moaning and control-freakery aside, I adore the Malabrigo sock yarn. Over the Christmas break I plan to finish off my Lacy Cable Stockings (also in Malabrigo) so that I have them ready to wear in the New Year.

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advent calender

I mentioned recently that our advent calender comprises a series of mini-books, that each day tell a little more of the Nativity story. The calender is held together with sellotape, and the books are showing their age. But this is kind of the point of it. By telling this story together over meals, day in and out, year in and out, we have developed a comfortable familiarity with the story, the books, and the period of Advent.

Nowadays, it is true, my boys have developed the skill of dripping irony with every word to something of an art form. And yet, while I am sure they would not turn down a chocolate-filled calender if one were to be offered to them, it is touching that they still enjoy continuing with this tradition of ours.

Thank you all so much for your well-wishes. I’m not at death’s door or anything, just languishing in bed with a temperature and a sore throat. Steve is too, and we’re taking it in turns to make the tea…

Quick knitting note: I finally finished Steve’s socks this evening – just one each of Will’s socks and Alex’s BMP Knucks to go! I’ll post photos soon…

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