Monthly Archives: December 2008


Sorry if you’ve had trouble reading over the last day – I’m in bed with flu and have been tinkering with my site. I wanted it to look fresher and put more emphasis on the photos – I think I’m happy with it now!

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christmas concerts

So, there are some things that I love about this time of year. Yes, it’s manic, no, there’s never enough time to get everything done, yes, I’m panicking over the gift knitting and the gift buying, and stressing out about the cards, and the food, and hoping that no-one gets ill, or if they do, that they get better in time for Christmas…

But then there are the concerts, and these moments are among the ones that remind me that life is precious, and fleeting, and that my beautiful children will only play this piece, here, now, just this once, and I need to concentrate and appreciate it because soon it will be gone. And because I always think thoughts like this when I watch my children perform, I always cry, and have to pretend not to, because they will be embarrassed and I will be panda-eyed. And because I want to concentrate fully on the moment, I never video the concerts, and what photographs I take are hardly worthy of the name; instead they serve as markers in time, reminders that we were there, then, and that piece, that moment, happened.

Every year, Alex busks with his cello group to raise money for charity. When he started, he was one of the little ones at the front wearing the Santa hat or the reindeer antlers. Now he is one of the big ones at the back (to the right of this photo), clad in black and with his floppy fringe covering his face.

The last day of term at my boys’ school is always the end of term concert. This year Will (on the left) and a friend performed the Leonard Cohen song ‘Hallelujah’, and Alex and a friend performed the Tears for Fears song ‘Mad World’. Both songs were beautiful, and yes, both made me cry…

On Saturday (which was also Will’s sixteenth birthday), both boys performed in the musical  The Music Man with their drama group. You might be able to spot Will at the back on the right, with a top hat on, and Alex over on the left, wearing a dark jacket and a straw boater. It was the first time they have performed on stage together, and it was lovely watching them.

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new project: dark ice cowl

In between the Christmas knitting I am managing to sneak in some time to work on my Dark Ice Cowl. I decided to go for this pattern, not the Smoke Ring with Lace Edging as I had originally planned, as the latter would have required some reworking of the pattern, and at the moment all I really want to do is fairly mindless knitting. Life is busy enough at this time of year!

I am using Cherry Hill Suri Lace Alpaca with dark grey beads (hence the name Dark Ice). It’s a little fiddly if I happen to hit a bead row whilst on the train, but other than that, this is a fun, easy pattern to make.

I’m looking forward to spending Christmas week finishing off a couple of projects; after that we are going away for a week over new year, so I may have to plan one or two new projects to take with me for the long plane journeys!

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being yarn, and becoming a project

There’s something special about yarn before it becomes a knitted object, or before it has really even become a work in progress. Don’t you think? In its skeined form, the yarn is pristine, fresh from the spinner or the dyer, and has not yet been turned into a usable, workable ball. It is squishable, and smells fluffy, fresh and, well, yarny.

At this stage, it could become pretty much whatever I want it to be. Well, maybe not my personal ironing service, or chocolate, but apart from that, pretty much whatever I want.

Even if the yarn in question comes as a kit, with a cute pattern, it doesn’t mean that the yarn has to become the kit item. The gorgeous stuff in the photo is Lucia Sock yarn from Posh Yarn. It came as a kit for a sweet pair of Winter Cottage Mittens (Ravelry link) which I am tempted to make. But I have been hankering after making a pair of Eunny Jang’s Anemoi Mittens for some time now, so maybe this yarn will turn into some of those…

Still, no need to decide just yet. I’ve got to get the damned dreadful dreary delightful Christmas knitting finished first!

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christmas cards

Some years I make all my Christmas cards; some years I make just some of them. My worst year was the one when I made all the cards, wrote them and then forgot to post them until they were discovered in a pile, after Christmas. As a general rule I would rather give and receive fewer than more cards, but I realise that not everybody feels the same.

So, this week is card-writing week. I must get the ones to other countries sent out soon – knowing that they are hanging over me bothers me enough to cause me stress, and yet not quite enough to make me do them right now. I was touched recently when two of my German cousins told me how much they loved getting my handmade cards – it hadn’t really occured to me that people would even notice; I make them because I enjoy it.

These ones are made with a couple of rubber stamps, waterproof ink, watercolours and a glitter pen. I like the simplicity of the design, and the way that changing the paint and glitter colour can give a really different effect.

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