Christmas is Coming!

Hello! Welcome back to another review of my crafty week. It’s mostly sock knitting this week with a few extras and the start of advent calendar season! I absolutely love the countdown to Christmas and even though it’s very different in lots of ways this year, I’m still counting my blessings and trying to make the most of each day.

This is my first Christmas with a puppy and I was honestly in two minds about decorating the house as usual. He’s a very good boy but he is a boisterous Border Collie and my house is very small! In the end, I decided that he needs to learn right from the start what he can and can’t do in our house, so over the last few weeks I’ve been leaving things around on the floor like the odd bag etc to see what he does (secretly supervised of course!), and I was heartened to see that nothing more than a little investigative sniff occurred!

So, on Sunday (a little earlier than usual), we put up the tree and the Christmas decorations. With boxes everywhere and shiny things being passed around left, right and centre, our little Cosmo was an angel. The only thing he was slightly tempted with were Rob’s Grinch slippers (after all they do look like big fluffy toys!) but once told they weren’t for him, he decided to lie down and watch us from the comfort of his bed. Such a sweetie!

I even managed to get a picture of him in front of the tree (by holding a treat in the air… Tactics!)! We joked that Faye has been replaced for the annual Christmas tree photo, but then she is as tall as it now and happy enough to be usurped by a cheeky pup!

So onto crafting for this week, mostly knitting and mostly socks. I was hoping to have a finished object but with the decorating and the advent preparation, it wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps if I was a one-project-at-a-time knitter, but I’m not! I have still made good progress on the second Lola sock and I’m still really enjoying working it.

I also put in a bit of work on the first of the Cheering socks. This is the fifth Knitvent pattern this year and it’s perfect for me because it’s socks but also a challenge with my first ever cable sock pattern. I have to admit that it has been surprisingly simple and I’m using the most beautiful yarn from Mr and Mrs Rabbit Yarns. It’s a high twist luxury sock yarn in the colourway, ‘Blackberry Stained Pinafores’.

I’ve put a bit more knitting on my Tidings shawl and it’s now about halfway through. I was very excited to reach the colour change. I’m not enjoying this project so much. It’s purely down to the navy colour. The pattern is beautiful and the yarn is lovely too, but it’s just not my colour. I was beginning to wonder about ripping it back until a certain little lady said, ‘Mum, who is that for?’ To which I replied that I wasn’t sure. ‘Ooh, could I have it then, please?’ I’m going to have to watch out, I think, as she’s becoming a bit f a knitting magpie! On this occasion though, I was thrilled as it’s now spurred me on to try to get it finished for Christmas!

The final knitting project is a new cast on for this week. I decided I wanted to start a pair of Advent socks. I dream about having a full box of Christmas socks for every day of December, so 31 pairs. I currently have 4 pairs. So I have a long way to go! This idea is inspired by Amy Florence of Stranded Dyeworks. Each year, I have missed out on her Christmas colourways, so I was on a mission this year to purchase as many as I could. I mean, I’ve been setting actual timers and it has paid off! I have managed to get all but one of her past colourways which are Christmas presents from my lovely husband (more on that later in the month) and I also got my mitts on this year’s Christmas sock set!! I give you ‘Zooming Home for Christmas’ with ‘Christmas Green’:

I wound the yarn and cast on the stitches on the evening of 30th November (a bit sneaky, but you know, my socks, my rules) and have been knitting on them each morning of advent for about an hour. I’m already at the heel flap and I just absolutely love the colour. I’m definitely usually a pastels person, but I love some brights and jewel tones at Christmas. The colours in this sock make me think of 80s Christmases with all the coloured lights and the foil ceiling decorations with used to hang. Ah, memories!

I’ve made a bit of progress on my alpine hoop (pattern from Love Embroidery Magazine). I have been trying to do 20-30 minutes a day on this but I think I’ve only managed about four days! Must try harder to squeeze every last minute out of my free time. I don’t love the snow on the mountains so I might have to go over some of that.

I feel like this post is becoming a bit long and waffly, so I’ll try to keep these last few bits short. I’ve joined in with a read-a-long of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens with Clara Peggoty of the Sheep and Cheerful podcast. I’ve had this book on my shelf since I was a girl and never got around to reading despite the fact that is actually quite a short book. So far, I’ve read and enjoyed the first stave (chapter).

I was so lucky to get my hands on the very last Stitch Marker Advent Calendar by Mrs G Makes. I only have two progress keepers in my collection, so Amanda (aka Mrs G) offered whatever type of clasp I would like and I chose the progress keeper variety. Is it lobster claw? I’m not sure now. So far, I have opened up 4 absolutely beautiful stitch markers. I haven’t managed to take a photo of them in daylight together so I’ll endeavour to do that for next week. Here is a picture of the packaging and the lovely drawstring bag that came in the parcel.

I neglected to mention last week that I had attended a wonderful Zoom Knit and Natter hosted by Claire and Madeleine of Mr and Mrs Rabbit Yarns. I was so nervous as I can be a bit awkward when I don’t know people, but everyone was so nice and we just chatted about knitting and yarn and crochet, and showed some of the things we were making. It was absolutely lovely! Then Claire drew my name out of a raffle at the end and I won this amazing set of yarn minis in the colourways ‘Vintage Christmas Baubles’. Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I don’t usually win things and these colours are just perfect. I felt so lucky!

While going through the Christmas decorations, I was absolutely grateful to past me for finally buying proper stackable, lidded boxes for the decorations but also, I had completely forgotten that last year between Christmas and New Year, I’d used Faye’s Big Shot to prepare some papercuts for card making this year! It was so amazing. All I needed to do was get the glue out and finish them off! I would definitely like to do something similar this year, if not make the cards ready. I still haven’t written them yet, but one step at a time, right?

I think that brings me to the end of my waffle. I hope you too enjoyed a fun-packed festive and creative week. See you next time xx

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