19. Twelve Pairs in 2020!!

Hello and welcome to this week’s crafty installment. Ooh, it’s been a busy one this week and I’m so happy it’s the weekend. My brain is well and truly fried. My Rob asks me a question and he’s lucky if I get to the end of the sentence before I’ve forgotten what he asked. He keeps saying, ‘There is a delay on this Zoom call.’

Onto good, positive, delightful things this week, and… I finished my Lola socks!!! Woo hoo! This is incredibly eventful because not only is that me completing my first pair of lacy socks but it also takes me to 12 pairs of finished socks this year and completes my 2020 goal! I’m so pleased!

It’s just a lovely pair of socks to complete my goal on too as this pattern was the official pattern by Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet for Ali of Little Drops of Wonderful’s Strictly Sockalong 2020. Money from each pattern was also being donated by Jooles to Gayna from Tales of Cuckoo Land to raise money for her son’s school’s mini bus. And the loveliest thing of all was watching Gayna’s YouTube update this week when the bus arrived. Such a lovely thing to be a tiny part of with all the other knitters.

So here they are, my finished Lola socks, 12th pair of 2020 in the beautiful yarn from Lay Family Yarns in the colourway ‘Fab-U-Lous’…

I’ve also cast off my Tidings Shawl this week. I’d have to call it a ‘shawlette’ really as I made it a lot smaller than the pattern. I wasn’t really enjoying knitting it because of the colours I chose and every row was beginning to feel like a slog. I gave myself the option of putting it in hibernation until next year or finishing off the second colour to the pattern and adding a few rows of garter stitch and casting off. After much procrastinating and indecisiveness, I went for the second option. I really didn’t think I’d feel any different about it next year. I’m so glad I did. I said last week that Faye had her eye on it but she changed her mind as she’s seen a tartan scarf in Matalan online that she loved, so I treated her to that instead.

I’ve worn my Tidings shawlette on my evening dog walks this week and it’s absolutely perfect for wrapping around my neck and fits inside my coat when I need to pull the hood up against the wind and rain.

This now leaves me with just three items left on my needles to get cast off before the end of December so I can have a casting on party in January! I will also be casting on some Christmas Eve socks but more about that in good time.

I am thoroughly enjoying working on my Zooming socks every morning before I start work. With an hour every morning, I finished sock one in 10 days. I’ve really looked forward to adding to it each day. I’m sharing it daily over on my Instagram stories along with my advent calendar treats.

I haven’t had chance to add any more rows to my Cheering socks this week but hopefully I will over the weekend.

My final knitting WIP has just come out of hibernation and it’s my Elton cardigan. The pattern is by Joji Locatelli and I’m using Drops yarn. I cast this on in January this year and I’m sort of annoyed at myself that I’ve left it in the project bag for so long. In my defence, I seem to have had a bit of a problem with the mohair in the warmer months and it’s only just got cold again now. I’m aiming now to do a stripe a day which is 4 rows, 4 long rows. I know I will start to enjoy knitting on it again once I get back into the swing of it because it is very mindless and that is the perfect kind of project for me at the moment.

Once I had cast off the Lola socks and the Tidings shawl, I turned my main project focus to the Alpine Hoop and I’m making good progress on this now. This is probably famous last words, but I am aiming to get that finished next week.

My craft time has been slightly hampered this week by the recommencement of the crafting community Christmas project which I thought I had finished with. However, they needed volunteers to sew the names onto the crochet stars and no-one was coming forward, so… what was I to do? I have seen it through this far and didn’t want it to fall at the last hurdle. It transpired that the lady doing this lovely stitching perhaps hadn’t considered the size and lots of them didn’t fit onto the stars we had made. Cue more crochet burn on my finger as I attempted to make bigger stars with lots more yarn strands and bigger hooks. I don’t enjoy using big hooks and am very slow because it really makes my hands ache. I had to do this in my craft room on my lunch breaks as even the best puppy probably wouldn’t be able to control himself with lots of yarn balls rolling off in different directions!

I managed to get my quota done and have now delivered all of the stars to the lady (bless her heart) who is constructing the whole thing. It would be much easier to do if we weren’t in Covid times. I imagine we would have all been together at the craft hub listening to Christmas music and eating mince pies. Ah, well!

In all honesty, I have reached the point where I will be glad when this is complete. I know when it’s up, I’ll be really glad I took part. And hopefully, it will make many people feel happy when they see it.

In happier news, I am absolutely loving my progress keepers in my beautiful stitch marker advent calendar by Mrs G Makes. Here is a photo of all the beautiful ones I have opened so far. I think Day 1 is my absolute favourite but I love all of them.

It’s really been a full-on week with highs and lows but I’m just so pleased that I completed a long-term goal and I’m honestly not sure the last time I did that. I usually set goals that are much too much and then can’t complete them or end up talking myself out of them part way through, so this really does feel like such an achievement. My sock mojo is still extremely high, so there will be more!

I hope you are managing to fit in some joyful, crafty moments through these busy weeks. See you next week when we will be getting closer to the big day and, thank goodness, my Christmas holiday break from work! Take care xxx

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