20. Race to the Finish Line

Hello! Welcome to the latest crafty weekly round up. At this time of year, I always want to get things finished, so I can start the brand new year on as much of a clean slate as possible. To that end, I am going to be working hard to finish off as many of my outstanding projects as I can. In an ideal world, they would all get done but some are so very far from finishing (Battenberg, Cosmo’s blanket, Faye’s quilt – I’m looking at you three) that they are not even on the agenda.

At the beginning of the week, that left me with six remaining projects still to complete in 2020: the alpine hoop embroidery, the Disney castle cross stitch, the Tilda Santa, two pairs of socks and a cardigan. They were all in various states of progress, but I’m happy to say that I have finished one off that list and worked on all but one of the others.

The finished project for this week is my shaky foray into embroidery. It’s not my best work but I did enjoy making it and this is a skill I want to improve on next year. More about that in January. For now, here is my finished alpine hoop! The pattern was from Love Embroidery magazine. I used threads from stash as I have loads.

I’ve focused my evening knitting time on my Elton cardigan this week and have made good progress. I’ve finished the body so I can pick up the sleeves now. I’m so looking forward to being able to wear it! I had to learn how to do a tubular cast off and although it took ten years to cast off, I am really happy with how it looks and feels. The photos are in no way going to do this justice until it is finished and blocked but, you get the idea…

My advent socks (affectionately known as my Zooming socks due to the colourway name ‘Zooming Home for Christmas’) are very nearly complete. It’s been difficult not to pick these up in the evening to get them finished but I really wanted to just work on them for one hour each morning of advent so that I could visibly track my progress with a daily Instagram stories photo.

It just goes to show that with an hour a day, it’s possible to make a pair of socks in a month. I know everyone has busy lives and finding a whole hour can be difficult but it could be split up too. Starting my morning with some knitting really sets me up for the day.

I will definitely have these finished before 24th December when I’ll be ready to cast on my Chrismas Eve socks. I have chosen to knit the Comet socks in the West Yorkshire Spinners ‘Silent Night’ yarn. This is their Christmas offering for 2020. I’ve also got out a mini skein so I can do the heels with this. I’ve cast on a pair of socks on Christmas Eve for the last two years and I really enjoy it. I start them in the morning and then depending on how many things I still have left to do, I work on them all through the day in between preparation for Christmas Day. I always make sure to book Christmas Eve as holiday so I can really enjoy this relaxing build up.

I would love to get my Cheering socks finished by the end of the year too but if not, it’s no problem. I’ll get there at some point. I have done a few more rows on the first sock this week but nothing photo-worthy again.

I’ve spent 30-45 minutes a day on my Disney castle cross stitch again this week too. I can definitely get this one finished with a bit of daily stitching. I’ve made some progress and it’s really not that far off from being complete now!

I started making the Tilda Santa from a kit in January this year. I’ve had it for a few years and was a bit intimidated to try making it as I haven’t really done much patchwork and I was still scared of my sewing machine at that point! I decided to put it away half finished until I felt Christmassy again. And having done more sewing this year, I feel a bit more capable now. Still very much a nervous beginner but much better than I was which is progress, isn’t it? I haven’t done anything other than get it out of hibernation this week but I would love to get it finished over the weekend.

Here is where I got to in the middle of January:

My last working day is 23rd December and then I have a lovely 11 days off! This year will be strange not to see family for get-togethers, but we have decided to stay home on our own this year, despite the loosening of the guidelines as we still feel that we do not want to put anyone at risk unnecessarily. We are not in a bubble with anyone as everyone we would be in one with has needed to be in one with someone else. This has been absolutely fine for us. Thank goodness for all the wonderful technology we have that allows us to still be in touch with the people we love all of the time. When I’m having a tough day and missing people, I just remind myself that this will pass. One certainty in life is that nothing stays the same. One day this will all be a crazy memory. And each gathering we have in the future will be that bit more special because of this.

I’m very much looking forward to lots of free time to lounge about, watch movies, play board games, go on dog walks, and of course, as much knitting and other crafts as I can fit in. I don’t plan to ‘get things done’ but rather to do what I feel like. If that involves casting on five new projects then so be it! I’m just going to give myself the freedom to choose each day, and that is a true luxury.

This will be my last post before Christmas now, so I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have a lovely break and enjoy your crafting time. I’ll be back here before the year is over for a December round up and to take a look back at my projects of 2020.

See you all soon xxx

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