Sunday 21 January 2024

...Christmas and beyond

Christmas 2023 was a bit of a fail from a Making perspective (although it went pretty smoothly in every other respect). I had so many ideas for All the Things that I out-faced myself and ended up in a state of creative paralysis - a Jill of All Trades and Mistress of None! This year I am going to Make a List and Start Early (ho-ho-ho). That way maybe my daughter will actually get her knitted gnome with an assortment of festive hats, my sister will get the carol-singing needle-felted mice, and there will be handmade Christmas tree decorations all round! Sigh...

Christmas Wins:

Debbie Bliss Striped Top for the Gorgeous Grandson, pattern taken from her classic Baby Knits book. My youngest child is 31 this week, which means I've had the book for over 30 years and the patterns are just as timeless and wearable as ever!
A pretty, ruffly 'Rose Smiles' scarf for my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law. This was a last-minute win snatched from the jaws of failure. I actually knitted the scarf in November, basking in the warm glow of my excellent forward thinking, and then forgot all about it until Christmas-Eve-Eve, when I suddenly remembered that it still needed blocking and wrapping to be ready to give her the following day. I was literally weaving in ends whilst it was pinned to the blocking mat, and had to finish the drying process with a hairdryer. It's a minor Christmas Miracle that I managed to snap a couple of hasty photos...
Christmas Fails:

I bought this book in June... 
...and had plans to make cute little needle-felted gingerbread houses (top right hand corner) for EVERYONE. I ended up with just ONE tiny, oddly shaped, pyramid/house ornament/thing that my best friend was kind enough to actually thank me for, although it really didn't merit any gratitude! Thank goodness for the lovely M&S bear-shaped chocolate "hugs" I  was able to sweeten that particular pill with!
I slaved for hours over this mosaic-framed mirror for my Mother-in-Law, and got it all the way to the grouting stage a couple of days before it needed to be wrapped and ready, but my husband had a crisis of confidence about whether she would like it, so we ended up buying her something else. I don't really mind (because I like it myself and am happy to keep it) but it is now languishing in "unfinished object corner", needing the final film of grout to be cleaned and polished from the ceramic pieces. I've completed the bottom right hand corner, and know it will be lovely when it's finished, but the wind of urgency has definitely left my sails. Watch this space... 
Post-Christmas Progress:

New Year, New Projects. Accept the things you cannot change, tomorrow is another day, the past is a foreign country etc., etc. With this in mind, in January (so far) I have made another Debbie Bliss striped top for the GG, because he is knitworthy and beautiful... is my daughter's best friend's baby who has just turned one! He received a classic ribbed birthday hat in shades of blue to match his big blue eyes...
...and my son's best friend has had a baby girl, so she will be receiving this jolly crocheted pram blanket just as soon as I can hook my way through it. All of these projects have been made from stash yarn, which is very pleasing to me, in this traditional season for de-cluttering. It also has to be acknowledged that they have barely made a dent in the yarn mountain, but we're moving in the right direction one baby-step at a time!


  1. Even though things didn't quite turn out the way you planned with Christmas crafting you have still made some lovely things. The scarf is very pretty and no-one needs to know when it was finished. I love the mosaic mirror and would have done the same as you and kept it for myself. The bright coloured baby blanket is beautiful and will make a lovely gift.

    1. Thanks Beverley! You and D did so well with all your Christmas projects, and you've started the New Year with a real flourish too, with your de-cluttering activities and the reading project. Very inspiring! I want a 'work in progress' storage box for my living room now...

  2. Hm, the mirror is interesting, but my gut says tint/wash the grout dark blue...since there is no pattern, your eye isn't drawn to anywhere. I think the pathways of the grout, might be very interesting. If you use paint and don't like it, it can always be changed back. Yes, I had a creative fail, myself for the holidays. I think it is aging and well, sometimes just being tired. Hugs, Sandi

    1. Hi Sandi. I will definitely consider changing the colour of the grout. Funnily enough, I was originally planning to mix blue paint into it, but thought the grey might be ok. Once I clean it up properly I will decide. Just need to re-energise myself to get it done! Tiredness is definitely a factor for me too. Hugs to you too!