Monday, 26 December 2016

Christmas Crafts

I hope that everyone who is celebrating the holidays this week is having an enjoyable time of it so far! I managed to have a minor flare of my chronic illness right in time for Christmas, which is just typical. Luckily, as this confined me more or less to my house and sofa, I had some projects to kept me occupied. Here is a very quick roundup:

Gap-tastic Cowl in Universal Yarns Felicity
 1. This cowl I knitted as a gift for my sister-in-law, whose birthday is few days before Christmas. The (novelty) yarn is quite weird in that it's almost like a ribbon, but it actually made up beautifully into this really simple seed stitch cowl. The pattern is the Gap-tastic Cowl, a free pattern that I have used several times before. I ordered the yarn in a last-minute rush, somehow got the quantities totally wrong and ended up with exactly twice as much as I needed. Since my SIL lives in Australia, I might well make a second, identical one for myself as at least we will never get them confused or wear them at the same time!

"Fungus" scarf in Plymouth Yarn Joy Rainbow

2. The last couple of years I've picked out a super-easy scarf project that I could start and finish on Christmas Day, and I did the same this year. This one uses another novelty yarn that makes up into a sort of ruffly scarf thing when you use the "pattern" on the label. I use scare quotes because the pattern is basically doing 6 stitches per row of garter stitch. It took less than two hours to knit from start to finish. My mother said it looked like some kind of fungus or seaweed or something as I was knitting it, and so now in my head it will always be the fungus scarf.

Completed Vervaco "Cheerful Santas" cross-stitch kit
3. Continuing my infatuation with cross-stitch, this insanely adorable little kit I'd bought turned up on December 19th. I felt so rotten at that time I actually more or less stayed in bed sick the following couple of days, and since being in bed is very boring I got started stitching early on the 20th and worked on it quite extensively every day (and mainlined Person Of Interest on Netflix at the same time!). I finished it up this morning, the 27th, exactly 7 days later, which I think was pretty good going. There are a couple of little mistakes in my stitching, but nothing that I think is too obvious. The kit, if you're interested, is Vervaco's Cheerful Santas, and I bought it on Amazon. It's rated Easy, which I think is a fair rating, and there are relatively few colours to juggle. I really loved the extra-large chart that Vervaco supply as well. I was amused to discover that although they are called Santas in the English packaging, in the original language (Vervaco is a Belgian company) they are actually Christmas Gnomes! I know nothing of Belgian Christmas traditions, but their gnomes are cute. I'm going to frame my finished stitching and use it as a Christmas decoration in future years. :D

There are very few days left in the year. I'm going to post my reviews of 2016 this week some time, and I'm also chugging as quickly as I can through the sleeves of my Il Grande Favorito jumper, which has been lurking, sleeveless, in my knitting bag for months now. I've been making myself work on it a bit and I'm actually making pretty good progress -- I'm just a little under halfway through the first sleeve and it really hasn't taken as long as I thought it would. If I am very disciplined I might even get it finished before the start of 2017!

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