Tuesday, 23 December 2008

And Festive shopping

I did quite a lot of my festive shopping in Wiveliscombe, a small town about four miles away. I know the town very well, having gone to school there.We also lived there for some years. There is a butchers, the award-winning Thorne's. A smart restaurant, No.10. The usual Post office, Bank, newsagent, hairdressers (2), chemist, etc. A new shop, bridal wear 'Aisle Altar Hymn'. (yes, really). And one of my favourite shops, The Carousel Pig. It has to be visited to be believed. Stuffed full of an amazing selection of things. Alison, the owner, always does a magical christmas window.
Look carefully at the photo...can you see the sleeping Fox Princess? (Click on picture to enlarge.)

Festive Baking and Knitting

So, where did most of December go? I seem to have been permanently at work or cleaning. Somewhere in between, I have managed to bake four Dundee cakes, to give as gifts, and knit. I made this neck warmer in aranweight Merino, for my Mother. The second one is in a graduated dye Merino. The pattern is called Ellen, from Pneumafox.blogspot.com (Thank you, celtic memory).Very easy, I made each one in a couple of evenings. Can't remember where I got the yarns, though. Stash. Buttons from Hayes Wools.
As you see, I finished the Red Beret for Jen. Again, it only took a couple of evenings. You can see the lovely Gothic Arches pattern more clearly in the second beret, which is in pure wool, colour crocus, from Coldharbour Mill. This one is for Sarah, a goddaughter. The pattern is Spring Beret by Natalie Larson (strandsofme.blogspot).
And the last hat is one I made up as I went along. It is for a dear three year old, who has taken a fancy to Lamb-like things. The yarn is 90% wool, and is an amazing £1 per 50gram ball. (special purchase at Hayes wools).It is called Loop the Loop.
60 stitches on 6mm needles, garter stitch for six rows. Change to 7mm needles, garter stitch to required length (appx six inches.) Cast off. Sew sides together (to make a tube) then sew across the top, with side seam at centre back.
Turn the bottom inch or so up, to make a cuff, if you wish.
I think I really have finished my festive knitting, now.

The Midwinter Festival

Today is Midwinter Day, usually called Yule. It is the exact opposite of Midsummer Day.These two important days are celebrated, along with Imbolc (first day of Spring), Beltane (May Day, first day of Summer), Lughnasad (Harvest, first day of Autumn), and Samhaine (first day of Winter, and the end, and beginning,of the year). These very old Feasts pre-date the solstice- and- equinox tradition, which is a southern European import. I have no proof, but suspect it came with the Romans, as so many things did.
The most potent symbol, from those far-off days, still takes a central role in our modern celebrations, even though the celebration itself has been subdued and altered.
The Golden Bough.
Whatever your beliefs, I wish you
A Peaceful Heart
A Joyful Home
A Safe and Healthy 2009

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Cold Cat

I have been on leave, this week, and what a beautiful week to take! It has been really cold, really frosty, and absolutely fabulous weather.
Babur says 'What are we doing out here? Let's go back in by the fire!'

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Cold and Frosty.

The min/max thermometer by the back door was registering minus five, this morning. The sky, last night, was sparkling with the cold. Moments like these, make all the rain we have had pale in significance. Best beloved and I raced around the garden, this morning,trying to capture the beauty in the cameras, before the frost melted in the sun.