Well, I've been blobbing around doing the whole Christmas/family thing of course! We went to Napier on the afternoon of the 22nd December, arrived back in Wellington the evening of January 5th with an extra. Extra went home on Sunday morning, and I've only just started to get some normality back into my days. Well, as much normality as possible for moi! So, lots to catch up on! Where to start? Hmm, we'll start with the bad stuff...
Sadly, this has fallen by the wayside. Like, the way way over there side. I've been for one run since Christmas. Just one. How sad is that? But I fully intend to get back into it, probably once the boys are back at school. I may manage a run or two before that (if my body hasn't forgotten how to do it) but I'm not promising anything.
I did it! I managed to finish all my Christmas knit projects with a little time to spare. I didn't get the extras done, but I'm sure my family will survive without their cheesy knitted dishcloths. Anyway, there's always next Christmas ;-)
So my final project was this:
My mum's socks. Yes mum, you will notice that that is your mat on your lounge floor. I finished knitting the toes at your place while you were at work, photographed them, wrapped them, and snuck them under the tree. So there really was only a little time to spare.
Once the Christmas knits were out of the way, I started on something for myself. It's something I've been wanting to knit for a while just because the yarn was so yummy and soft. It's a 50/50 merino silk blend worsted weight yarn, sent to me by a lady called Jo who lives in Canada. It was part of my Harry Potter June 2009 swap package (you may remember, I've mentioned it before). I knit it up into a Noble Cowl, as suggested by Jo. And I absolutely LOVE it! Can't wait for winter when I can wear it!!
I felt a little better after having knit something just for me, and was ready to move on to other projects again. So I have finally started 'KJ's Commission'. My friend KJ bought me three balls of Opal sock yarn in exchange for me knitting her a pair of socks. Patient person that she is, she was prepared to wait until after Christmas for them. So after agonising for days over what pattern I was going to knit for her, finally deciding on one, starting it, screwing it up, restarting, screwing up again, starting for a third time, deciding I didn't like the pattern after all and choosing an entirely different one, I'm now part way through the leg patterns and I think they're coming up okay. The pattern would stand out more in a solid or semi-solid yarn, but the colours are pretty anyway. I hope she likes the end result:
I've also started on the squares for round five of the Ron Weasley blanket swap. Thought I'd better, since the blocks are due to be sent in by 5th February. I'm running out of time - again! This time I've gone with simple yet effective (I think) - diagonal garter stitch blocks. I'm a little over halfway through the first one:
Only 9 1/2 more to go!! :-)
I've got stacks of knitting projects already lined up for this year, so I won't be running out of stuff to do! I forgot to mention in my December posts about the gorgeous third and final instalment of the Needle Food sock club, which arrived early December:
Mmmmmmmmmmm, purple... This colourway is called 'Midnight Feast'. Love it! So that's three pairs of socks waiting to be knit this year, just for me. And wait, there's more...
My favourite roving dyer has become my gourmet yarn source as well. Not only did she send me a link to a lady selling Malabrigo on Trade Me (oh my! I may pass out...), she kindly presented me with a skein of Three Irish Girls sock yarn at knitting group on Sunday.
Isn't it beautiful?!? Needless to say I gushed obscene amounts over this wonderfully gorgeous skein of yarn - at the cafe in the Botanic Gardens - I don't think I got too many odd stares from fellow customers...
So this skein will be waiting for the perfect sock pattern to be stumbled upon before being wound into balls for knitting. For me to purchase this skein myself would cost me around $40, hence, I have never bought any. I just couldn't justify the expense. I guess that's what incredibly generous American friends with American-dwelling family are for, right? Tracee, you rock!!
Other crafty stuff
Shall be getting under way momentarily... I have ordered my much wanted, long awaited special 'thing' from the US, and it is being shipped over at this very moment. I've been waiting for them to arrive in stock since about September (although have wanted one for years before that). This will be a project several years in the making, so don't get too excited. I may post teaser pics occasionally, but only if I feel so inclined (or rather, won't be able to help myself!) but I'm going to try and keep it a surprise until completion. Ha, good luck to me...
Spinning will hopefully get under way, perhaps once the boys have gone back to school. I have my Ashford Traditional wheel back, and Tracee (wonderful woman that she is!) gave me a kilo of fibre so I can get it working again, and get back into the spinning 'groove', before spinning up my pretty hand dyed roving (also from Tracee - seriously, this lady is amazing!)
Hawkes Bay trip
Just a couple of pics to share - Hawkes Bay is such a lovely place (if a little too hot for my liking - 33 degrees!! Ugh!). We spent a day at Waipatiki Beach:
This is the only glimpse you get of the beach on the (approximately) hour-long drive to get there - such a tease! Pretty though, huh.
Deane and I went for a walk one evening up to Otatara Pa, not far from my parents' house. This was the view from the Pa:
::sigh:: Just lovely.
Since we've been back home, we've been to the zoo, to the pools (big water park with slides, bouncy things, waterfalls, etc etc), on the cable car, the Botanic Gardens, and that's about it. Plans for future outings are a little fuzzy at this stage, but there's still the rest of January to go, so no panic :-)
Anyway, this post is getting kinda long, so I should probably stop rambling. More updates to come...