Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Smiling on the Solstice. . .

I love this day - it's the turning point towards the spring, even though it feels as if there's a lot of winter to get through. Still, even if incrementally, we will have more light!  It makes me feel more optimistic and more creative.  However, it also means there's only three more days to get stuff done before Christmas.  After feeling quite on top of things, I'm now going down to the wire but then isn't that always to be expected?

Top of the list is to get two of my gifts for the Liverpudlian done.  He's often quite hard to buy for and not very articulate about what he wants. One thing he did ask for was a box.  Just that - a box to store his walking instruments - compass, GPS thingy etc - so that he can always find them.  There aren't really a lot of boxes for men available unless it's to put shaving equipment in, so I had to do some thinking about this one.  I went to several outdoor shops but didn't think a waterproof plastic box was very attractive.  So I bought a plain wooden box online from a hobby store and some wood stain and paint.  I blew up a photo of Causey Pike in the Lake District (a favourite walk that he has led) and used it to make a stencil. And I'm actually quite pleased with how it's turned out so far.

I've now stained the top as well and just need to add about three coats of clear gloss varnish.  I can only work on this when he's out of the house, so I may well need to ban him from certain rooms on Christmas Eve. I plan to line the box with some wool felt.

The other gift for him is a pair of socks. I'm using the Lumberjack pattern by Tin Can Knits and was happily knitting away on the second sock when I put it against the first and realised that I'd forgotten to change needle size after the cuff.  AAAAAAGH.

I don't have time to restart, so will finish the smaller sock, hope he sees the funny side of it, have him try on both for comfort, and knit him that second sock after Christmas.  This might be a blessing in disguise as I suspect the smaller one will be the better fit. 

I will have a few free days over the holidays to indulge in some of my own projects.  I've recently cast on Uncia by Lucy Hague - an intricate cable and lace shawl/hap that needs a lot of quiet focus and attention.  I'm using some beautiful, crisp Texel wool from Orkney that will hopefully show off the pattern beautifully. 

And as a great stashbuster, I've just started hooking a rug.  This will no doubt be a multi-year project as I'm aiming for a full-sized rug for the living room.  No real pattern in mind other than to use pops of colour from odd scraps of left-overs and gather my white/cream/grey/beige stash for the background. It's a very relaxing activity once you get a rhythm going and I'm rather pleased with how it's turning out so far.  Basically it's now about the size of a foot.  But it feels great underneath.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading the blog and I hope you all have a wonderful, restful, inspiring holiday season.  Let's put all the darkness of 2016 behind us and hope for the best for 2017.

1 comment:

Shandy said...

Just arrived at your blog from the "Inspired by Islay" thread. We are keen Lake District walkers, although we live in Essex! Love that profile of Causey Pike. I recently finished Uncia. All I can say is "Good Luck."