Post-Christmas ta da!

Happy New Year, everybody šŸ™‚ I hope you all had safe, covid-free Christmases and got all the yarn-y presents you wanted.

I had a more pleasant Christmas Day than I feared I would have, in the few days beforehand. My brother came to stay on the Sunday before Christmas, quite late in the evening, and promptly got a positive lateral flow test the next morning! We decided we hadn’t been in close contact and, since he could drive straight back home without stopping, he would go home, get a PCR test, and we would both proceed to have a solitary Christmas. However, his PCR test came back negative (so weird to be that way around!), as did all his and my subsequent lateral flow tests, so he came back to see me, and we had Christmas as originally planned – including going out to ‘see Mum’ at the burial ground on Christmas morning. It was actually very lovely; there were a number of other people there also clearly doing what we were, making space in the day for grief. There’s a wonderful companionship in actually seeing that others have made that deliberate choice to allow grief into their Christmas.

Brother and me at a local National Trust light trail on Boxing Day.

Afterwards, and after a round of negative lateral flow tests, we popped over to my neighbours for drinks and nibbles. Their three-year-old son knows me well enough that he’s not shy with me at all now, and while the grown-ups chatted, and the neighbours prepped their dinner, I was pulled into first playing marble run and then helping learn how to use the (safety) scissors he’d recently acquired.

Which leads me nicely into showing off my October/November/December Christmas present projects šŸ˜€

I made this hat and mittens for said three-year-old, with Stylecraft Wondersoft Merry Go Round DK in ‘Seaside Rock’, and a 4.5mm hook. The hat pattern is the ‘Easy Ribbed Hat’ pattern by Diana Wilks, and the mittens are ‘yin and yang mittens’ by Suzanne Steiger. Both are free and very easy to follow.

I deliberately sized up a bit, because kids grow – the hat possibly won’t last months and months, though it has stretch in it, but the mittens were definitely a hit šŸ˜€

Speaking of hats, I made several this year as presents.

These two were made from Ardalanish Natural Aran yarn, using a 6mm hook for both. I had three balls in total, and I think I used about 1.8 skeins for the cabled hat on the left, and the remainder for the other hat. The cabled hat is ‘Thick Warm Crocheted Winter Hat’ by Lisa Naskrent, and the other is ‘The Superior Beanie’ by Heather J Anderson – both free patterns. The cabled hat took a couple of rows to get the pattern set into my head, but once it was there, it was very straightforward šŸ™‚

The final hat I made was this one, using a pattern I’ve used before – the ‘Oakley Slouch’ by Rebecca Langford. I used a 4mm hook and Stylecraft Head Over Heels in one of the special Christmas colourways, ‘Cupid’.

This came in a special festive pack with three other balls of sock yarn, all of which I used in Christmassy projects.

I used two balls held together for this gorgeous Christmas bunting for myself – ‘Comet’ and ‘Rudolph’. The pattern is ‘Rett’s Flower Bunting’ by Loretta Grayson, and I used a 5mm hook. I love this so much, I had it hanging from the banisters all Christmas. The ‘Comet’ colourway has a glittery strand running through it that makes the whole thing sparkle and shine šŸ˜€

I used the final ball, ‘Vixen’, for these two stockings. The pattern is ‘Noelle Santa Stocking’ by Trudy Stephens, and I used a 3.5mm hook. Each of these was stuffed with little beauty products – manicure set, nail polish, etc – for the eldest daughters of my two carers. I know them both very well, and I thought putting little bits in a stocking would appeal to the cross-grained nature of adolescence – old enough to want and be grown-up in many ways, but young enough to still be happily childish at times!

And with the last little bit of the ‘Vixen’, I made this little bag, mostly because it gave me more of a chance to practice my tunisian crochet šŸ˜€ this is the ‘Taryn Soap Cozy (or Small Gift Bag) pattern by Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots. I used a 5.5mm hook, and put a gorgeous hot chocolate kit into it for another daughter of one of my carers (from Maple Molly’s on etsy – they’re so cute and work perfectly every time!)

Aaaand there’s several more projects as well, mostly small, but for the sake of your time and my energy, I’m going to leave it here for today and bring you part two in a few days šŸ˜€

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