Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Baby, it's Cold Outside

The temperatures dropped quite suddenly and it's been a challenging week here as our boiler chose to start giving up on us last Tuesday. This has meant no central heating or hot water for six days! Of course, if it was going to happen, it was just our luck for it to coincide with the coldest week of the year. I was initially quite upbeat about our predicament, we were going back to being 'old style' - lots of blankets on the beds, Lily getting washed and dressed in front of the fire, boiling the kettle for water to wash the pots etc. but as the days dragged on I found my resilience begin to wane.
Thankfully, as of this afternoon we are up and running again and I'm hoping my festive spirit will slowly return along with the feeling in my fingers and toes.
Last Sunday we went walking (possibly in an attempt to keep warm). Just a gentle pootle down by the pond and through the woods. We haven't had any snow on the lower ground here but everything looked lovely following a heavy frost. I've also discovered Lily likes frozen puddles just as much as wet ones, and as a bonus they don't end up with her (or me) splattered with muddy water.
Most of our Christmas decorations are out now and, as promised, here are a few photographs. I'm mindful to use child and cat friendly decorations as much as possible, although so far everything has been left untouched save for some re-arranging of the baubles on the tree (Lily!). The chocolate filled advent stockings are hung safely out of reach above the fireplace.
I'm loving having a real tree once again this year and I made use of some of the straggly lower branches to create a simple wreath for the front door. I carefully added some sprigs of holly from the garden along with some frosted decorations for a bit of colour.
J. X


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

December weekend

I can't quite think we're almost a week into December already, and following a hectic couple of weeks, I intend to slow right down and take time to enjoy this magical season. The weather has turned very cold here and we have woken to many frosty mornings, which all helps with getting in the festive mood.
The excitement is gradually building in our house, and last weekend Lily just couldn't wait for us to go in search of our Christmas tree. We went to a local garden nursery and were almost spoiled for choice. We had great fun choosing one and bringing it home in the van. I hope it's going to become a new tradition for us as a family and I'm so happy to be back to having a real tree once again. So far Mog has left it well alone. Let's hope it lasts.
The advent stockings I made are now hung above the mantel and Lily looks forward to her chocolate coin inside each one every morning. My lovely friend also treated Lily to a book advent calendar this year so she unwraps a new book every evening and we read it together at bedtime. It's a really precious time for us both. 

On Sunday I had every intention of baking some Christmas cookies, but the day was too good to be spent indoors and we went out walking. There were some beautiful views and while we sat on a bench for a short rest I heard Lily say 'This is the life'. I sometimes think she is four going on sixty four! I know what she meant though, because even though we were still suffering with some horrible coughs and colds, it was a really lovely day out.
In the evening we decorated our tree and over the next few days I will add the finishing touches to the house, which I will share with you towards the end of the week. I do love to see how other people decorate their houses for Christmas don't you?
And, if I'm really lucky, I might even get around to finally baking those cookies!
J. X

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Cosy v-stitch blanket

On this cold and icy morning I thought I would take a moment and share with you my v-stitch blanket which I finally finished this week. Although I say 'finally,' it has probably been the easiest and fastest blanket I have worked so far. I had never tried working the v-stitch before so I am really quite happy with how it turned out.
The yarn I used is a wool/acrylic blend which is a perfect compromise for me as it makes for a very cosy blanket and yet can be thrown in the washing machine with little worry.
Instead of a border I finished it off with some fringing.

The finished blanket measures 100x135cm and I used DK yarn and a 4mm hook.
I made my foundation chain with 154 stitches. 
Work 1treble, 1chain, 1treble into the 4th chain from the hook. Skip two stitches then repeat until the end of the row, finishing with 1treble into the last stitch. Break yarn.
Join the contrasting yarn at the start of the row, chain three then work across the row working 1treble, 1chain, 1treble into the gaps created by the V's in the previous row. I worked 151 rows altogether.

The 'arty' shot........

and the out-take........

I give up!

J. X