A mish-mash of days

Hello you wonderful readers! I'm sorry for the prolonged absence here - things have been interesting, to say the least. 

I had written a blog post a while ago chatting briefly about some things that have been going on here, but then the blog ate it and it was lost and frankly, I was too tired at that point to try and write it again. Sometimes something just has to give around the holidays and this year it was the blog - sorry about that.

First of all - we're all good. Unfortunately one of our family members isn't but is improving, which is great. My hubby happened to be in Canada for a visit while all this was happening and extended his stay to help out - a relief and comfort on all sides I think, to be able to do something and be there instead of in London and so far away. 

As a result Christmas has been decidedly lower-key this year. Mr. H and I were fortunate enough to travel up to Cambridge to celebrate with our former next-door neighbours from Toronto (they moved to the UK a few months before we did). I'm sure we would have been fine on our own, but it was nice to be thought of, and have company, and spend time with folks who are pretty awesome and damn fine people. 

Of course, in the blurring of days into one an another I thought that today was Friday and so was all set to post some recent holiday FOs but no, it's Saturday. Sigh. But lucky for you all, I've decided that who cares if it isn't FO Friday - I'm going to show you all the recent Christmas present finishes anyway.

First up is the Minion Hat in crochet for Mr. H - who seems delighted to be a Minion!

A Minion hat for Mr. H

A Minion hat for Mr. H

Then there were the bulky slipper socks:

Knit in Malabrigo Rasta in Archangel for Mom

Knit in Malabrigo Rasta in Archangel for Mom

More Malabrigo Rasta - this time in Zaramora for my SIL Jen

More Malabrigo Rasta - this time in Zaramora for my SIL Jen

Customised for Dad in Debbie Bliss Como and with patches found on Etsy!

Customised for Dad in Debbie Bliss Como and with patches found on Etsy!

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of my the finished handspun, handknit hat for my brother but he loved it, which is all I really care about! I'll see if I can get my photographer SIL to snap some pics of him that I can share.

Also sadly, I never did manage to spin that sweater's worth of yarn that I was hoping to so I'll have to find a way to get to that next year. And since 2014 is already looking like it will be "The Year of Epic Projects", it should fit right in! More on that next time.

Christmas knitting - literally

It's been a crazy run leading up to Christmas, and I've been sicker than a dog. We've had hockey and birthday parties and MORE birthday parties and sooner or later something was going to have to give.

The last Saturday before Christmas, December 17th, I had the thought (more than once!) that if I could get through that day, the rest would be easy. We had hockey, then two birthday parties, then my DH had a hair appointment, and then we had a dinner and playdate with our little dude's best buddy and his mom and dad. It was exhausting. But we made it, and I'm not entirely convinced that it wasn't because the little guy and I had some down time at the Purple Purl while waiting for my hubs at his appointment.

It's these stolen moments of down time that has been my knitting time over the last few months and weeks leading up to the holiday. In October, when we planned our trip, I was delighted to find out that my brother Colin and my sister-in-law Jen would be joining us. Yay! Opportunity for more knitted gifts!

For Colin, I decided that the ideal project was one I'd been wanting to do for a while: We Call Them Pirates by Adrian Bizilia. I'm of course, absolutely thrilled that he loves it. Even though he lives in Vancouver it can still get a little chilly. And since Colin shaves his head, a toque is welcome almost any time! My SIL Jen told me on the side later, "that's your brother's new favourite toque".

 

For Jen I had the perfect luxury skein of Indigodragonfly 4-ply cashmere in my stash, in a soft, Monet-like colour called Vancouver Melt. I hunted through Ravelry to find different patterns with stitches evocative of waves and came up wtih the cowl pattern Silk Smoke Ring by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer. 

The original pattern is quite long and I only wanted a small, close-around the neck sort of cowl for Jen, knowing that Vancouver doesn't get quite as cold as the rest of the country. Choosing the medium size, I squeezed 5 pattern repeats (each repeat is 12 rows) out of the skein and used every last drop - finishing with a tiny strand about a foot in length. It's scrummy and delicious and I'm so glad it's gone to a good home!

I also did some Christmas crocheting - finishing off a scarf for my mom's birthday but I'll save that post for next time.