Saturday, 24 December 2011

On Top of Things

This Christmas, because I'm working this evening from 5pm until 10pm when the store where I work closes (a Whole Hour Early - so I've got to go in an hour earlier than usual!) we've had to have Things done so that hubby isn't a grumpy bah humbug when I get home because he's had to spend the whole evening wrapping presents, cleaning up and then getting the children to bed.  So, the presents are wrapped, the turkey will be defrosted in time to go in the oven at lunchtime tomorrow so we can eat late afternoon/early evening, the bathrooms have been cleaned, there's a ham steam-baking in the oven (it's 4kg+ and I didn't have a saucepan or stockpot big enough for it to bubble away on the hob so it's in a large roasting pan in the oven, with water in the bottom and the tray covered in foil), I've even cleaned out the fridge.  All that needs doing now is a general tidy up in the lounge and the vaccuum cleaner to be pushed around downstairs.  Hubby will bring presents down later, once both girls are asleep.  It's lovely, not feeling overly pressured on Christmas Eve!

The only thing I'm not sure about is this:
It's hubby's (not often used) exercise bike and it's in the dining room.  It may have to be wheeled into the hallway tomorrow once my in-laws arrive for the day!

Here's a photo of our 'forest' of trees.  The big tree is the same one we've used for a few years now (decorated by the girls - I leave them to get on with it).  The small tree usually sits either in the hall or in DD1's bedroom, but my mother-in-law bought the green foil trees for us this year and we thought it would be nice to have all the trees together in one area of the lounge.
I've even finished knitting the Hitchhiker scarf for my mother-in-law's birthday present.  Her birthday's 2 Jan and I wanted to get this finished, washed, blocked and wrapped before Christmas, which I've achieved.  It's a nice pattern and is a fairly simple, straightfoward eight-row repeat.  The yarn is a skein of Unicorn I bought a couple of years ago from Fyberspates.  It's no longer available as it was a special yarn for a 2009 club run by Fyberspates and The Natural Dye Studio and is 70% baby llama, 20% cashmere and 10% silk.  I chose the pattern because it doesn't really need to be blocked after washing but can be laid out flat or lightly steamed.  I thought it would  be a bit off giving the scarf as a present along with an A4 sheet of paper giving detailed instructions for blocking!

Some photos:
 It's quite wide, but not overly deep, which I like.

It's started at one edge with stitches increased during each eight-row pattern repeat until you either have enough yarn for one more repeat plus enough to cast off, or you think it's long enough.  Then, you cast off and the cast off is the other diagonal edge of the scarf.  This means the two diagonal edges aren't symmetrical, but I like that as well.
 Once it's rolled up to make wrapping easier, it looks nice!
Increasing at the neck edge on each row gives a nice, gentle curve to the scarf.  I like this too!

The yarn was, on the whole, pretty well behaved and for the most part striped nicely, with only one patch of pooling in the centre.  However, as the yarn's dyed in three shades of blue, the contrast isn't severe and I think it works.

Can you tell I'm pleased with the way it's turned out?  I hope mother-in-law does as well as I've never made anything for her. 

All it leaves me to say is *Merry Christmas* and, if I don't manage another post next week, *Happy New Year*.  I'm hoping (once the girls are back at school) to get all my FO photos together in a mosaic, together with stats of how much yarn used, etc during 2010.  In the meantime, I'll be carrying on with DD2's ripple blanket.  It's about halfway there!


  1. Hitchhiker looks fabby, you should be pleased.

    Have a super day Christine.

  2. Merry Christmas... Glad you got all sorted and hope the girls love their presents. Oh and if the m-i-l doesnt like her hitch hiker I'll have it ;-)