Friday, December 24, 2010
Scent of Honey
This handmade ornament is actually honey mixed with cinnamon and other spices. It is filling the whole room with the wonderful scent of spiced honey!
Happy Christmas Eve!
Today is a magical day... for me, it's always been full of excitement and anticipation. On Christmas Eve, I make the Braided Bread the we always have for breakfast on Christmas Day. Presents are wrapped, and just a few are put under the tree. In the evening, the Christmas Pies are made, and one is for supper! One present may be opened before bedtime. At midnight, I walk through all the rooms of the house, with frankincense, clearing the living space for a new year of Life and Light. I've heard that the animals can talk when the clock strikes 12 on Christmas Eve, and when I was little I used to make sure that the cats slept on my bed so that I could hear them talk when midnight came... but I always fell asleep and missed the magical moment!
I rose early today to finish another last-minute gift, these fingerless mitts for dog-walking:
The pattern I used a great, very quick - Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda Teague. These took me just a few hours to make. They could be done in a day, if you need a last-minute gift. I rushed home on my lunch hour yesterday to block them, so they'd be ready today, but they can be given without blocking if you're in a pinch. I've made this pattern before, and it's always well received. They fit great, are adaptable to so many sizes and many different weights of yarn. The last time I made them, I used fingering weight sock yarn.
This time, I used Swans Island worsted weight with a size 8 needle. They turned out man-sized and nice and warm for those early-morning dog-walking jaunts.
The cuffs are long (which I love because they're warmer) and if they were for me, I might wear them turned up:
As you can see, I used suede slipper patches for a palm. This is important with dog-walking gloves because the dog's lead is constantly rubbing against your palm - especially the dogs we walk - they love to run and play in the snow!
Now I am planning my new year knits. My friend Mette in Denmark sent me a most wonderful gift: a book of traditional museum patterns for embroidery, beaded crochet, or stranded knitting:
There are so many patterns in this historical booklet, with fold-out templates for re-creating them! This one shows a beaded purse (knitted or crocheted or embroidered) of the type that was made in early 1900. I have a very small collection of these purses, as well as some original purse clasps that I found at an open air antique flea market one year, so I could use this pattern to make one for myself! I think that I'll need to do a whole blog entry on this subject sometime...
My first thought was to use some of these graphs to make stranded knitting design mittens. One of my favorites is this Oak Leaf:
It's fun and inspiring to plan new adventures in knitting for the turn of the year, even in the midst of Christmas. Currently on my needles, for after-holiday projects:
1. A helmet hat out Noro Kochoran (very soft with the bit of angora in the yarn!)
2. Ribbed play-school pants in BMFA STR Spike
3. A raglan-sleeved cardigan with a patterned yoke (DROPS pattern). I'm doing this in a nice teddy-bear brown with yellow snowflakes.
These should keep me busy for a little while.
I hope you all have a joyous Christmas Eve, if you celebrate the holiday, and if you don't, may your evening be magically peaceful and full of promise.