Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Crochet

So Christmas has been and gone already.  And what a fabulous Christmas it was too.  A little different for me as my parents spent the holidays over in Australia with my sister and so it was just me, Coop and Squitchy.  I have to admit, I was a little bothered about having a Christmas on our own.  Without the family, and the food and games that come along with them, how would it be different to any other day?  I needn't have worried.  Christmas was a lovely relaxed day which is just what I needed as I worked until late on Christmas eve.  Lots of presents, lots of food and lots of time spent together.  Perfect.  

This super relaxed Christmas has also given me some time to catch up on a little crochet.  Fresh Stitches crochet specifically.  Coop bought me a cute Cath Kidson bag for Christmas and tucked inside was a rainbow of yarns; I was very excited (and impressed, he picked them all by himself - with a little help from Paul the wool man - and they are just what I would have chosen had I been there).  So once the cooking was finished and we couldn't fit anymore sweets or chocolate in, I picked up my hook and set about making this multicoloured monster from a Fresh Stitches free pattern here.

Doesn't he look great in rainbow stripes?  I also finished off my Fresh Stitches Gingerbread Man who I think  is one of the cutest little things I have made.  I just love his smiley little face.

Now those amongst you who are particularly eagle-eyed may notice that his right arm is slightly shorter than his left.  The gingerbread man was my plane project when I flew to Chicago.  Unfortunately, I flew on the day that all air traffic control was down in the UK and so had a rather long wait on the tarmac for the plane to take off. The gingerbread man was finished rather swiftly, but I ran out of yarn with around two rows to go on his last arm!    Rather than wait until I got home and risk him unravelling, I decided that this quirk would add to his overall charm, and I am so very happy with how he turned out!

I hope you have all had an enjoyable relaxing Christmas spent with the people you love.  Did you get any crochet gifts this year?  And most importantly, dud you manage to sneak in a little crochet time over the holidays?!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Came Early!

I am a very lucky girl this week for two reasons:

Number 1 - Chicago baby!
A few months ago, I was very lucky to be selected to be one of six paediatric specialists from the UK to be sponsored to travel across the Atlantic to the windy city of Chicago to attend the biggest paediatric audiology conference in the world.  And finally, the time is now!  I am so excited to make my first ever trip to America (I know, I know, I'm in the minority as almost everyone has been to the States before) and I'm even more excited knowing that there's a pretty good chance it will snow whilst I'm there! I don't think there is likely to be anywhere that will get me in the Christmas spirit more than going to America two weeks before the big day; I can't wait to see the snow, the Christmas lights as well as the Willis (Sears) Tower and am already planning a trip down the river too to get some great views of the skyline.  It's such a great opportunity and I can't believe I was lucky enough to be chosen.

Number 2 - A Christmas gift from DMC Creative World
This week I was contacted by DMC Creative World who had seen my myboshi review, and wondered if I would like some samples of their other products to review.  What answer could there be other than yes please!

Today, the samples arrived and I am very excited!  Here they are:

Cottons, Merinos, wools and patterns - yes, Christmas has definitely come early!

I have looked at these Natura Just Cottons for a while now and am very happy to finally have some in my possession.  And what a beautiful colour selection:

And these Woolly merino wools are some of the softest yarns I have squeezed: 

These unusual aspen wools have got scarf written all over them:

 And my mind is already spinning with ideas for these crochet threads:

DMC were also kind enough to send me a little inspiration for these beautiful yarns; three of their pattern books: 


Unfortunately with my trip I'm going to have to wait for a few days before I can really get my hands on these, but it's definitely going to be something for me to look forward to when I get back, and to try and squish in before Christmas - exciting times :D xxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

I love Christmas.  Completely and utterly love love love Christmas.  The weather, decorating the tree, the Christmas music, the shopping frenzy, time off and everything else, ahhh it just makes me so happy.  

1st of December means the Christmas tree must go up.  Not a day before (I am anti decorations in any month other than December) but as soon as it's officially December we are good to go!  I made a special trip to the supermarket this morning to treat myself to a new Christmas CD.  I've had the same CD ready in my car for the past 10 years so it seemed about time to mix it up a little and it was perfect music to work away to as Coop and I decorated the house.  

Some of my favourite decorations

In my house, much to Coop's frustration, a Christmas tree is not a Christmas tree unless the decorations are bright, shiny and multi-coloured.  I think this is a throw back to when I was little; memories of Christmas trees are lots of different colours, lots of different quirky little decorations and the most gawdy tinsel.  When we first lived together, Coop and I couldn't agree on decorations so we had a Christmas tree each!  His was very coordinated and well put together and a little like something from a magazine whilst mine was the exact opposite.  Over time, I seemed to have managed to force my decorations onto the tree in the lounge although Coop draws the line at tinsel. 

Isn't he lovely?!  Oooh I'm so pleased with how he turned out.  We also have a few other decorations scattered around the house...

This year, we popped along to our local garden centre just to look at the decorations, certain that we didn't need anymore.  However we came home with a selection of multi-coloured outdoor lights instead!  Almost as much as Christmas, I love Christmas lights.  Looking at other peoples' efforts as I walk Sas in the evenings makes me very happy so having my very own outdoors display is fantastic!   Coop worked away this afternoon for a few hours getting things ready just I'm time for when I got dark.  I'm sooooo happy with the results...

There's a 'Merry Christmas' sign, some multi-coloured rope lighting running around the top of our porch and my favourite piece, a cherry blossom tree.  Our neighbours even came out whilst we were admiring Coop's finished work to tell us how lovely it looked!  I also managed to sneak in a small multi-coloured light for indoors too which looks just right on my windowsill.  

The only one who wasn't so happy with all the Christmassy business today was poor Squitchy.  He's not used to being anything but the centre of attention so it's been a tough day for him as we've run around getting things ready.  In fact, he's currently lying across my lap looking at me with those big sad eyes, so I better take him out for a walk to appease him... x

ps. I realise that today should be a November round-up post but I"m just too excited about my Christmas decorations to write about anything else today!

pps.  Don't forget the Black Sheep Wools #creativechristmas competition is still ongoing!  Pop along to their website to take a look at the free patterns available for inspiration and to enter their competition for a fabulous prize!
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