It's nearly two weeks into the New Year already. This time of the year can be a little....dark. I mean that literally, not philosophically! It's difficult when there's not much daylight, or sunshine for that matter! At the moment here it gets light at about 7.30 am and dark again at about 4.30. Still, I like to think it's a hopeful time of the year. Every day we gain about 4 minutes of daylight, so we're creeping a little closer to spring all the time. One way to try and brighten the days is colourful flowers! Like these gerberas which I've had on my window ledge the last couple of weeks.
This winter has been a little different for me, as I'm living on my own for the first time. It's been exciting and scary all at the same time, but overall it's been a good experience so far. I find the winter months are good months to plan and think about what you want from the year ahead. Traditionally in the Northern Hemisphere autumn and winter are introspective months. They kind of have to be since the weather here doesn't make you feel like doing much outside!
So, with a new home I've been doing a lot of planning and thinking about how to make my little nest as snug and happy as possible. Of course for me that means a lot of thinking about what I want to crochet and knit for my living room and bedroom.
So that's what I've been doing since Christmas!
One of the first things I found I needed to make (almost as soon as I got hold of a coffee table for my living room!), were some table mats and coasters. The sofa which I have in my living room is a lovely teal colour, and I'd already decided I wanted to try use that as a basis for a colour scheme in that room. Two other colours which I think work well with teal are turquoise and bright pink. As it happens I had some turquoise and teal cotton yarn in may stash so I decided to use that to make some mats. The bright pink will follow later in some other way!
I had a request for a pattern for these mats when I posted the pictures on Instagram the other week. I just made these up as I went along really, and I haven't had a chance to try and write down a pattern yet. However, I will try at some point soon. The problem is, I think a chart would be by far the best way for making a pattern for these, but I'm not sure I can write a neat enough chart by hand for anyone else to follow! I'll keep you posted anyway.
I said I would share the details of the goodies I was lucky enough to win in the Mrs Moon prize draw, so here we go! I think I've just got all of it, though I may have missed a few things - there was so much!
There was some skeins of Scrumptious DK, Sweet Georgia and Rowan Art Sock Yarn....
Some skeins of cream coloured lace weight yarn, some Blue Sky Alpaca yarn and metalico yarn.
...10 balls of Jeanette Sloan alapaca silk mix...
...10 balls of Louisa Harding Mila....
and some Royal Petites yarn with a pattern for the Windsor Mitts (I think that was Blue Sky Alpaca yarn too).
Also, a gorgeous set of double pointed needles. Phew, it's going to take me a while to work out what to do with all of this! I'll keep you posted though - I feel so lucky to be starting this year with such a fabulous stash of yarn to work my way through. If you want to get hold of these yarns yourself, check out Mrs Moon!
Sorry about the slightly rubbish quality of the photo - this was a really difficult garment to photograph. Perhaps it's because its cream, or perhaps it just the really awful lack of daylight here at this time of year!
Anyway, I hope you can see the picture well enough to be able to make out the stitch work and overall idea. I'm quite pleased with how this came out. I tried to make this sweater last winter, but had trouble because the sleeves on the finished garment were waaay waaaay too long! This time around, I decided to shorten the sleeves from the length specified in the pattern by about 5cm. It was a little nerve wracking as this was a bit of a guess based on other things I have made where the sleeve length has been ok, but I seem to have guessed well because the sleeve length is perfect this time around!
The other make I completed, on the very last day of the year was this little scarf.
Again, I'm sorry for the awful light in these pictures - it was really overcast when I took these, so the colours are all wrong.
The yarn I used for this was Madeline Tosh sock yarn, in shade Olivia. I used a basic leaf lace pattern that you can find in most stitch dictionaries of knitted lace. This post, from when I started this scarf waaay back in June last year will give you a better idea of the actual colour of the yarn! Now that I've looked back through this blog to find when I started this project, I can't believe that it was so long ago and that six months has gone so fast!
Well, I'll be back to normal posting with my next post, we're pretty well caught up now! I have to share one very exciting thing though, which I'll go into more detail on in my next post. I think I have mentioned before, one of my very favourite independent yarn and haberdashery shops is called Mrs Moon, in St Margarets, near Richmond upon Thames. Well, Mrs Moon have an annual Christmas prize draw, and guess who won this year! Yes, it was me! I am such a lucky, lucky girl, and prize is an absolutely amazing haul of yarn-y goodies! I will share full details in my next post!