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Somewhere in my youth or childhood …


… I must have done something good

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and to those whom you love!

We have had a peaceful and magical Christmas, only slightly tempered by the lousy cold that started work on H as soon as it had finished punching me into a paper bag. H was well on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, so he did the food shopping and the last minute bits and bobs but spent Christmas Day wrapped up in a duvet while I was on the mend and cooking Christmas dinner. It was delicious if I say so myself:
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We have yet to eat Christmas pudding (and yes I do know that it’s Boxing Day evening!).

The Christmas knitting required for Christmas Day itself was finished in time and greatly welcomed. Our friend A called us after church full of delight at his scarf and reported great admiration and envy from the rest of his family, all of whom apparently remarked on how well the muted colours suited A. Noro, take a bow – the colours were really nothing to do with me, I always look at the outside of the ball and take a flying leap of faith as to how they will turn out in a scarf!

H, being my one true fan when it comes to handknitted socks, has already worn both pairs of socks in rotation because he couldn’t decide which ones he liked best. Our contenders:
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Spey Valley, from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road in Misti Alpaca Sock Yarn in the Marina colourway. It isn’t perhaps the best colour for showing off the pattern, but you can see the rings around the cuffs – they’re supposed to be the rings on whisky barrels and the rest of the sock is just ribbing. I adjusted the pattern from the book by going up to 2.5mm needles and adding another ribbing repeat (7 sts) which seems to have worked pretty well.

Technically these were finished on 23 December – but as I decided once he’d tried them on that he could do with a little more length, I hold my hands up to Christmas Day itself – I pulled back both toes and reknit yesterday after lunch while H snoozed on the sofa and Dr Who battled cybermen.
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The charm in these socks is all in the knitting – the yarn is so soft and fluffy and wonderful and to be honest, mostly I was thinking how glad I am that there are two more skeins in the stash!

Our rival in H’s affections is a little less Scottish, a little less muted and subtly flavoured. If Spey Valley is an 18 year old malt, these next socks are a Jamaican Acid cocktail*. With flowery yellow umbrella:
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(I went in search of the socks while it was still sunny this morning and found them here. The idea of removing either the socks from the feet or the feet from the bed for the purposes of photography was not entertained. I took pity – the boy is ill)

The yarn is Socks that Rock mediumweight in the now discontinued (I think) Seastone. H chose it over my shoulder, laughed in glee when it arrived … and promptly forgot about it when it disappeared into the stash, so these were a huge surprise.

I knit these as Dove socks from Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways book, but I don’t think these can be turtle doves, despite the song and the season. They look huge and all wrong when not on feet or sock blockers but they fit like a dream – particularly if you have high arches and/or larger ankles. For H’s UK size 10ish feet I knit the largest size but on 3mm needles and I had plenty to spare from my skein of STR.

We were a very happy pair yesterday (and today for that matter) because H excelled himself in things that make me go squee. He handed me a little package which opened up to reveal:
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A very tiny spinning wheel (Doll’s House size) … and a magnifying glass. That’s right – I’M GETTING A SPINNING WHEEL!!!!! (sorry, didn’t mean to shout – still rather excited) (heee heee heeeeeeee!) If I take the tiny spinning wheel to a spinning shop H assures me that he will use magic and the magnifying glass to turn it into a big one – I can’t wait.

My other present left me speechless. In a good way. Now H knows that I enjoy blogging, and taking the photos to put on the blog, and has shown me how to play around with photoshop to crop out the bits of my desk and other gubbins that ends up in the corners of photos. He had also apparently been listening when I said a couple of times that ‘sometime’ (meaning when I’d saved up and done some research into what would be best) I’d like to get a better camera to take really lovely photos without having to tie myself in knots with our little (and very excellent) point and shoot.

Not only has he been listening, he also spoke to A who is a talented photographer (he took all of our wedding photos) and A’s father who is a pretty committed art photographer (he’s just submitted his MA thesis and exhibited at a gallery in Sheffield) to see what would be best. And so after H’s post-lunch restorative nap yesterday he presented me with a box. And in the box was a new camera. It’s another Nikon and it’s wonderful – just look:
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These are the pictures that I’ve been trying to show you for weeks
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This is what my Amaryllis really looks like.
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It takes a lot to make me speechless but for several minutes I sat on the floor with the camera in my lap making delighted fish faces while H smiled and wiggled his woolly toes at me from underneath the duvet.

It has been a very happy Christmas.

* I drank one once in a bar in York in a scavenger hunt so that we could get the umbrella – it involved Malibu, cranberry juice and Jagermeister among other things. It was bright!