Not quite a fresh start…

IMG_4405Xmas was as per usual, now that there are no excitable small chaps about listening for Santa’s sleigh-bells. My formerly excitable chaps are all grown up and don’t seem to get excited about very much at all these days. Even the Danish Christmas Rice Pudding doesn’t elicit squeals of delight these days (except from me of course).

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Memories of my mother abound at this time of the year and what once connected me only with a sense of loss now brings that sense of ‘hygge‘ that I always felt when in her company. I remember her crying tears of joy one year when my sister and I sat around the kitchen table singing Christmas carols – this was years before even the possibility of the breast cancer that was to take her from us.

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Anyway, on to the not quite a fresh start feeling with which I have invited in the New Year – I have a lurgy (as does my man) so we cancelled our New Year celebrations to sit and watch (with varying degrees of enthusiasm – me excited, my man not so much) a documentary about Frank Sinatra – very festive?…

I’m going vegan for January – not a huge leap because I am vegetarian already and my man is vegan (a very gorgeous and hilarious friend calls him the Alfalfa Male) so embarked on #veganuary on New Year’s Day by making Nigella’s Olive Oil Granola – and whilst it was cooling I went out for a walk with ‘The Dog’. I dragged my foggy-headed self around the park, wishing a Happy New Year to all and sundry and one hour later I was home enjoying the cooled granola over a large helping of Alpro Soya Yogurt with Coconut – OMG – I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be a happy (cruelty-free) bunny. I should say that I omitted the ground ginger and cinammon in Nigella’s recipe – not a fan of either – but it certainly didn’t taste as though there was anything lacking.

“Enough of your food-obsession, what’s on your needles and hooks Tina?” I hear you cry…

Easy Garter Stitch Neck-WarmerWell, I’ll tell you! In fact I have held back from telling you about what’s been going on because I didn’t want a particular recipient to have a spoiled Christmas surprise by seeing pics on here before the big day.

This warm and cosy neck-warmer, cowl, snood thingy was knitted on circular needles and was just the simplest most Netflix-friendly project ever. I made one in reds/purples brought to you courtesy of Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk and Drops Alpaca

IMG_4415 …and here’s one in neutral tones.

Here’s the pattern for anyone who would like to have a go –

You will need:

3 skeins (about 50g each) complimentary colours of a 4 ply or light DK weight yarn –  I used Drops Alpaca (4 ply) in the following colours:

Neutral        A off white (0100), B camel beige (0302), C beige (0618)

Reds              A pink (2921), B red (3620), C dark purple (4400)

1 skein (25g) of Drops Brushed Alpaca Silk – I used the following colours:

Neutral       off white (01)

Reds             red (07)

5mm Circular Needles – I used Knit Pro Karbonz Interchangeables with a 12″ cord.

With A and Brushed Alpaca Silk held together, cast on 90 stitches and join to form a round. Place a marker at the start of the round.

Round 1 (and all odd rows) Knit all stitches to marker.  Move marker to right needle and start round 2.

Round 2 (and all even rows) Purl all stitches to marker.  Move marker to right needle and continue to round 3.

After 28 rows continue with the Brushed Alpaca Silk but drop A and cut yarn (leaving around 6″ to weave in later) and join B, continuing with the 2 row repeat as established.

After a further 28 rows continue with the Brushed Alpaca Silk but drop B and cut yarn (leaving around 6″ to weave in later) and join C, continuing with the 2 row repeat as established.

After 28 rows Cast-off fairly loosely to maintain the shape you have created – if you cast-off tightly the neck may be a little small.

Weave in all ends.

No need to block – that’s the beauty of garter stitch!

You can download the pattern here: Easy Garter Stitch Neck-Warmer

What else?

Well, I’m continuing on a Drops Alpaca C2C Blanket – this yarn was originally intended for a version of Attic 24’s Cosy Blanket but I kind of lost heart after the first 14 rows had been worked. The little strip sat sadly in a WIP basket for ages before I decided to go ahead and frog it to make the C2C.   “Not another blanket” says the Alfalfa male – and I made reassuring noises about taking it down to my father’s place in Cornwall – but in fact, I am so in love with it that there’s no way I’m giving it away. Dream on Alfalfa Male…

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I am promising myself to finish the C2C before embarking on anything new but I have that familiar sense of restlessness that comes upon me when I’m two-thirds of the way through anything and that restlessness could just bring on a flurry of sock-making – I’ve got loads of sock yarn in my stash so I won’t be spending any cash (yeah right…)

Let’s hope for a good year

Happy days (once the lurgy has left)

Tina x

 

 

 

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