Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Winter holiday

Just back from a lovely couple of days staying in North Yorkshire, in a winter wonderland that looked like this:

It was only a sprinkling of snow, really, but enough to make the landscape magical.

These photos were taken on the road between Helmsley and Stokesley. After a bracing walk in the frosty winter air, we appreciated a trip to a White Horse Inn for sustenance.

I volunteered to work tomorrow, so my holiday feeling is about to wear off. But at least I had a lovely break!

Friday, 26 December 2014

A festive feast

My festive kitchen on Monday:

The cookies on the right are angels in the realm of glory, and stacked on the cooling rack, merry deer running through the greenwood (yes! This has got to do with Christmas, as in "the rising of the sun, and the running of the deer" *sings Holly and Ivy*)

On Tuesday, I got to work with the icing. Above is my now snow-topped spice cake, but the cookie icing was typically rubbish, I MUST take a class (I say this every year! Perhaps 2015 will be The Year.

After all that work, relaxing was de rigeur. 

Compliments of the season to you, dear reader. Have a virtual bendick's bittermint!

Monday, 22 December 2014


So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us - Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!
Susan Cooper

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Stash Stocktaking

I did my annual stash stocktake this weekend. In the course of which, I identified 1830 yards of yarn to discard. However, I just added 880 yards of new yarn to my stash, so I'm about 700 yards up overall.

I did think about declaring that I would not buy any more yarn until that backlog is gone, but I can't really say that given my plan for a sweater next term. 

Back to my stocktaking. It is not so bad when you look at it in the round. I have generally used the yarn I bought during the year, with the exception of the fyberspates 4-ply I added for my ill-fated colour affection in September (now frogged as part of the stock-take), and recent purchases of sock yarn and 3 balls of beautiful bergere de France cabourg in kiwi fruit green.

I have a plan for that yarn, which also involves buttons that look like strawberries, and I really hope this means my knitting mojo will return in January. It's been hiding from me since August!

Here is my current stash all laid out for your enjoyment:

If I don't use some of the older yarn up in the next twelve months, I think it will be for the recycling centre in next year's stock-take!

Saturday, 6 December 2014


Look what I bought from a local artisan yesterday:

They are about 4 ins in diameter and too cute! Found at Claire Elizabeth's cake shop.

Also, I did some crafting in a very small way. Last weekend, I went to a flower market and bought some dried orange pieces, dried limes and cinammon sticks. Yesterday, I attached these to a plain fir wreath, which is now on our front door:

Feeling mildly festive! I'm off to write some Christmas cards.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Stashdown #11: November

Not a whole lot to report. No yarn purchases, but only one minihat finished, so only 12 yards out. This time I made a vaguely festive version.

I'm about to frog my colour affection shawl as I just haven't got on with it. I forgot to do the modification to make the edge stretchy when I started, and then when I got to the first set of stripes, I wasn't sure about the colour choices, and so I stopped work altogether. I only got to about 25%.

My poor productivity in the Fall term means that as of the end of November, I was +1665 yards up on the year.

This week, I intend to go through my stash and discard a few skeins, which I hope will bring that total down a little. I can't think I will end the year on a negative balance though, so this year might be a big fat fail on the stashdown.