Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tropical Socks

I am finally getting around to posting some of the Christmas knitting!  (Possibly the only Christmas knitting which is actually finished yet - but shhhhh, don't tell anyone that!)

These socks are for my brother's girlfriend, who spent two weeks with us in her first visit to the frozen north.  When I was at her place this summer I was knitting a pair of socks and she dropped several broad hints about wanting some herself, so how could I refuse?  I picked a yarn as bright and sunny as she is, and incredibly soft and warm.

I cannot deny having done some slight engineering and rearranging of the yarn so as to make the stripes line up exactly.  More ends to work in, but it was worth it!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

New Year

Oh Lord,
Length of days does not profit me
    except the days are passed in thy presence,
    in thy service, to thy glory.
Give me a grace that precedes, follows, guides, sustains, sanctify, aids every hour,
    that I may not be one moment apart from thee,
    but may rely on thy Spirit
        to supply every thought,
        speak in every word,
        direct every step,
        prosper every work,
        build up every mote of faith,
        and give me a desire
            to show forth thy praise;
            testify thy love,
            advance thy kingdom.
I launch my bark on the unknown waters
        of this year,
    with thee, O Father, as my harbour,
            thee, O Son, at my helm,
            thee, O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
            my lamp burning,
            my ear open to thy calls,
            my heart full of love,
            my soul free.
Give me thy grace to sanctify me,
            thy comfort to cheer,
            thy wisdom to teach,
            thy right hand to guide,
            thy counsel to instruct,
            thy law to judge,
            thy presence to stabilise.
May thy fear be my awe,
            thy triumphs my joy.

(Taken from The Valley of Vision.)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Love beyond all telling

I hope all of you had a blessed and happy Christmas.  I'm late in posting - because I was soaking up time with my family.

It's been a good week.  A week away from work, away from home, but with friends and family, and with time to reflect on the incredible gift we celebrate at Christmas.  Truly Christ is love beyond all telling.

Soon, there will be photos of Christmas knitting.  But for now I'll just leave you with one of my favourite duets of all time, and the song that says "Christmas is here!" to me more than any other.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Music for the third week of Advent

Such a busy season this has been for me this year.  I guess that is part of growing up?  Lots of work, not a lot of time to relax, or contemplate, or even reflect on the reason for all the holiday preparations.

But there is still beautiful music.  This anthem is a new one to me this year but it is lovely indeed!

"Before the marvel of this night, adoring, fold your wings and bow,
Then tear the sky apart with light, and with your news the world endow.
Proclaim the birth of Christ and peace, that fear and death and sorrow cease:
Sing peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace!"

Saturday, 6 December 2014


The thing about being a knitter is that you are an eternal optimist.  You are always completely convinced that you can finish a project by (or even before!) a completely unrealistic deadline.  Sweater needed in three days and you've only got the back and one sleeve knitted?  No problem, totally got this!  Birthday party on Saturday and you haven't even cast on that pair of socks on Thursday?  Oh, of course you'll have time to finish.  Christmas in 19 days and you only just opened the box containing the yarn (all the yarn) for the eight separate gifts you intend to give (all but two of them on the actual day of Christmas) - and you have to finish two pairs of socks and an elephant for customers before you can start any of the Christmas knitting?  Oh sure, I'll just invent a time-turner and probably figure out how to make every day between now and then have an extra 40 hours, and everything will definitely be finished and blocked and wrapped under the tree by Christmas Eve.  Of course!


Laptop in the photo for scale. Teapot for emotional support.

The thing is I do this every year.  Every year I leave things too late and I procrastinate and I underestimate the amount of available time and over-estimate my knitting speed, and end up wrapping up things with needles in, or worse, just the yarn and a picture of what it's meant to look like someday.  It never changes, and I never suddenly triple my knitting speed in the three weeks before Christmas, and yet every year I'm totally sure that this year, this year that enormous pile of yarn will somehow all be knitted into scarves and socks and mittens and those darling ornaments that I've deluded myself into thinking I'll have time to make on top of everything else, and it will all be finished by the deadline.

Maybe the fact that I've realised I'm delusional is the first step towards doing better next year?

I'll think about it later.  For now, I have to go finish a pair of socks and cast on an elephant.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Music for Advent

Oh, guys, I seem to have taken a year-long hiatus from blogging.  It was completely unintentional, but somewhat refreshing to be honest!  But I'm going to make an effort to get back into this blogging thing with at least some regularity, and this season of quiet, the dying of the year, the anticipation of Advent, seems like a good time for a new beginning.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Think of it - less than four more weeks until Christmas!  (My inner child is excited about that - my inner knitter is crying.  So many gifts to knit, so little time...!  And naturally my grand plans for epic amounts of knitting this afternoon have been foiled by the cat, who lay down on top of my arm a couple hours ago. She's making typing difficult.)  I have the house to myself this afternoon and I'm enjoying the quiet, the lack of noise and confusion; the perfect atmosphere for contemplation.  This year I really want to be mindful during Advent -- to keep it a season of quiet, of peace; filled with anticipation for Christmas, but free of the confusion, panic, and stress which are so common in a busy season.

To start off on the right foot, here's some lovely music.  A beautiful arrangement of the classic Veni, veni Emmanuel sung by the Choeur d'Enfants de la MaĆ®trise de la Perverie. 

Monday, 20 January 2014


So, as you may have gathered, I'm kind of a fan of Doctor Who.  And in fact the whole family is coming round to my way of thinking... so when I saw this pattern for a KNITTED DALEK I knew I had to make one.

Fortunately it was just before Christmas and I was also trying to think of something fun but lightweight to send to my brother who's stationed in Okinawa.  Perfect!

This guy was really fun to knit.  He took a whole day - I cast on after breakfast and sewed in the last ends before bedtime.  The bobbles added quite a considerable amount of knitting time, which I hadn't expected, and they're a bit tedious but I think you'll agree they're worth it!  (The pattern suggests sewing on buttons if you don't care to knit bobbles, but I think that would be even MORE tedious and would also make your Dalek less cuddly.)

Unfortunately I didn't get any really good photos of him, since I had time constraints before we shipped the package and it kept snowing, but I think you get the idea.  I also think this will probably not be the only Dalek I ever knit!