Saturday, 28 December 2013

mittens for small people

Well, life happened and my carefully-laid plans for postings through Advent and Christmas Day were waylaid by illness and my inability to judge just how long it will ACTUALLY take me to knit things (and bake things, and pack things, and... you get the idea.)  But it is still Christmas for another eight days here, and since most people have received their gifts by now I think it's a good time to start posting about all the things I've made in the last month or so.  There may also be some Christmas music, just because.


I've been nannying a pair of 4-year-old twins since the early autumn and after several struggles with their existing cold-weather hand coverings, decided they needed mittens for Christmas.  The pattern is the Spiral Mittens from "Homespun, Handknit", which my mum used to knit for us when we were kids.  It's so, so easy to make, and the mittens are both durable and work for either hand, so they'll wear evenly.  The strings are important so you don't lose a mitten if you take it off.


The day I took them over was entertaining.  I get the kids from noon until their dad gets home; they discovered that there were PRESENTS at about 4:30, and I spent the rest of the afternoon fending off requests to open them NOW!  When I finally let them, they were delighted; L. tore around the kitchen declaring they were the BEST PRESENT EVER and their mother texted me later that evening to say that E.J. loved hers so much that she wore them to bed.  So I think they were a success :)


(The pictures are sub-par because the light was failing and it was my last chance to photograph them.  But you get the idea.)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

a rose e're blooming

I've spent the whole of this second Sunday of Advent tucked up in bed nursing a sore throat and cough which I'm praying don't decide to turn into anything really bad, since I've got a performance of Handel's Messiah this coming Saturday for which I need to be able to sing solos! 

But just because I'm sick(ish) doesn't mean I don't have music for you.  Quite the contrary - being stuck in bed gives a person plenty of time to delve into the depths of YouTube's Advent music collection ;-)  This appears to be the Year of Alternative Versions (of your favourite traditional Advent songs.)  This week, I'm enthralled with Feist's version of "Lo, how a rose e're blooming" - not your traditional choral setting, for sure, but really lovely.  And I'm certainly not saying there's anything wrong with the traditional settings!  In fact usually they're my favourites. But I love exploring the new stuff, too.

(And because the youtube video-finder is being strangely stubborn and won't let me find the exact video I want, you'll just have to have a link instead.  I promise I know how to use technology... I just don't always know how to bend it to my will!)




Sunday, 1 December 2013

o come

Today is the first day of the season of Advent.  Weeks of quiet contemplation and anticipation, before the joy and the merriment of Christmas.  A season that the world and even the church have largely forgotten, but which is so important to me.  How can you fully appreciate the enormity of his birth if it is about nothing but cookies and presents and coloured lights?

In past years I've posted a song or a carol on every Sunday of Advent and I think I'll continue that tradition this year.  This week, a quiet, reflective version of "O come, o come Emmanuel" sung by The Civil Wars.