Sunday, 4 January 2009

holiday pursuits

Since returning home from a very jolly and convivial Christmas in Leyland we have had a very lazy and lovely week - the best rest and recuperation I have had in years. I realised about ten days before Christmas that I hadn't had a great deal of "proper" holiday during the year. Working part-time from home means always being able to catch a few hours work here and there, which sometimes leads people to imagine I'm on holiday all the time, but frequently means that when I am supposed to be having a break I'm still regularly checking emails and looking at the bank balance online. So I decided to take the rest of my year's holiday allowance in one shot - two full weeks from 22 December. The few days before Christmas were a bit of a scramble as we had to sort the house out for visitors staying while we were away. All the stuff from the studio was still in the dining room in the aftermath of the December Exhibition so it was quite a big deal and we were exhausted, but it did us a favour really because it meant we returned after Christmas to an immaculate house and could just flop.

This was exactly what we did and I've spent quite a bit of time on the sofa under a quilt watching rubbish telly or reading.

I've done some knitting. Mostly working on a scarf in the alpaca wool I bought back in the summer. It's quite a slow knit because it's k1, p1 rib and needs close attention to the chart for the placing of the double cable twists, but I'm enjoying the results.

Trying to make up my mind whether to leave the natural colour, or to dye it - it may end up in an indigo vat during the summer.

Also did a very rapid knit project to make myself some wrist warmers. Quite a few of my cardigans have three-quarter length sleeves or open bell-ended sleeves and I've found a chilly gap between glove and sleeve-end even under a winter coat. So, in preparation for our new year's day walk, I made these. I had 72g of yarn, so had to keep weighing as I went along so that I didn't use too much up on the first wrist. Worked well and did the job.

My other creative activity was also in the interest of keeping warm - a draught excluder for the front door made out of an old jeans' leg and stuffed with old socks and tights. It still needs a bit more stuffing before I close off the end, but is already in service. This had the added benefit of forcing me to sort out my socks and tights drawer.

Also had the opportunity to sort out all my knitting needles into the pockets on the gorgeous bag Ruth has made for me.
There are flapped pockets both sides and a ring binder inside to store all my patterns - bliss!

Then there was the Christmas jigsaw - a fiendish optical illusion from my sister. I mostly did the straight edges and Steve filled in the middle! I was a bit bothered by the fact that the illustration of the puzzle is circular and the puzzle itself is square - an illusion indeed!

It wasn't all lolling around, though. We included a healthy sprinkling of social activity as well - time spent with family on a couple of days, new year's eve with friends, a new year's day walk and meal with other friends and a walk on an icy beach yesterday.


  1. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!!! I got very excited when I saw you had posted!

    It sounds like ideal relaxation - a great mix of doing nothing, crafting, seeing people, sorting out and watching rubbish tv - all the important things!

    I love the cables on the scarf - they look quite randomly placed, but I guess that actually means extra counting as you go? Is it a pattern you've made up or one you've found?

  2. Good to see you back again.
    I loved the denim draught excluder - a cunning combination of recyclying and carbon cutting in one item.
    I see what you mean by the jigsaw. Infinitely harder than our jolly santa scene. Didn't it hurt your eyes to do it?

  3. Alice, I've gone back and put some links in the post. It took me so long to set it up yesterday that I ran out of steam before getting that far!