December has flown by in a blurry flurry of activities and it's hard to believe we're almost at the end of the month and the end of another year. This year I've very much enjoyed December, it is one long series of festivities: Sinterklaas with the kids and my team from work, then my birthday, Christmas and New Year. It seems that most people this year had the idea to give me something craft related which I really enjoyed - for Sinterklaas I got given a book with 150 motifs to knit and crochet, and I've already made these three from it:
I'm now working on a series of the little snowflakes in cream and light blue, to make into a garland or hang in a row in front of the window.
For my birthday I received two hanks of beautiful wool from work and a poster saying Keep Calm and Carry Yarn from the kids. It's easy to buy for someone who loves knitting!
One of the things I made for my Sinterklaas 'partner' was this mug cosy:
They were so simple I ended up making three as gifts for several people. The idea came from Mollie Makes, a relatively new crafting magazine that I'm subscribed to.
Nine-year-old took part in a Secret Santa at school and had to buy something for his tutor. He came home and said 'mamma I thought you could knit her something'. Right, I haven't got enough to knit yet? I can't help but feel flattered when people ask me to knit something for them though, so off we went to Ravelry to look up Christmassy dishcloths and we found this one:
Unfortunately the Christmas tree soaps I'd ordered off eBay arrived a few days too late to give along with the cloth, but according to 9yo's report she liked this and the accompanying hand cream very much.
I also sent a small box of little goodies to Anna who I've known for a long time but never met!
A cover for a mini hot water bottle (although in the photos you can't really see how small it was - they were sold as child's hot water bottles but are bigger than the hand warmers you can get these days)
And a trim for a tealight holder:
I found the pattern on Attic 24 and although her choice of colours wasn't my taste, I think it ended up looking quite cosy in plain white.
I was on a roll and made one up myself as a gift for a neighbour, but I think I prefer the first one:
And then it was Christmas. I finished knitting a monkey for 9yo on Christmas Eve, which he loved. It was the last present out of his stocking and he hugged it so tight when he took the wrapping off. He told me twice that it was his best present, and best (and sweetest) of all, he thought at first that Father Christmas had knitted it... I told him I'd knitted it and given it to Father Christmas and he'd given it to him! (and he believed it too...) No photo yet, the children are with J. for a few days now, hope to get a photo later this week.
Christmas was full of unexpected presents - those are the ones I love the best!
Mug from the children - I love anything with blue and I love mugs and I love Whittards (I probably like everything in Whittards - I try and avoid going there as it's so hard not to buy something).
Contents of Secret Santa swap I took part in. I love the fingerless gloves (well, they're blue aren't they!), they're just the right length for wearing while I'm working as I can still type with them on. The chocolates are divine - I gave B. one but am trying to hide the rest of them as they're so nice that I don't really want to share them... Mean aren't I ;-)
Beach hut from S. and G. who are J's aunt and uncle. I have a feeling I commented on one of their photos on Flickr where their daughter in law was looking at beach huts. They know I have a thing for beach huts as my favourite dishcloth is one with beach huts in it. I love this one - not sure where it's going yet but will find a lovely spot for it.
This one was a real surprise, they're knitted by the owner of 'our' parttime dog. I knew she was a knitter as I've seen her wear things she's knitted herself and we've often talked about knitting. I suspected she'd made us something as the three parcels for us were all soft and squishy, and these were mine. I wore them today on a long bike ride and they were so snugly. Really pleased with them - not least for all the effort she must have put in.
These were the ones she made for 9yo.
One 12yo getting very grown up...
And last but not least, our Christmas pud! Not a real Christmas pudding but a sort of combination of summer pudding/chocolate bombe. Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver, whose book Jamie's Great Britain I got for my birthday from work. Leftovers still in freezer - yum!
We're now having a quiet few days pottering about, the kids alternating between me and J., before we set off to celebrate New Year's Eve and mum's birthday in Holland. I haven't been to Holland for New Year's for several years and I'm looking forward to it. Especially as B. gave me a DSLR for my birthday and I'm having way too much fun playing with it!