I'll start this post by taking a moment to think about Gizmo, my dearly departed cat who died last September. Today would have been his fourth birthday, and I miss him a little bit extra today. It's funny that animals can leave such an impression on us. And I think Hobbe might sense that I'm a bit sad today, because he is extra snuggly today since I got home from work. Which I really apreciate! This is one of my favourite photos of Gizmo:
The photo is taken with my cell phone camera, so the quality isn't all that good. But he looks so cute standing at the table, I think that it's vanilla custard that he's stealing from my plate :)
As you might have noticed, I don't have as much time to update the blog now that I'm back to work again. And of course I don't have as much knitting time either. But it's ok though, it feels good to get back to the work routine, and I had a very fruitful meeting with one of my supervisors this Wednesday, so now I have stuff to keep me busy until Christmas, at least.
I'm starting to feel ok again about everything else, too. The antidepressants have finally kicked in, and the three weeks I had to rest did the trick. I'm going to have a few days of vacation between Christmas and Ney Years Eve as well, so I'll try to get plenty of rest then too. Last year I had no Christmas spirit at all, as it was only three months after Gizmo passed away. But this year I'm looking forward to spending Christmas with my family, not to mention all the good food!
What Christmas food do you non-swedish readers eat? Here in Sweden there are several traditional dishes to eat on Christmas Eve (yes, we celebrate on the 24th): The most common is boiled and glazed ham with mustard, Janssons temptation, which is a potato gratin with tinned fish (is the english word also anjovis?), meatballs and tiny sausages. My family on my father's side comes from Denmark, and there they eat a lot of duck on Christmas. I guess duck can be hard to find on Sweden at Christmas, at least when my grandparents moved here in the 50's, so they changed their tradition to turkey instead. So in our family we have the traditional Swedish Julbord (sort of a smorgasbord, only with the Christmas dishes instead) at around 14.00, and in the evening we eat turkey together with my uncle and his family. So a LOT of food on one day! We usually roll over to the sofa afterwards and just relax.
My husband's family on his father's side is from England, so they usually have turkey on Christmas day instead. So if I play my cards right, I get turkey for two nigths in a row! This is the only time in the year that I get turkey, so the more the better :)
Ok, so maybe a littel update on the knitting front? After all, this is supposed to be a knitting blog... I finished my pink Candle Flame shawl on Tuesday night, and I love it! I blocked it overnight, and wore it the first time on Thursday, when it had dried completely. And in the photo you also get to see the finished beret as well:
Pleas excuse the colours galore, this is my sweater I wear to and from workout... There isn't much daylight to talk about today, with really grey skies as well, but my sister kindly helped me get some photos outside. Thomas' first reaction to the hat was: You look like a cooking lady at a school (I think he associated it with a hairnet...). The next time he saw me in it he said: "You look like Toad on Super Mairo"... So maybe I don't really look all that good in a beret, but it is so warm and snuggly I'll wear it anyway! I don't look that stupid, do I?
And the shawl turned out gorgeous, I really LOVE the yarn. It's Garnpalettens single-ply 100 % wool, and the woman who owns and runs Garnpaletten does all her dyeing herself. He daughter is also a member of the Linköping Knitters, so that makes this yarn extra special. And look how beautiful the pattern turned out:
It was so easy, but although it was repetitive and I learned it by heart after just two repeats, it wasn't the least bit dull. And it was great to get to take a lace knit to the knitting cafés as well, as it wasn't that demanding. I have three skeins of this yarn in a lovely green/lime colourway, that I plan to turn into the Heere Be Dragons shawl sometime.
I've also started two new projects. I don't know if I mentioned last time that I began the Moose Loves Roses mittens for my grandfather? Well, I did, and I've finished the first cuff:
They look pretty good, and even though they are a little bit wonky right now, you can imagine that they'll look great after a bit of blocking. I LOVE the yarn, KnitPicks Palette (100 % wool), and I'm sure I'll order more of it sometime after New Year. I've planned to knit the Cat Mittens for myself for a long time, and I think this yarn will be perfect for that. And when I bought the pattern for the Moose mittens (both those and the Cat mittens are designed by Jorid Linvik), I saw that she also has a pattern for Cat Socks, so I think I'll buy it too after Christmas. Don't you just love the paw print at the bottom of the sock! I'm so happy that I have ten skeins of this yarn in a lovely pinkish colour, that will turn into some kind of sweater for me!
And last night I started the Aeolian shawl, with my Chili Gredelin Madame yarn. I've only done a little bit, but it looks SOO good so far. The yarn is absolutely stunning, both the quality and the colours, and the beads work perfectly with the colours as well.
I'm not sure if I'll do all the nups that the pattern asks for, as I couldn't make them look good when I swatched, so maybe I'll just place extra beads there instead. I'll be sure to put in a lifeline before the nup section starts, then I can try it with nups first, and if they still don't look good I can just rip that section out.
Oh, and I have some great news (for me at least)! After the Linköping Knitters' bithday party I spoke to my mother about how fun I thought it was to spin. As some of my family on my mohter's side are sheep farmers, I asked her if she thought that there might be some lonely spinning wheel standing in an attic somewhere, that I could rescue (I told you this part before, didn't I?). She said that she didn't think so, but at the school where she works they have several spinning wheels that are hardly used. She then proceeded to ask the woman in charge of them if she could buy one of them for me at a dicounted price! The woman thought about it, and then suggested that I borrow a spinning wheel for an unlimited time, as long as I bring it back to the school once a year when they have an Open House for potential students! So after Christmas I get to take home my very own (borrowed) spinning wheel! Wohoo! So now I just have to buy some fibre to start learning!
My sister and I are going to Friskis&Svettis today to work out, so I better get started on adding the photos to this post, otherwise I might run out of time! I'll see you after the weekend!