Tuesday 20 December 2016

Christmas countdown 2016: Days fifteen to nineteen

Hey there December, could you please SLOW DOWN a little! Having said that, I am starting to get into the holiday spirit a little (probably helped by my children being rather excited!).

Day fifteen

An utterly un-festive day, occupied by routine appointments and things that need to be out of the way before everything slows down for Christmas. I did manage to get the final few Christmas cards written though, which is always good!

More crazy combinations from the advent calendars: the Opal one seems to produce a lot of shades of orange, which is my least favourite colour (probably, that might be reserved for brown...). I do like the purple and the speckled yarn though, and am still enjoying opening all the calendars every day.

Day sixteen

The final day of term; cue excited small children asking, repeatedly, how long they have to wait until Christmas. My son is five and pretty much the perfect age for Christmas. When we visited Santa earlier in the month he was totally sold. I cannot wait to see his face on Christmas day!

Some more muted shades from the advent calendars. The one on the bottom right was donated by a friend and is gorgeous and sparkly.

Day seventeen

A day of travelling to see relatives, which is never all that much fun with small children: 'are we nearly there yet?' and 'I want to go home' are pretty common refrains. While we live a long way from relatives it's certainly worth making the effort, the kids love all their grandparents and aunts and uncles.

My husband went out to see the latest Star Wars film in the evening, which I'm not bothered about seeing at all (am I the only one? It does feel like it sometimes, even though I know I'm not). So I settled down to watch the Strictly final after the kids were safely asleep in bed (I don't watch the whole series of Strictly, and just dip in and out over the series depending what else I have to do), which was excellent, even already knowing who'd won when I started watching (grr, Facebook; yes I know looking at Facebook on finals night was a mistake if I didn't want to know who'd won).

Gorgeous shades from Opal in the advent calendar, and the brightest peach from the Paintbox yarns calendar - my phone did not capture it well!

Day eighteen

Panto time! For my son, husband and his mum. My son had gone to see a different Panto with school and LOVED it! So we were happy to send him off to see another, which he also loved. We let him choose who he wanted to go with as my daughter is still a bit small to enjoy it (my son said she would be scared), but next year I think we might all go along. While I don't love Pantomimes, they are a festive tradition, and I quite like those.

I got on with knitting the final must-knit-before-Christmas project, which I can't show you as it's for a magazine. I was still knitting it at midnight, at which point I called it quits and vowed to finish it in the morning. Sometimes that really is the best decision!

I love all of the yarns from the advent calendars on day eighteen, even the pink and orange one! And that green is fab!

Day nineteen

The must-finish project was finished over breakfast, washed in the sink while I grabbed a shower, then dried over a radiator (after squashing out all the water into a towel) until we were ready to drive on to the next destination. I had the project hung in the car to get it really dry - this one has to be in the post on the 20th, so I wasn't taking any chances!

The kids and I drove further South (more complaints about the distance). We stopped at several service stations along the way (I don't like driving in winter, the changing weather and light make my eyes ache, so we stop much more frequently than at other times of year), and, as always, my kids loved the stop at Gloucester services, which has an indoor play area that is always a hit! I also appreciated ten minutes to get a little bit of knitting done.

Just look at the neon. Actually, you probably can't avoid looking at it, it is a tad shouty. I've wanted to try Regia Fluormania for ages, and 10g is probably just the right amount!


Last week I commented on the selection of colours I was getting out of my Paintbox Yarns advent calendar after Sara mentioned that hers were rather pastel; I'm still not sure what I want to make from it, although I do have an idea that I'm going to look into and maybe do with the kids on Christmas Eve (no spoilers in case I totally run out of time, which is a distinct possibility). Sara sent me a photo of her colours (below) and they are so neutral! I'm really hoping she has some brighter colours now, although hers has gone so far down the neutrals route it'd be really odd if she suddenly got some neons!

Sara's Paintbox Yarns Advent Calendar selection. Image copyright Sara Roberts

I wonder how Paintbox Yarns chose the colours for the advent calendars? Does every calendar contain 24 different shades? Are they planned in any way? And is every calendar different? There are 60 different shades to choose from, so it's certainly possible that they're all different! I'm pretty sure (from my assessment of the #opaladventcalendar2016 tag on Instagram) that the Opal calendars have 24 yarns to choose from, but the order they appear in is random. has anyone else been opening a yarn advent calendar? Are you pleased with the yarns that have come out?

I'm hoping to get a bit more done on my sock yarn blanket this week as most of the Christmas planning is out of the way now (I still have to wrap the Christmas Day presents, and put one pre-Christmas birthday present in the post; this is the most organised I've been in years!); it's stalled over the past week.

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