It's always a nice feeling when the winter solstice arrives, a calm and quiet pause before the wheel of the year begins to turn back towards longer, brighter days. Not that I dislike winter at all, in fact there are parts of it that I really love: sharp morning frosts; winter sunrises; warm winter woollies; cosying by the fire; hearty stews and soups; hot chocolate (incidentally if you like hot chocolate the check out Julie's recipe for a peanut butter version over on the Knitted Bliss blog, it is so delicious!)...
But the short days can be hard to bear, especially when they are overcast and it feels like daylight never really arrived at all. We've had mostly those kind of days this week, though there was a beautiful sunrise a few days back. The perfect antidote to such a lack of natural light is to fill the house with candle light, fire light and the light from the Christmas tree which is now up here (and being re-arranged daily by Toby).
Happily knitting is a perfect pastime for midwinter days and I've knitted a whole hat in the last 3 days. I used up most of my last precious skein of Ysolda's Blend no. 1. Using it up was a hard decision, as it looks like there will be no more but it has been a really good choice as it works perfectly in the finished hat. The pattern is Hermaness hats by Gudrun Johnston (there are 2 versions within the pattern - a beret and a beanie) and it was a pleasure to work - not too complicated, though I did have to rip back a few rows at the beginning of the second chart when I wasn't paying proper attention, (my project notes are here).
The arrival of eagerly anticipated packages in the mail also helps brighten any dreary day. Recently I fell in love with the work of Nastia Sleptsova having discovered her on Instagram and I bought myself an early Christmas present. Her little house brooches, cards and stickers are so sweet and everything was packaged so beautifully it was such a treat to open. There is even has a knitting themed collection 'The cozy knitter' in collaboration with Melody Hoffmann (bmandarines). There's such a lovely cosy gentleness to Nastia's work, and though it looks like her shop is taking a break over Christmas I'm sure she'll be back in the new year with new stock.
Well, I'll not be back until the new year myself, so until then I just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Keep warm, laugh lots and, if you can, be with the ones you love xxx