2020: Happy New Year

Giessensee, Bad Ragaz, covered in ice on 1.1.2020

Sorry I’m a day late – maybe even two days late if you are in Australia – but 2020 is such a satisfying kind of number that I just have to wish my readers a really happy and healthy new year.

I’m late because I was hurrying to meet a deadline I had set myself, to finish the translation of a book (that I started in November) by the end of 2019. Actually. I have until Easter for this but I wanted to prove something to myself I suppose, and anyway I was enjoying the work. Sadly, I needed one extra day, so this post got postponed. But the book is finished, all 200 pages, and I have also done the initial proofreading. Time to hand it over to a beta reader now.

I would probably have finished it even earlier if I hadn’t been so obsessed during December by using up all the wool in my stash and crocheting things that nobody really needs – but they all very politely said Thank You Very Much when presented with their handmade scarves, beanies, wrist-warmers and cowls at Christmas.

The only one who showed true enthusiasm was my great-grandson who seized on the bobble-topped beanie and wore it like a crown throughout my visit. Sweet!

It’s been a while since I presented my crochet projects, so here’s a summary:

Back in September, it was my granddaughter’s 13th wedding anniversary for which the gift is traditionally lace but can also be textiles. Their wedding was marked by masses of sunflowers, and so I crocheted a sunflower granny-square blanket for them. To my chagrin, I seem to have squared the circle multiple times. The round sunflower motifs all turned out squarish when linked together, but my granddaughter was very gracious in her acceptance of the blanket.

From the leftovers I made an owl hat and a cowl for my youngest great-granddaughter’s third birthday in early December. Bald for a long time, she does now have hair but I seem to have started a mini-tradition of providing her with hats on her birthday. As she has very blue eyes and I also had some blue wool, she also got a second hat that actually is rather too big for her, but no doubt she’ll grow into it. Again, graciously received.

My next production was a scarf, a Christmas gift to a good friend who has played hostess to me many times over the past years and who has frequently provided me with a comfortable bed and breakfast when I was reluctant to travel home late by public transport.

Another scarf for my eight-year-old great-granddaughter enabled me to use up the remains of the white wool from the sunflower blanket (it’s always very difficult to calculate just how many skeins of each colour will be needed) brightened by a ball of purple that was lurking in the bottom of my bag, and a further skein of white superwash wool came in handy for a white cowl with black edging and matching wristlets – hopefully they will be useful to my granddaughter. I was practising a honeycomb effect stitch, but forgot to take a photo of these.

The rest made a trim on the brown bobble hat seized on by my great-grandson and a snood for my daughter’s cocker spaniel.

A second snood saw the end of some fluffy red wool and a short length of furry white: very Christmassy!

Why does a dog need a snood, you ask? Cockers have long ears that dangle in their food if they eat from a flat dish, so a snood enables these ears to be tucked in tidily and kept clean.  

I might market these, with a jingle:

Don’t dangle your ears in your food
Wear a snood!

Now what else? My neighbour has been very kind and considerate so she deserved recognition, and it took the form of a soft wool cowl. I just hope she isn’t one of those people who can’t bear wool on their skin. But she could also wear this as an Alice-band ear-warmer if she is.

I was myself the beneficiary of my next invention, using up some lovely soft silk-alpaca mix given to me by my daughter a while ago. The problem with this is that it’s a devil to undo – if you make a mistake you can’t easily go back and rectify it, so I was loth to try anything really fancy.

This was probably a good thing in the end. I made myself a plaited (or braided) cowl which turned out to be too big, so then I made a smaller one that fits inside the larger one. There was still enough wool left over to make a hat, which was rather too close-fitting and made my head look like a skull, so I made some extra braids to go around it and then was fortunate enough to find a rabbit-fur pompom at the Christmas market that went perfectly with it. I hesitated to buy real fur, but the lady selling these items assured me – and I believed her – that they were all from domestic rabbits that had been butchered and eaten. So my conscience is clear on that score.

Those were all my pre-Christmas projects. Sitting around quietly on Boxing Day, with my daughter knitting as usual, and having exhausted my own stash, I asked if she had any spare yarn that I could play with. She gave me a skein of mustard wool and I made her a beanie (we bought her a fake fur pompom for that, and again I forgot to take a photo). As we were buying the pompom I also couldn’t resist some quite thick multi-coloured wool that required a size 7 hook, so that too went very fast and I now have a very useful short poncho.

And the very last item is a cable-stitch headband made from a leftover ball of teal-coloured wool.

That, then is my long excuse for being late with my new year greetings. One last photo, taken on 1st January 2020, as proof that we have beavers in our local pond. Most trees near the water are now wearing chicken-wire skirts to protect them. Maybe I could revive the custom of yarn bombing?

20 thoughts on “2020: Happy New Year

  1. Gosh! What a busy person you are with your crafts…and very nice too. I’m sure that they were all thrilled to receive those lovely handmade gifts. I sometimes struggle to find time to practice my art work and cross stitch. Perhaps that should be my mission in 2020; to make time!

    • I think it’s very important to find time for zje creative impulse. I too have neglecred my art for too long, and can’t see well enpugh for cross stitch any more, but crochet can be fitted in at any time anywhere. Happy new year, Al!

  2. My goodness, you have been so busy. I have a big stash of wool I was chewing through with a burning passion. So much so I gave myself a very sore shoulder, wrist and thumb. I think RSI which is proving to be a devil of a thing to recover from…. *sigh*.So no crocheting in the foreseeable future. At least it’s summer so too hot anyway.
    Hope you had a beautiful New Year and that 2020 proves to be filled with grace and Love.
    I trust you are not in the bushfire affected area. So sad to see the devastation and loss in life. I pray for refreshing, replenishing, cleansing rain to fall gently for a loooooong time

  3. Wow, you have been busy! Congratulations on finishing the book ahead of schedule. I’m surprised you have had time for all the craftwork too. Particularly loved the hat with the extra braiding.

    What a great photo of the icy water and mist below the mountain.

    Happy New Year to you too (I’m finally poking my head above the parapet).

    • Thank you. Glad to hear from you again. The crochet is relaxing after the concentration on the computer screen, and then I get obsessed/addicted! The scenery around here is always magnificent, rare that a photo does it justice. I hope the beavers in our little lake will be allowed to stay there in spite of them felling a few trees.

    • Thank you, Ducks. it’s a hook, not needles – i still haven’t mastered knitting! But it keeps me out of mischief and is great for winding down after I’ve battered my brain with “intellectual” work!

  4. Love your crocheting and creativity! Love the snood, pic and jingle!! That’s a great idea and I bet if you decided to market it it would do well! I do not have a dog as I’m very much a cat person, but clothing for dogs seems to have a very large market, at least in the U.S.! Silly humans.
    Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy 2020 – and thank you so much for your blog!

  5. Great photo of the pond. So, you crochet. I knit, but given all the time I spend ripping and redoing, I do sometimes wonder why. If you’re on Ravelry, friend me. My Ravelry name is Chezline. And happy new year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s