Thursday, December 25, 2014

December 2014

     What a busy time of year this becomes, when Thanksgiving ends and Black Friday brings out the many shopping patrons looking for good deals.  The stores put out their best holiday light displays and the malls are alive with Christmas music and Santa displayed in an uncluttered area of the store where all the children can congregate.   I find Black Friday to be a fun time for bargain hunting, the hustle and bustle of shoppers, a coffee break or lunch, and people watching.  By the time I get home I am truly satiated and exhausted. 


     In the evening, I love to read cozy mysteries that have holiday-related themes. A few of my favorites this season are ones that involving knitting, quilting and Victorian themes. 




       You can find many good books at great discounts from Amazon,com. Because of my budget, I generally place them on holds at the local library. The savings on book costs helps to fund my yarn supply.


         And,  I love to look at all the beautiful yarns that are produced for the Winter knitting frenzy that the weather and holidays seem to require.  Whether or not to purchase any more yarn is always a number game for me, after essentials are taken care of.  Recently, in my email I received an interesting decision-making aid from Amusing Yarns, that helps take the guesswork out of such decision-making processes. It seems there is a scientific way to determine whether or not one should make a yarn purchase, based on specific criteria.   Interestingly, I believe that no matter how you answer a question, it will always lead to buying yarn. Isn't that clever?  For a larger view of the chart, go to their website at

     A few of the knitting projects I have been working on over the past month are Christmas gifts for my daughter and my mother. Boot toppers for my daughter are finished and have been warmly received.

     Back in October, in honor of Pink October's Cancer Awareness month, I began a pink shawl for my mother.  The shawl is in remembrance of her mother, my grandmother and my daughter's great grandmother, who died from cancer.  My mother is 95 years young and gets a chill when watching TV or reading in bed, so I think this may help to keep her warm.  The project turned out well and I managed to watch all 5 episodes of Downton Abbey, Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise, North & South and Cranford as I knit for hours on end on a project consisting of many YOs and ktbl patterning.  I "unknit" many rows, over and over, in order to keep the stitch count correct.


      I love the finished shawl and the versatility of the many many in which it can be worn, all 61.5" of it.  The pattern is by Jennifer L. Jones, called, "Glitzy Cat's Paw Lace Wrap". And, here's the finished project that I started in Pink October's Cancer Awareness month, in memory of my grandmother who passed from cancer in the 70s.

For myself, I have been working on other knitting projects that include a long sweater in an open lace knit, the beginning of a cabled sweater and, if I can locate more of a discontinued yarn, a lovely dark grey tweed Aran knit vest with many cables and seed stitch patterning.  So far, the cabled sweater (back) is progressing nicely with a lovely cream yarn by Caron.

  If you have a beginning knitter on your Santa list, this starter kit is a great gift idea, complete with instructions, knitting accessories, including needles, and other items to help a new knitter get started. the first experience in shopping for appropriate yarn weight would be a lovely outing for any young girl (or guy).  Who says only gals knit? Have you ever seen Kaffe Fassett's knitting styles? Truly works of art.

Baking Goodies

      For anyone who loves cookies, there has come to my attention a wonderful blog for a a goodies site called, "Sprinkle Bakes".  Such lovely and decadent treats to be enjoyed. The photography alone is worth viewing. Here's one of my favorite recipes:

From Sprinkle Bakes comes the most fabulous ideas for baked goodies.  One of the most colorful delights is the spiral cookie, with sprinkles that highlight the tasty treat.

 The cookie starts out as laid out, flat sheets of two different colored and/or flavored doughs. It is then rolled into a cylindrical shape, covered in baking sprinkles and then sliced into cookie rounds for baking.  Such a creative and textural delight!

The Finished Cookie

The free recipe and directions, along with many other wonderful goodies, can be found at:

Ham Roll

The author's dog at Sprinkle Bakes is "Biscuit".  I can imagine how he got that name, as he seems to be watching for any possible interruptions to grabbing hold of this delicious looking ham roll.  


    I had to laugh at the look on the little Pug's face, as it reminded me so much of our new little Dachshund, Ruby.  She has the most precious face and naughty behaviors. you just can't help but laugh at their antics.


        I always get a kick out of  animal photos, especially ones that show the animals in fun costumes or unusual behaviors to their breed. Here are some of my favorites that always make me smile.

    Christmas Cards !!                                                                Bunny Boots

              Hedgehog Plays Santa                                            


     Red-Tailed Woodpecker spotted
     in our back yard, like above photo

     Speaking of critters, our Ruby has been quite the interesting breed of dog. I've never been the owner of a small breed dog, having parented a Labrador and German Shepherd for over 10 years. But this Dachshund has been an interesting and at times, frustrating breed to get use to. But she is a lovely girl who has found her forever home here. The cats like (tolerate) her and they seem to like to sleep together at times. Napping is one of their favorite times together.

   Ruby on her favorite rug, by the heater.


No comments:

Post a Comment