Making winter in Wales

I love the idea of making things in winter so I joined the Making Winter bloghop over at Thrifty Household.  There are some seriously talented people doing some very exciting things.  I am not an artist or a real craftsperson but I have decided to be less apologetic about my own making and doing and just to enjoy it, in all its glorious amateurism!  I had a huge chunk of my life when working and family sucked up all my time and energy and the two constants which I somehow carved out time for were cooking and gardening.  Sewing and knitting and making things disappeared from view.  Now when I am rushing from pillar to post and wondering what happened to my wish for a simpler life, I need to remind myself that  I have got some time back.  In the last year or two I have returned to the skills I learnt in my childhood from my grandmothers and practised in adolescence in New Zealand where clothes were expensive to buy and everyone made things.  I rarely sit down in the evenings now without some knitting or crochet in my hands and I am starting, after a while of having to just enjoy the process,  to produce things that I love.

I do tend to get quite easily bored though and so I love learning to do something I have never done before.  Knitting in the round is a current favourite and this neckwarmer pleases me a lot.

It comes from a lovely book called "Weekend Knitting" by Melanie Falick which was also the source of an easy fingerless gloves pattern.  It is just full of things you want to have a go at.  This is made in brioche stitch which uses two different colours of wool.

So it is entirely reversible.  I must admit I had to start it, pull it back after a few rows and start again five times so you can tell I am not the most expert knitter around!  But when I had finally got the pattern,  the neckwarmer grew quite quickly and the magic of the stitch really pleased me.

Since I finished it I seem to have worn it pretty much every time I have been outside.  The double strand of wool makes it incredibly cosy and unlike scarves, my other big love in winter, it doesn't dangle into the chicken feed or get caught up in the greenhouse door.  Now I have found a pattern for a Moebius scarf and am itching to have a go at that but I need some new needles first!

There is something so rhythmic and almost meditational in knitting or crochet and the right pattern needs enough of your mind to be absorbing but leaves you with enough left over to be able to talk if you want to.  Unlike a really good book which I fall into like going down a hole and which makes me totally antisocial until I have finished it, or machine sewing which takes you away from people and away from the fire, knitting is companionable.  I know that when spring comes I will be up and away outside and all my knitting will be packed away until winter comes again but I rather like the seasonality of it.  It is all part of the rhythm of my life.

The last of the damson gin is bottled too and the damsons stoned ready to be made into a chocolate, apple and damson betty.  I am hoping that as the damsons have been sitting in sugar and gin for a couple of months they will help to produce a boozy sophisticated take on a family favourite pudding when our children start arriving for the Christmas holiday in a couple of days time.

And then there is the damson gin.  I am thinking that it would be OK to taste a small glass, just to make sure that it is up to scratch before offering it to others.  That's fair, do you think?


  1. I think that you must make it a priority to conduct some serious consumer research into that damson gin Elisabeth before proffering it to others. Love the idea of a scarf that does not get in the way!

  2. Absolutely, get a small glass out and do some quality assurance!

  3. Oh I do like that neck warmer. I love knitting in the round as you don't need to think about it you just knit and knit but usually I make bags, think I might need to start making neck warmers! I'll definitely need to look out that book thanks Elizabeth.
    & I think you need to check just for quality control purposes that the gin is A OK, although it might take a glass or two before you're completely sure! ;)

  4. I would say that it depended on what you were knotting (that is to taste damson gin). You make me very envious - in the great crocheting boom - when? Late 1970s? I once cricheted an egg cosy but found bigger projects beyond me. Not sure it ever got used, though.

  5. You have tempted me into making a neck warmer!

  6. I think you definitely taste it to check it's fit for others to drink! Love the neck warmer :)

  7. Isn't it compulsory to taste any drink you made yourself? First test for poison, and if you survive, test for taste, then maybe another test just to make sure.....

  8. And if you need a second opinion ....

  9. I did plan to take up some sort of craft this winter but so far have been so busy I haven't found the time. I fear I might never get round to it. I haven't even sat down to plan my allotment for next year which could take up most of January!!

  10. Making a Roman blind nearly pushed me over the edge two weekends ago, so I may take some time before becoming a crafty blogger! It's always lovely to see what other bloggers have created though.

  11. I suspect my real talents lie with damson gin tasting rather than knitting but I am getting better!

  12. I think they look very nice. I have been doing some sewing but I keep getting backache and I am struggling to adapting to having to wear glasses these days. I remember knitting the boys jumpers in the round when they were little - one was bright red with a white bear's face, was very popular and easy. There is also less sewing up to do!

  13. Very nice stitch and colour combo Elizabeth. That plus the Damson gin makes me long for a Christmas in Wales so instead I enjoy your blog and send you Festive Greetings and a very Happy New Year.

  14. Re: the damson.... only if you share!

    Re: the neck warmer... I recently made my first as a gift for a friend in Italy. I made it much longer, and a bit wider, so it pulls up over the head as a hood as well! Love the colors in yours. Since I crochet instead of knitting, I used a bi-colored yarn to get my variation.

  15. It's so good to make things. I enjoyed crocheting a neckwarmer and several washcloths for gifts this year; it was a good break from making something for myself. Your neckwarmer is beautiful!

    And, Yes, do taste the damson gin!


Post a comment

Comments are the best thing and the conversations they produce are the whole purpose of blogging for me. Do tell me what you think!

Popular posts from this blog

Making lined curtains

Running and Spanish and oodles of family time

Resurrecting the garden blog