Tuesday, 21 December 2010

My First Christmas Knitting!

This is the first year I have attempted knitting for Christmas presents.  I thought I'd start small, only making one gift to give this year, and I can work my way up for next year.

As my Gran-in-law is always complaining of a draft in her neck, I decided I'd make her a scarf.  However, she is one of those people who never likes anything she is given for Christmas and loves to return the things she gets (even things that she ASKED to get for Christmas!).  So I am running a bit of a risk, as if she hates it, she can't return it!

I chose to use this pattern, Shawl of Gratitude, as it's double sided, but I cast on less stitches, as I wanted more of a scarf than a shawl.  I used Robin Aran with Wool in Oatmeal.




The only challenge I faced was that the edges kept curling up , but a little bit of cool ironing with a damp cloth sorted that out.

I've added my little "knitted with love by" label, and hopefully she'll like it!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Gallery - White

For this weeks Gallery, Tara over at Sticky Fingers has chosen the theme "white". How appropriate!!  It certainly has been white in this part of the country over the last 24 hours, with over 8 inches of snow falling in 6 hours yesterday. 

The whole of Scotland just seemed to grind to a halt.  My husband didn't make it into work, abandoning the car just outside of our estate.  I was supposed to be night shift, and tried to get into work, but no buses, no taxi's, absolutely nothing was running.  Being a nurse, I felt to guilty that I couldn't get into work.  Three of my colleagues couldn't get home, so they pulled a double shift, and another colleague walked into work.  The whole country had just stopped.

Hubby and I took a walk up to the main road to see if any buses were running so I could get into work.  Outside was very eerie.  Streets that are usually so busy, and noisy, were serenely quiet.  Here was the scene on our main road:




So I know the gallery is supposed to be about taking one picture that captures the essence of the theme, but I'm SO indecisive and couldn't pick just one (I'm a Libran after all!).  I'm also a sucker for snow covered trees:











This last one is my favourite!!

Why not check out the other entries over at The Gallery?

Saturday, 4 December 2010

My Knitted Nativity

I've probably spoken about my Gran before.  She's the best knitter I know, well she was until she developed diabetes, along with which came macular degeneration which made her blind, and eventually a bit of dementia.  She still knits a little bit, but mostly just socks, because these are things she can do without even thinking of the pattern!

Last year she went into a nursing home.  She's very happy there, the staff are great, and she's so much better now that she's living there with company and not on her own.  But it meant we had to do the sad thing of clearing out her house, and sell it.  We spent every Christmas there, from the time I was born, with the last Christmas spent there being 2008.  We never had a Christmas at home (my parents insisted that Santa didn't know our address, so took our presents to Grans instead!).  Christmas just isn't the same now.

I inherited a few things from my gran, mostly some of her amazing stash of knitting needles and excess wool that she had stashed away.  But the best thing has to be her knitted Christmas decorations.  She hand made every one of them.  Enjoy!

Carol:


The two carol singers:




But my favourite has to be the knitted Nativity:

You have The 3 Kings:


The Shepherds and their Sheep:



And Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus:


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Digging The Car Out

The snow has brought almost everything to a standstill.  Luckily I'm on annual leave all week, and I don't have to make it in to work.  But my poor hubby, who is on early shift this week (starts at 6am) has struggled into work every morning. 

The roads are bad and the snow is deep.  But boy does it make the world look pretty!!

I went out to make sure my car would start, and I cleared about a foot of snow off it. I've not been out since Sunday (it's now Wednesday) and here's how it looked!





The snow was almost over the top of my wellies!


And todays official* measurement:



Just about 8 inches!


*not really

It's the final countdown!!

Christmas Adverts in October and November really annoy me.  I think it hypes people up for an event that is still months away. (Even though the snow has made everywhere look VERY Christmassy!).  I don't usually officially start preparing for Christmas until the 1st of December. 

Now, just because it's the 1st today, I'm not rushing to get my Christmas tree up, or starting to wrap all the presents I've bought so far.  But I'm very excited to finally get my Advent Candle up. 


And what a perfect Christmassy background!!

You light the wick on the first of December and burn in down past the number 1.  Then blow it out.  And repeat until the 24th.  The shorter the candle gets, the closer it is to Christmas!  It's lovely just put the lights out and sit in the candlelight.


Now to dig out the White Christmas and Muppet's Christmas Carol DVDs!!
It lasts longer than a square of chocolate (although we have a chocolate one to share too!) and it's so much prettier. 

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Gallery 37: Celebrations

This weeks theme over at Tara Cain's The Gallery is "Celebrations".
I could have re-hashed some photos of my wedding, as I only got married seven months ago.  But I've already used those as part of a previous gallery entry.

Four years ago, I was celebrating a different kind of milestone.  I graduated from College with a BSc in Nursing.  It was a great achievement for me, as I left school after 5th year and got a job, instead of going to University with the rest of my school friends.  I had worked in two Doctor's surgeries after school and during holidays, so became permanent there, working in 8am-12.30pm in one, and 1pm-6pm in the other.  It shaped my people skills, but I felt useless, trapped behind a desk.

When I was 20 I decided it was time to realise my dream of going into nursing, and enrolled in night school every Wednesday after work to gain my Higher in Human Biology.  I had always toyed with the idea, but wasn't quite mature enough, or ready enough to commit to three years of studying! I was accepted into the Nursing Degree programme in 2003 and graduated in 2006.  Can't believe it's been four years!!

I love my job. Nursing was the best decision I ever made.  There's nothing more rewarding, and I am challenged every day.  No two days are the same.  I meet amazing people and their families, and there's nothing more satisfying than caring for those who are ill.


(Some of the photos are a bit blurry as they're photo's of photo's - I don't have a scanner.)



Class of 2006: Can you spot me?




Why not check out the other posts over at The Gallery.


More Snow!

We have had more snow overnight and as I am writing this the snow fall has just got a little bit more blizzard like! So another opportunity for more photos.  The only thing is, they're just photos of outside my front door.  I've not ventured out in the snow yet, but I'll maybe take a walk later on and get some better photos.











Edited to add: Official measurement* of snow fall




*Yeah... my ruler can  be official, right?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Update 2: Extra Easy Cardigan

So, I had taken a little hiatus on working on my cardigan, and at one point made such a large mistake that I  had to rip it out and started again. 

But I'm glad to say I'm making progress and it's coming on quite quickly.

This is what it was looking like on the 27th November:


I did a little work on it on my break at work on Saturday night, and realised I didn't take my stitch holder so had to be creative and find a makeshift one:



A biro and some sellotape really does the trick!!

And here's what it looks like today (29th November):



I'm not the best photographer, so these photos may not be showing the best of the cardigan.  It's not that small either, the sides just wouldn't stay flat for the photo!!

The way I'm going, it may be finished by Wednesday, or Friday at the latest.

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