Racing around

I hate racing around at this time of year, trying to get everything ready for the holidays. Mainly because I hate traffic.  The traffic here is appalling. It never used to be. There was never really even much of a rush hour, more like a rush twenty minutes, and then it was all over and you could get pretty much wherever you wanted to go easily. Not now though. I realise times have moved on somewhat, I’m not that old, but even so, the South West of England is now heaving. Some friends of ours that moved away only a couple of years ago came back recently for a visit and the first thing out of their mouths when they burst through the door was ‘isn’t the traffic awful’ – and it wasn’t even near Christmas then.

So, needless to say, I do the majority of my shopping on the internet.  I like to support small businesses though so I ease my conscience by buying  from artisan sellers on the net and small independent shops that have websites.  It makes me feel a little better about not actually getting out there and joining the throng.

There are times though when the internet just won’t do and I have to bite the bullet. Yesterday we ventured into town to look at the Christmas Market at Exeter Cathedral. Seriously, it took longer to get there and park than we actually spent shopping. (Partly because it poured down with rain and being such novices about actually shopping we were neither dressed appropriately or had an umbrella. We did laugh though, a lot.) I realised looking at all the new shops that it had been a long, long time since I was last there. It was enjoyable. Well, not the getting there and parking bit, (or the getting soaked to the skin bit) but the wandering about bit was good and I realised I sort of miss that. Internet shopping is great and I’m not about to stop any time soon, but you just can’t underestimate the tactile experience of being in a shop and touching things.  A bit like a digital book verses an physical book. There are books that I am quite happy to have in digital format, fiction books mainly, but then reference books I almost always buy the actual book. Digital just doesn’t cut it for me when reading say, a cookery book. Following this debacle shopping trip, I have decided that actually going shopping is an experience that I should perhaps have more often. Just not at this time of year and perhaps next time I’ll take an umbrella!

I have been knitting a few more gifts. I try to limit the amount of knitted gifts that I give as I find the pressure to get them all done takes the edge off the enjoyment somehow.  That’s just me though as I know people who give a lot of knitting and the pressure is part of the enjoyment of it all. I could just start earlier in the year I know, but I’m never that organised however much I think I am.

After making the Legato mittens and boot toppers for a couple of girl friends, I decided that they went together so quickly I would knit a couple more and add a cowl to the mix.  I have a friend who would prefer a cowl to mittens so I put one together with the same pattern and yarn.

Legato Cowl
Legato Cowl

I realised when knitting the leg-warmers that this stitch pattern in almost as pretty on the reverse as it is on the front.

Legato Cowl Inside
Reverse side of knitting

Guiltily, this one is mine.  I have knitted one which is now wrapped up and ready to give but really liked it so made one for myself.  It came in handy when caught in the deluge of rain yesterday as it stopped the rain that was pouring off my face from going down my front! I will forever have fond memories of it if just for that reason alone.

The yarn is the Elann Pippilongcolors that I used for the others but this time in the colour-way Storm in a Tea Cup.

Legato Mitten Palm
Legato Mittens – Storm in a Tea Cup

Couldn’t help whipping up a pair of fingerless mittens in this colour as well. I think it is my favourite so far. They knit up so quickly that the pair only took me a few hours to do.

I have added the cowl to the pattern so now it contains all the accessories together in one pattern: Cowl, mittens, boot toppers and leg warmers.

I have stepped away from the accessory knitting now and have started work on a new project, a yoke sweater.  I’ve had an design in mind for one for some time now and did start to knit a small baby one as a sample, either earlier this year or the end of the last, I forget exactly now (it’s an age thing again), but have re-started the project in adult size. I hope to have enough of it done to show you next time along with a biscuit recipe that I am working on.

Try not to get stuck in traffic this season.



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