I hope that everyone reading this had a very Merry Christmas and Santa brought you everything that you asked for. I did pretty well with the gifts, particularly in the chocolates and biscuit areas, so I am looking into the future and predicting that my trainers are going to be seeing a bit more use in the near future. Either that or I will be hitting the sales in search of jeans in a slightly bigger size.
Well then. So 2007 has passed away - with quite a flash and a bang last night thanks to the neighbour's fireworks - when did this become such a part of new years celebrations? It took me ages to persuade Mr C to come out from under the sofa. Grrr! But anyway.... and we are now into 2008. A whole new year filled with promise and without any mistakes in it (to (mis)quote Anne).
As is traditional I have been looking back over the last year's accomplishments and casting a critcal eye on them.
So. Knitting. 2007 was definitely the year of lace. Although there has not been so much of anything of late and I still have the second Earl Grey sock and the circular shawl on the needles (oh, and a bit of a crochet blanky done).
Swallowtail Shawl - first lace. Prettiest lace.
Cabled hoody - finished at last! Phew.
Zebra socks - not especially impressed by the stripnicity.
Lambchop - Probably my favourite knit of the year. Now residing in my sister's cupboard. Ah well.
Cherry leaf shoulder shawl - in pale green Posh Yarns Eva. Turned out very nicely.
Bayerische socks - Boo! to the Sock Hater.
Tank top - very handy for work. A black one would be even better.
Forest Canopy Shawl - great present for step mothers.
Clanger - very cute, very pink.
Dobbin aka Sheldon the Turtle - great pattern. Definitely want to make more of these in different colour combos.
Felted slippers - fun to knit but tedious tedious tedious to felt to the right size.
Seashell socks - the merino yarn didn't like it in the washing machine. Oops. If only the felted slippers had felted this easily. T'uh.
Artemis top - looks nice on the hanger but could do with a bit more shaping to make it a bit more flattering.
Devan - I really liked making this and was very pleased with the way it turned out. This was my favourite non-lace, non-toy knitting this year. Last year. Um.
Ugly socks - hmmm.
Earl Grey socks - on the heel. Am really liking Garnstudio's Fabel sock yarn. It's very fine and soft. Using smaller needles gives a very comfy sock indeed.
Circular shawl - still on the go. Now I have all the needles I'll ever need I shall be able to finish this shortly. Promise.
Not as much as last year, but the lace knitting is a bit more time consuming than plain. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I think next year I will try to use up some of the contents of my stash that has been waiting around for the longest. I had thought that while I was off work over the holidays I would get lots done, but it doesn't seem to have worked out like that and I've been doing other stuff instead, like reading, cooking and drawing. I think the knitting will return once I get back into the routine of work (boo!) again.
Next. I read some books.
33. Assassin's Quest - Robin Hobb (current)
32. Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb ***
31. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens ****
30. The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman ***
29. Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb ****
28. The Tale of Beatrix Potter - Margaret Lane ****
27. Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier *****
26. Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier *****
25. Cat Confidential - Vicky Halls **
24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling ** and a half
23. The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart **
22. We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver *****
21. The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman ***
20. The Good Life Gets Better: Panning for Gold - Dorian Amos ***
19. Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer *
18. Rilla of Ingleside - LM Montgomery ***
17. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells ****
16. Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl McPhee ***
15. A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin *****
14. Do You Remember The First Time? - Jenny Colgan ** a warning that you shouldn't read books that come free with magazines.
13. What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge *** + an extra * because I loved this book as a child.
12. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson *****
11. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde ***
10. The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux * but I deduct that * because of Andrew Lloyd Webber
9. The Remains of the Day- Kazuo Ishiguro ****
8. Moonset - Louise Cooper ****
7. Northern Lights - Philip Pullman ****
6. Eclipse - Louise Cooper ***
5. Hide and Seek - Ian Rankin **
4. Knots and Crosses - Ian Rankin ***
3. Artemis Fowl - Eown Colfer ***
2. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood *****
1. Bleak House - Charles Dickens *****
I think my favourite book would be a choice between The Girl with a Pearl Earring and Cold Mountain. They are completely different though, so I can't decide. Read them both.
What else did I mention? Cooking. I did a fair bit of baking this year, mostly trying to bake decent cookies. I still haven't managed it but considering the size of our Christmas goodies stash and how I really shouldn't indulge so much if I want to fit into my clothes, I don't think this is a hobby that I should be persuing!
Drawing and painting. I have to confess to being a doodler. Give me a pen and paper and I will scribble. I was given a lot of super arty stuff like paints, instruction books and posh paper for Crimble (I think the rellies were a bit relieved that there wasn't any knitting stuff on the list!) and I have made a decision (which in itself is unusual!) to try and improve my skills, particularly with watercolours. I am thinking of starting a painting blog separate from this one to keep notes on my progress and encourage me to paint regularly. Today would be a good day to decide, as I could do a drawing a day. Maybe. We'll see.