But first things first, thanks for all your very kind comments on my last post, and hello to new followers and commenters, it's lovely to meet you! The Christmas cake...let me explain. My Dad and I have for some years now had a little tradition where he and I make my Christmas cake together (this being his sole Christmas Cooking Duty and so of course he is an expert). Since my parents live 250 miles away we have to grab the baking opportunities when we can, and so we made it at the weekend. Actually, we started it together then Dad went out for a ride on John's bike and left me to it, so maybe I have passed some kind of test.
I am not one of those scary, organised people who declares that all their Christmas shopping is done by the end of October, making the rest of us feel inadequate. But I do love Christmas and, for me, the planning and list writing and making and shopping and wrapping and baking, the whole build up, is where the joy lies. So yes I have made my cake, there is one less job to do in December. And I always buy my Christmas pudding.
Anyway, the hat. It's not for Bella, it is for me, but she is a much prettier model.
Yes indeedy, it is true, I actually knitted a thing that was not a blanket or scarf or cushion!! I made a hat shaped piece of fabric (I decreased stitches!) and I knitted the very attractive stocking stitch (I purled!) and then I sewed it up and ta-da! a hat was made (I followed a pattern!!). This is big deal for me, and I am happy. I feel as though I have overcome a knitting mental block and I feel much more confident about the other knitting possibilities there are out there.
I used the pattern, needles and yarn we were given on the knitting course I attended at Baa Ram Ewe in Leeds a couple of weeks ago. It's a simple unisex hat with a garter stitch border and stocking stitch main section, knitted on UK size 10 needles with chunky Freedom Wool. It knits up really quickly, I made it in an evening, and while I didn't like working with the yarn (too fluffy) it does make a rather cosy hat.
However, I did find the hat a little plain, a little dull, with it's football stripes and lack of detailing, so I put my thinking cap on and made a felt flower.
But this was no good. The flower was too big, too childish. I looked like a cross between Robin Hood and a flapper from the 1920's. John took one look at it and just said "No". I was cross with him at first (I mean, after nine years of marriage, you need to learn when to lie) but he does have an pretty good eye for all things clothes related so I gave it some more thought.
And then I plucked up the courage to overcome another crafting mental block and I crocheted a flower. I used the May Rose pattern from the Attic24 blog. The step by step tutorial was so good, I understand now why so many people use her blog for patterns and advice, it really is brilliant.
Yes, I am aware that it is an easy flower, but up until this point I have only made granny squares, and I still find crocheting into a stitch tricky, but it is getting easier.
I am so pleased with the flower, and the hat, and the pink, green and cream colour combination and, well, all of it really. I have been wearing it every day and I've been very glad of it as the last few days have been really cold.
Have you ever overcome a crafty hurdle and found a world of possibilites opened itself up to you?