There are so many things buzzing around my head at the moment and the biggest one is Christmas. I know some don't like to think about it this early but I need to get my head around the planning now, before it all gets too busy. Where are we going, what are we doing, what is required of me? Do I need to order a turkey? That sort of thing. There are children's wish lists to be coordinated and gift ideas distributed among family members, budgets agreed; with a large extended family and six December birthdays, we plan these things with military precision.
I haven't yet made Christmas cakes or preserves yet, something I usually do in October, and I've missed this seasonal task of mine as it's one I always enjoy. I am thinking about Christmas crafting, something I really can't leave until the last moment; gifts for the children and my friends, perhaps something decorative for the house too. Teacher gifts: do I want to make individual Christmas cakes? If so what shall I bake them in? And I better get a move on and buy the ingredients.
I've been trying to make a pumpkin pie cheesecake for the last three weeks. I keep buying the ingredients (gingersnaps, digestive biscuits, cream cheese, double cream) and every weekend I run out of time to bake it, and the biscuits get eaten, the cream used in something else. I'll make it though if it kills me, I didn't buy overpriced tins of Libby's pumpkin puree for nothing.
Work should be starting on our new roof any day now. I need to check when the scaffolding is going to arrive. I am mostly in denial about this huge piece of home improvement, and the holidays and other things we're sacrificing to get it done, and the cost.
I need to get in touch with the puppy training place and see when we can start taking Ziggy to some puppy socialisation classes. We also need to work a on the house training more. I'm getting kind of sick of cleaning the floors. We are enjoying some lovely autumnal woodland walks with him though, especially over the weekends.
I am tired and a bit grumpy. I'm sneezing a lot and my throat hurts, so I'm fairy sure I'm coming down with a cold.
We only have one episode left of Stranger Things to watch. It's been so good, I don't really want to watch the final episode though because that means it will be over.
The weather has turned colder and we've been lighting the fire most nights, and candles too. Bella has given herself the job of candle lighter and enjoys lighting them for our family meals, or just a couple in the living room when we're all in there together. I've got lots of candle stick stubs and tumble dryer fluff and I'm wondering whether I could make some homemade firelighters with them. Pinterest will have the answer, I feel sure.
We had an hour long power cut last Friday night, around tea time. It was a major pain, although I did feel justified in all my candle stick purchases because let's just say that we were amply lit. But quite a few times since then the lights have flickered and dimmed, and John and I look at each other and think, power cut?
These are just some of the thoughts buzzing around my noisy head tonight (is yours the same?) and when it gets like this I reach for Soothing Crochet. Something I don't have to think about - nothing to count, no decisions to make, no pattern to consult. I have for some time now had a bag of rather nice cashmerino yarn scraps, half and quarter balls left over from various projects over the years, and some my mum gave to me left over from some cushions she'd made. They are mostly black and greys with some pinks, reds, pale blue and a sort of charteuse yellow. Together they weighed around 200g, or the equivalent of four new balls, so enough for a project.
I made a long foundation chain, joined it, crocheted into it in double stitches. Then I started working in clusters of three trebles, to create a sort of granny stripe but continuous. I reach for a colour and work with it until it runs out, changing the yarn midway through a row if necessary.
It's about half way through now. With every row it grows in structure and density. I don't want it to be floppy, I want it to have some substance to it.
My plan is just to crochet until the yarn is gone. I have kept back enough for the final row, in black, but other than that it's just all rolling together, one continuous cowl. I like how dark and moody the colours are, perfect for a dark and wet November day. I think I might go and hook a few rows now, in fact, with a cup of tea and some chocolate.
Joining in with Jennifer at Thistlebear's Winter Project Link Party.