13 January, 2023.

Hello friends, Happy New Year! I’ve been absent since the beginning of November because life just got crazy. That tends to happen between October and the end of January due to so many birthdays and, of course, Christmas. I hope everyone had a wonderful end of 2022 and has welcomed 2023 with renewed hope and vigour. This blog was probably the first item on my 23 for 2023 list and I hope to be more regular with posting. I’m going to start with this year’s projects and I’ll only bring in things from last year while I’m working on or finishing them. I’m not sure I’d remember very much from the blur of November and December!

I had a Christmas Day cast on, though I was unable to do that until almost bedtime but I was determined to get it on my needles. You can see how little of it was done. I cast on Joji Locatelli’s Starting Point which I purchased as a mystery knit along many years ago. I did start it at the time but my yarn colours were so ill suited that I didn’t get much done. This shawl is done with 5 different skeins of yarn but I’m winging it with my twelve advent minis from After Hours Yarns and including a plain white yarn. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo with all twelve minis together but they’ll be revealed as the shawl grows. I was going to keep the skeins in order and started with number 1 and number 7 – the shawl is knit from the end to the centre, twice and I’m doing them at the same time. I was almost finished the first two minis when I realised I should have started with 1 and 12 as the cast ons are each end. I didn’t want to undo it all so I’ll keep going as it is. Christmas was a lovely time with family.

In my final post of 2023 (early November!) I mentioned I was going to join in with Bonnie Hunter’s annual Quiltville Mystery. That started in early December and it has had the highest focus of my crafting since then. I was able to keep up with it until Part 5, which I finished yesterday, although Part 7 has been out since last Saturday! I’m going to use the “eating an elephant” process to finish this quilt – one bite at a time. 😁🐘 The following photos show the different steps for getting the blocks together. There are 16 blocks and the last step for the block is shown in the final photo which has all 15 Part 5 blocks and 1 Part 6 block. Once I’ve finished Part 6, I’ll still need to add the special sashing to complete the top, plus a pieced border. So there’s still a considerable amount of piecing and trimming ahead of me!

The other main focus for me at the moment is a baby blanket for my number four grandchild due to be born in the next couple of weeks. Due to the imminent arrival, I decided to go with crochet and I wanted to make plain blanket with coloured spots. I searched on Ravelry and the internet generally and found the Colourful Polka Dots baby blanket. This is a free pattern I found on the internet but is also available on Ravelry. I have changed how the dots are done – the pattern carries the yarn along the row but it was so obvious against the white yarn that I decided to do each dot individually. I also wanted to do different colours along each row so doing them individually allowed me to do that. I purchased the yarn from The Krafty Mobile while they were having their summer sale. The parcel arrived and I was totally in love with how it was packaged! The white yarn is Bellissimo 8, a 100% merino extra fine machine washable wool. The colours are Fiddlesticks Peppin 8, the same 100% fine merino superwash wool. I won’t list the colour names as there are only numbers. It’s knitting up very nicely and I’m really happy with how it’s coming along. I may not be as happy when I start sewing in all the coloured ends!

The one last current project is a temperature stitchery. I decided to join @barefootcrafter and @carrosecreative using the Mini Motives by Zahra Design Studio. For the colour chart, I was guided by Barefoot Crafter’s choice but ended up going with what I actually had. I haven’t used my floss in ages and some of these are probably not available anymore! I’ve only done one week’s worth but I find they are so quick and easy to do, I’d rather do several in one sitting.

Well, this post has taken far longer than I’d intended so I’ll finish there and get it published. I’ve been enjoying a little bit of beach weather and also babysitting my youngest grandchild so there’s been less time for crafting. I have more starting now and I’ll fill you in on that in the next post. Hope you have time for some crafting too!😊

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