Sunday, December 25, 2022

Yopping Update #26 - Merry Christmas from Gnova

 Yes, all twenty-four Gnomes have come out to play. Because Christmas is here!

Last night, Christmas Eve, we went to see a life nativity performance in the village square, or brce as it is called here in Kastela Kambelovac.

Mary arrived on a lovely donkey, and there were many shepherds in the crowd.  It was very magical.  

This past week, besides swimming in 11C water, was finishing up the Imagined Landscapes' Gnome KAL. 

Meet Gnova - she has interchangeable hats!

I love her messenger bag

I finished twelve of my gansey squares and I won't cast on anymore until I source some new motifs and besides I have two different socks on the needles that need my attention. 

We hung our stockings last night.  Three were handknit.  Guess who used a rather used sport sock?

I will leave you a picture I took last week.  If you are familiar with Norse mythology then you will know of the three Norns that weave the past, present and future.  I imagine they look just like this:

Merry Christmas from my heart to yours and may your 2023 be full of wonderful crafting moments, time with family and friends, and good health. 

Oh yes, and world peace would be great too!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Yopping Update #25 - A little of this, A little of that


I am keeping up with the Imagined Landscapes KAL for the wee gnome Gnova.  I should be able to post pictures of her in the New Year.  I am also working on a testknit sock - and since it is a secret I can't post a picture of that either.  

I have knit ten gansey squares now and they are proving to be quite addictive so I am sure I will be knitting more that the required sixteen.  

Other than that I have been swimming more days than not and the water is getting colder each day it seems.  Yesterday and today it was 11 degrees Celcius and it felt very cold, but I stayed in ten minutes. 

The gnomes are still helping us count down the days until Christmas - only three to go as of this morning.  When all twenty-four are strung with Saint Gnicholas I will post a picture next week. 

Yes, a short post this week, but hopefully next week I will have some finished projects to post.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Yopping Update Week 24 - It's finished!

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Well despite having to rip out all of the bird chart the first time round, and then rip out all of the three inches of  two colour ribbing at the bottom and re-knit in a single colour I am happy to report that.....drum roll please.....Birdsong is finished!  

It hasn't been washed and blocked but I will do that once I get back home.  I have worn it outside already and I am very happy with the fit and with the warmth.  A perfect autumn sweater.

I then got down to business and finished my December Gnome.  The pattern is called Oh Gnome you Didn't, and I named her Oh yes I Did! (She is a Gnome without a beard - very rare indeed!)

she is mine - a keeper for sure

I wasn't going to join in on Imagined Landscapes December Gnome KAL, but seeing the posts I definitely was suffering from FOMO and then my dear friend sent me the pattern as an early Christmas present.  I am going to start knitting today now I have chosen the yarn from the stash I have with me.  It is hard to pick colours for a mystery knit a long, and I mostly chose from leftovers that were big enough to manage the project. 

I also have some gold and brown that may find their way into the fray

I have also started a gansey lap blanket.  It too was a KAL earlier in the fall, but Birdsong was taking all my energy so I saved the four motifs, bought some suitable yarn and waited until Birdsong was on my back rather than on my needles.  I have one square done....only fifteen to go!  

Nathaniel Colby Motif

gansey lap blanket colours

After a big project like BirdSong I am happy to have smaller ones.  I bought some yarn on Friday for a number of socks I am test knitting for next summer's Supersock World Championship.
Clearly I was in a neon kind of mood :)

I still have yet to start on my second Wetland Gansey sock.  So many socks in my future.  But today it will be a gnome kind of day.

I went swimming today. The first swim in three days as we have been having fierce rain storms with thunder and lightning.  Definitely not suitable weather for swimming.  The sea has been around 14C which is Ccoolldd, but I managed 15 minutes of breaststroke. Kept my head out of the water as wind on wet head is sure fire way to brain freeze.  Of course getting dressed and warmed up after takes about an hour or more.  And then a hot bath to really seal the deal.  It isn't advisable to have a bath or shower right after coming out of the water as it can fool your body into thinking you are warm when in fact your core is still needing the extra attention.  I am learning so much about my body and how it reacts to the cold water from a few different online forums with other Wild Cold Water swimmers.  

Today my daughter's landlord took us to see his olive grove.  He has 140 trees and it was so peaceful walking in the orchard, plus the view of the sea and the city of Split was amazing. And yes, I was wearing Birdsong

The little advent gnomes are counting down the days until Christmas for us and my granddaughter seems to delight in seeing each new gnome appear every morning.  As of today only fourteen more days until Santa comes!  Cookies were made last night (and almost all eaten) and I bought some decorations for the tree we have yet to get.  We are on the lookout for a live tree, but if not I found a store that sells reasonably priced artificial ones.  I have become a huge fan of the store here called Tedi's.  It has everything, and for very reasonable prices.  I bought a pair of sweatpants last week which are easier to put on after my swim than my leggings, and the week before I bought a long fleece-lined hoodie.  Of course every time I leave Tedi's I seem to have a few balls of yarn with me too.  My grand-daughter's birthday is a few days after Christmas so we also bought some things for her upcoming fourth birthday. I am so glad we will be able to celebrate with her this year!

I hope all my dear readers are finding time during this busy season to enjoy family and friends and perhaps to cuddle up under a warm blanket with an equally warm drink to watch a Christmas movie or two.  That's my plan today for certain.  Well that, and gnome knitting.  And maybe a gansey square or two. And those socks are whispering to me......

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Yopping Along - better late than never

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I am sadly behind in my yopping update and I thought I was only a couple of weeks behind and not a whole month!  I am here now so let's get updating. I think this is the update for the 23rd week. 

I finished the last four advent gnomes just in time for December 1st.  My granddaughter is enjoying playing with them as we count down to Christmas.  Four down - Twenty to go. 

and here they all are ready for their day by day reveal:

including Saint Gnicholas

November 25th was International Gansey Day and our intrepid leader put together a collage of many of the ganseys we have knit for the Cordova Gansey Project

can you find me?  

I have been knitting socks - but they are all testknits for next season's SuperSock World Challenge so no pictures to show.  Two done - ten to go (I am knitting shorty singles just to make sure I understand all the patterns since I will be a moderator once the race begins). 

There has also been a blanket, 2 pillows and a bed knit for my granddaughter's dollies. 

side one of doubleknit pillow

side two (what was I thinking)

BirdSong and I are still trying to get along.  I do love this pattern, but it hasn't been easy.  I mistakenly did the bottom rib of the sweater in two colours because I didn't read the instructions correctly and I a) didn't like the stiff feeling of the ribbing, or b) how it lay against my hips,  so yesterday I frogged all three inches and picked up 280 stitches and started the ribbing again with just the main colour.  I am much happier now, but that has set me back a few more days.  I have the decreasing done on the first sleeve, and need about 3 more inches for doing the cuff - which is supposed to be the two colour ribbing.  

Note to self - read the instructions carefully and don't blunder on thinking you know what's going on.

I hope to be done by Christmas - maybe sooner if no more hiccups arise. 

I am knitting myself another Gnome.  I didn't joing the KAL this month but decided to make another Oh Gnome you Didn't for myself as I have given the other two away.  By next week I will probably have her done and can show her off. 

I do have plans for a gansey throw - I have the pattern and the wool - and when Birdsong gets too much I will start on the squares.  The square patterns were posted on the The Lowestoft Gansey Project on facebook.

I will be here with my daughter for another six weeks or so before heading home.  I have to leave because my visitor visa is only good for three months out of six.  I hope to return in May once I am eligible to come back into the country.  I have permission from the Police Department here to overstay a wee bit, because flights are soooooo expensive in December.  At this point it looks like I can get home for a more reasonable price in mid-January.  It is challenging dealing with red tape in a foreign country but so far it is going okay.

I have been swimming everyday for 15 minutes as long as there are no thunderstorm warnings (which there are yesterday and today).  The sea is about 14C but I am layering up my bathing suits, and I have my neoprene gloves and silicone cap which makes it quite doable.  

My dh has joined us now so we are both on the same timezone.  Makes chatting much easier!  

I will try to not let another month go by before posting my next update - I really don't know where the time goes!

If you want to follow other Yoppers their updates are on the top righthand side of my blog.  I am sure anyone that crafts for Christmas is racing the clock to get their projects done before the 25th.  If that is you - I wish you smooth crafting and no frogging.  (That goes double for me!)