November is here - the shops are full of decorations and Boney M is filling the sound systems in every supermarket! I'm afraid by the time Christmas arrives I feel a little Grinch-like as I am so tired of hearing the same thing and reluctantly enter shops I know have these songs blaring forth! Seeing Christmas decorations and pale looking mince pies in October is also not my favourite thing - but then I love making my own and having the gorgeous Christmas smells permeating my home - despite the sunshine and heat! I'm a traditional Christmas girl in the southern hemisphere with an equally traditional husband so we make our own mince pies, cook a turkey and ham, make a huge Christmas pudding in a cloth from my mother-in-law's recipe as well as a 12inch Christmas cake (also her recipe). Our daughter Catherine has, in recent years, taken over the icing responsibilities. This is usually means we can expect an unusually iced cake - last year it was marbled in black and white!
It's our warm season with spring flowers blooming everywhere but we seem to be having so many high winds battering them at the moment and crazy temperature fluctuations from under 20 degrees celsius to late 30's from day to day! Nothing is very predictable these days except our wool crafts that we can do no matter the temperature! I have been weaving a lot lately and just spin and knit when I meet up with my knitting and spinning friends in two different groups. In my weaving I'm trying to use some of my huge stash of handspun yarns that have accummulated over the last 10 years. My early spinning is well disguised in the weaving and some of it is even beautiful.
My niece Lesley visited last night for dinner and she raided my handspun for a crocheting project - brave girl! - it will be fun to see what the end product looks like. She is enthusiastic about learning all sorts of crafts and will soon be staying with us for a while. She and my daughter Catherine each have a list as long as their arms of things they want to do together including crocheting, sewing, learning to dye, maybe spin and possibly even weaving. Catherine also includes cooking and videoing her efforts and blogging many of the things she does during the holidays. As they have access to all my equipment there will be no holding them back. I'll try to get some work done too but it will be lovely to see the two girls (are they still girls at nearly 20 and 26?) so excited at learning and improving their crafty skills!
With weaving this week the first scarf is a mishmash of colours that was one of my first handspun efforts using roving given to me with a beige slubby cotton as the warp - not quite my usual colour combinations but interesting nevertheless. The second one used natural coloured commercially spun yarn as the warp and some handspun in blues, turquoise, teal, purple and cream blend. It is much finer than previous weaving projects and feels soft - I may not be able to part with this one!
Learning to weave is very new to me so I have much to improve on with techniques but just doing plain weave at the moment is very relaxing and I love the way I can shuffle through my bins of yarn and choose hanks that I want to transform.