so that was christmas

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Chrissy hellos to you! Did you have a good one? Do you celebrate it even? Some of you don’t I know. Our family does, in a big traditional way. It was decadent and included many sweet treats, like these homemade marshmallows made by my clever Sis.

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And there was this! My lovely Sis made sure there was a delicious sweet after lunch for me seeing I can’t eat all the traditional sweet fare on Chrissy day. Thanks Sis, you’re the best! This little beauty is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free (I think) and vegan… and it’s a cheesecake for goodness sake!!! How utterly amazing hey? Best Boxing Day Breakfast ever!

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I had originally thought this would be the first Christmas that I wouldn’t see one of my kids. But my backpacking boy made it home in time… just… long story! Our family had a lovely day, pressies were exchanged, hugs were had, laughs were laughed, Turkey was eaten, Mojitos were drunk, but the biggest gift of all was the time shared after lunch. Tummies were full, hearts were content, and the chatting drifted into the late afternoon. The lead up to christmas can be fraught with stress and pressure, that time after lunch feels like the time when we all exhale and truly relax.

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I even did a bit of Christmas table crochet! You see I didn’t manage to finish Mum’s bag so had to wrap it and give it to her without the handle! Sorry mum, I finished it Boxing Day and will get to you soon!

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The build up to Christmas can be a bit tetchy can’t it? There is just so much to do, and time always gets away. But stressy times for me equals more craft, as it’s the best way I know how to chill and slow myself down. I learned (and it took me a while!) that if I don’t make the time to craft, even when it’s crazy busy, my mental and physical health suffer. So after knitting my Turquoise Baby Alpaca Cardy (and even managing to wear it – thanks Melbourne Summer!), I couldn’t wait to crochet some of the gorgeous baby alpaca yarn. This stitch looks like weaving to me, which I thought was rather appropriate for my Peruvian yarn.

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And then on Boxing Day I decided to cast on a Beanie in the same grey yarn as the scarf. It being summer and all! I don’t know why I do these things, I just like to make what I feel like and I don’t know why I feel like knitting an Alpaca Beanie in the middle of Summer, but I do, so I am!

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So that was Christmas, and now the New Year is just around the corner. If you celebrate Christmas I do hope it was a lovely day for you. If you have family members missing from the Chrissy table I hope there was a moment of sweet remembering amongst the emptiness. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoyed a couple of days off and managed to do something you love.

May the sun shine on your apple trees and may the New Year hold bright sparkly goodness in store for you.

turquoise baby alpaca cardy

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I finished a piece of clothing! A real deal wearable cardy… that I love! It’s a bit amazing… you see I’ve started a few over the years but never quite finished them. And by started, I don’t mean a lame go at the band or something… I mean made the front, back, and one sleeve on one of them! But then something always happens… bored, yarn issues, get distracted with multiple other projects, make a HUGE mistake… and I don’t finish them. It used to be the cycle of a lot of my crafty endeavours… start stuff but not finish. Now I’m hellbent on finishing what I start… to the point where I’ll sit up knitting until 2 am to finish it because I’m so damn excited that I’m about to finish something! #crazycrafter!

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I first spotted this cardy on IG via the lovely Corrie from Retro Mummy. It’s called a Kina cardy and Corrie was knitting a gorgeous kiddie version, but you can find the free pattern for the adult version on Ravelry here. It’s a very easy simple pattern to follow, great for a beginner pattern follower (moi!), as it’s knitted from the top down in one piece. I made a couple of tweaks … of course… I extended the sleeves a smidge… I also made it a little bit longer overall and of course I popped some Pom Poms on it. I’ve yet to add the button at the top as the Pom Poms are more decorative than functional.

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This is the first thing I’ve knitted with my stash of pure baby alpaca yarn I stuffed into my carry on suitcase, sat on it to close it, and carried it back all the way from Cusco! Man that suitcase was stuffed full, and there were more bags (of 10 x 50gm balls!!!) stuffed in our regular big suitcases too. I was only slightly embarrassed when they had to open my luggage at one of the many airport security checks, and sheepishly mumbled ‘yes I like to knit and crochet a bit’. All I can say is it was so worth it. The yarn is exceptional quality and so soft and light and fluffy and warm.

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As you can see by the different colours in the photos, it was really difficult to capture the true colour of this yarn. Turquoise just wants to break my camera for some reason. It looks blue in the photos but it’s true colour is closer to this last photo.

I think knitting yourself a piece of clothing is a huge leap of faith. What if you get to the end of it and it looks crap on? And what do you do when you make a mistake? Unpicking Knitting is hard, unlike the forgiveness of Crochet. But I’ve got to say, the satisfaction of making something that I can actually wear is huge. So give it a go… if you haven’t already… you don’t have to be an expert. Take that leap of faith… cross your fingers it will fit… and look ok… and if you do have to unpick, my best advice is to do it slowly… whilst eating chocolate.

Wishing you proud I made it moments and coolish summer days so you can wear your knitted goodies!

PS: Yes I probably should have dead-headed the rose bush behind me for a prettier backdrop… but you know… I like my gardens wild and rambling (reads: ‘slightly’ unkempt).