The Christmas and New year holidays are officially over and it’s back to work in earnest today. Not that I’ve been completely idle over the last few weeks of course but I’ve chosen to give pattern designing a bit of a break in favour of other less demanding projects that don’t require heaps of concentration and can be dipped in and out of and transported around much more easily. Basically, things I can do while out and about on car trips or sitting in the lounge watching festive films and Christmas Specials with the family and the decorations. I put so much effort into decking out the lounge that it’s a shame not to spend as much time in there as I can, tucked away among the twinkly lights and all the sparkly, shiny, glittery things that I love so much.
The fairy lights make everything look so welcoming and warm and it’s been fun to add the finishing touches to my decor with some of my new designs. The snowman doorstop was elevated out of the draft and onto the mantelpiece where he has a much better view of the festivities.
Tiny crocheted stockings were hung over the fireplace and had sweets for Santa stashed inside them.
Evie and Elvis sat around the tree on Christmas eve, keeping an eye on the presents to make sure the cats didn’t get into the gift pile and cause an avalanche. Luckily my moggies were much more interested in pulling decorations off the tree and chasing them under the TV unit where they sat patiently waiting for them to emerge again. I think they have confused the characteristics of baubles with those of mice. They’re going to have to be very patient…
Minnie preferred to steal pompoms off the tree then pretend it wasn’t her by gazing innocently out of the window and denying any involvement in this wanton act of sabotage.
I did catch her out indulging in a spot of high speed pompom juggling though, when she thought I wasn’t looking!
Pompoms have taken up a large chunk of my holiday down time. I’ve made hundreds of them over the past few weeks. Some have been used to decorate the tree and the window…
…and others are destined for a circular cushion cover, which I kind of wish I’d never started! I think I’m in too far now to give it up even though my hands are rather chafed and sore from winding and tying way too many pompoms already. Having said that, I’m loving the lush shagpile look so much and am pretty certain that once I’ve finally made it to the end I’m going to be very pleased with the result.
Three more rounds of pompoms to go before I can start to work out how to construct it so that it’s nice and sturdy and fit for purpose. It’s already passed Elvis’s comfy butt test with flying colours so that’s a good start!
Now Evie wants me to make a pompom saddle for her reindeer so that next year’s trip to help Santa out at the North Pole will be much comfier.
Better get winding a snipping a few more then.
As an occasional alternative to chafing myself to death with endless pompoms I dug through my work in progress pile and dragged out the Autumn Berries Poncho that I began back in October. Originally inspired by the combination of blackberries and raspberries it was lovely to spend a few dark wintery evenings going back over the memories of sunny hedgerow picking. I love how handmade projects can be so tied up in the memories of the times in which you made them. We haven’t had much sun around here at all recently so I had a good daydream about the joys of basking in that elusive yellow orb from last year’s bright and shiny autumn.
I chose the same edging from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner Crochet Borders book that I used for my Mexican blanket. Now it just needs a bit of blocking to bring out it’s full fringy glory. Blocking isn’t exactly one of my most favorite parts of the crochet process and is usually to be avoided wherever possible, but in this case I think the pain will be worth the gain.
I also found a little spare time over the holidays to crochet some strawberry embellishments in matching yarn which I intend to add to the ends of the neck ties. They’re more of a summer berry than an autumn one I know, but I’m exercising a bit of artistic licence here! I’m also crocheting them in the winter and will, at this rate, be finishing it all off in the spring so it will be a poncho for all seasons in the end 🙂
The strawberries still need stuffing and sewing together but you get the idea. I’ll be doing a post about the poncho once it’s completed so I’ll save all the details for the big reveal later on.
One of my favorite Christmas presents this year was given to me by my lovely boys. Old enough at last to feel inspired to go shopping on their own they bought me a very thoughtful gift. A little Christmas tree for my bedroom and a wonderfully presented pack of 100 miniature glass baubles from Paperchase. Almost too pretty to unpack!
They know what a magpie I am and this made me very happy indeed. I spent a few hours making and attaching little silver plated wire hooks to each one.
I used most of my jewellery making stash of wire for this but now they will be easy to hang year after year and I enjoyed the calming repetition of the task. Now I can enjoy having my very own tree to light up my bedside table while also giving an added glow to a rather dashing kind of elf who doesn’t necessarily have anything at all to do with Christmas!
Lovely! It makes it much easier to tear myself away from the twinkly grotto downstairs at the end of every day.
I couldn’t resist filling the empty bauble box with some of my spare pompoms for no better reason than because they were the perfect fit. Maybe I should make a square cushion with these. But I think I’ll wait and see how the round one works out first in case it’s a total disaster and ends up just falling apart. The box will be a good little tool for getting the colour combos just right if I do decide to go ahead.
Christmas was also about putting feet up and donating spare lap space to needy cats. Mojo likes to remind me that hands aren’t just made for crafting but for fussing fur babies too. How could I resist?!
Tigger is not quite such a fuss ball as Mojo, being more emotionally needly than needy but he still appreciates a bit of company on the sofa from time to time.
He’s the self anointed King of Grumpsville and nobody messes with the King when he’s wearing that face! Not even when he turns this basket of harmoniously placed pompoms…
…because he couldn’t resist doing this…
Ahh, we do love him, hisses and all!
It really has been a most refreshing break but I’m oh so ready to get out the hooks and yarn and start designing some new patterns again. I’m looking forward to finishing the pompom cushion and the poncho, but I’m feeling especially joyful at the thought of all the brand new projects that 2016 will bring.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing the journey with me throughout 2015. Here’s to another year’s worth of colourful, yarn obsessed adventures!
January 4, 2016 at 6:47 pm
Wow, your Christmas decorations and displays all look so lovely, cosy and inviting!! Love all the pompoms and the cushion cover will look amazing! Thanks for sharing 🙂
January 5, 2016 at 10:02 am
Thanks, I wish I didn’t have to take them down! The cushion cover has one more round of pompoms to go now, but I’m still not sure how to sew it all together. I’m winging it a bit here… but if the whole thing ends up falling apart I’ll have even more pompoms for next year’s decorations!
January 4, 2016 at 7:10 pm
Your present from the boys is adorable. Lucky you! I love the idea of a pompom cushion. I still haven’t mastered my little pompom maker yet, they aren’t dense enough 🙁 Happy New Year.
January 5, 2016 at 10:05 am
It’s the first time the boys have done any Christmas shopping on their own. They really are growing up now!
Do you have the same style of pompom maker as me? I found that fine yarn, like 4 ply or light worsted weight (DK) gave the best results along with winding and tying off as tightly as you can. (Hence the chafed hands!)
January 5, 2016 at 1:29 pm
I think it’s the same so the advice about the weight of yarn is really useful. Thank you. I know what I’m going to be doing this evening, all in the interest of research of course!
January 4, 2016 at 7:43 pm
Thought I would just say how much I enjoy reading your posts & seeing all the lovely things you make.
Thank you for sharing.
Best wishes for 2016!!
January 5, 2016 at 10:06 am
Best wishes for you too in 2016. Thanks for stopping by to read my posts 🙂
January 5, 2016 at 8:38 am
Oh Mojo, you little monkey but the pom poms look delightful to play with! I was giving a pom pom maker at Christmas and now you are inspiring me to get going with it 🙂
January 5, 2016 at 10:14 am
I have actually left quite few pompoms scattered around the house for the cats to play with, but none are quite so exciting as the ones on the tree or, even better, the ones that I’m actually working with! Cats eh?!
I hope you have fun with your new pompom maker. They’re very addictive once you get going! Look forward to checking out your blog and seeing all your new projects over 2016!
January 5, 2016 at 9:30 am
The pompom garlands are fabulous. I’ve been meaning to make some pompoms for a while but it seems I’ve missed an opportunity to make them for Christmas!
January 5, 2016 at 10:18 am
Ah well, there’s always next year! Now I’m thinking they would be lovely in pastel colours and hung from a twiggy Easter/Spring display tree. I also want to try some heart shaped pompoms for Valentine’s day. They’ll be no time for crocheting if I carry on like this though!
January 5, 2016 at 10:53 am
A pompom tree sounds fun. But yes, it does encroach on crochet time. It’s all wool though!
January 5, 2016 at 11:16 am
Happy 2016, just wanted to say that I love your posts about your crochet projects and the kitties and well …. everything 🙂
January 6, 2016 at 11:33 am
Thank you 🙂 Happy 2016 to you too!
January 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm
I really enjoyed reading this. It’s very well written and I like your creations and Christmas decorations! 🙂
January 6, 2016 at 11:35 am
I’m looking forward to putting them all up again next year. Roll on December 1st. Good job I’ve got lots of projects lined up to take my mind off the wait!
January 6, 2016 at 4:50 am
I have to admit to loving your pompoms, and I can’t wait to see if you’re successful with the cushion cover or not, as it looks gorgeous 🙂
I’ve got the set of 3 Clover pompom makers, too, but I’ve only used them to make pompom tie ends so far, so if you’re successful, and put out a pattern for the cushion covers, I’ll be there a.s.a.p! 🙂
BTW, I really love Mojo, but there’s something about Tiggers grumpy face that is just adorable ! 🙂
January 6, 2016 at 11:45 am
If the cushion is a success I’m planning on posting a photo tutorial with step by step instructions soon. I hope that will be useful. I’m on the last round of pompoms and it’s looking even prettier now I have a full rainbow of colours. Perfect for brightening up the rainy days we’ve all been having around here recently (I’m sure North Wales has not been spared its share!)
Those two cats couldn’t be more different. Mojo is sweet and very nervy so I feel quite protective of him. Tigger has a very BIG more confident attitude. I think he thinks he’s a real tiger!
January 7, 2016 at 1:30 am
I really can’t wait to see the pattern when you’ve finished it now – that gorgeous splash of colour it’ll make is sure to brighten up anyone suffering from all this rain! 🙂
I’m actually just a 1/2 mile from the West Wales coast here, and the rain hasn’t stopped for weeks – I’m just fortunate that we’re on high ground here, although our field is absolutely waterlogged now 🙁
I so feel for those who have been flooded, though, and thank heavens we haven’t been!
It always amazes me how different cats who live together can be from each other, although why it does, I don’t know, as they’re as individual as human people are 🙂
I don’t know where I’d be without my Kushka purring away beside me, especially when my hands are playing up, and I’m doing my best to keep crocheting on – I’m sure she knows it at those times, as she always pushes up real close and purrs like an engine at me, bless her 🙂
There’s nothing more comforting is there?
Unless it’s when you’ve got 2 of them to do it, I guess! Lol
January 8, 2016 at 3:13 pm
Cats are the ultimate therapy! Glad to hear you are nowhere near any of the floods. I live in high ground too so we’re safe too but it’s a different story altogether down in town by the cathedral. The swans are enjoying themselves though!
January 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm
Birds are always enjoying themselves in this weather – they’re perfectly made for it, unlike us poor humans, aren’t they? 🙂
Glad to hear you’re on high ground, too 🙂
January 7, 2016 at 4:34 am
I agree with all the above replies. When you first spoke about Pom Pom making I think you showed us your maker, and I went to my craft shop to buy one, so inspired was I by what you were achieving , but the one I bought is useless, I have had more success in the past with two cut out cardboard circles. Would you be able to show us your one again. I don’t know if they are available in Australia. Best wishes for 2016, and I look forward to seeing more of your fantastic crafts.
January 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm
I’ll try and write up a little post soon on how I made the pompoms with some hints and tips of best practice as discovered along the way. It would make a good accompaniment to the pompom cushion cover tutorial I am writing.
Here’s a link to the pompom maker I used in (size 1″).
January 8, 2016 at 11:42 am
Happy 2016 to you. I love your Christmas decorations, your home must have felt very Christmassy. x
January 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm
Yes, it was quite magical. It feels very bare now! All good for a fresh new start though. Happy 2016 to you too 🙂