On the first day of Christmas

Hooray – it’s the first of December, and I already feel very festive. This may be because I started making/buying my Christmas presents incredibly early this year. Having children certainly means that you have to be come uber-organised in so many ways.

We’re trying to cut down on costs this year, mainly so we can buy Ethan the things that we’d like to – although I expect the boxes and wrapping paper will excite him far more than the gifts inside – but also because in this time of austerity the done thing seems to be to create a homemade Christmas.

I started making sloe gin back in October – 3litres of the stuff (not all for me, I hasten to add) and as each day passes it’s tasting less and less like cough syrup. This is the easiest thing to make as you can leave it in a dark cupboard and forget about it until you need it, pretty much.

I filled a 3litre parfait jar three quarters of the way up with sloes, which I’d frozen and then grated (saved pricking them individually) and then filled the jar right to the top with cheap gin. I then slung in sugar to taste, which I’ve been adding gradually. For the first two weeks it needed turning every other day, but now as long as I turn it once a week it’s fine. So that’s most of the men in the family sorted for gifts!

I’ve knitted my mum a flower brooch, and don’t worry – she’s not a blog follower, so I doubt she’ll find out from here – there’s a picture of it on my last post.

I’ve ordered some Christmas decs from my incredibly talented friend Jean Broadbent at Gooseberry Fool Glass, http://www.gooseberryfool.co.uk/ the angels are absolutely beautiful and she also makes the most beautiful bunting – such a simple but effective idea.

Now I just need to turn my hand to making the baked goods – mince pies, puddings, and we’re there!

With regard to keeping the knitting club alive I had some success in finding a group that has been running in Somerton for over two years, called Needles and Purls, which is held on Wednesdays in the Wessex Rooms.

Yesterday was our first visit and we met some lovely ladies who can knit like the clappers and not even look at their hands. I was joined by Nic and Claire, and we especially enjoyed the tea and cake – as you can see by Claire’s happy face here!

We were slightly out of our depths and felt rather useless when we saw some of the amazing creations the ladies had come up with – beautifully intricate scarfs and quilts, and hats and cardigans for the babies at Musgrove Park and Yeovil District hospitals, but I must say Nic has impressed me by nearly finishing a scarf for her husband…… we’re just not sure why he selected baby wool…….

Nic concentrates on her husband's slightly effeminate scarf

On Saturday, Somerton is holding a vintage market at the Parish Rooms, where I intend to head for presents and new ideas and inspiration and you can find some other homemade Christmas ideas on Rosee Woodland’s blog Nana Taught Me How. Until then, I shall leave you with a picture of Ethan in his Christmas elf knitwear! Happy countdown to Christmas!

Ethan as a cheeky elf


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