Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yarn Along - Better Late Than Never!


Sometime back in November, a friend of mine asked me to make her son a Viking Hat for christmas.  As I'd already made three of them before without any mishaps, I figured I needed only a few days to make it. So left it until last minute!!   Not sure where I went wrong - four times - but I just couldn't get this to work.  When it did resemble a hat it was big enough for her tall strapping Danish husband but her wee three year old son could have used it as a boat!  Then to add insult to injury the horns came out different sizes!  Guess I just got a bit complacent.


Needless to say it didn't get finished until last weekend.
Winter here has been very mild and we have had only two very insignificant snow falls since December, so he didn't really need it until now, says she, trying to ease her guilty conscience.

 'Traineau a Chien'  in saturdays 'big' snow fall
Whilst deciding on my next project I cast on a headband for myself from Knitting 24/7 with some stash. This is the second project I've tried from this book having abandoned the first.   I don't want to criticize something that myself am incapable to doing, ie writing a knitting pattern, but I don't find the instructions in this book very clearly written.   I don't think I'll attempt anything else from it.  Shame really as it contains some beautiful projects.


Started reading Lord of The Rings but then a friend mentioned that I should have read The Hobbit first.  Another friend, writer and english teacher, said not necessarily....so I'm having a pause to think about it.  Any advice?    In the mean while I'm re-reading The Shipping News.

Counting my blessings this afternoon - a hour ago a guy drove his 4 x 4 with big metal hitch thing, into my car.  Made rather a mess of the front, but thankfully I was stationary, he was going slowly and both Rémi and I had seat belts on!!  Said he didn't see us!  I've got a fairly big, well high, 4 x 4 myself, just glad that it was my car he 'didn't see' and not some small child!!

Looking forward to reading some Yarn Along posts and unwinding a little this afternoon.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

La Galette des Rois


"J'aime La Galette,
Savez-vous comment?
Quand elle est bien faite,
Avec du beurre dedans"

Every year, the boys wait with anticipation, for La Galette des Rois.  They attach as much importance to it as I do to mince pie's at christmas.  But, Epiphany, like Noël, comes but once a year - so only once a year do I make 'La Galette'.


In french, the three wise men or three kings, are known as Les Rois Mages, hence the name Galette des Rois.  Tradition has it that the youngest member of the family hides under the table and designates the person who will receive the first slice of galette.  The rest is then shared out in the same way, with each person carefully nibbling their piece so as not to swallow 'La Fève' hidden inside.  The person who finds it is Le Roi.  I put three in for good measure (they're quite small and easily swallowed!)



This is the only time of year that I buy pastry.  Try as I might I just can't master the flaky dough that this recipe requires.  In this one we put in some frangipane, sliced pear and slivered almonds.  Without the frangipane I think it tastes like it's 'missing' something but the kids like it just as much when filled with plain 'ol apple sauce.

How do you like your Galette?



Sunday, December 28, 2014

SNOW


Yesterday on Richards birthday, it finally arrived.


It made for some happy kids and dogs, and meant that more than a few ski-instructors could breath a sigh of relief!


The irony is that we'll be cursing the stuff when it's still here in april!


But for now it means that jumping of the roof of the sand pit is a little less dangerous than it is in the summer!


The boys thought Richard was celebrating his 25th birthday!  so when I asked them how old they thought I was....44 was their guess!!!  After recovering from that slap in the face I explained that while it isn't impossible, 44 year old women aren't usually married to 25 year old men!

25 - seriously?

Happy 39th Birthday Rich

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dreaming of a white christmas....

... yes, dreaming, in the alps, in December!!! didn't think i'd see the day.
We are having the 'greenest' pre-noël since 1989 and the forecast isn't looking very white!!
Many of our friends,  us included, kinda count on the white stuff to bring home the bacon at this time of year.
No snow =  no ski - simple as that!   A ski-instructor friend recently remarked to Richard that this will be his first christmas day at home with his kids!
Until moving here I was use to family christmases - much merry making and lots of eating!! but no working, well at least on the 25th and 26th.  Chamonix (1035m), being a tourist destination, is open all hours during the festive season, and before having kids, I myself worked on christmas eve, christmas day, new years eve, new years day etc with out batting an eye lid.   But since starting a family, and not working outside the home, I've become fervently attached to 'my traditions'.   So while I stayed home wrapping, baking and singing carols on saturday morning, Richard and the boys took a wee trip to the Aiguille du Midi  (3842 m/12604ft) - where the snow is always plentlyful but the oxygen starts getting rare....


This ridge leads to the famous Vallée Blanche and the Col du Midi - the starting point for many high mountain adventures.  Everything here is off piste, for confirmed skiers and alpinists only.


The gate at the end of the picture leads to the ridge shown in the first photo, I'm glad I wasn't with them, the boys are too close to it for my liking!!!




Sunday afternoon we stayed lower down at a 'safer' and warmer altitude doing a little Stone Balancing...
the peak in the background is the Aiguille du Midi where the boys were the day before!





How did you spend the winter solstice?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's starting to look like christmas...


No sew bunting!  just old christmas cards cut into triangles and threaded on a bit of ribbon.  Nice and easy and anything that doesn't involve my un-cooperative sewing machine is always a winner in my book.


Tino and I put together a new wreath for the front door, and were 'helped' in our efforts by a few furry little friends...

... Bunny got really 'into it'!!


Voila!

We didn't make any new tree decorations this year, but just pulled out our trusted favorites.  This little guy has seen better days, as has the legless Santa just behind him!!


Teachers gifts are in full production at the moment - muffin mix in a jar and a home 'burned' spoon!



I've got a few scented candles yet to make and then all that's left is the sweet treats - mince pies, peppermint bark and orangettes!!  I've sent all that needs to be sent and am feeling rather organized for once!

How is your christmas crafting coming along?  Is it in the bag or are you still knitting, sewing and glueing etc into the wee small hours?


HO! HO! HO!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yarn Along - Peerie Weerie Things

I swear my computer and my sewing machine are in cahoots to drive me insane!!
While one refused to give any signs of life for about three weeks necesitating a visit to an expert technician, (after much difficulty in finding one), the other has developed a ravenous appetite and chews up anything that it is presented with!!!  Give me a log fire and a basket of knitting any day, the less I have to do with machines the better!!

Color work has been the theme of my knitting of late.  I continue on slowly with my Favorite Things  scarf but hold no illusions to it being ready for this winter!  But I have completed two smaller projects,
both of them from Fair Isle Style (Mary Jane Mucklestone) - I think I'd like to make everything in this book!!
These Mushroom Kellimuffs were a present to myself!


Thankfully I wasn't making them to be gifted to someone else as they came out different sizes!  It's not noticeable when they are worn but put side by side it's very obvious.  I counted the rows and stitches and they are exactly the same, it's just that I must have knitted the first one, which came out smaller, much tighter.


Luckly I didn't repeat the same error with these Peerie Weerie (very very small) Booties as they were a gift for a friends new baby.

Hot off the needles are two pairs of fingerless mitts, one for a wee lassie in Rémi's class and another a christmas gift to be sent across the channel!  My current project is 'hush hush' - if you know what I mean!!

thinking of embellishing them with a few beads...
On a bit of a Dickens reading trip at the moment.  Struggled with the first few chapters of A Tale of Two Cities but once I got a little way in I couldn't put it down!  I even convinced my father, who as a rule shuns fiction, to read it also. Now it's the poor little Pip who is occupying my evening reading time in Great Expectations.

Linking up with Ginny for Yarn Along and looking forward to catching up with what everyone is knitting and reading this week.