T'was the week before the Christmas holidays ...

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa

… and I was at art group, beavering away and hoping to complete my Tree of Life painting before Christmas itself. It’s well on its way now, and just needs a bit more work, including black lines around the edges of all the colours, for that all-important stained glass window effect. It hasn’t photographed very well – the royal blue still appears uneven but actually looks quite smooth in real life.
Altogether now .... "aaah!"
My other little masterpiece has been a white small dog,which I am knitting for my small nephew. It comes with a kennel and anothersmall black dog, to keep it company (if I have time).  Again, I am hoping to get it all completed intime for Christmas.  I am working on thekennel base, which involves casting on 43 stitches then knitting 144 rows, ofwhich I’ve completed 24.  This in itselftook over an hour.  The base makes upabout one-sixth of the kennel itself. The whole thing is about 2-3 times bigger than I’d expected it to be!  It was only meant to be a stockingfiller.  Hope he enjoys it after all theeffort I’m putting in.  The pattern comesfrom Woman’s Weekly magazine, my mum saved it for me.  Unfortunately it is not on their website, butthey have lots of other free patterns, such as a Peppa Pig toy, Hello kittyjumper etc. http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/fun-win/galleries/24830/Free-knitting-patterns

At art group we have our annual “fuddle” this weekend, and Ihave decided to make a trifle, but (inspired by the healthy options muffinsthat were a hit at the Easter exhibition) it will be a low fat, low sugar one,as so many of our members have to restrict their fat or sugar intake.  I am using no added sugar jelly crystals, tinnedfruit in juice, topped with no added sugar custard, and Elmlea double creamsubstitute.  Some flaked almonds may bemaking a star appearance on top.  If thisworks well, I might make it for the family at Christmas too, although there wassome opposition to this idea from the “better half” last night, as he wanted afull fat one.

I’ve been trying to find a suitable container to take italong to art group in, but all the covered bowls I could find (either to buyfrom local shops or to order on the web) were much too small. The trifle willneed to serve up to 10 people and I will be carrying it to art group - a 10minute walk from where I live. I wanted something about 9” diameter and clear-ishpreferably plastic, so it’s lightweight, with slanting sides and a lid for the top.  Tesco sell one that looks like that but is afraction of the size.  Amazon do a set ofcovered bowls, but the review told me that they were “much smaller than expected”-  there’s a similar set available on e-bay.  But I don’t need a set of little ‘uns, justone large bowl.  Come on, some enterprisingmanufacturer, lets have a bigger covered bowl! With Christmas postal delays, I may be too late anyway, so I have opted touse one from home that is opaque – not so good from the presentation point ofview, but it will have to do.  I wonderwhat delights the others are going to be rustling up.

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