Monday, 13 December 2010

Oh Christmas tree(s)

Things got very festive at Monkey Towers this weekend. I must admit that it doesn’t take a lot to get me feeling festive anyway but this year I have tried to be sensible and I held out until 11th December before the big tree went up. I am rather greedy on the tree front and we actually have two, the smaller one went up on 1st December as that was the day it snowed very heavily and we walked 6 miles home from work, after that I needed some Christmas cheer!

Here is our dinky tree, it’s only 3ft tall and goes on a side table in our living room. Unlike my big tree it is rather subtle and all dark red and gold matching! It does have multi coloured lights though, I much prefer multi coloured lights to white ones and these ones make my heart sing with joy they are so pretty. I can make them twinkle but usually we just have them set to stay on constantly as the twinkling can be a bit distracting and Mr NM calls it the Christmas disco!

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As you can see Father Christmas has already made a little visit to our house but he'll have to come again as there should be more presents than that! Also I need to re-arrange my beads.

On Saturday all of our snow and ice had gone so I was finally able to get the car out, I went to Tong Garden Centre which is a rather exciting place to go at Christmas as it turns into a winter wonderland. They sell so many different varieties of artificial tree and every type of light and decoration you can imagine and they are all out on display. They also sell real trees which is what I went for, not for me (Mr NM wont let me have one as he says I’d never clear up all the dropped needles!) but for my mum. She had been away on holiday for two weeks and I was picking her up from the airport in the early hours of Sunday morning. I thought it would be rather pleasant for her to come home to a decorated tree as she likes to have one but hates putting it up. I got her a small real tree in a pot and got it all ready for when she got home. Fortunately she was absolutely delighted with it.

I didn’t escape the garden centre without a little something for myself as well! Whilst our big tree does have standard baubles my preference is very much for wooden and fabric decorations, I buy at least one every year and try to get them when I go on day trips to places I wouldn’t usually shop. This is a tradition I’ve picked up from my mum and one I intend to keep going until I have enough unusual decorations to not need any of the baubles. When I saw this I couldn’t resist, a little buttony star! Perfect.

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The Christmas tree was a purchase made when we moved from a two bedroom flat into a house. We used to have a 6ft tree bought from B&Q which was very much from their budget range and when it was our first Christmas in the house 2 years ago I tried the old tree in the corner of our dining room and it looked rather lost to be honest. I saw that there was a special half price offer on all trees at Homebase and headed off to see what I could find. I went for a rather more luxury 7ft tree which has possibly gone the other direction and is a tad too big but I LOVE it. I feel all warm and fuzzy when I dig it out of the shed (fighting off the spiders as I go) and put it up. I love, love, love it! Putting it up usually ends in scratches all over my hands as a battle with each individual branch which must be put on separately but when it’s up it’s wonderful. I love it!

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I got new lights this year too and they are just perfect, wonderful, magical! They are also “Christmas disco” lights but again we generally just have them on the steady on setting. You can also see our little Santa lights strung around the curtain pole.

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I have been knitting away on my Mother in Law’s scarf and I finished the 31 repeats as written in the pattern with just a smidge of yarn left over from the 440m skein, enough to graft the scarf together with the edging but I don’t think it’s quite enough to do the increase row before the grafting.

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Fortunately I bought a second skein of yarn and the thing is it’s not that long as it is and my MiL is a tall lady. I’m going to add a few more repeats before the increases, grafting and blocking and will still have enough extra yarn to knit a pair of socks for myself. Perfect!

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I can finally see the light at the end of this pink, lacy tunnel. I have, at long last, memorised this pattern and can get through the repeats quite quickly so will be done with the knitting by the end of the week and can block it over the weekend. Once that’s done I can finish the lace edging on my mum’s Ishbel which can be done up until 23rd December and blocked whilst we’re away for Christmas as we’re at the in-laws for the actual day and having a second Christmas with my mum when we get back. I’m so relieved to see I really will finish my Christmas knits on time!

I like to think that I may not bother with Christmas gift knitting next year but I imagine when it comes to it I will have changed my mind and will do it all over again.


  1. Love your trees - we have ours on flashing lights tho! I love the twinkling! Keep going on the knitting - it's going to look fab! I'm seriously thinking of starting Christmas knitting in January next year, and knitting one thing a month to take the pressure off come December!

  2. Thank you. We sometimes have them on the "soft glow" setting where they slowly cycle through the colours fading in and out but the twinkles are more like seizure inducing flashes! I don't intend to do much Christmas knitting next year either but I do think I'll have to start'll just be a case of trying really hard not to give the presents before Christmas actually comes then!

  3. What lovely trees! And I love the button star. I would have bought it too. :)