This Time Last Year: A Moving Experience!

I can’t believe that exactly a year ago our daughter bought and moved into her first house! It’s not far away so we still see a lot of her (she misses the dog!), but she has her own space. After a year she’s had time to get everything exactly the way she wants it: the house is looking lovely. I’m really proud of her!

C’s new living room, shortly after she moved in, complete with knitted accessories.

In the run up to the move, C had been collecting items for the house. She’d seen some lovely knitted pouffe/footstools and was wondering if it would be possible to make one. I thought the biggest issue would be the filling, but C had an old vinyl covered pouffe in her room filled with polystyrene beads. This would make a perfect base, almost firm enough to sit on or rest a tray on. We topped it up with more polystyrene beads from an old beanbag cushion.

I knew we’d need a load of super chunky yarn and C wanted grey to go with her furniture. Quite by chance we found some very reasonably priced yarn in B&M and bought the lot – I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to get any more if we ran out!

I had a look at loads of patterns on Ravelry but the most crucial thing was getting something the right size to cover the existing inner pouffe. It would be knitted in garter stitch, with the cast on edge long enough to reach from the top centre round to the bottom centre of base. Using the recommended 10mm needles and multiplying the tension square dimensions up from the from rows/stitches given on the ball band, my initial attempt was going to be too baggy. I hadn’t factored in how stretchy the finished knitting would be, so I made shorter test strips, casting on fewer stitches – it sounds time consuming but the yarn was so thick it didn’t take long to work out the right number.

I continued to work straight in garter stitch until I had a rectangle long enough to fit all the way round the “equator” of the pouffe. To finish, I sewed the cast on edge and the cast off edge together to make a tube, then ran a length of yarn through one of the free edges, gathering and pulling it tight to close that end and sewing it to secure. The cover was then put on the base, ensuring the gathers were even, forming a rosette at the centre of the base. The other free edge was drawn up and secured in the same way. at the top centre.

I think it looks rather like a cactus!

There was a small amount of yarn left so I suggested a matching cushion – Caitlin wanted two so we found some similar yarn – this Robin Super Chunky.

I worked some squares incorporating a simple cable pattern to fit some cushion pads I already had. C thought she ought to do her bit, so she knitted the cushion backs in garter stitch using the new yarn.

Super chunky garter stitch cushions under construction.

With everyone helping, the move went really well. We spent a weekend assembling flat-pack furniture and our garage gradually emptied of boxes – enough for K to find his fishing tackle anyway.

C was happy with the way our work turned out. Since then, the knitted cushions have been joined by some teal and white satin ones which add a contrasting texture and a pop of colour. It’s looking good! C loves her new home.

Have you ever made home accessories for a daughter or son? I’d love to hear about them so please let me know by adding a comment or a link to a blogpost.

Songs and Carols to Light up the Bergen Christmas Tree

Photo courtesy of Newcastle City Council

What a lovely evening! So proud of my fellow choir members (we are all past and present Newcastle City Council staff). Despite scheduling problems, limited rehearsal time and various coughs and croaks (we were passing round the throat lozenges like they were sweets) we totally rocked the Yorkshire version of “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By Night (to the tune of (“On Ilkley Moor”). It looked like The Lord Mayor, who’d requested that particular carol really enjoyed it.

Full details of the event and more of the excellent official photos from the Newcastle City Council’s City Life News can be found here

The evening began in the Civic Centre with some wonderful Christmas music from Tyneside A Capella. (you can hear their voices on the official link above). It was lovely to see an old friend, who is part of that group. We took part in the short carol service (and sang our special request). Our Norwegian guests sang some Norwegian carols too. Several of the ladies, including Bergen’s Mayor, were wearing beautiful traditional costume.

Photo courtesy of Newcastle City Council

After the service we all went outside. We sang another carol. Both mayors addressed the crowd and after countdown, the lights went on – and it looked lovely!

We went back inside for refreshments and more entertainment from the two choirs. Tyneside A Capella performed some amazing versions of pop classics. We got to sing “Lulla Lully Lullay” (new for us this Christmas – I absolutely love it) and our reindeer herding song, “Ole le loila” – we learnt this a few years back and it’s great fun to sing. I can’t see a reindeer now without feeling the urge to sing this!) One of these days I’ll learn how to add audio to the blog and you can actually hear us!

It’s a lovely event to be part of and it really signals the start of the Christmas season.

Photo courtesy of Newcastle City CouncilNewcastle City Council Choir

Are you involved in any special Christmas events where you live or work?