There were Elephants (lots of them), there was a hat, there were mittens, and most of all there were socks. Some of them (H's) I've already shown you but there was a little bit of necessary delay in revealing the rest of the family's woolly bounty.
Is my picture of the socks which I made for my Dad. As he called me on Christmas day and started the conversation with "guess what colour socks I'm wearing?", you may deduce that he was not presented with a neatly wrapped ball of yarn and a promise. The truth dear friend is that I finished these socks a mere 5 minutes before we left for Devon to tuck them under the tree; and I spent that five minutes trying not to tie myself to the coffee table in sellotape and answering the question "are we going to Devon or are we knitting!"
Happily, my e-mail has supplied a photo from the man himself - socks in action:
The yarn is my handspun; 100g or so of Blue Faced Leicester, split into three equal bumps, spun and then plied together to make my most favourite sock yarn. The fibre came from Spindlefrog via Etsy, although I subsequently encountered her at Wonderwool Wales last April (and may have added to the yarn-to-be stash as a consequence). The colour is Neptune, and calls to me as the colour of sunshine, rippling across the sea. It's the simplest sort of vanilla sock over 68 stitches, firstly to let the yarn do the talking, and secondly to enable me to finish in time for Christmas.
I think they're rather special, and it seems that the wearer agrees.
Also under a Devonian Christmas tree could be found another squishy package, addressed to my lovely Mum. After her birthday socks (cream wool-silk Fiori de Zucca), she declared for lacy socks; and I'm always happy to oblige.
The yarn is Artists Palette Yarns Smootherino which again came from Wonderwool; I found it in the stash when looking for something appropriate for Mum and realised that whether I knew it or not at the time, this yarn came with her name on it. Soft sage, apricot and a hint of blue, all perfect colours.
I think that you can see the pattern a little more clearly in this progress shot (from the beach at Portobello in November); it is Esther by Stephanie van der Linden (designer of a good chunk of my Ravelry sock queue). To me it looked like flowers from Mum's garden, just what you need for the middle of winter.
The final pair of the parental socky triumverate, went north to my Mother-in-law, and as you can see, was finished in time for the pre-Christmas flurry of snow still to be firmly in place on my windscreen.
The yarn is Fresco-coloured Colinette Jitterbug (I'd love to see the frescos that they found that matched these socks!) and the pattern is from Cookie A's Sock Innovation (a book I want to knit my way through - three down so far).
I have absolutely no idea why they pool and swirl so very differently on the two feet. I can say that Beth loves them and thinks that they are her perfect colours.
Happily, she is now building quite a collection of socks, because if she walked through these ones we might have a bit of an issue.
Is the amount of yarn which I had left when I finished the second sock. Knitting on a knife edge.
Did you think you were getting away without a snow report today? Did you think that perhaps the crazy travel situation in the snow and ice had dinted my deep affection for a wintery white landscape? You did....? Oops!
I would like to make two submissions in my defence.
(1) I did not take the pictures which I am about to show you - I pinched them from my Dad.
(2) Snow, whilst exciting and wonderful when it lands in Warwickshire or Yorkshire is not entirely unknown in those regions. In my county of origin it last snowed heavily in 1963 (my father recalls having to walk home from the train station in the nearest town on his return from university). Although I have seen the odd flurry, and one rather convincing hailstorm one Easter, and on Dartmoor I have seen sledging and snowballs, I have never seen this:
That would be the sea off the south coast of Devon, the cliffs, and the beach.
The beach has snow on it!!! Possibly enough to make a very tiny snowman. This is a thing of great wonder and joy - I'm just a little envious that I'm not there to see it in real life.
Oh, and Dad .... snowy sandcastle - it has to be done!