Here we have...
...my third Eva's shawl. I managed to finish it in good time for posting. I really like the grey now it's done though it wasn't terribly interesting during the making stage.
The (rather lovely and also free!) pattern is here. You can buy Drops Delight yarn here (though now Drops is in the process of being discontinued from this supplier).
As to the rest of Christmas, I don't think I'm as organised as I was last year but I think we'll be OK. Everything that needs bought has been bought which is always good. I managed a few makes (presents, decorations, baking), not as many as I'd have liked but enough. However, the house is a tip and I'll need to try and sort that tonight and tomorrow morning.
I made our usual Christmas cake - Nigella's chocolate fruit cake. The recipe is in her Feast and Christmas books, and I have found it on line in the past.
The little matchbox nativity is back in front of the clock on the mantlepiece...
...which is looking very festive.
Mince pies. This is how they look when you drop the camera in amongst them while trying to photograph them!
I noticed from my blog last year that I wasn't planning to bother making them again. However, one of my brothers and I had a mince pie contest last Christmas and his tasted delicious, far better than the ones I'd made last year and better than shop bought too. His secret - our Mum's mince pie pastry recipe. It has a small amount of sugar in it which I think makes a difference. Here it is for you:-
Mince Pie Pastry
6 oz marg / butter
2 oz caster sugar
9 oz plain flour
1 egg yolk
Cream sugar & fat. Add egg yolk. Add flour gradually while mixing.
Roll 1/4 " thick
Make up pies
Bake @ 400F / 200C/ Gas mark 6 for approx 10 mins (this leaves them pale for later reheating).
For this number of pies I used a double batch of pastry.
I still had some mincemeat left over, so I just added it to a batch of muffin mixture to make mincemeat muffins.
These dangling snowflakes are my favourite Christmas decoration.
I've made some more since taking this photo (the snow's gone now too). I've seen far more impressive snowflake curtains on flickr but I'll add to our collection for next year. I love how they twirl gently around (perhaps you need a draughty house for this particular effect). I am rather fussy about one aspect of paper snowflakes though - they must have six points as per real snowflakes. Folding your paper circle in half, folding this half by three, then folding in half again before cutting does the trick. Please, no more eight pointed snowflakes!
Fabulous shadows are cast by a Christmas cactus plant on a sunny day.
Hmmm, not seen a bird like that before.
The milk bottles have their Christmas tops on.
I eventually got round to taking the holly inside. There are still berries on the tree, the birds are very late to eat them this year.
Today I made more gingerbread biscuit with some new cutters. I couldn't resist creating this little woodland scene.
My helpers then decorate them before they are baked. I had expected the pack of mini smarties to last the whole batch of dough, I obviously underestimated the decorating density deemed necessary. We had to switch to currants half way through, which actually taste better anyway.
This will probably be my last post before Christmas though I will still be logging in to read other blogs. I hope you all have a lovely time. Good health & good cheer!