Christmas chez Bees

Here’s what Christmas looked like where I was this year:

There was baking:

Merry Christmas

Christmas cookies! Earl grey meltaways, sugar cookies, orange chocolate chip cookies, white chocolate cranberry shortbread, orange gingersnaps, and also wee meringue peppermint drops from a Regency-era recipe.

Christmas baking

Plenty to share — which is a good thing, because our extended family exchanges food (baking, preserves, that sort of thing) for Christmas every year.

There was singing:

The Orange Peel Carollers, in a 2009 video

I sing with a group called the Orange Peel Carollers, an offshoot of my parents’ Morris dancing group, Orange Peel Morris. We sing old carols from the English village tradition, combined with old Canadian carols as well. We sang at the Fort York Frost Festival for the first time, which was a real highlight.

I also got together with other friends and carolled door-to-door, collecting for the food bank:

There’s one more festive, musical event on my Christmas calendar this year, as every year: Twelfth Night revelries in Cambridge (Ontario). There will be food, drink, carols, a mummer’s play, Morris dancing, and also Regency-style English Country Dancing. It’s always a highlight for me!

There was ice and snow:

We all got together despite the most incredible ice storm.

Ice storm

The tree outside our front door, early in the day, before the bulk of the ice had formed.

Our power was out for about 6.5 hours the day the storm hit, but thankfully it came back on before the sun went down or the house got too cold.

Laddie’s preserved rosebud

Ice-laden rosebuds — photo courtesy of my dad

There was incredible food:

Tourtiere

My father-in-law’s tourtière very nearly rivals my grandmother’s!

There was tourtière, there were TWO turkey dinners, there was peach pie and mincemeat pie and blueberry pie. There were, you know, a few cookies. There was baked french toast casserole, and bacon, and sausages. There was coffee cake for breakfast.

Poutine!

Phenomenal pub poutine — photo courtesy of my dad

There was also a wonderful pub lunch with excellent local grub!

And there was drink:

Cheers!

Cheers to family! — photo courtesy of my dad

There were hopeful dogs:

Hopeful dogs

Nike, Laney, and Tux “helping” my mother-in-law in the kitchen

There was crafting with family:

Sharpie tiles

Sharpie tiles!

Gillian suggested that we find a craft to do together one evening, so we collected ideas on Pinterest. This idea, from the Sharpie website, seemed particularly promising. We got some blank white tiles, some permanent markers, and a spray-bottle of rubbing alcohol, and went to town. You just doodle on the tile, and then spritz it or dab it or drizzle it with rubbing alcohol. Because the permanent markers are alcohol-based, the rubbing alcohol re-dissolves the pigment, and lets it redistribute on the surface of the tiles. When it evaporates, you can add more alcohol to continue messing with the design, until you’re happy with it. We also doodled on the ‘finished’ tiles with metallic pens, adding to the patterns created by the drips of alcohol. I experimented with tiles coloured with just one shade (the black and purple ones above) as well as more intricate designs, and it couldn’t be easier to get cool results! Now I just need to find some sealant to protect the final product, and maybe some silicone to make little ‘feet’ to turn these into coasters.

And of course, there was knitting!

Fingerless gloves for Gillian

Fingerless gloves for Gillian

I promised Gillian a while ago that I’d make some fingerless gloves for her, to go with the ‘Bacon cowl‘ (which I still need to blog about). I used the pattern for the awesome Rusalka gloves from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, but omitted the fancy beaded cuff in favour of some sturdier ribbing. The main thing I like about this pattern is the very clever little chains that go between the wearer’s fingers. They’re basically crochet chains, but formed with knitting needles during the bind-off process. They mean that you can shove your hands into your pockets, or into heavier mittens, without the palm of the glove rolling down and getting all wadded up. Gillian’s actual Christmas present was a cowl, but I somehow neglected to take any photos of it. I reminded myself several times to take pictures but not post them until after the presents were opened… I’m going to have to count on Gillian to snap some photos of it in action!

Meanwhile, this super-bulky fox hood is super-adorable, eh?

Alice's hood

A fox hood for friends’ little girl

It’s meant to be big and droopy, but that does mean it’s large enough to go on an adult head too:

Mr. Bee makes a great hat model, eh?

There was also a little selfish Christmas knitting: I made an ornament for our tree, and I’m awfully pleased with how it turned out. EARTH ORNAMENT The pattern is Pale Blue Dot by Denise Powell. It’s impeccably charted! It was published in the special Festive edition of A Needle Pulling Thread, so it’s only available for purchase as part of the whole magazine. I hope this particular pattern gets wider recognition in time, because it’s absolutely exquisite. (Knitting around a solid object’s not especially fun, but it’s so worth it in this case. Besides, you knit almost 3/4 of the globe before you have to insert the ball and knit around it.)

Pale Blue Dot

Pale Blue Dot ornament

There was Netflix and a comfy couch:

Unfortunately, for the last part of our holiday, there have been fevers, aches, and hacking coughs instead of festive carols and good cheer, but at least we were warm, safe, and  comfortable, and well-supplied with leftovers.

I hope Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) has been wonderful to you and yours this year!

A reminder: you have until Wednesday (New Year’s Day) to enter to win the giveaway for Green Gables Knits! I’m LOVING all the comments that are coming in, though I’ve refrained from commenting myself so as not to cause issues with the random number generator’s comment selection.

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1 Comment

Filed under Events, Family, Knitting for Gifts, Knitting for Me

One response to “Christmas chez Bees

  1. Christine Elms

    Thanks for the wonderful Christmas photos Anne. You certainly were creative this Christmas! I’m hungry all over again looking at the photo of those treats. Lovely ice covered rose buds!

    Wishing you all excellent health throughout the New Year!

     Warm Hugs      Chris   Chris Grubisic Faerie Glen, Pretoria  South Africa