I always enjoy the time before Christmas far more than Christmas itself. It is probably because it is a busy time and I don’t cope well with nothing to do. It is great having Freya home as it means another person can keep Nella company. The girls helped me write Christmas cards which is a job I think takes ages but in fact is perfectly easy once you get started. They have made Christmas wreaths, built a bonfire and watched corny Christmas films. We had an outing to the cinema one evening to see “Last Christmas”, a typically British feel-good film with music by George Michael as the soundtrack. We have seen little of Fergus as he has been out partying with pals most nights – until the novelty of being 18 wears off or he runs out of funds.
I was desperate to make something but feel that cannot spread my Warli quilt blocks out until after Christmas so I made up a big batch of manutex paste to mix with procion dye. I did not have a measuring jug so I had to work out how many empty gin bottles worth of hot water were in 4 litres and because I could not be bothered to go and fetch the kitchen scales, I had to measure 24 dessert spoons of soda ash, having made a rough conversion of the tablespoon equivalent.
I really do need to get some basic dyeing equipment to save myself much time and overcomplicated sums. I soaked linen in a soda ash water bath, rescued just in time from being washed out in a downpour when I hung it outside to dry. I decided to test the process thoroughly and found that the dye ran a bit when rinsed in cold water so something needs to improve the fixing of the colour. Mind you, I don’t actually know what the efficacy of the dye is, having mixed together turquoise and black powders that I bought from the bazaar in Jaipur.
I was not joking last week about wanting to have a go at Macramé. I made a prototype shelf hanger using washing line and a clementine box. It was easier than learning crochet and quite addictive so I ordered myself a Christmas treat of a big reel of macrame cord and will go and get knotted!