Welcome to day 16 of our Spinners of the World December blogposts.
We're counting down the darkest days by exploring and learning more about the world we live in, but I'm not the one writing the posts!
Each day the post has been written by a volunteer spinner, they're be telling us about their mid-winter holiday traditions, and a little bit about the place they live. I still need volunteers, so if you enjoy this post please head over to the form here. This is open to everyone, please don't worry about your language skills, or even if you think your holiday traditions aren't very interesting, I want to hear from you!
Today spinner is Jo...
I live on the Isle of Wight. Or more accurately my stuff lives on the Island and I go and visit it once in a while. I'm a freelance stage manager so I move from town to town with work.
I celebrate Christmas, normally I spend the day with my dad and my brother. But it really depends upon how far away I'm working and what time my shows are on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. This Christmas will be my first at home in 4 years. Last Christmas I stayed in a hotel and spent my entire Christmas Day in my PJs spinning. It was lovely.
Our day usually goes a little something like this...
Once we've had breakfast we prep the lunch and get it cooking. Then we might get a present opened before it's back into the kitchen for more cooking duties. We aim to sit down for lunch around 1. After we've eaten our main course we open the rest of the presents while we wait for lunch to go down a bit so we can do the Christmas Pudding justice! Then it's washing up time and a walk if the weather is nice followed by finding something to ignore on the telly whilst we play Scrabble or do the jigsaw. My brother buys us a new jigsaw every year. Tea is a sandwich and trifle. My brother and I do the lunch cooking and my dad does the boiled bacon and trifle for tea. I don't think we'll have this kind of Christmas for a while. I've a feeling that everything will start a little earlier this year as my brother has gained a wife and a three and half year old since I last made it home for Christmas.
My favourite seasonal food are Brussel Sprouts. We always cook plenty so that we lots left over to go into the bubble and squeak on Boxing Day. My brother always make the stuffing recipe from Jamie Oliver's book Cook.
In terms of crafting for gifts, I'm not very good at deadlines it makes everything seem like a job then. So I do make things for others but they tend to get given 'just because' or very occasionally set aside for Christmas. I have spun yarn for my aunt for Christmas this year. We went to Unravel together this year and one of the fibres on the John Arbon stall caught her eye. Hopefully she'll like it. My wheel is at home at the moment. I will just be taking my knitting with me for Christmas Day. I don't think there will be much time for crafting with a toddler charging about the place.
I'm a bit of a craftaholic. I knit. I mostly make shawls, socks and baby clothes. Socks and baby clothes are good ones for doing at work as I have to sit in one place and can knit on simple things during quiet spells. I'm currently making Polwarth by Ysolda but need to rip out some as I've done my usual trick of not reading all of the words in the pattern. If I could do this and count I'd get alot more finished! I also crochet a bit but am still very much a beginner. 14 years ago I bought a sewing machine with my panto overtime and use it to make clothes and quilts. I have a cricket loom which I have with me at the moment. I've only made a couple of scarves and have brought it away with me to try and get a good chunk of practice in as I still struggle to get an even selvage. Spinning is still fairly new. Having gained an interest in spinning because it kept popping up in various knitting blogs that I read I bought a drop spindle kit at Yarndale 2015. I really enjoyed it and by March last year I had bought myself an Ashford Traveller. I found a bargain on eBay. A wheel that someone had been gifted in the mid 1980s but had never been assembled. The box hadn't even been opened. I was very lucky as there were no problems with the wheel and I find it really comfortable to spin with. I'm still at the stage of spinning everything. Trying lots of different stuff to see what I like and trying to get an even yarn. I'm getting fairly consistent now and finer! The wheel has been with me on a couple of jobs where my digs room is large enough to accommodate it. I turned up to digs in the summer the landlady took one look at me and said 'where's your wheel?' My dad put it together for me and is absolutely fascinated by the mechanics of it. He even went and bought some fibre so he could have a go once he'd built it.
Thanks to Jo for taking the time to share her Christmas with us. Come back tomorrow, for another spinner!