The holidays were a little busy for us this year. I didn’t really mind. I quite like finishing my year up with multiple celebrations. I find it is the perfect way to prepare me for a new year and get me relaxed before jumping back into work and the daily grind.
We tend to keep things simple with a focus on enjoying ourselves. If it gets stressful, I’m out of there. Still, I never fail to over extend myself and one of two things always happens: 1. I exhaust myself. 2. I do absolutely none of what I set out to do. This year I exhausted myself, with cooking and crocheting mostly, but there was very little stress to it, so it’s okay.
December started with a fun event where we met up with some local Toyota truck enthusiasts and did – what I consider to be – an insanely long trek through the New Mexico wilderness. This was my first real off-road 4×4 excursion. We’ve dabbled a bit since we’ve been here, but this was different. We drove all the way down to Albuquerque in the morning and then spent the entire day, well into the evening, driving off road through the wilderness all the way back to our town. I don’t know exactly how long we were off-road, but I did hear someone say it was around 100 miles. No, they were not exaggerating.
It was an experience. I was one of two women to show up and the only one that left the warmth of her truck more than a few times. That’s fine. I can hang with the guys. I survived the copious amounts of truck talk. These guys love their trucks. Wow. Who knew there was so much truck to talk about?
I think there were 18 trucks… I’m sorry, TOYOTA trucks (important distinction, I’m told)… in the convoy. Many pictures and videos were taken, edited, music added, and then shared in the Facebook group so that together we could both celebrate and document the glory of the Toyota truck.
An incomplete picture of our convoy:
I jest, but there is a sort of emotional attachment you get to your vehicle, isn’t there? We love our little 4Runner. And I’m learning about it, mostly because Mr. Plum won’t stop talking about it. It’s a 22re and I’m informed that’s special. There’s a whole Facebook group dedicated just to this specific model of 4Runner! I may not get it, but I do like my little “rig.” I was told to call it a “rig.”
Here I am hanging out of the truck trying to think of interesting pictures to take.
(I swear I’m getting to the crochet part of this. Hang in there or scroll to skip the story and get to the pretty, yarny, pictures. I won’t hold it against you.)
Moving along… we did the “run,” it wasn’t too hard but it was fun, and on the way we got to chop our own Christmas tree from the forest!
I guess I’m more of a city girl than I realized because that sounded crazy to me at first. You can’t do that! You can’t just go into the forest and cut a tree down! Who does that? But, apparently, you can. And, to alleviate my guilt I talked to a ranger about the environmental effects this would have (yes, I’m absolutely that person) and he assured me that it barely makes a dent in the vast wild lands we have here in New Mexico and that it actually helps thin the forests and prevent fires. WHEW! Ok. Once the guilt had been lifted I was able to enjoy the idea.
Unfortunately, with a line up of 18 trucks there was a bit of pressure to keep on the move or, at least, not dawdle. Towards the end we picked a tree, not the best tree, but it was there, it was good, the sun was setting, and ok, just load the thing up already.
And we were on our way to this spectacular view of Abiquiu. It would have all been worth it if only for this view.
Hours later we were home unloading our very dusty tree that was, of course, too tall for our living room and smelled nothing like pine. No, we spent Christmas enjoying the earthy smell of forest dust and doing even more sweeping than usual. Smell aside, we still needed to deal with the height issue. We removed a few inches from the top and Mr. Plum rigged up a twist-tie conversion to our tree topper and we called it fine. Not great. Okay.
Finally! It was time to decorate the tree…
I bought a bunch of clear glass baubles with the intention on covering them in crochet and just before our tree-cutting adventure Kathryn of Crafternoon Treats posted this tutorial on an easy and classic looking pattern for covering (or recovering) baubles. It was an easy choice!
I think I made one whole bauble before I decided these would make lovely little Christmas presents for friends and family to go with Christmas cards. And thus began my quest. I chose a festive selection of Stylecraft Special DK and set to work.
- Duck Egg
I only used 4 or 5 colors for each bauble, but I made every one a little bit different by switching up the color arrangement. I don’t remember what hook I used, but I know I went smaller than usual to get dense stitches. I think it was a 3.75mm. I also used a zipper join (the one from lookatwhatimade.net) because I am extremely stubborn about not wanting to sew crochet pieces together with a yarn needle.
Here are a few of them on the tree:
I was extremely pleased with how they came out and they seemed to go over very well with their recipients.
The little bit that you can see through the glass bauble helps give the illusion that the crochet is floating in a spherical shape. The pattern was so easy to memorize and worked perfectly. And of course, the rich colors of the Special DK are perfect for these crafty types of projects.
Before I shipped them off, I took a bunch of photos so that I could enjoy them a bit myself.
In the end, my own funny-shaped, dusty-smelling, forest-tree had store bought decorations on it. I never got around to making some for myself, but there’s always next year. Right?
The best way to keep up with my goings-on is to follow Every Trick on the Hook on Facebook. You can also message me there, post on the wall, and follow my posts for the latest news.
If you’re looking for a more interactive Facebook experience, join the Polly Plum Pattern Posse Facebook group. We’re a fun and supportive group. Really! There’s so much help there that chances are your question will be answered by someone before I even see it. It’s the best place to go with a question. It’s also a great place to share your Polly Plum makes and see what others are making.