Oh my, now I know what real cold is!
Let me hasten to reassure. This is not West Cork. This is nowhere near Ireland. Just before Christmas we took a quick trip to Lithuania. Right now it's cheaper to fly there than it is to take the train to Dublin. Really! And we so wanted to see something other than rain, sodden fields, rain, wet grass, rain, dripping trees.
And did we just about get that! Dear heaven, I will never complain about what I considered cold days in Ireland again! Many degrees below zero here in the main street of Vilnius, and a wind from Siberia via Belarus driving freezing, iron-hard ice crystals against your face. Was extremely glad I'd brought my lined ski cap and cashmere cowl. Needed both of them. And more.
Here is another view of Vilnius by night. It's beautiful. Spectacular old buildings, onion domes, archways, wedding-cake Baroque splendour, and very little traffic. (Well you wouldn't drive in that weather unless you had to.)
We walked under the bare black branches of trees in the park and shivered to see the castle on the hill above with the wind and snow howling around it. Rather grateful to be staying within the thick walls of an old nunnery (Domus Maria) rather than an ancient castle, however historic. You could just imagine those tapestries flapping and the icy draughts caressing bare shoulders as the banquet progressed and the minstrels tried to keep their fingers warm enough to play.
These cheery birchwood elves look happy enough to be outdoors. It's a nice idea and one I might copy myself next winter. Wonder how they would take to endless mist and rain though?
Back home it was all systems go for the Christmas rush. This is the final result of the Advent Scarf KAL organised by Zemy on Ravelry. The angora/merino was so cosy I was most reluctant to take it off to give to its intended recipient! Every day of Advent brought a different Aran pattern so you had got plenty of practice in the technique by Christmas Eve.
And this is a little Norwegian-style cape for a small friend aged just 15 months. Crochet is much quicker than knitting and I was able to get this whipped up in a few evenings.
Regrettably, the cats are more interested in the machinery than the manipulation. The skein winder fascinated them both and now each morning they have a few energetic minutes turning it, just to flex up their paws.
Wockin' Aroun' Da Cat-Mas Tree...