Christmas in July?

Back in May, my friend of umpteen years had a very significant birthday ending in a ‘0’ and I’m sure she won’t mind me saying that it wasn’t her 20th – or even her 30th – but I’ll stop there.

I knew I wouldn’t be seeing her until June as she spends half the year in the U.K. and half in France so I started making a gift for her.  Something fairly traumatic delayed her getting here until this month and, yesterday, we met up and I was finally able to hand over her present.   It would only fit in a humungus carrier bag that I had bought last Christmas for some reason I can’t remember.

Christmas gift bag

Any guesses?

Huge Cable Blanket no.3 Ginger (2)

I couldn’t resist knitting another giant blanket and, this time, I chose a rusty orange colour that I knew would go with the décor in her flat in the U.K.

Huge Cable Blanket no.3 Ginger (1)

When I gave it to her she cried.  I think it was because she was happy but it might have been because it is so hot here at the moment a blanket is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Then we went out for dinner here……


and, after a glass of something sparkly on the terrace, went out into the cloisters of the abbey which was set up with tables for the evening meal.


Then, because we couldn’t drink anything else as I was driving (she could have but kindly abstained so as not to make me jealous) we polished off a bottle of sparkly when we got back to her house and stayed up until the small hours chatting and reminiscing and laughing fit to burst about things I can’t recall now.  I had a slight headache this morning but it was worth it.

Next blanket will be for my Mum who has a birthday in September.  The only trouble is, we are forecast to have even hotter temperatures in August so I’m not sure I’ll be able to survive partially submerged under almost 3kg of yarn – it might have to be her Christmas gift instead.

The photos of the beautiful Abbey are from the owners’ website (click on photos to see more) as is this description –  L’Abbaye-Château de Camon is an ancient Benedictine monastery dating back to the tenth century. It is situated in the beautiful village of Camon in the foothills of the Pyrénées. Surrounded by forest and pasture it is only a ten minute drive from the medieval town of Mirepoix. In the heart of Cathar country this historic monument is now a luxury chambres d’hôtes.

It almost makes me want to get married again so I could have my wedding reception there.

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  1. #1 by jennystitched on July 24, 2015 - 19:40

    I absolutely love this blanket! Looks so cosy! I can’t knit so I’m very envious of your skill

    • #2 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 19:45

      Thanks Jenny – it’s never too late to learn 😉

  2. #3 by Bekki Hill on July 24, 2015 - 19:58

    Lovely blanket. What needles do you use for such a large piece – do you knit straight on a circular?

    • #4 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 22:00

      Hi Bekki. I use 20mm circular needles – strong ones as that blanket gets very haeavy towards the end!

      • #5 by Bekki Hill on July 25, 2015 - 10:05

        Thank you. Yes, I imagine it does get very heavy. Not handbag knitting 😉

  3. #6 by carisma on July 24, 2015 - 21:17

    Love the blog x

    Sent from Samsung tablet

    • #7 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 22:49

      Well, it’s taken me knitting you a giant blanket for you to stop being a ‘lurker’ and leave a comment. You’ll still have to wait until the next decade has passed for another one though 😉

  4. #8 by on July 24, 2015 - 21:25

    Lovely blanket. And gorgeous place to eat out.

    • #9 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 23:01

      Thanks Viv. It really is a lovely venue.

  5. #10 by Jan Marriott on July 24, 2015 - 21:32

    My birthday is April 21st ( same as the Queen) and the next
    biggie is 2021 si you have lots of time, I fancy a dull aubergine

    • #11 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 23:13

      If only Her Maj. hadn’t aleady requested one in sugar pink I might have been able to fit you in Jan.

  6. #12 by katechiconi on July 24, 2015 - 21:39

    Don’t you have a wedding anniversary ending in 5 or 0 coming up some time? Seems like enough excuse to me, and no blankie required. That’s the same gorgeous pattern as the duck egg grey one – the bench seems familiar – isn’t it? Lovely work, and it must have driven you nuts in the heat…

    • #13 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 23:22

      Yes, it’s the same pattern Kate – I’m addicted and already have the yarn for three more to start when the weather gets cooler.
      We went to the same restaurant for my birthday and for my daughter’s 21st last year. It’s such a beautiful setting and the menu is usually a 5 course taster menu – small portions but beautifully put together.

  7. #14 by sew2pro on July 24, 2015 - 21:48

    Sounds like I need to put you on my Christmas card list asap and generally start sucking up! I fancy dull aubergine too, or ‘eggplant’ to make is sound more exotic.

    Seriously, that’s one sumptuous blanket and a very special commemoration of a friendship. Is the location of your day out near where you live too (looks close to Spain) or just your friend’s home?

    • #15 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 23:11

      I think eggplant/aubergine would look great. I’ll have to keep ny eyes open for that colour yarn. Camon is a beautiful village in the midi-Pyrenees region of France and around 15 minutes by car from where I live. We are a 2.5 hour drive, approximately, from the Spanish border

  8. #16 by jendavismiller on July 24, 2015 - 22:28

    Gorgeous! Can I get on the wish list, too? And I think that rusty color is just about perfect. It is enormous and I wonder how long it took to make?

    • #17 by tialys on July 24, 2015 - 22:59

      Well, I try to do a complete set of rows in an evening and there’s around 16 sets so, at that rate, a couple of weeks. However, life has a habit of getting in the way so I would allow around 3 or 4 weeks to be safe if I were making it for an ‘event’.

  9. #18 by Lynn on July 24, 2015 - 23:35

    The blanket looks wonderful, but I have never tried circular needles, so I bet I would make a mess of it. How lovely to have a longstanding friend that you can just pick up with whenever you meet up. I have one too, and we are miles apart, UK and California, but still manage to get together at least once a year and talk the hind leg off a donkey.

    • #19 by tialys on July 25, 2015 - 10:09

      Thank you Lynn – the circular needle is used here just to knit back and forth – not in the round so it’s easy.
      I do get to see this particular friend a few times a year but I met up with another back in the Spring whom, apart from Christmas and birthday cards, I hadn’t had any contact with for 16 years – although she has been reading my blog. Apart from all the catching up we had to do it was just like old times – and, helped by a bottle of wine (or was it two?) we swore undying friendship and not to leave it so long again.

  10. #20 by quiltsandchemo on July 25, 2015 - 02:26

    Beautiful blanket, beautiful abbey, beautiful friendship–sounds wonderful. Your pictures almost make want to dig out my knitting needles, but it’s getting hot here, too, so I’ll stick to sewing for now.

    • #21 by tialys on July 25, 2015 - 10:10

      I don’t blame you but those nights will be drawing in before you know it!

  11. #22 by Abigail on July 26, 2015 - 14:12

    Wonderful blanket, the color is so pretty! It looks really cozy and perfect when winter comes!!

    • #23 by tialys on July 26, 2015 - 15:18

      Thank you. I am waiting a couple of months until I make another one – it’s too hot at the moment to even contemplate knitting anything bigger than a baby bootee.

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