So we are over half-way through January and I just wanted to check in with you all to see how things are going?  What have you been doing craft wise?  Are you working from home?  Are you home schooling the kids?  Have you braved the cold weather for some winter walks?

January Was Off To A Good Start…

January has been a bit of a mixed bag for me so far.  Probably like you and most other people I started the new year quite hopefully.  The covid vaccine had started to be given to the most vulnerable and it is only a matter of time until more people at risk can have their dose.  My husband was still home on leave and the kids and I were on holiday.  I celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month.  A Lockdown Birthday in the miserable month of January is a little on the sad side but we made the best of it.  My husband made me a really nice chicken pie, the first he had attempted since I stopped being able to eat gluten and milk.

But then January decided it didn’t want to be boring.  It wasn’t going to be outdone by all the fun and shenanigans we had in the last few months of 2020.  What we really needed in the world was new strains of the virus to shake us all up and make us wonder if we really did, indeed, know what January was going to have in store for us.  It seems it wants to be known as the month of surprises.

January, You Are Sneaky!

The first thing to affect us as a family with the renewed call by the Prime Minister for us all to stay at home.  My daughter is in college, the same one where I work.  We were both told that term would be delayed by a week.  Instead of going back on the 4th of January we would now be going back on the 11th to give the college time to set up mass testing for staff and students.  This week was going to be taken off our Easter holidays instead to make up for the loss of teaching time.  This quickly changed to working and learning from home for the whole of the month and probably the whole of February too.

My son is currently studying a computer coding course at Uni. He has barely been on campus at all yet. I believe he has done around 10 hours since he started at the end of September. This doesn’t bother him in the slightest. He is quite self-motivated and happy to work through everything distance learning style. The timetable has changed a little and some of his assignments have moved but I think he is secretly happy not to have to attend campus.

But the biggest surprise January has had in store for us as a family revolves around my husband. He works in Saudi and was unable to get home on leave last year for 11 months. He left on 2nd January 2020 and did not come home again until 30th November 2020. He has worked out there for many years. We have lived with him as a family for periods of time too. But this was by far the longest time he has been away and we have been apart.

He was planning to fly back to work so that he would be back at his desk for 17th January. We were already thinking that was looking a bit dubious. Over the Christmas holidays Saudi Arabia had closed all its borders again. This was in response to the emergence of new strains of covid. We had been keeping a close eye on developments to see when he might get back to work. Finally, in the beginning of the month there was an announcement that the borders were open. To most people. Those coming from the UK or South Africa had to spend 14 days in another country before they could cross into Saudia.

This was a bit of a logistical nightmare to say the least. It meant him changing flights to both a different departure and destination airport. As well as flying by a different carrier. He also had to leave a few days early and so missed being home for our wedding anniversary. But we finally got him sorted, and he is currently in a flat in Bahrain with one of his friends. They have a few more days to go until they can go back to work. And I think they have binge watched all the series available on Netflix already! I did offer to send them back with a jigsaw puzzle but they declined my kind offer!

And For The Rest Of The Month?

So we have passed the halfway mark in January. We are starting to see the light a little earlier in the morning, and for a little longer in the afternoon. I am starting to think about what I want to do in the garden over the coming year when the spring finally arrives. We have had a lot more snow this year than is usual and I am definitely looking forward to the weather drying up and warming a little.

We are settling in to a routine again. Lockdown 3.0 doesn’t feel much different to Lockdown 1.0 except this time the weather isn’t quite as user friendly. I do my college job on the phone and computer in the mornings with some music on in the background. After cooking and eating lunch I settle down in the afternoons to work on my knitting patterns. They were neglected somewhat during the Indie giftalong as well as during the festive period but I have now picked up where I left off in November.

I have a headband pattern which I will be releasing on 2nd February. It is a DK weight, ideal for beginners and using up scraps. I will tell you more about that in my next post. But I will say that I will be sending codes to subscribers to my newsletter which means you will be able to get the pattern for free. If you haven’t signed up yet now is the ideal time to do so! Emma’s Newsletter

I also have a beanie hat that I am just getting ready to go to testing. This is also knitted in DK. Later in the spring I hope to share with you a shawl and a cardigan pattern. You will have seen photos of all of these on my Instagram and Facebook if you follow me.

What have you been working on so far this month? Have you joined us on Facebook in our Knitting Across the Pennines group? Loraine of Woolly Madly Deeply and I have been hosting a bit of a Find, Finish or Frog during our livestreams. You can catch us on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings or watch us later on You Tube.

Don’t forget to share your projects with me on social media. I love to see your WIPs. Tag me @allneedles If you enjoyed this post then check out my others – Emma’s Blog

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