Bauble Cocoons and a Stocking… Christmas is on its way!

These past days have been very Christmassy over here. I guess that the wee snowflakes which delicately decided to make an appearance on December 1st may be a little responsible for it. I really love when the cold settles and the snow arrives, albeit light and shy to start with. And just like a kid who would love to jump in thick layers of snow, and make snowball battles and snowmen, I am hoping for more snow in the coming days… who knows? And even if there is not enough snow for snowmen and angel wings, I would simply love to be looking through the window at the snowflakes coming down gently, with a cup or hot chocolate in my hands…

As Janice pointed out in her last post, I have been rather busy recently knitting a Christmas stocking for my son, which I hope he will cherish and use for many years to come. You might remember from a previous post that it is knitted using the very Scottish New Lanark Pure Wool DK yarn, which carries some history… Although the stocking has been finished for some time (and some of you have seen a quick snap of it), I have been struggling to find the right place and right time to photograph it the way I dreamt it. A couple of days ago, I was discussing potential locations with my other half, describing how I would like the setting to look. He simply said: “and what about Huntly Castle?” Yes, that was it. Huntly Castle was THE place I wanted this Christmas stocking to be photographed. It was just perfect: a magnificent ruin, with a stunning fireplace. Just like the one I dreamt of.

Now, for those of you not familiar with Scotland and Huntly Castle in particular, let me tell you a little about it…

Huntly Castle - South Facing FacadeHuntly Castle was erected during the 12th century, but very little remains of the original timber structure. Today, the “motte” (mound) and the “bailey” (courtyard) remain, although the courtyard is now where the castle sits. During the 15th century, a stone-built tower house was constructed along with a great-hall along the south-side of the bailey, and became the property of the Gordons, probably the most powerful family in the North-East of Scotland at the time. About 150 years later, the great-hall was remodelled by George Gordon (the sixth earl, who had been elevated to marquisate of Huntly) to become the palace as we can see it nowadays with its stunning facade.

Huntly Castle FrontispieceWhen visiting the castle, one is struck by the impressive stonework on the south side facade of the castle. However, this is nothing compared to the magnificent heraldic frontispiece that dominates the entrance. And when climbing the stairs to the second level, one can only be astonished by the beauty of the great fireplace in the marchioness’s room. This is where I wanted to photograph my stocking… Unfortunately, the whole of the second level is currently undergoing conservation works, and the fireplace where I dreamt of hanging my stocking is closed to the public. This was such a disappointment for me. And to add to the frustration, the light was just perfect, with a stunning winter sun facing right upon the fireplace… Oh well! The frontispiece is still a very nice place to hang a Christmas stocking! So there it is…

Like I mentioned earlier, the pattern should be ready for release shortly. If you would like to be updated when the pattern goes live, please drop me a few lines by email (spinnygonzalez [AT] gmail [DOT] com)! In the meantime to show you a little more of the stocking (and more accurate colours), here are a few photos in the snow…

Finally, as a thank you for your patience while I am adding the finishing touch to the Christmas stocking pattern before releasing it, I would like to share a little something with you, which I made yesterday.

Pretty Fuzzy Bauble CocoonLike I said, this little snowfall put me in the mood for something a little Christmas-y, and last week I found some leftover from a shawl I had knitted years ago in Rowan Kidsilk Night (now discontinued), and Rowan Kidsilk Haze. And since I recently received some 2-part transparent hanging baubles, it was only natural that I dream about fuzzy Christmas baubles, right? After playing a little with needles and yarn, I am happy to share with you the little (free) pattern for my “Pretty Fuzzy Bauble Cocoons” which can be downloaded from my design page.


For more information about Huntly Castle, property of Historic Scotland, visit Historic Scotland website.

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