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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Meandering into February

My American calendar says today is Groundhog Day, I've enjoyed reading about it and learnt also today is celebrated by a quite a few differing religions.

Pagans call it Imbolc, it is exactly midway between the winter solstice and the Spring equinox.

In the Christian calendar it was known as Candlemas and celebrates Mary's return to the church after her 40 day confinement after giving birth.   A day when candles are taken into the churches and blessed for the coming year. 

Weather watchers would remind themselves of this proverb to see what mother nature had in store for them:-

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain
Winter won't come again

It was also known as the 'festival of light' and homes would light candles and place them in their windows to remind their neighbours they were still there after the winter weather when many times they had not seen each other due to the conditions.  Women would come together and time for creating/making was once more as there would be more light to see by after their chores had been done.

There is so much to read about today and learn of times gone by and how things have changed over the years. 

Our cathedral was preparing for Candlemas yesterday, I was there attending the lunchtime organ recital and I lit a candle to offer blessings to my friends and loved ones.

One old superstition states that it is said to be unlucky to bring snowdrops (or candlemas bells as they were known) into the house before Candlemas and if you didn't take down your Christmas decorations on twelfth night then today is the day to do it.

Twelfth night has long passed but I have finished my stitching on twelfth day from the Plum Street Samplers 12 Days SAL  -

It now completes the set, and they will definitely be made up ready to hang next Christmastime
The last Sunday of the month is reveal day for the stitching challenge at Needlecraft Haven .  An online free Christmas chart chosen by Christine for us to stitch and make up anyway we choose.   This month the design was from Aliolka (chart here).
Here's my finish, the others can be found in the gallery, everyone did a super job in January
WIP worked on last week too, letters all added.  Mr Kitty should be in residence next time.
A little knitting and my socks are now keeping my feet nice and warm
January went by quickly, so it seemed, but I did have a good few finishes, 12 in fact - 5 being the 12 Days SAL and 2 pairs of socks knitted - that's what happens when we still have dark nights and hunker down early and sit and enjoy our hobbies.  I also read 5 books during the month.
I've updated my 'to do' list for February and added in a new chart.  I was lucky enough to win this in a drawing on Jacqui's blog.   Her finish was superb and with it having a little bunny on it, I just had to put my name in her bucket.   It arrived with me on Saturday, want to see which Tra La La design it is .....
Jacqui has put a page inside the chart so it can be a travelling chart and names and blog details can be added so stitchers who receive it can track where it has been before (and maybe visit new blogs to them).  Once i've stitched it during February it will be offered here on the blog to someone else for them to stitch and pass on.  
February is the month of love they say, what with valentines day and also a wedding anniversary in our home it certainly will be here.
I hope your February is filled with love, friendship and many happy times
Love and blessings to you all



  1. Congrats on your stitching finishes Julie.
    Have fun with the Tralala design, I have already stitched it myself last year :)

  2. What a lovely and informative post.

  3. Congrats on your accomplishments this month, you are off to a great start!

    I love the little chart you won, look forward to seeing that stitched up.

  4. A wonderful post: I really enjoyed reading it. Love the stitching projects too..and who doesn't love Bagpuss xx

  5. Yes, it is Groundhog's Day here, Julie :) And guess what--the groundhog did not see his shadow so that means an early Spring!! I hope he's right...

    Lovely stitching and it is so nice to see all twelve days finished so beautifully. You socks are so bright and colorful--no chance of one of them getting "lost" in the laundry, is there?

    Have fun with that cute new chart and Happy February to you!

  6. ha! Rotten groundhog. What does he know?! ;)
    I like your Aliolka finish. Such cheery socks.

  7. Well done on the 12 days finish. They look great. Looking forward to seeing how you finish them off as your finishing is always so lovely. The socks look very cosy too

  8. What a great post! Love all your daily information. Congrats on your finishes. What a cute way of finishing your Jan piece. I just love your fun socks. Love the colors! Good luck with your Feb goals!

  9. Lovely finishes Julie and lucky you winning such a cute chart. It's Fête de La Chandeleurs in France too so it seems today is the day for forecasting the weather everywhere - let's hope it's not a harsh winter for anyone x

  10. Goodness we have had a sunny dry day here, but winter is never over until March is through. Love your stitching and your socks.

  11. Love your 12 days of Xmas finishes :)

  12. It's hard to believe that we're into February already Julie. I love the chart - Tra La La designs make me smile.

  13. A wonderfully informative blog post. Well done on achieving so much in the month of January - your stitching looks amazing and your socks very cosy.

    Linda x

  14. Terrific finishes and what a lovely new pattern to work on. The socks look very cozy.

  15. I'm really hoping for an early spring as I'm still done in from our blizzard. :) I love seeing the twelve days all together! Sweet finish on your challenge piece. It sounds like January was a very productive month for's hoping February is a good month for you too. :)

  16. Your 12 days of christmas looks great, Julie. Congrats on finishing them all.
    Freebie finish is lovely too. Sure good achievements for the month of January, goodluck for the month of February.

  17. Congratulations on finishing the 12 Days of Christmas. Your Aliolka finish is too cute! Her site was new to me. I am in awe of anyone who can knit socks--yours are wonderful.

  18. I loved reading your post - funny I have never really thought about Candlemas and Groundhog Day being the same date!! Hopefully you will all be on the way to Spring soon... ;o)
    Congrats on finishing the 12 Days :o) They look gorgeous! And I just love those socks.... Thank you for the link for the Aliolka design - so cute!
    I can't to see you stitch that gorgeous TraLaLa design - I absolutely love them so will be keeping an eye out for the travelling pattern post.. :o)
    Have a wonderful February!
    Hugs xx


  19. Again wonderful stitching I love the robin free chart I found it the other day on some ones blog love your colour theme , also your 12 days looks wonderful.
    I love reading at the start of your post I am learning something every day thank you .

  20. Great 12 Days Of Christmas finish and your socks are so colourful and beautifully knitted.
    I enjoyed reading about Groundhog Day in its various forms,very interesting.
    Happy February stitching:)

  21. Lovely finishes Julie, and those socks are fabulous!
    It seems that the Candlemas weather proverb and the Groundhog thing are pretty much the same doesn't it?

  22. Beautiful stitching Julie! I love how you finished the robin chart, and congratulations on finishing the Twelve days! They look fabulous displayed together.
    I love the Tralala chart and what a great idea to make it a travelling pattern.
    Thanks for the information about Groundhog Day - I thought it was something completely different but I think I'm remembering the Bill Murray film!

  23. Lovely finishes, looking forward to seeing Mr. Kitty! I love the colours of your socks, nice and bright.

  24. Groundhog Day is the day when I watch the movie with the same title, every year. It's so funny. Very interesting to read about what you found out about Candlemas. We have that, too, over here in Germany.
    Great that you have completed the Twelve Days, congratulations. And I love your version of the small that you finished for the stitching challenge.
    Enjoy stitching the chart that you won from Jacquie.

  25. Congratulations on your 12 Days Happy Dance, they look great and I'm looking forward to seeing them made up.
    The NH choice is lovely, I enjoyed seeing all the different versions in the album.

  26. You have been a super busy needleworker so many pretty stitchings to showus !! The Plumstreet Sampler piece look just great !

  27. Those socks are rather nice :)

  28. Lovely finishes, Julie. I hadn't realised that Groundhog day and Candlemas day were connected.


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