String Unraveller Christmas Greetings 2023

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes in the year to come!

As everyone is so busy at this time of year, I’m sending my greetings now. Thank you for keeping me company and reading my letters this past year. It really does mean so much to keep in touch.


Here’s a new song for you!

I wrote String Unraveller (press the play arrow above) with my friend Brother Alfred. It’s about journeys and what might be on the other side of them. I’ll save the story of the song for January. What you’re hearing is the first time we played from start to finish this song that we’d just written. I love the simplicity of recordings like this. We’ve only finished putting the words on scraps of paper in hard to read handwriting. We’re still recalling the tune we just invented. And I also think there’s a train or the sea or some amp interference in the background which swells like waves. Alfred is making up the guitar solo from his head in the moment. I’m deciding how to place each word inside the melody. It’s all being born as a song and we’re recording it on the little voice memo app on the iPhone. Enjoy!

Here’s the bunny I’ve been knitting in the evenings by the fire.

I’m knitting Bunny Odile, a pattern by the super inventive Cinthia Vallet. If you’ve knit a pair of socks or gloves/mittens in the round, you can knit this bunny! You start with the nose – photo in the top left corner – and keep going. One of the wonderful things about Cinthia’s patterns is that she encourages you to make the eyes, nose, and mouth of the animal before you continue knitting the body. That way your new friend has a personality and you can get to know each other. If you’d rather knit a bunny flat which you can stitch together, I made this beginner’s bunny by Claire Garland (with advice from her accompanying videos) and loved it. 

Hugs and kindness always from me. Merry Christmas!


P.S. If you’re a new reader, you can learn more about me here.

Stanley Bear in his new cardigan.

If you’d like to purchase String Unraveller, you can find it in my shop.

If you’d like a Christmas song for your mixtape, how about The Loneliest Snowman. I made a video for this song, too, from archival footage.

If you’d like to go on a virtual visit to a small English village museum, you can read my latest article for Modern Daily Knitting. If only we could all convene for some tea and cake in the museum shop and say Merry Christmas in person.

If you want to hear a song about my childhood in Appalachia with all of the musical bells and whistles, you can listen to Picnic in the Sky.

See you in 2024!

My paid subscribers and founding members are receiving a download of String Unraveller and The Loneliest Snowman this month. Next year, I’ll begin my New Song Club where I will offer a new song and the story behind it each month for paid subscribers. I’d be pleased to have you along.

My New Song Club starts in January 2024! To receive new songs and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.

String Unraveller, written May 2021. © Jeni Hankins and Alfred John Hickling. Recorded in York, England, on May 11, 2021. Jeni, rhythm guitar, vocals. Alfred, lead guitar, harmony vocals.

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