Sunday, December 31, 2006

Twelve Days of Christmas...

It's a good thing that Christmas doesn't really end until January 6th, because I'm still finishing Christmas Presents! I finished putting the handle on a Booga Bag. I finished tying off one fleece, no-sew pillow. I finished tying off one fleece no-sew throw. Hat and scarf were completed several days ago. I have two more pillows to finish. Since I can't mail them until Wednesday and I get an extra day off, I decided I'd finish them tomorrow, take pictures on Tuesday and get them packaged to mail on Wednesday. Perhaps the recipients will receive them by the 6th and I'll still, technically, have delivered all the Christmas presents during Christmas!

I plan to do better next year. I think I got way too enthusiastic about making things to give away and didn't factor in sleeping during my sessions on planning how much I could get done by when! I also didn't factor in the cliché - 'life is what happens when you are making plans.'

A few events and happenings belonging to other people made my life a little less my own this past year. 2007 is starting out in a similar fashion. But, since I'm almost a year into the knitting scene and I am getting re-involved other crafty things I stopped doing, I can start planning next year's give-aways early enough to have some grab-and-go activity bags ready to just grab-and-go when I get the inevitable phone calls and then sit throught the interminable wait times for results that never seem satisfactory. A little vague I know, but the story is really not mine to tell on a public blog. I am merely a supporting player who hopes to retire by the Summer, God willing.

Pictures when the weather is nicer. Goals for 2007 another day. For now, I'll go back to lemon and honey to soothe the sore throat that keeps trying to bloom and maybe get some rest before Mom and I go to the neighbor's house to usher in 2007.

Happy New Year!
May 2007 be all you want it to be!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On the Eve...

For my readers celebrating different holidays in different ways, the sentiment is the same - may you be blessed with Joy and Wonder!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goodies from My Secret Pal!

I got a gift today, from my Secret Pal. It was well-wrapped and filled with sugar-y goodness! See?

When I opened the gift, by untying the delightful snowman ribbon, lovely, glittery bits fell out followed by three of the cutest little trees you ever did see! AND SEE's candy was there AND a TEAVANA Gift Card to help replenish my tea supply. AND some candy canes. AND, in honor of her holiday (Happy Hanukkah, Secret Pal!!), she included some gelt (the gold covered chocolate candy to the right).

Thank you, thank you -- it is all just wonderful!

We have an ornament we hang on our tree each year, as a remembrance of our Jewish friends. It was handmade by a friend of my father -- many, many years ago -- out of yarn and plastic canvas. This year, when I hang that ornament, depicting a Menorah, I'll remember you, too, Secret Pal, adding you to my friends that light a menorah while I light my Advent Wreath!

If your soul were a room....

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are very passionate and quite temperamental. While you can be moody, you always crave comfort.

You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. You feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds.

You believe that people see you for how you are, not how you look. But deep down, you know that's not exactly true.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Knitting, Oh My!

Knitting is done. Blocking and finishing? Not so much! These will be a little late, but they aren't the only gift, so all is good! :) Details later, after the recipients receive them! Colors are close to true. They are perhaps not quite so bright.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Down to the wire... but winging their way to OK!

I made a few hats and I bought two that were made by the Ladies of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. I finished the top knots and wove in all the ends this evening. They are packaged to be sent - via First Class mail - tomorrow to Oklahoma and the Soaring Eagles Project. I hope and pray they make it to OK by Saturday (even though Monday is the deadline, I prefer they arrive Saturday!)

This is what they look like - in my room with a flash going on and no natural light! The blue one (kind of hiding) in the upper left corner and the green scarf and hat at the bottom are the ones I bought from the Ladies. The rest were hand made by me. The two toned purple one (though it looks blue in this picture) was Knifty Knitted. Blue one has a seed stitch cuff and stockinette cap. The cream ones are made using this Dulaan Avalanche Hat pattern (link opens in PDF) using two strands of chunky super wash wool given to me to use for give away projects. My personal little avalanche! :) It worked out beautifully, though it was, perhaps, not quite as chunky as the Avalanche yarn. The first hat could be a little deeper. So, I added about 4 rows to the second one. A really good thing about hats -- different head sizes need different sizes of hats! :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas is all about Me Me - or is this Christmas Meme about me?

Welcome to the Christmas edition of "Getting to know your friends"

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? For under the tree, it is mostly wrapping paper. For gifts to be delivered at Christmas social situations, mostly gift bags

2. Real tree or artificial? I used to always have a real tree. Since I’ve been the one in charge of putting them up and taking them down by myself, mostly, for the past 7 years, I decided three years ago to be artificial. Mom helped buy one and got a gi-normous tree and I really didn’t like putting it up or taking it down. We donated that one this year and got a smaller (4 ft) that can sit atop a table.

3. When do you put up the tree? Well, sort of when I feel like it… This year, I was supposed to put it up yesterday, but we went shopping instead. So, it’ll probably go up next weekend… but it has been as late as Christmas Eve.

4. When do you take the tree down? Generally after the Epiphany (though one year it was up until February – everything else was down, but I just wasn’t able to get myself together enough to take that old, dead tree out of the house by myself. Eventually I wrapped it in an old table cloth and tugged it out to the woods behind the house!)

5. Do you like eggnog? Not particularly, though my mom usually mixes up a batch from her father’s recipe and I’ll take taste.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I think my childhood was too long ago to remember! As a young teen (about 13), my favorite gift was the 8-track stereo with turntable to go in my very own room that I also got that year!! :) As an older teen (Junior Year in HS), my favorite gift was my very own Singer Sewing Machine.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Every year this is different, but usually because the gift I’d like to give someone is out of my budget, not because the person is hard to figure. I have had years where every other gift I see would be great for the same one person… I had to keep remembering that I already HAD their present!

9. Easiest person to buy for? My children – now 18 and 16 – because they tell me exactly what they want! :)

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I’m a difficult person to fit, clothes-wise, even as a child I wore the plus sizes. Plus sizes in the mid ‘60s meant clingy stretch pants that made chubby little girls look so much chubbier… those three years of polyester plus size ‘ski-style’ pants were the worst gifts… especially since I was a child and could not ‘re-gift’ or donate them and I HAD to wear them for the visits with the aunt that gave them…. So as much as I hate to grouse… while I love the giver, I really felt ‘ugly’ in those clothes.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Don’t e-mail and only mail as many as I get done – which generally means relatives that get pictures of the kids and friends that send them to me – at least that has been the pattern the last two years. I have the greatest intentions every year. I think – I’ll do a newsy letter and send it out to everyone, personalize the cards, etc. You know what they say about good intentions… I’m a great paver is all I can say!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Since I’m mostly finished, I’m thinking I never stop from one year to the next! :) If I see something unique and it’s July, I buy it and put it away. So far, I’ve remember all those pre-“buying season” gifts. I figure someday, I’ll be like my mom. Not a year has gone by that she didn’t leave a gift or two in the closet!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Hmmm… only in a “donate it to charity” way that I can remember. A couple of relatives that live away send us gifts and even though I suggest gift cards, they always have to send something. This gift is often clothes that are too small or too something – they’d be good for others, but not for us. These things have been given to the clothing drives at Church.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate chip cookies – toll house, made with real butter! Wwha-at? The question didn’t ask what my favorite Christmas MEAL was! Heheheheh.

This year our dinner will be filet mignon – bucking the traditional turkey and all the trimmings (Christmas has forever been a repeat of Thanksgiving). Just four or five us this year, so a steak and potato dinner sounded yummy!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, clear and NOT BLINKING!

17. Favorite Christmas song? Peppermint Stick Parade by Bobby Vinton.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? This year we stay home. Sometimes we travel for dinner (a couple of hours), but mostly people have come here.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? You know, Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all… Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer…

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Used to be an angel and that was broken a few years ago. That same year, my older son was a teacher’s aid for the kindergarten religion classes and he made a fun foam nativity scene with the students. That has been our topper for the last few years. My mother must have forgotten because she told me she bought a star for our new tree this year… The tree isn’t up yet, so we’ll have to see what goes there.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Well, I found this meme at Got Gauge and, I must admit, I like Phyl’s answer. I was going to borrow it from her (since she borrowed it from her sister, I figured that would be okay), but really the thing that bothers me the MOST is the music and decorations that start before Thanksgiving and end the day after Christmas. (I even know a few people that take their tree down Christmas night!) I can understand if you have a live tree and you are traveling or something… but really, the season doesn’t end on December 25th – it’s just beginning!!

Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year too!

To my readers that do not celebrate Christmas may your holidays be all you want them to be, whatever they are!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Of skies and bags and hats and things.

Saturday Sky - There is finally a slight chill in our air following two days of 70+ temps!

MeatHead KnitAlong - I finally mattress-stitched the two I completed and took pictures. Follow this link to Flickr to see all five photos of the two hats!

Booga Bag - pre-felted for posterity, felted picture to follow. It is a Christmas present for one of the ladies on my list. Since she doesn't know who she is, I feel safe in posting! Made of Noro Kureyon in colorway 134.

Knit Unto Others - two hats and two squares complete. I also have a pair of mittens in need of thumbs (not pictured), but the picture is due today and they may not be finished during sunlight hours.