Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Last Notes from 2005

Okay, okay, I know that I have been a bad blogger, Amie. I am sorry for my lack of posts, but there were days on end this holiday season that I didn't even get near a computer to read e-mail, and actually writing something interesting would have been way beyond my time capability. To make up for it, this will be extra-long, with lots of FO pictures.

Anyway, Christmas preparation took up a lot of my time and energy; which included cleaning and decorating our 3 story, 6 bedroom, 4 bath Victorian labor of love; buying or finishing and wrapping gifts for many; shopping,advance prep and cooking for 8 people for 2 weeks; finishing up year-end crunch at work, including performance reviews of 6 direct reports; and incidentally sleeping a few hours each night.

We had a really good time this holiday with my brother's family from Oregon here for the holidays. They came for just under 2 weeks, and the four girls (ages 11-15) had a list made up of all of the things they hoped to see and do. I think the only one that went undone was having snow for Christmas, but the relatively good weather we had meant it was easier to get in all of the other things, which included a lot of NYC and Hudson Valley sightseeing.

A number of gifts given this year were handmade, and in addition to things I've already posted here, included the following:
Handspun superwash socks for Adam
Boot socks made of Briggs & Regal "Tuffy" for Adam (which were greatly envied by my brother, guess he'll get some for his birthday next fall)
Fingerless mitts for 13 y/o niece, black (dyed by Maple Grove Farm) superwash merino. Her nail polish was navy, not black as it looks here, not a goth kid (yet?)
In our pre-Christmas sightseeing, we went to the Grand Central Station Holiday Market, looked around, and bought a few things. What we didn't buy were hats that two of the girls loved, crocheted of bulky wool and "fluff", with earflaps and long tails. Priced at $95, they were a little out of the budget. When we got home, we did a shopping trip in Aunt Shelia's Stash, and they picked out color combinations for our versions of the hats.
The first one, made of marled handspun (crocheted doubled) and Crystal Palace Splash
Version #2, Araucania Nature Wool (doubled) and Splash
The 11 y/o niece liked the idea of a hat, but wanted hers "just the same, except knit instead of crocheted, with no flaps or tails, and 2 colors of stripes with the fuzzy stuff in some of the stripes" No problem, found some terra-cotta and orange handspun, and some unknown-maker techno-hair.
Finally, the 15 y/o decided that she loved the orange handspun, but didn't want any fuzz or tails, but needed blue stipes (used some left-over Lamb's Pride) and a long tassel. They were all very happy girls, and the hats were worn pretty much constantly, both in and out of the house. When people admired them, they said that "my aunt made it, but it would cost $95 to buy".
And for myself? I finished the Mountain Colors Beatfoot socks in the Meadow colorway, thereby getting my newbie knitter SIL hooked on Mountain Colors when she felt how wonderful the yarn is. Before the trip, she had made 4 scarves. While here, she learned to make a hat on a circular needle (Mountain Colors Weavers Wool) and had finished a sock in worsted weight on DPNs (Mountain Colors Mountain Goat). I think she's hooked, and we made a second trip back to Flying Fingers so that she could buy more and get the 2006 Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar.
To celebrate the New Year, I cast on socks for myself with the leftover variegated blue handspun, which I'll have enough of if I use some leftover commercial sock yarn in the foot. I was also working on making decisions for the FLAK sweater, which I've almost finished making. More on that in the next post, which I will be making in the next couple of days.