Merry Christmas…better late than never, right?

I don’t post nearly enough. I’ve been in a computer funk/trying like a madwoman to get X-mas knitting done. I didn’t finish on time (should have seen that coming) but I did show the progress I had made to the people who were supposed to get gifts; they were duely impressed and I’m going to have to keep working my butt off to get things done before V-Day. LOL Mom’s moebius scarf was actually done, the knitting at least, but I didn’t finish the blocking so I didn’t want to give it to her. She liked it, though. We also gave her a collage frame with pictures of Jake and us and John and Kate (brother in law and his girlfriend of 4 years – who say they’re getting married at the beginning of the year but we’ll see) and even one of her (Mom) at Christmas Eve Celebration. It really was a nice gift. I wish we did more crap like that for our house which, after a year of living here, still lacks all but the most basic of decoration. We suck at that homey stuff. Blah. Fran’s shawl is nowhere near done, but I did show her my progress and, again, it was complimented. I feel like absolute crap about that one, b/c it was the only gift we had for her and now she’ll have to wait for it. I’m going to prioritize getting that done after a SHORT break. It’s all I’ve been working on for weeks now and, frankly, I’m sick of it.

Right now I’m working on a pair of Fetching mitts for myself using the Malabrigo that I got before X-mas. I also want to make the thrummed mittens for myself that I saw on Grumperina’s blog. So pretty. I have some bamboo roving on the way, but I’m not sure it will be warm enough. I have plenty of other roving as well, so I’m sure I’ll find something to use.

I’ve done a fair amount of spinning over the holidays. The roving I got from Over the Rainbow Yarns on Ebay is spinning up really prettily. It’s full of electric blues and vivid pinks with some deap teal and a hint of purple thrown in for fun. I’ve been reading Spinning the Old Way and it’s been giving great insight into spindle spinning and I’m getting better, I think. I still have to give Shannon too her spindle for X-mas and I have yet to get something for Emily as well. I’m lazy, lazy, lazy.

Jake had a great X-mas. Got lots of stuff: a Leap Frog computer, REAL Tonka truck (metal and everything), a Thomas the Tank Engine playset, Radio Controlled racing game, some books, some clothes (which he didn’t care about) etc. TJ and I didn’t do too bad either. All in all it was a very nice Christmas with his family. I’m hoping to be out in CA next year with my mom and family for Christmas and after that start our own “at home” family traditions. All the travelling for just a day or two is hard on me and on Jake. I’m not big on the leaving the house to begin with and I have so much of it coming up. In Feb. I’m off to CA for three weeks to a month, then in April we’re off to Delaware for TJ’s work (we will be getting a side trip to DC out of it, though and I CAN’T WAIT for that), then in June/July we’re back out west to AZ to visit TJ’s grandparents (they haven’t seen Jake since he was 4 months old) and I might make a “side trip” to Texas to visit my best girlfriend, Brooke. She’s had a tough year; she lost her father to a six year battle with prostate cancer; and I want to spend some time with her. That’s a lot of travel for the girl who went six weeks or more without ever stepping foot any father than the front porch last year. See, all this going out to knit has been really good for me. It’s opened up horizons that I thought were closed forever. I actually like being social and all that. LOL

Off to have a late breakfast with the family. TJ has been tending to little man while I play on the “puger” (Jake’s word for it). Time to do my share. Later friends.

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Harmony and a Little Bit of Heaven

Quite a different tone to this post as from the post yesterday, huh? What a difference a day makes. I’m still not feeling 100%, but a good friend reaching out to me this morning and a GREAT mail day really helped to lift my spirits. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Around 4:30 this morning I made a proactive move and took the cable box back down to the living room, then I spent awhile reading The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook and getting my spinning urge back in gear. I stopped myself from getting up then and there to spin a bit (I would have been up all night if I had) and went to bed listening to a knitting podcast. I can’t remember the topic, but it was a KnitPicks cast. I fell asleep just a few minutes in, I think; I don’t remember anything from it. I always fall asleep a few minutes after starting, but I need the background noise to sleep and I don’t want to mess around with trying to find my place in an audio book over and over again.

Jake woke up later than usual, almost 10 am and though I only got 5 1/2 hours or so of sleep, I felt more rested than I had in awhile. Circumstances, meaning my cats and a large glass of water left on the end table next to the couch, forced me to bring the cable box back upstairs this morning. That’s teach me to be proactive…lol. Got everything moved back up and got food, drink, etc. for the little man and myself and it was time for his morning viewing of Monster House. That movie is going to drive me crazy at some point soon. While he was watching I got out the old “puger”, as he calls it, and read blogs, checked email etc. Found the email from Shannon and gave her a call. Talked for awhile, made plans for later this week and just generally made me feel like someone, other than TJ of course, cares. It’s amazing how little it takes to lift my spirits. Thanks Shannon. I can’t tell you how much that short phone call, and the laughter helped me. You rock!!

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary, which is a good thing when most of my days lately have seemed so dark and long. I got out the fiber I got from Greg and Amy’s farm and spun for a little while. After reading the Twisted Sisters book, I decided to give spinning from the fold another try. I had tried it briefly with the silk I spun (poorly) a while back, but it didn’t work so well. This time, though, it clicked and I found drafting to be a lot easier that way than the regular way of drafting. I’m still not clicking on the regular drafting without the massive pre-drafting, but I’ll get there. I’m NOT giving up. With lots of pre-drafting I can spin a fairly consistent single; they still tend to be way over-spun. I have much work to do on that. Any hints on how to not over spin so much would be much appreciated.

I realized, after TJ got home from work, that it had been a few days since anyone had gotten the mail. So I braved the icy porch and the driveway and when I got to the mailbox it was JAM PACKED full. There were packages galore. I got a skein of 100% cashmere

cahmere-yarn.jpg

Isn’t it pretty? It’s called “Oh Holy Night” and it’s a combination of burgundy and black; not sure if you can tell from the picture or not.

Next is the only fiber I bought. I had planned to stay away from fiber since I went on a binge not that long ago, but I really enjoy spinning the Kareoke (did I spell that wrong?) fiber and I couldn’t resist the colorway. It’s called Mermaid and it’s so shimmery and soft. YUMMY!

Mermaid Fiber

There was also some Cascade 220 in Cotton Candy Pink and in black, but they are pretty plain and don’t merit the time for uploading and then playing with size…lol.

The part where a little bit of heaven comes in is here:

A little bit of heaven

This is the first time I’ve seen Malabrigo in person, none-the-less touched it.  OMG.  This is the softest, most luscious wool I’ve ever felt.  The only thing that comes close is wool that I got from an Ebay store called South Wool.  I love their stuff, too.  So affordable.  The only problem with the Malabrigo is that I only have 3 skeins of it (625 yds) which doesn’t seem like enough to make any sort of top or sweater.  I don’t want to make a scarf or gloves or something like that.  I want a sweater.  I’m going to have to buy more.  Of course then the dye lot won’t match, so I’m going to have to buy a whole lot more of whatever I choose.  The horror…:)

Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any better.  There was a ring of the bell at 7 pm and it was a delivery from Knit Picks.  My Harmony needle set was sitting there waiting for me.  I’m so excited.  I’ve been wanting these forever and now I have them.  I want to start knitting with them immediately, but I have my last X-mas gift and my Circular Shrug on the needles already so I can’t start just yet.  Bummer.  All in all, though, a much better day than yesterday!!!