Saturday, December 31, 2011


Every new year I make the same resolution to finish what I began in the year before. I am usually pretty successful clearing up the UFOs by spring. This year I only have a few to finish, most notably my gorgeous Dalhousie mitts. I need another half mitt and a cold snowy day to bring this project to a quick end.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Son's Harry Potter scarf is coming along. Stripes are hard. Really hard. I wish I had a wand or a magic spell to make them look better. I tried lots of fancy ways to get the joins to look right and to eliminate the jogs but the only thing that half worked was to simply cut and join each color change. Weaving in all those ends would be a nightmare so I am doing them as I go.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Where the Tree Used to Be

The holidays are over chez moi. All the pretty sparkly stuff is back where it came from and the corner where the tree sat is once again cluttered up with spinning wheels and looms. It looks pretty awful but it feels great.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Christmas Miracle

I am proud to say that I made it to the finish line of the 2011 Advent Scarf KAL-on time. I only fell behind on one day-my birthday. Whew. It wasn't easy carving out a large block of knitting time during the holidays but I am glad I stuck it out.

This thing is HUGE. Here it is on only day 20. It finished up at 100 inches long and 16 inches wide.

I had it ready to be blocked by midnight on the 24th-that is the end of day 23, going into Christmas Eve. I had The Mister snap a photo of a very tired and unglamorous me with it so you can see how much serious knitting went into this project in only 24 days. Without TCM's great December lineup, I would never have made it.

Here it is on Christmas morning, all blocked and ready to wear. Too bad the only place I was going that day was ice skating and then to the movies and casual wear it is certainly not.

There are 24 gorgeous lace patterns in this thing-all of which are begging to be a scarf all on their own. I can't wait until next year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Let Down

I had lots of knitting requests this year for the holidays and I pretty much let everyone down.
New Son in Law wanted a reindeer sweater.

Son wanted a Hufflepuff scarf. He even sent me ALL of the Harry Potter books to make sure I got it right.

Daughter wanted a Selbu hat to wear for her "trash the dress" photo shoot on New Year's Eve in Lake Placid.
After just coming off several HUGE gift knits for new brides, I politely ignored all the pleas while I focused on some purely useless knitting with my Advent KAL. It's hard to make people understand that some knitting is best left to the professionals. I can't make a hat, sweater or scarf that is as nice as you can buy in terms of fit and comfort. Let's face it, when you go to a store you can try on all the sizes until you get it right but I get only one chance and it's a very slim chance that I will make exactly what you have in mind. I am sure a lot of knitters will take exception with that, but from my experience making stuff people ask for is a train wreck waiting to happen. That excludes socks and lace shawls. I can make those much better than you can buy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Making Merry

Christmas Eve was celebrated at Son and Daughter in Law's new house. There was amazing food everywhere and this was only the appetizers.

I found it hard to believe that this was my son living in such a beautifully decorated and well kept home. He was never exactly....umm...neat.

They had a lovely tree-a real one.

I couldn't find a cruise ship ornament to give them. All I could find was this cute little tugboat.

We had plenty of beer. I bought lots of IPA thinking I would like it-I didn't. Bleh...

I discovered I could download the fireplace movie on my Kindle Fire. I love it.

Dinner was wonderful. We all brought something. Son #2 made a vegetable paella that was delicious. I brought some mediocre lasagne.

We had a strawberry banana cream cake for dessert. It was extremely yummy.

On Christmas morning, I look forward to opening the package sent to me by my French pen pal who lives in Bordeaux. He sends me amazing things and I usually send him stupid American crap.

Christmas day I went ice skating with daughter and had the time of my life. I hadn't been on the ice in several years so at first it felt very weird. A little while later it all started to come back to me and now I want to go again. Soon. The Mister and I finished the day at the movies seeing the new Mission Impossible. I didn't think I would like it but I did.

Back at home I lit the luminaries...

...threw some chestnuts in the oven to roast....

...cut a big piece of mince pie and settled in on the couch...

...with a peppermint martini and my DVD of Miracle on 34th Street.

It was the best Christmas EVER!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I was up all night knitting these stockings so I would have something to share today. Not.
I found them here.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

City Lights

This Christmas will always be remembered for all the lighting problems we had. The outdoor lights had to be replaced several times and the lights even went out on the tree. I gave up.

Luckily, we live in the middle of two towns that know how to celebrate the darkest days of winter.

Every square inch of the twin beach area is covered in lights. It's as if they compete to see who can have the most. I can't even begin to show half of what there is to see.

The pier looks like an entrance to a fairy land.

You can't miss the railway museum.

There are trees everywhere and I mean everywhere. Drive down Rt. 260 to the bay and you will see what I mean.

Even the crab shack is covered in lights.

The charter boats are looking rather festive as well.

My favorite display was hard to capture. In an area that suffered major damage from Hurricane Irene, someone went back into the woods and wrapped lights around lots of trees in a place where so many beautiful trees fell. I could only manage to get a photo of a few of them as the road is too dark and dangerous to stop long enough to get a decent photo.

The Veteran's Memorial plaza is lit up with cascading fountains of light.

The local Catholic church has a life sized nativity scene on their front lawn. It is so realistic that you expect to see camels walk by.

No matter how or what you celebrate, it is the lights that make it special. Now that the solstice has passed, I'm looking forward to brighter days ahead-and to taking down our blankety-blank Christmas lights and dropping them straight in the can.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookie Confessions

I am not hosting anything this year and Dad is away with a friend so I really had no reason to dig out the Christmas apron and make a mess in the kitchen. I should have spent the time tidying up my very messy bedroom but it's not Christmas without cookies, so cookies it was.

I am not gifting cookies this year either so I totally cheated them, using a mix. Usually I slave over my cookie assortment but I wasn't feeling it this year so I took the easy way out.

I warmed up the oven baking two loaves of cinnamon bread-Pillsbury's.

I went on to roll out some gingerbread people using a mix from Betty Crocker.

I used leftover fruitcake mix for decorations.

The sugar cookies came from a pouch. I did add my own vanilla.

I burnt up a few. That's the way I like them best.

I used the same pouch for an improvisation of my favorite poppy seed almond cookie.

I didn't have almonds to grind so I used Amaretto instead. They were different than the originals, but good.

This year's newcomers were the chocolate pepperment cookies. They also came from a mix. They were lots of fun to make. I loved dipping them in the melted peppermint frosting.

For someone not expecting any company this year, I sure have a lot of cookies.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Begining to Look Not Like Christmas

It's hot outside. It's much too warm for Christmas but I'm not complaining. We've got outside kitties to keep warm and every night above freezing is a night I can sleep guilt free in my comfy, cozy bed.

The inside kitties have been kind to the kitty proof tree so I got out my favorite tree-the vintage pom pom tinsel one with all its precious glass ornaments. I am using my spinning wheels to provide a barricade around it in hope that it may last at least until Christmas Eve. If it doesn't, I know three bad kitties who won't be getting a visit from Santa this year.