Friday, December 22, 2006


It has been a very Christmas-y/Chanukah-y week! Last Saturday we had our Cookie Party, a soon-to-be annual festivity during which many people show up at your house with plates of cookies, and you eat lots of them, get a massive sugar high, and attempt to send everyone home with a mix of what everyone else brought. Except that you are still left with 900 cookies. Not that this is a PROBLEM, mind you, it's just a test of the will. I have been giving away lots of them, but yes, I have also been eating lots of them.

In honor of Chanukah, we also made latkes for the first time, and they were not only fun to make but DELICIOUS. We used traditional latke and sweet-potato-and-parsnip latke recipes from the December 2006 issue of Sunset magazine, which worked really well. We are not Jewish, although I have huge respect for a religion whose major holidays all go along the lines of they-tried-to-kill-us-again-they-failed-let's-eat! We continued the eating on Sunday evening at Frank and Mark's annual Chanukah party. They had a giant cooler FULL of potatoes and a latke-making assembly line which was very impressive, but I have to say (at risk of sounding like a Goyish traitor) that
I think ours were better.

Wednesday night we opened presies with Spinnity and Bill, and I received some wonderful knitting-related gifts from them! From the list below I received the blocking board and blocking wires, and from Mom Wiz I received a wonderful book about how to teach children to knit, which will definitely come in handy if I attempt a repeat of this fall's knitting class.

Last night we exchanged gifts with my BF and her daughter Princess M, and triumph! The Christmas sweater fits and looks adorable.

My BF gave me some knitting goodies, including a gift certificate for CommuKnity in San Jose and a book from my list, Knitting Nature. The poor DH! It turns out he had bought me the same book. It's a very DH sort of book, since it combines scientific principles from nature (fractals, spirals, etc.) with knitting. It's stunning to look at and everything looks quite challenging and interesting to knit.

She also gave me the 10th Anniversary DVD collection of the BBC Pride & Prejudice mini-series, which I have on video and watch constantly, plus a hilarious t-shirt that says "I heart Mr. Darcy." My close friends know that I have a Bridget Jones-esque obsession with Colin Firth and his dashingly understated sexiness.

Tonight we are exchanging gifts with my parents, and then we're off to Wisconsin for five days of holidaying with the DH's family.

The biggest and best gift of all is the gift the DH and I gave ourselves -- our new Toyota Prius! We got her on Sunday. We have named her Priya, and she's so much fun to drive. And the best part is that she will save us gas money AND help save the environment. Happy Solstice to Mother Earth!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Xmas Knitting... finished! More or less. It's seemed fairly pointless to post lately since everything I'm knitting is a gift, so I'll have to rely on the giftees to send photos to post in the New Year!

But last night I cast off the edging on Sis' throw blanket, and it's now boxed and ready to go to Laguna. But I'm so bad about photos, I forgot to take one, so you'll have to wait to see it until she takes one and sends it. (Hear that, Sis? Please send photos!)

The knitted gifts for Princess M and CNITU2 were done long ago. I have since started a vest for CNITU, but he's so unenthusiastic about clothes that I figured it didn't really matter when I finished. But I think it will be done before the New Year.

Which brings us to a realization I had last night -- is it possible that I could have NO UFOS by the end of 2006!? All that I would need to do would be to finish CNITU's vest and sew a lining in the birthday backpack I'm making for CNITU2.

However, this would mean that if I finish both of those projects *before* midnight on Dec. 31, I wouldn't be allowed to start anything else, which would be silly. So perhaps the goal should be to have only one WIP by the end of 2006.

Here are some reflections on the best and worst of knitting in 2006:

New skills practiced:
Sweater and Throw design with software

Favorite project:
Hands-down winner: Hourglass sweater in Cash Iroha from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I wear it constantly.
Runners-up: My knee socks, Adam's socks, Princess M's intarsia sweater, Gedifra Golden Tweed Auntie Becca purse, Kaalund Water Lilies scarf (also worn constantly)

Biggest knitting accomplishment:
My baby blanket sample selling for $350 at 9R.
Second place: Silver medal in the Knitting Olympics.

Least favorite project:
Fizz cardigan in Rowan Cotton Braid. Annoying to knit, and somehow a little fluffy on me. Not quite my style. Everyone else seems to love it, but it makes me feel like Zsa Zsa Gabor, and not in a good way. (Is there a good way?)

Best knitting book:
Knit 2 Together by Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman. I got to meet Mel at a signing a few weeks ago. She is fantastic. I haven't actually made anything from this book yet, and I still love it. The writing alone is worth the price.
Other good ones: Miss Bea Dresses Up -- beginning intarsia projects, very cute. Got it right after I started knitting, but didn't make anything from it until this year.
Scarf Style -- I've already picked out a bunch of things to make from this great book. Don't know why I turned my nose up at it for ages -- thought I was beyond scarves! But it's amazing.

Projects already waiting in line for 2007:
Commissioned skirt to go with Autumn Sweater for Great Knit Designs.
A few scarves from Scarf Style.
Something for me -- a cashmere-blend cardie from Knit 2 Together.
More socks! Lots more socks!
Something in Fair Isle -- maybe one of the gorgeous patterns from the last Interweave Knits.

Favorite LYS:
Nine Rubies, Nine Rubies, Nine Rubies. It's down the street, they have beautiful yarn, there are always wonderful knitters hanging out there, and did I mention I can walk there?
Honorable mention goes to Fengari, where they can always find that obscure last skein that you desperately need in a box somewhere.

Watch this space in January for a complete list of 2006 FOs.

Have a wonderful holiday season, my friends and family!