A Good Yarn

Saturday, December 22, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

I got a new cable for my card reader, so we're back in business, picture-wise. It's a snowy day today, just in time to make it look all Christmasy. I've been celebrating the season already, though. Both of my knitting groups had our Christmas celebrations this week. A week ago was my Saturday group and we had a really nice potluck - everyone brings such delicious treats! We do a Secret Santa type of exchange and I got a nice set of tubes for holding DPNs when you're knitting socks or such. Definitely will be using that. I also picked out a little gift for myself that day:

The new Noro Kureyon sock weight. So pretty!!

As I mentioned last time, I also started my one last Christmas gift, which I have no hope of finishing by Tuesday:

It's a zippered hoodie for my niece, Jessica. Luckily she's an X-tra Small and it's on size 8 needles, so it should get done fairly quickly. In fact, when I started knitting it, I got worried that it was looking like something that might almost fit me, so I was worried I was way off gauge. I double-checked the pattern and I was knitting the back, not one of the fronts. Yeah, that's tiny.

Wednesday night my other group had our little get together and gift exchange and I got an abundance of goodies. Everyone was so thoughtful and generous - it really made me feel lucky to belong to such a kind and caring group. I will share what I gave everyone, first because I've made it a rule for myself that I have to share my purchases on the blog before entering them into stash (hoping that I will shame myself from making more purchases) and second because you might like the idea for yourself. I sent Scout's Swag a picture of the coffeehouse that we meet in every week

and asked her if she would create a custom colorway for our group:

The tag, in case you can't read it, says "Wednesdays at Nina's". I think it turned out very nicely and we all were really happy to have our own, special colorway. Thank's Scout!!!

Lastly I got the December selection from the Amazing Threads Sock Club and it's really lovely:

It's Pagewood Farms hand-dyed. And finally, November tagged me for the Christmas meme:

Here are the questions (feel free to substitute the winter holiday of your choice & to add questions):

1. What was the best Christmas present you got as a kid? This is really bad, but I don't really remember any one specific gift I got for Christmas as a kid. We always got a lot of presents because we didn't get much stuff the rest of the year. I got lots of crafty stuff that I remember always liking.

2. What was the best Christmas present you got as an adult? My puppy Finbar. Back in 1996 I took all of the money I got from anyone for Christmas and put it together to buy him. I remember I drove out to the breeder in Buffalo, MN and it was a snowy night. I had intended just to look at the dogs, but I fell in love and had to take him home that night. I miss my babies this Christmas!

3. What’s your favorite Christmas carol? I thought I had done a Top Ten List of my favorite Christmas songs last year, but it turns out it was three years ago - goodness time flies! Here it is again:

1. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole

2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby

3. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley

4. Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl

5.Santa Clause is Coming to Town - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

6. Winter Wonderland - Johnny Mathis

7. It Must've Been Ol' Santa Clause - Harry Connick, Jr.

8. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid

9. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby and David Bowie

10. Let it Snow - Dean Martin

4. How long can you stand to listen to Christmas music before you break? I love Christmas music, so I could probably listen to it all year long. I know it's weird, given that I don't consider myself a Christian. But I love tradition and I just really like the music.

5. How many Christmas albums do you own? A lot. I used to buy at least one every year. I didn't this year, because I'm trying to move everything over to iPod so that I don't have so much crap around the house.

6. Did you ever go caroling as a kid? I was in chorus in grade school and junior high and we would go carolling at malls and retirement homes and such. I don't think I ever went door to door, though.

7. Would you willingly eat fruitcake? I haven't yet, but I would probably try it in the right circumstances.

8. Do you own any Christmas sweaters? This is really embarrassing, but yes. I have two of them.

9. Do you own any Christmas jewelry? Of course. I have earrings, necklaces, bracelets and pins.

10. Do you wear them? Yes. I don't wear the sweaters to work or anything, but I do wear the jewelry to work.

11. Did your family have any Christmas traditions? Like what? We would have Christmas eve at my paternal grandparents house and we always had oyster stew with the dinner - the kids had to have some of the milk and eat one oyster. We also were allowed to have a little glass of wine. Christmas morning we would get up and open our presents from Santa. Christmas Day was spent with my step-mom's family. They always did a name draw for Christmas, because it was such a large family. Since my parents were divorced, I think we usually spent time with my mom and my maternal grandparents more around New Year's. We also did a ton of baking, which I used to keep up with myself, but not this year. My step-mom always makes lefse, which I love even though I'm not Scandinavian. We'd make sugar cookies, peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses, fudge, white chocolate covered pretzels and a wreath made out of cornflakes and marshmallows. My auntie would always make Mounds bars and rosettes. My grandmas would make spritz cookies. Yum!

12. Do you buy Christmas presents for your pets? As I said above, I don't have any pets this year. But this is the first time since 96. Sometimes I would buy a holiday themed toy for Finbar or some holiday treats for them both. But My step-mom, my sister and I always bought presents for the dogs from the dogs.

13. What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? Probably pretty frosted sugar cookies. Though they aren't specifically Christmas cookies, I always make chocolate chip and I love those too.

14. What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Those Mounds bars my auntie makes. I've tried to make them myself every year, because I don't always see my aunt every year now that my dad is down in Florida, but they just never turn out as good as hers.

15. What’s your stocking look like? When we were growing up, we just had the red fake furry ones. In my house right now I have two stockings hung, though. I have a small one that a friend of mine knit for me, which I just love! and I have a fabric one with an applique snow man that matches a quilt I bought when I was in Georgia for work one year.

16. How do you feel about the “Steal from Your Neighbor” Christmas present game (the one where people pick gifts from a pile, but others get to steal it)? I have never heard of doing this at Christmas. I've seen it at baby/bridal showers and it's ok.

17. What is the oldest ornament on your tree? I don't have ornaments on my tree. But I always check on my mom's tree that she has an ornament I made in kindergarten. It's a cardboard tube that's about 2.5" long covered in silver paper and glitter. I think that's the oldest one on her tree - about 35 years old now.

18. Real or artificial? Artificial. I have a really small house so I don't really have room anywhere for a tree. I just put out a tabletop tree that is fiber optic, so it glows different colors.

19. How do you feel about Christmas letters? I have mixed feelings. I've never done one myself. I can't say I'm overly excited about them - I would really prefer to get a little handwritten note and keep in touch with people throughout the year. But if that's the only way I'm going to hear from some of my friends, I'll take it.

20. Do you have Christmas decorations or lights outside your house? What are they? Not this year. I used to put up some lights on the outside porch, but there's not really a good place to plug them in anymore.

21. How far would you drive to see Christmas lights? On my own I probably wouldn't do it. But if the kids wanted to or a group of friends, I'd be game to go wherever.

22. Are you a fan of tasteful or tacky? I lean toward tasteful. A really pretty light display is just gorgeous. I have to say a whole hell of a lot of lights gets me too, even though that's tacky. I can't stand the plastic and blow up displays, though. Just lights for me.

23. Do you have any Christmas collections? Nope.

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