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Archive for December, 2007

That could have been my theme song yesterday.  I left the house after lunch and didn’t return home till around 6 pm, but I am now officially finished with all Christmas related shopping.  All the presents have been selected along with all the holiday food items needed, to cook for 3 different Christmas dinners. 

We are going over to my Dad’s on Saturday to celebrate with my side of the family.  Steven and Jessica are coming down Sat. also and will stay for the weekend.  Then Kerry, Jason and the boys are coming on Christmas Day.  Oops! Forgot that we are also going over to Bill’s Aunt’s house on Christmas Eve.  Lots of celebrating going on this year.

Today I will finish decorating the tree.  It’s a little bare right now.  I did string the lights and put on the garland, just haven’t hung the ornaments.  I love the tree, once it’s all decorated, just don’t like the decorating part.  Bill suggested that I just drape something over the tree after Christmas this year and put it in the closet until next year.

On the creative front, I have almost finished knitting the front of the Celtic Tote.  Then all that will be left is knitting the sides/bottom panel, assembly, then felting.  Also almost finished with the first of the September Woods socks.  The Drop Scarf – Modified Clapotis has been frogged.  I like the pattern, but wasn’t happy with the solid color yarn. It needs to be knitted using a variegated or subtly striped yarn.

On Monday, I drove to Lawton for the Skrappies Christmas party.  We had a great time visiting, eating and exchanging cookies.  I came home with 10 different varieties of very good home baked holiday cookies, along with the recipes, and a cute little book to store the recipe cards in.  The highlight of the evening was sharing a Christmas tradition of Colleen’s grandmother.  We had peppermint ice cream with chocolate sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.  

The presents aren’t wrapping themselves and the junk guest room needs straightening, so guess I better get busy.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, or that whatever holiday you are celebrating is a happy one.  I leave you with this video.  It always makes me smile.

 

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In an earlier post I was lamenting the lack of wild birds at our new house.  There have been more visitors to the feeders since the arrival of cold weather and ice.  Then today I spied a Cooper’s Hawk sitting on the back fence.  Unfortunately, he was feasting on another of the backyard visitors.  I can’t get good pictures from a distance with our digital camera, so had to use my 35mm camera with the 100mm-400mm lens.  So no pictures until film is developed.

As most of you know, I’m always running out of things to do.  OK, you can stop laughing now. 
I actually cast on for a scarf last night, to go with the red Cabled Force hat I just finished.  Lots of knitters have knit the Clapotis,  I’ve been tempted quite a few times.  Just wasn’t sure I wanted to try the full size Clapotis.  Then I found the Drop Scarf which uses the Clapotis pattern, but modifies the directions to make it scarf size.  It is an easy and fun knit, you actually drop stitches on purpose.  This picture doesn’t show the pattern well, since I’ve so far only dropped one column of stitches. 

Drop Scarf - Modified Clapotis

It’s been a busy morning.  The repairman came to fix the garage door opener, had a hawk sighting and I just finished baking 4 dozen biscotti.  I’ll bake another double batch tomorrow and that will be more than enough for the Skrappies cookie exchange.

Now it’s time to find something for lunch, then make a nice cup o’ tea and knit some more on the new scarf.

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The ice storm hit Sunday night, but we still had electricity.  Then Monday morning brought more freezing rain and the power went off and stayed off until a little after 5pm.  The temperature in the house went down in the 50’s and having an electric stove couldn’t even make tea or hot chocolate.  So went to bed and napped for a while under the feather comforter.  Just about the time I was thinking of going out and firing up the grill to cook a hot supper, the power came back on.  We’ve had electricity since then and it only flickers occasionally.  So all in all we’ve been lucky.  Other people are still without power and will be for a while.

Below is a picture of my neighbor’s poor little tree.  The tree is about 8ft tall and under the ice it just bent in two.
 

Icy Tree

Saturday before the storm we did a little Christmas shopping.  I remember now, why I don’t go to the mall this time of year.  You couldn’t even walk down the aisles in the stores, because of all the people. Then we headed to Sam’s, which actually wasn’t too bad, so I could pick up some shelled pistachios.  I dislike shelling pistachios and Sam’s is the only place I’ve found the Pistachio Kernels without ordering online.  Of course we didn’t make it out of the store until we had done serious damage to the bank account.

I needed the pistachios for a Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti recipe.  This is an easy and very tasty biscotti recipe that keeps well, due to using olive oil instead of butter, and the flavors keep developing as they sit.  Monday is the Skrappy Ladies Christmas party and we decided to do a cookie exchange instead of drawing names for gifts.  So I will be baking approximately seven dozen biscotti in the next few days.  Hope the weather is nice on Monday so I can drive to Lawton, or all the relatives will be receiving biscotti for Christmas.

Here is the new addition to my Santa collection.  I like the Heartwood Creek Santa’s or similar style.  Guess the quilt like patterns have a lot to do with it.
Santa 2007

I’ve been knitting on the Celtic Tote and the September Woods socks but don’t have much progress to show.  I did knit up a quick hat for part of MIL’s Christmas gift.

Cable Force Hat

Pattern – Cabled Force
Yarn – Cascade 220 wool
Color – 9404
Needles – US 8 / 5.0mm

The color is actually closer to wine than the bright red shown in the picture.

 

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Never say never.  In my last post I mentioned that I rarely make it to Gourmet Yarn Co. because of it being across town.  Then the weekend before last I went twice.  Well, guess where I went yesterday?  The last time I was in the store I saw their model of Plymouth’s 3 Button Wrap #1164.  With my luck they were all out of the pattern.  So I put in my order and it came in Friday.  While in the store yesterday, I got the yarn for the project also.  It is Cascade 220 in a deep red/wine color. 

I was looking at the picture on the pattern front and think I will make an adjustment in the button and buttonhole placement.  It seems to me that the buttons start too far up from the bottom, so I think I will start them about 3 inches from the bottom instead of their recommended 6 inches. 

There are no pictures to post, but I’ve completed 1 side with handle and button flap of the Celtic Tote.  I extended the handle by 4 pattern repeats and the buttonhole on the flap gave me fits.  I tried following the instructions in the glossary of Interweave Knits.  Tried it 5 times and couldn’t figure out why I kept having a loose stretch of yarn.  Probably need someone to show me how it’s done.  I’m a very visual learner.  Anyway, I came up with my version of a buttonhole for the flap.  The flap has 6 stitches, so I knit the first stitch, did SSK on the next two, 2 yarnovers, K2tog, K1, then knit the next row and bound off.  It turned out pretty good.  Last night I cast on and knit about a third of the front side of the tote. 

I like how the tote is turning out, but mine looks a lot smaller than the one in the pictures.  Miracles of all miracles I’m knitting at gauge, so not sure why mine is smaller.

While we were in Florida, Bill’s cousin and wife collected our mail and newspapers.  So last night we took them to dinner at Outback.  All I have to say is, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, my favorite dish, in a tie with the steak.

 

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