Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Madness

Well, now that I got all of that vacation stuff out of my system...there's knitting after this first rant...

While driving home from Florida, Mr. Wonderful and I heard a man on the radio speaking about stress in one's life. A caller mentioned something that I planned to incorporate into my life. I had forgotten about it until this morning when I logged onto bloglines and saw this new Harlot post that struck fear into my very soul. I think for a moment the room went dark and I felt a frightning spinning sensation. She's going shopping. And not just any kind of shopping. She is going to (insert choice of scary music here) The Mall or as one wise commenter noted, 'The Maul'. I will do about anything to stay away from "It", and yet every year I find myself trapped there by circumstance, like a bug in a jar, only instead of the relatively quick death from inhalation of alcohol on a saturated cotton ball, I have to live through it.

This will not happen again. Two things will prevent it. First (and foremost) I managed to get nearly all of my shopping done before I went on vacation. This consisted mainly of gift cards because I lack creativity when gift shopping. What did not come in the form of a plastic slidy-card I managed to buy in one day of careful shopping. In some cases I resorted to the internet, where the stores are always open and there's never a line. Most people are not that organized - neither am I, I just knew that leaving on December 8th and returning on December 16th left precious little time for shopping. Desperation can make miracles. The second way to manage the potential insanity of this season is to announce that you're celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas from now on.

Even if you choose to celebrate some other December holiday, the Twelve Days of Christmas can be a lifesaver, and therefore are worthy of note. Here's how it works: The twelve days of Christmas encompasses the twelve days between the day on which Christians celebrate the birth of Christ (December 25, although it is more likely that he was born in the summer, but we're not going to get into that one) and the traditional date of Epiphany - alternately Three Kings Day, or Day of The Kings - the date Christians remember the arrival of the wise men, although here again it's unlikely that they made the trip in twelve days, but again, I digress. This occurs on January 6th. It is traditional. It is old. It gives you time.

So, if any members of my family are reading this and wondering just when exactly I am going to deliver your gifts?? Assume anywhere between Monday December 25th and January 6th.

Now, Knitting...Malea - my favorite potter - LOOK! A vest-like thing! This is Malea's commissioned vest in Lamb's Pride Bulky, a gently tailored look with a single simple cable for detail right up the middle. I like it. I think I want one. I think it may be done today, so the recipiant can try it on and tell me she loves it even if she does not, or I will cry, and mope, and have a depressed holiday as a result of my horrible failure at a second Malea Item in 12 months (the first being the Rockstar, slated for a reprieve until the book is done).

Also, for those attending Cookie/Guerilla Drop-In this evening, we have curry dip to go with raw brocoli and carrots. This dip was brought to one of my Knit 1's for a last class celebration. It was excellent, and I got the recipe, and continues to be excellent here in my fridge. It's also very simple, and the leftovers make a great base for chicken or turkey salads. No, Kristin, I promise it is not hot and spicy in the slightest, although it was tempting to load in 2 lbs of curry and a gallon of horseradish (extra hot!)

Additionally we have the very yummy (and gluten-free!) mocha meringue kisses with espresso powder and ghiradelli chocolate. These were a little more complicated because I decided to follow the actual recipe, which had a not-perfect outcome due to my continued lack of a decent freaking candy thermometer. I think they just all totally stink. I have not yet met the one that can actually give me a reflective temperature, and have better luck and more consistent results with the old "drop the boiling sugar in cold water without driping on the stove or yourself" trick. These are made with eggs so fresh they're practically still in the chickens. That's a fib. The truth is that the lazy trollps stop laying when it gets cold and dark, so the eggs are actually not 1-day-old. You'd think the loss of one's feathers and the loss of daylight would be some kind of excuse for curling up and taking a long nap. Wimps. actual finished pair of socks, woo-hoo! Would you look at that. I think that without sample knitters my entire life would be over and all would be lost. These are made with Louet's worsted weight yarn, Gems Merino Blended, in a multi-plied, multi-colored yarn called Peony, in a women's medium. They're incredibly comfy and warm; I know because I tried them on. I actually wish I had more of the yarn, I'd make myself a pair! It's very cuddly and merino-ish.

From the world of "just because I felt like it", we have the beginnings of a felted bag made of Valley Yarns Berkshire hand dyed by Great Adirondack. I no longer remember the color, and there is no pattern. I just wanted a bag, and it'll be fun to see where it goes from here. I have an has holes in it, on purpose, and I plan to cut them out and sew fabric behind them; something shiny I think. I always line my bags anyway. I don't know where this came from or how it started. And, like when I bake and it comes out well enough, I failed to write down a single thing about this pattern. Truly a totally selfish "all for me" moment.

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