Monthly Archives: December 2008

What I Read This December

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Tug of War by Barbara Cleverly
Solo by Emily Barr
Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin
First Love by Adrienne Sharp
History Lesson for Girls by Aurelie Sheehan
The Mediator by Meg Cabot
The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose

Wow. Talk about a very, very slow month.

Going In Circles

Today’s agenda included going to two yarn shops, one in the morning and one after the boy’s nap (different opening hours on New Year’s Eve day, you see).

This morning’s mission: A success! I picked up a skein of the Berroco Softwist in Ginger, and found a substitute for the discontinued Jasper in the Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which is slightly heavier and has twice as much in the skein (a good thing because I’m going to knit this hat with a double-strand of both yarns) although it lacks the pretty sheen the Softwist has. It’s still a gorgeous yarn and will look lovely with the Softwist; I’m looking forward to knitting with it. I picked up a new size 10 circular needle to start it, too, as my current one is being used for HRH’s scarf. Came home, opened the twisted skeins, wound them into balls (from both ends, so I have two balls of each), much to the interest of Nixie and Gryff, who behaved themselves impeccably (except for that one swipe made by Gryff, for which he apologised).

Put the boy to bed for his nap. Came out, rubbing my hands together with glee. Now, to cast on! I bet I can get a good third of the hat done before the boy wakes up! Bodhifox needs this hat before spring comes!

I bought the wrong length circular needle. It’s a 24″ cable, not a 16″.


So… all that, and I still can’t knit till the boy wakes up and HRH returns with the car from his errand. I could try sliding the stitches off the scarf’s circular needle and onto straight needles to liberate the circular size I require, but I suspect I will only make a hash of it and create more stress that I don’t need.

If I’d picked up the ball of correct-dyelot Jo Sharp that I saw while I was at the first yarn shop I could be knitting the second half of my black scarf right now. Or a skein of grey super chunky wool to start a slipper. But I didn’t, because I wanted to get them at Ariadne.

Augh. Lesson learned: Buy it where you see it.

I will write instead. Mutter, grumble, and grr.

On the positive side of things, I can now successfully and reliably purl. Go me!

The Good And The Bad

I got out of the house! Mousme and I went over to Ceri’s house and knitted for a few hours. Everyone was pretty much in the same headspace (that kind of out of it post-holidays fuzzy brain thing) so it was an excellent idea for all of us. I got another block and a half done on HRH’s scarf, and this after doing two and a half the day before. (Officially two-thirds complete now — woo-hoo!) There were endless pots of tea and cookies and sandwiches and tea biscuits and Ceri cracked open another jar of the carrot cake preserve for us.

The down side of this is that I ran out of yarn. Finished a full burgundy block with about a foot of yarn to spare; ran out of the gold colour halfway through the next block. Noooooo!

This necessitates a trip to the yarn shops tomorrow before they close for New Year’s Eve. Because I have no (none, zero, nada) yarn AT ALL with which to work on any of my projects. Not Bodhifox’s hat (for which I must visit one shop), not HRH’s scarf (for which I must visit another), not the second half of my wool/cashmere/silk scarf (to be obtained at the same shop as HRH’s yarn). It is something of a miracle that in the space of three months I have gone from being anti-knitting to being desperate to replenish my yarn supply in order to safeguard my sanity.


So there’s been all sorts of lovely things happening lately, but some disappointments too. Such as today, when the boy woke up with a hacking, barking cough, which was enough to send HRH to the phone to cancel our much-anticipated trip out to t! and Jan’s place for the day.

I love my boys, I truly do. But I’m used to them being gone for most of the week, and they’ve been home for a full seven days now. This plus all the holidaying has drained me pretty badly, and I’m turning into the Irritable Me that I’m not so fond of because I haven’t had any time to myself. I have an outing planned for myself tomorrow, which will help.

The boys are currently watching Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (which has been renamed as “The Hogwarts Express” by Liam) on the new TV and the boy was just dancing with excitement in the middle of the room, riveted by the Sorting Hat sequence. He jumped and cheered when Harry was sorted into Gryffindor house. “Gryffindor! Just like me!” he exclaimed. He’s enchanted (no pun intended) by the characters and the settings. I suspect that he doesn’t remember the first time we watched it with him in the room a couple of years ago. We’re currently reading the Magic Tree House series before bedtime, but seeing how much he’s loving the Potter universe I may try reading him the first book soonish. I suspect I’ll be making him a Gryffindor scarf as well, which would thrill him to no end because not only will he have a Hogwarts scarf, he will match his Da.

I suppose I will go sit with them and knit, since I can’t focus on work when the boy is running in and out of my office. I managed to get about nine hundred words of Orchestrated written yesterday while he napped, which cheered me up a lot, but there’ still lots of work I want done by the end of the year. I have a pile of cello work to do as well at some point. If the office downstairs is empty I may go down there in a bit to practise.

In Colour And Detail Hitherto Unknown!

We’re watching WALL*E for the billionth time in a month.

Except this time, we’re seeing all sorts of things in the background that we missed before, because we’re watching it on our new flat screen TV, which is sitting on the new TV corner unit (brilliantly scored in the Ikea as-is section). We’re stunned at how much we’d been missing. We loved our twenty-five year old RCA oak-encased TV, but with the new HDTV mandatory changeover happening in the next couple of years it was going to be useless for anything other than movies and games. The parental units gave HRH gift certificates for this very reason as Christmas gifts, and today we went in and found the very last unit in stock of the TV we’d decided on. HRH has classified this as the easiest set-up ever of anything electronic that he’s dealt with. It was literally unpack, switch the plugs and cables, and go.

We did try to convince the boy that watching Star Wars for the very first time on the new TV would be extra awesome, but he insisted on WALL*E. If we weren’t going out tonight we’d be watching it ourselves as soon as the boy was in bed.

Thanks Mom and Dad H., and Mum and Dad M.!

The Comeback of the Annual Holiday Thing

While some fell to the weather (no pun intended) and others to illness and still others to not-napping children, just about half of the invitees made it out last night. Thank you to everyone who spent time with us, and to those who intended to come but were foiled by various instances. Glasses were raised to those in absentia. At the very end there were just four of us (and two cats) rambling from topic to topic ( “Do you realise that this entire thread started because we were talking about cane-fighting?”) and the whole evening exemplified what I love about my group of friends: Lego, books, cider, mulled cranberry juice, baked Brie, chocolate, empty appliance boxes, foccacia, playing with the kids, and just enjoying being in the same place with people you care about.

Thanks for helping us wrap up our year, gang. See you in 2009.

Weather: 1, Annual Holiday Thing: 0

Yeah. Thanks to the freezing rain, it looks like the get-together we’re holding today is pretty much dead in the water. I sent out a “if you bail we won’t hold it against you” note to our invitees and the majority have responded with alacrity, saying they’re staying home and off the roads. As t! said to me earlier today, sometimes the weather is just too big, and you look at it and say, “Okay, you win. I’m staying home.” We live in Canada, after all, where Healthy Respect for the Weather is instilled in us from a very young age. We’d be cancelling if we were scheduled to go somewhere, too.

As it is we’re already where the get-together is happening, and so if any of you who were scheduled to be here are still planning on coming over, please do!