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Friday, 30 December 2005
Celtic Wedding Shawls Progress Update
The camera is being nice today...


Here is the almost finished Wedding Shawl for my DSIL's spouse.

LJ agreed to model it for me so that I could:
a) take its picture, and
b) see whether it might be large enough after all.

It has not been blocked -- nor indeed have I grafted the top edge. I think she's close to the same height as the intended reciepient... this gives me hope that it might be long enough.

However, I continue to worry whether it's WIDE enough. However, though I KNOW I took that picture, I can't find it. So, you get a closer shot of the lace on the back instead (lucky you)

And just to prove I'm not slacking entirely, here's the second shawl on the needles. I find the difference in texture very interesting:

I'm thinking that blocking will likely allow the first shawl to be okay. I'm still leery -- it used about 1/2 the yarn I expected it to! But we'll see what we see when the baby's been stretched.

Wish me luck

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:00 PM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 27 December 2005
Bad Blogger Confessions
I'm a bad blogger.

I finished the alpaca pulse warmers. I cleaned and blocked them. I gave them to my mother, who received them with surprise and glee, as she'd recently discovered a need for such things while practicing the cello or working on the computer. (she thus revealed that she does not read the blog.... we must do something about that). My mother packed them away in her box of goodies to take home. My parents got on their plane and flew home.

Notice anything missing in that history? I do ... the part where I take the picture(s). Bad blogger.

For the record, here's the last picture I took....

Jaywalker update

Meanwhile, the poor Jaywalkers have had an unwanted hiatus. While working on the Pulse Warmers, I was toting both projects around in a little bag I bought for myself while shopping for others (shh).

Something bad happened, leaving me with these:

Those, my friends, are the jagged ends of three broken Brittany 2.25 mm dps that once held the stitches of my lovely Jaywalkers....

As you might imagine, this slowed my progress a bit.

Finally, I rounded up three more Brittany dps in the right size, and have resumed knitting..

The remnants of the dps are there for artistic value.

Shawl Progress
I've come to what appears to be the end of the first of the Celtic Wedding Shawls. I fear I will have to send the whole lovely thing to the frog pond -- it seems much too small suddenly. (Pics when my camera recharges)

I've started the second shawl, this time in Elann's Peruvian Collection Baby Cashmere (60% Baby Alpaca/ 30% Merino Wool/ 10% Cashmere). I've knit one row past the the row in which I cast on forever. This time, I added about 8 more stitches to the cast on for each side... I think I will like that better.

We're not discussing Dan's sweater. I know ... I know... first I said I would finish it for his birthday, and now the major December Gift Giving Fest has passed me by, but it remains unfinished, waiting for inspiration for the center 1/3 of the front. We're just not going to talk about that right now.

Are there any more projects I'm supposed to be reporting progress on?

Finally, a word to my readers:

I got several lovely Christmas Holiday cards with comments that my friends enjoyed following my escapades via this blog. While I'm tickled to discover a wider readership than I thought I enjoyed -- I'd be even more tickled if some of y'all would comment -- or maybe Email Me

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 3:02 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 11:12 PM CST
Sunday, 25 December 2005
It was lovely "before".

Then came the kids

and the packages were distributed to one and all. In the end....
they were weak from the frenzy

Great things were given and received by all... New winter coats appeared for the women/girls in the house. I knew about three of them, but the fouth (mine!) was a complete surprise. It's lovely, and bridges that gap between casual mucking about in the snow and dressy going to the opera or a black tie event perfectly.

Better still I received a KNITTING BOOK!

My mother gave me the lovely book Dyeing to Knit, which Elaine signed for me. Elaine is a lovley ladey -- and I enjoy visiting her at her shop Pine Tree Yarns in Damarascotta, ME (and spending money there) every time I visit Mom. The girls' school sweaters have always been knit with yarns from her store.

We also got Cathedral, which, as it turns out, has been right on target -- everyone has played it, and enjoyed it. I beat DH, but Jess beat me. C struggled for a round or two, but is suddenly demonstrating amazing spatial acuity and now trounces people soundly in frighteningly few moves. We're all learning from her, and I hope to be back on an even (ish) playing field with her soon. Clearly, it's not too old for the kids, but not too easy for the adults. We win.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 27 December 2005 2:58 PM CST
Saturday, 24 December 2005
Countdown to Carnage
Well, it didn't take long for the girls to co-opt my mother into doing Grandmother duty. Here she is trying to remember the rules for Clue

Shortly after this, we forced everyone to get dressed up and hauled them all to the annual Christmas Caroling Dinner (buffet). The food was good. The caroling was fun. We even managed to enjoy the forced march of the 12 Days of Christmas -- every table is assiged one of the days, and all the people at that table must stand and make some movement to correspond with their assigned Day --- for every "verse". Thus, the turtle doves stood to flap their wings, the french hens made beak moving motions, the calling birds "called", the five rigns held their arms in big Os, etc. The maids a milking had to be trained in the proper movements -- which was quite funny. I thought my dad would fall out of his chair laughing at them all -- and at himself as he stood to flap.

Today, we managed not to go out to any stores at all.
We wrapped packages for hours on end, pausing only to eat. We hung the stockings at the fireplace and shooed the kids off to bed as early as we could so that Santa could come through before 2 a.m.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 25 December 2005 2:21 PM CST
Thursday, 22 December 2005
The Whole Holiday Shebang
A belated Happy Solstice to one and all.
I spent the day frantically trying to get the house ready for our annual Solstice Celebration party.

On Monday, morning, the house cleaners came to do an extra special cleaning since we're having a party. (yes, I'm a spoiled consumer who pays people to clean my toilet and vacuum the dog hair twice a month).

I even pay my children to clean. Here's C scrubbing refrigerator parts to earn money to buy presents for her family (I'm so proud):

On Monday afternoon, we went out to face the bitter cold (okay, it was only 17, but the wind was fierce), and cut our Christmas Holiday Tree.

On Tuesday, I spent what felt like thousands of dollars at the grocery store to lay in munchies and wine for the party guests. That evening, we decorated the tree. I took lots of pictures for the blog -- to share the process with you all. I clearly need to learn something about taking pictures of lit trees -- but one or two came out reasonably well.

Nearing the end of the ornament placement:

and here it is, fully festooned:

You may have noticed the lack of stars or angels on the top of the final picture. Our star, which is very cool, is far too heavy for any tree we've ever had to support. It lasted about five minutes this time. Some year, I'll care enough to fix that.

On Tuesday, I also hung a bunch of the Christmas Holiday cards we've received.

(yep, lower picture quality. I'm testing a way cheap inexpensive cheap camera that I think I'll be giving duplicates of to the girls. It's a wee Phillips that hangs on a key chain, but takes only so so pics.)

I've been decorating wildly -- here's the front hall table:

It's like that all over the house now. I won't bore you with more.

So anyway, Wednesday morning, I got up. Made the liver pate (yep -- I can cook from scratch and everything), and started to rearrange the furniture to make room for our guests to mingle. That's when I discovered that our "house-cleaners" still don't know the meaning of "clean." I found tables that hadn't been dusted, floors that hadn't been vacuumed, etc. Suddenly, the day that allowed for leisurely preparing for a party turned into frenzied cleaning. I dusted... I vacuumed the first floor, I spot-cleaned the carpet in three rooms (yep, I'd asked the house-cleaners to do this -- they did part of one room, but missed some big spots anyway). One spot I found when I moved the chair over to vacuum ... how they missed that one, I'll never know. Time to start looking for new housekeepers.

The only blessing there was that both girls were off on a play date. We are NOT getting into how much money I spent on baby-sitters this week just so I could go to work. I'm still wondering if I earned as much as I spent.

Finally, the house was clean, (okay, the first floor, in any place a guest might find him or herself was clean. The laundry room requires ropes etc. to get into and back out) ... the food was prepared, the kids had come home, and I even managed to squeeze in a shower before the first guest arrived. She helped us to light the solstice candles (all over -- tons of 'em!) and I lit the solstice bonfire out back.

We had a lovely party, if somewhat under attended.

I'll resist the rant about people who never respond to invitations that clearly say R.S.V.P. (especially when reminder e-mails go out). I'll even resist the rant about those who say they'll come and then blow you off without sending an email or calling. I don't mind having extra wine around, but the extra veggie tray is awfully hard for us to eat before it goes bad. I had an entire tray left over. Had I known about those folks who said they'd come but didn't -- I'd have bought about half the veggies, and made half the pate...

Instead of ranting, I'll glow about the huge tray of home made enchiladas that one of our guests brought. The rest of the guests only ate half of it, so we had yummy enchilada's for dinner tonight.

Tomorrow, the GRANDPARENTS arrive! I'd better get to work on those pulse warmers for my mom, eh?

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Saturday, 24 December 2005 1:27 PM CST

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