The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, VII

I never used to mind wrapping presents at Christmastime when I worked retail in another lifetime.  It was easy…rolls of pretty paper, handy tape dispensers, and perfect-height counters.  Four kids later, I had lost the love of wrapping at Christmas.  Why?  I didn’t have the right set up.  Not a problem anymore.

Like knitting or spinning, or woodwork, proper tools make all the difference!  I love my tape dispenser and easy paper cutter.  An array of beautiful, fresh paper helps too!

Hope your preparations are going smoothly…

It’s a wrap.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, VI

One of the great things about having kids is getting to read and watch children’s holiday stories.

I love these books…the illustrations in “Christmas”, the committed to memory “Twas the Night” and who can resist a good “Snowmen” escapade.  (When the kids were younger I actually built a surprise snowman in the back yard and he changed clothes.) Did you know there are hidden pictures on each page of the Snowmen series?

I love cuddling up to watch a classic Christmas movie too!  My favorite oldie would have to be “The Year without a Santa Claus” and the new standard, “Polar Express!”

All aboard…tickets please tickets…

What’s your favorite?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, V

Holidays are all about family traditions.  I love that about families.

I am fortunate enough to be part of another family’s tradition.  A year ago, I met a nice lady who was thrilled to welcome her new daughter-in-law into their family.  Every family member had the same Christmas stocking made years ago by a loving grandmother.  She thought that Theona should have one too.

From Tony’s stocking I was able to deconstruct the stocking, chart the motifs and tediously count rows.  And on Christmas morning, Theona found her stocking hanging by the chimney with care.

Along came baby Anthony on Thanksgiving.  And a family tradition lives on!

Do you have any favorite family traditions?

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, IV

For many knitters, Christmas means gift knitting and I am no exception.  Also no exception in the “Way Behind” category.  (I have even decided that teachers love Happy New Year gifts.) But what I love is a satisfying one-skein project.

A few are ready for the gifting…

and some not.  I am loving this Artyarns Cashmere 5 that will become a gift for You Know Who!

I love it so much I may have to splurge for myself after Christmas!

Is all your gift knitting done? What was your favorite knit this season? How about your favorite knitted gift?

Happy Monday Before Christmas!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, III

Isn’t it fun to watch all the Christmas cards arrive?  I love looking at all the pictures of kids from year to year!  This year, the cards are getting more and more complex and creative.  My kids love looking at the daily haul of cards too!

But who can resist the occasional surprise package in that arrives?  Mine was the first official package under the tree.  Maybe as I wrap the extended family gifts this week, I’ll place them under the tree.  It looks so festive and now that the kids are older, we should manage to get by without re-wrapping!

Off to finish addressing the cards…yup, last minute EVERY year!

Only 6 more sleeps till Christmas. Are you ready?

A Quick Meal

It’s undeniably getting to be a busier time of year.
I offer you a yummy kid-friendly recipe for the season of parties or more importantly, gift knitting. 

You don’t even need to grocery shop for this one, only 3 easy ingredients!

Narraganset Chicken
Boneless chicken breasts
Ken’s Creamy Italian dressing
Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing mix – readily available and keeps forever!

1. Marinate chicken (the longer the better, I do a full day)
2. Coat marinated chicken breasts in crushed stuffing mix
3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

Enjoy and go knit! 

Let me know how you like it!

Show and Tell Time

I really was quite good.  It could have been worse. Much.  A convention center full of yarny goodness makes for lots of fun.

Some fibery type souveniers stowed away in my bags.

Yarns from Blue Moon Fiber Arts (BFL Sport and STR in True Blood Red and STR spuced), Miss Babs (3ply in olive and plum), String Theory (merino cashmere nylon in gorgeous pinks) Still River Mill Mystery Bumps (roving alpaca merino) and Kollage Yarns (Creamy, Sockalicious and Glisten-all for IrishgirlieKnits designs in the picture below!)

And support for the fibery things was an integral part of the weekend.  See my first Signature circular needle! I love it!

The post-Stitches East trip to WEBS for a few more hours with Debbi also meant a few more items came home with me.  (We just spent the weekend together but I just couldn’t resist spending a few more hours with her before she returned to Oregon, no matter how incoherent we were! She is one special lady that Cockeyed.)

Did I mention that Debbi made the adorable monkey bag? She’s a Knitter and a Seamstress!  No end to her amazing talents and generosity. Seriously.

She’s a weavering enabler too.  She taught me to spin 2 years ago and eventually she’ll have to teach me to weave too.  We just have to knock out a few states between us to make this easier.

Now for actual knitting…

This is Ananke, knit with STR in “True Blood” Red.  It’s a gift for a special person.  I am hoping that she’ll love it as much as I love my Ananke, a gift I received from none other than Debbi.  See what I mean?

And we have the Daybreak knitalong.  Born at some aweful o’clock in the morning during Stitches, Erica, Carrie, Debbi and I have all been knitting and singing Daybreak.

Off to work on Daybreak now while I listen to my newest audiobook “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest”. 

Have any of you read/listened to this Stieg Larsson series? Lisbeth Salander is one tough chick!

The CowlVest

I got it in my head, after seeing this vest on my knitting buddy Cynthia, that I had to have it. NOW.  Berroco designed Ninebark Cowl knit with Lustra.

It was in my queue since last winter when it appeared on the cover of KnitScene. But Carpe Diem.  And I had a deadline.  I wanted to wear it to Stitches East.

Conveniently, more Sock Camp friends were visiting nearby the day after Now happened and a 11 days before Stitches, so I drove to Northhampton to meet them.  I hadn’t seen Jen (center) and Susan (left) in nearly 2 years!  Of course we all were sporting our knitwear!

In addition to shopping at WEBS, we had a great visit over lunch nearby. 

I converted the vest from pieces to knit in the round to the armpits for speed and voila, 10 days later, I had a vest to wear to Stitches. Just in time! 

It really is pretty if I do say so myself.  The colors and pattern are great.  All the details can be found here.

I was constantly stopped on Friday by people inquiring about the pattern or wanting to touch it.  I’m a knitter, I expected that and didn’t mind at all.

It was a fun purchase, knit and debut!  Someone else I know is making it and I am sure she’ll have the same fun with it!

Since I’m on a roll and it was a nice day for pictures, tomorrow will be all about what’s on and off the needles!  (along with those Stitches souveniers!)