Ok, so I know I haven't called in a while, but I have an excuse. It's.... um... well ok, I have no really good excuse. I was working my tail off on some work-work:
...and of course busting my hump trying to get some Christmassy work done:
(un-blocked lace knitting looks like a pile of noodles)
(ahh, much better)
...which didn't get finished in time to send off, but who cares? It's for my mom and she likes getting things all year-round, so I just sent her a homemade market bag for now. This will get shipped off this week, if I can remember to go to the post office. It's exactly how I hoped it would turn out and is the perfect size for her. I used this pattern (Rav link) and this yarn and found it to be quite easy to follow. If you decide to try it out, let me know because I have a few little tips. It's the perfect gateway project into lace knitting. Good thing? Bad thing? It remains to be seen...
Anyway, I finished A LOT more knitting, but I'm not going to unveil it all right now. I'm going to draw out the pleasure and get more blogging mileage out of it. Not good for you all to get everything you want right away. Ha!
Christmas was pretty quiet around here. We FINALLY got a major project finished (well, truth be told it's only about 90% finished, but I don't care):
You wanna see what the "before" looked like? Ok, brace yourselves. Here it is, on the day we moved in, 4 years ago:
Nasty. Sorry to have done that to you. Hope you don't have too much trouble sleeping tonight.
It was a major undertaking and will likely prove to have been the most difficult portion of our renovations. It's a tiny little room and the only bathroom we have, so it drove us a little crazy. By the end, I was so tired of contemplating it, that I just kind of let it drag on forever. My husband had to step in and take over, after one of my many frustration-induced meltdowns. Not my most shining moment. Although I am proud to say that it is fully functional and I didn't kill anyone. Win, win.
In terms of Christmas gifts, we had dubbed this "Frugalmas", so it was pretty light. Mom sent over some little treasures and treats. The hubbie gave me a box full of wonderful wool socks. I know that sounds pretty paltry, but you have to understand something about me: I DESPISE having cold feet. I sleep with socks on, even in the summertime when the rest of me is broiling. And we just recently discovered that the reason we were freezing in our offices at work was not that the insulation is sub-par, but that the heaters were not working. Winter has not really hit yet (we got our first "real" snow on Christmas Day - pathetic), so it wasn't unbearable. I had adapted to it by wearing 3 layers up top (camisole, long-sleeve T, wool sweater) and wool pants below and wool hiking socks in my Docs. Hence the wool socks for Christmas. Ironically, my coworkers got fed up over the Holidays and went on a reconnaissance in the boiler room, discovering in the process that there was an air-lock in the system and our heaters were not working. Took them 15 minutes to get it fixed and now I'm sweating all day long. Better to peel layers off than have to knock the ice off the toilet bowl every time nature calls like we were going to have to do, I say. Eventually we'll find a nice balance. In the meantime, I have multiple pairs of comfy socks - one for every day of the week.
I gave him several pair of handmade pyjama bottoms (I only make him whine for 3 years before I deliver the goods) and I made him a new pair of spring/fall mittens a few weeks ago:
(no pattern, just improvisation with superwash merino)
It's my husband's birthday this week, so he received some additional funds from his parents with which to spoil himself, so he bought some snow shoes. You know those traditional wooden snow shoes with the teardrop shape and the rawhide laces? Yeah, modern snowshoes don't look anything like those. Hi-tech. What a difference. As a short-legged girl who grew up waddling around on those massive wooden suckers, I have an aversion to snowshoeing. I might be tempted to give his a try, though.
As a little treat, he used some of his leftover funds to buy me some new leather mittens:
They're dressy-ish but tough and functional and are kind of the mitten equivalent to my favourite shoes. Plus, they have an added little bonus:
Sweet! Knitted mittens are all well and good, but there comes a point in the winter where I need something a bit more substantial and have never found a nice pair (I detest gloves) that I can wear with my dressier coat.
I'm still very much enthralled by podcasts and have listened to over 100 of Kelley Petkun's (the owner of KnitPicks) while I've been knitting. She covers many many many topics that I'm not even going to list out here, but one thing she touches on is audiobooks. I've listened to them before, but not since I got my iPod. So, when I received the customary iTunes gift certificate for Christmas, I logged on and bought the trilogy she recommended: "A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman", which is essentially the story of Pride and Prejudice, told from Darcy's perspective. Yes, please. It's awesome. I can't seem to put it down. It's making me want to interject "Indeed!" and "Blast!" into conversations and use words like "feigned", "absurd", "ardent", and "reticence". Not to mention "cravat", "waistcoat", "pelisse" and "frock". Modern English is so boring.