Hi! So, I think this will be a picture-heavy post. Lots to show and tell after Christmas. I had a nice full house for Christmas. Here are my guests (minus my boyfriend) at Brutti's in Portsmouth (man that place has yummy brunch).
That's my mom, me, my boyfriend Josh, my dad, and my brother Josh. We also went to Lynnhaven Fish House another day and my mom snapped this great shot of the stormy Chesapeake Bay:
I was afraid my two-bedroom apartment would be pretty cramped - and while there were people sleeping everywhere, there was no fighting or crankiness about the small quarters. Even the dogs loved it (well, at least Augie, my parents' dog, did):
Augie LOVED the leopard pillow you can make out behind him. He lay on it all week. Gracie mostly gave Augie dirty looks and got mad when he tried to eat his own dog food. And if I paid *any* attention to Augie, Gracie would come over and snap. She is so darn possessive of me!
And of course there were yarny Christmas presents. My mom waited to wear her socks until after Christmas (I gave them to her three weeks ago on the trip to Pittsburgh). She modeled them for me:
There were lots of gift exchanged. I think my family could own a small stake in Hallmark with all the ornaments we've purchased over the years, and this was no different. There were three of the "A Christmas Story" ornaments exchanged (I got my brother the one where Randy is all bundled up and can't put his arms down) among at least five others.
I must've been a very good girl this year because I got lots of great presents. My boyfriend got me an iPod dock with speakers (so I can use it like a stereo in my room), which I've been using all the time! It's so much better than listening to music on my laptop's less-than-spectacular speakers. Some friends gave my boyfriend and I a membership to a dining club, with lots of 2-for-1 entree deals at restaurants in Hampton Roads. We love to go out to eat, so I'm excited to try some new places. (As an aside, I don't think I've been a recipient of a present-for-two before. Is this some new stage in our relationship, haha?!)
But back to the yarny gifts... I think this is my favorite gift ... an umbrella swift, from my parents! I think it's from JoAnn's (someone at the college where my mom works got a handmade one and only used this one once or twice - she sold it to my mom for $25 or $30!). I of course got it out to play right away.
That's my first yarn cake! It's kind of messy but I got better (I definitely wound about four or five skeins just because I could, haha.) That yarn is Noro Sakura, which my mom said she got at Knit One in Pittsburgh several visits ago. It is so gorgeous. I love seeing the subtle color shifts in the cakes. I think I might make a lacy hat or little scarf out of it. That stitch dictionary was a great gift, too. I'd love to try to design my own socks with it. For now, the Sakura will marinate in my stash because I started the socks I intended to make for my dad before Christmas and never did:
This photo is a bit old because last night I got to the heel! It's at least aran weight, it works up so quickly. It's Country Classic Yarn for Sox, worked over 48 stitches on US 6 DPNs. Even with my slow tendencies, and my dad's size 13 feet, I will definitely have these done before I see them in February.
I showed my brother and dad the yarn for their socks - I don't think my brother really "got" the whole knitting thing until I showed him the socks I've been working on. He was well impressed! I'm so glad my family values and appreciates the yarny pursuit and the handmade items that result. I think it stems from my mom's quilting over the years - the quilts she's made are priceless.
And yes ... there was also some final stash acquisition of 2007. I got my mom a gift certificate to Ewe Knit Kits and Yarn so we went there one day. I wasn't going to buy anything - I swear - when the idea popped into my head to have my mom pick out some sock yarn for another pair of socks (someday, y'know, when I make the pair for my brother ... and finish the Monkeys for Jamie or Lauren). She picked out this yummy skein of Colinette Jitterbug:
I know the yardage is sometimes short on Colinette so hopefully it'll be OK for her size 9.5 feet. When I wound it into a cake, I was disappointed to find two little knots and one or two felted joins (in fact, you can see one - it's the fat orange section on the left side of the skein). That's kind of disappointing. I mean I can work around it, but I shouldn't *have* to. Oh well. There's been talk on the Ravelry boards about people being disappointed with Jitterbug. I have another skein in my stash, hopefully I won't run into problems with it.
We also took a trip to the Knitting Corner in Virginia Beach because it was next to a quilting store! I had never been there. I picked up three balls of Universal Pace in a nice camel color - it was really reasonably priced, I think it was about $5/ball, so I figured I could make myself some super tall socks for my big feet. Then I asked my dad to pick out some thin yarn (so I could make him some tall socks out of thin yarn for his size 13 feet!) and he picked some charcoal-colored Pace.
Oh yes ... with a couple gift cards to B&N, I got "Knitting Vintage Socks" by Nancy Bush and "Knitting Without Tears" by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I was hoping the EZ book had the recipe for the Baby Surprise Jacket, but alas, this isn't the one. I'll eventually get another book by her that has the pattern in it - she has such a great writing style.
To come: a post on my resolutions - how I did in 2007 and my goals for 2008. In the meantime, I'm making lunch!