preparations for christmas kicked into full gear around here in the middle of last week—once the club packages and chapter went out, david and i got to work on the house to make it seem a little homier for the season. we went hunting for furniture, rearranged some of the rooms back to their normal state, and got a little further along in settling into our new rooms.
i got a holiday manicure along with my haircut; something a bit different with just a sliver of glitter.
by thursday night we were as ready as we were going to be and david drove to cleveland to pick up a very important package—there wasn’t room in the car for me and the cargo, so i stayed home to knit and wait.
and ta-daa—i finished up my bay leaf and lime shawlette. it would sit for several days until i had time to block it but i finally got to do that last night.
i love it—the contrast of the embossed leaves and stripey hem, the incredibly soft and luxurious yarn hollow superior yarn, highlighted by this gorgeous (and exclusive) lime rickey color—yummO. pattern is just about ready to send off for proofreading and once we get photos, the kits will go live. i’m thinking that since the color is named for a drink, a new year’s eve release would be perfect, don’t you think?
these photos don’t really do it justice, taken as they were under artificial light (seriously, it is dark nearly all day right now, what with the rain, gray, and the solstice to boot). i can’t wait to get really good modeling shots.
anyway . . . back to our precious delivery on thursday night
our las vegas family has arrived, yay! time for the holidays to begin in earnest. the first order of business on friday morning was to bundle the boys into parkas and unleash them into the snow-filled yard before the rain came to erase all the fun.
they spent a good couple of hours out there, throwing snow at each other and making a snowman from aha remained on the ground. i’m glad they had that chance; after weeks of bitter cold and several healthy snowfalls, it has grown unseasonably warm just in time for their visit. mister snowman wasn’t around for long, but he brought lots of joy while he lasted for two boys that never get to play in snow. hopefully we’ll have another snowfall during their visit.
meanwhile, they are having a blast exploring the house with all its nooks and crannies. just having stairs inside is unusual for them, haha. micah is wearing the original whitfield shorty, which is named for him, actually; though he has outgrown his own, he can wear this one which was knit for amad. it’s a little big this year, but it will fit just right next year, i bet (this photo was not at all posed; uncle david’s binoculars are his new obsession).
we’ve been keeping pretty busy since they got here; the boys are discovering the neighborhood a bit, enthralled by the squirrels, the house decorations, the playground, and the library. beckie and i brought nan to our yoga studio on saturday and we’ll go back several times while she’s here.
AND amad asked me to teach hime to knit, so that’s going to be a huge amount of fun.
in addition to finishing the shawl, i’ve been working away on small projects, like the hat and mitts to coordinate with the baci fundraiser scarf. the other day, i finished the larger cap in studio june springy sport, color here comes trouble. i’m gonna name this set bocce, because the motif reminds me of the patterns on bocce balls (one of my favorite games).
amad couldn’t resist trying it on—it would be a bit big on him but his hair fills it beautifully. i love how it folds so softly around his head; i wish i had hair like that to hold my hats in place!
and i’ve started the fingerless mitts to match. i just adore this yarn base—so springy and dense, it has a really great hand. the red cap is a good size for most people, but too big for me (no surprise there), so i used the one skein of midnight teal i kept here to knit another, smaller one.
i finished it last night; again, the photo does not do justice to the rich, gorgeous color, which appears more true to life in the photos of the cowl i showed last week. i am really sorry about the photos today; it’s just been terribly dark for one thing and for another, the only time i have to take photos and write is in the evening—not great for taking pictures.
the second cap is soaking as we speak, in fact; i should actually take a break right now to get it out of the bath and let it start drying. in this weather, it’s going to take some time.
today’s big adventure was to go hunting for the perfect christmas tree. we used to always have a real tree when we lived in NYC, but since moving here we’ve had an artificial tree inherited from my mom. that one bit the dust two years ago and last year we went away so we didn’t have a tree here. since we have friends who live on an old christmas tree farm and a lovely new sitting room in which to enjoy one, we decided to go back to having a real tree.
as i said earlier, it rained almost constantly since the boys arrived, but then midway through this morning, it started clearing up. i went for along run while everyone else had breakfast and took a walk or slept in.
by early afternoon, the sun was shyly making its presence felt, as sting winds pushed masses of big gray clouds aside. once it seemed safe to head out on an expedition, we piled into the car and made our way to debby and robin’s place.
this is the same farm where we did the photo shoot for our december club chapter, only last week, it was really cold and covered in a blanket of fresh snow.
the farm has beautiful alleyways that run between tall pines, as well as several stands planted with row after row of pines.
of course the boys wanted one of these really big ones, but maybe another year—we had something more modest in mind, about my height to fit in a particular spot. i told them it could be a little taller than me, but not more than that.
amad found perfect candidate and held aside the lower branches while david cut the trunk.
nan and i made ourselves useful by taking photos, haha; micah “helped” by running in circles around the tree, getting his feet extra muddy to decorate the car.
and carrying his own tree.
robin took the tree back toward the house on his four-wheeler and the kids ran after; we walked back more slowly, enjoying the woods and picking up pine cones for the table.
once we got the car loaded, we took a few minutes to visit the chickens. robin told the kids to take a couple of eggs and while amad didn’t want to stick his arm in the roost, micah thought nothing of it, haha
his reward being a pretty blue egg in the fridge which he’ll eat for breakfast.
between a short nights’ sleep and my long morning run, i was kind of beat when we got home, so i went up to snatch forty winks while the guys spent some “man time” getting the tree set up.
they did a splendid job and when i woke up, they were lined up on the couch admiring their work. we ate dinner in the glow of the lights; i love the smell filing the house!
we’ve been cooking up a storm every day in the new kitchen; hopefully david will be ready soon with a nice post about our new space so you can see it, too.
we’ll be back soon with an update—we’re making our traditional christmas eve feast of seven fishes and i know we’ll want to share it with you.