i got (almost) nothin’

we finally got a little dusting of snow to cover some of the gray and brown that we’ve been looking at for the last couple of weeks. it was nice to wake up to see snowflakes flying around out there.

i’ve been doing a lot of kitting and pattern writing these last few days but i can’t show very much of it here (argh, you know how i feel about that!)

fortunately, my current big secret project is a wonderful mix of greens that i enjoy picking up and working with, so it won’t be too long til i’m on to something i can blog more about

i’m also still finishing up my brother’s second sock

it’s almost done; i have a little more to knit in pattern and then the toe shaping; i should be able to get it done today. i hope so; i need to get this in the mail ASAP; his birthday is saturday and we have a holiday tomorrow. i figure if i can get it done after lunch, we can maybe run it to the post office for last-minute delivery. i’m also sending him the luxor socks—i can’t wait to see how he likes the bamboo blend i used in those. and he’s getting a pair of wiggle mitts

even though he lives in texas where it’s warm, he manages operations in an unheated warehouse, which gets chilly in winter. he has to write and use the computer a lot and i think these will be great for him.

next thing you know, we’ll have him wearing manLace . . .

i didn’t say much about my christmas gift from david this year, because . . . well, he can be a little gift-giving-challenged. as in, he always remembers the important days with gifts that for him, are totally romantic and appropriate, but sometimes leave me scratching my head (last year i got a digital weather station). this year’s gift was so far out in that realm that telling about it will give you the wrong idea about him.

but he made up for it this week—in spades

this is my dad’s old desk, inherited by him from the uncle or cousin who built it, then handed down to me when my mom moved out of our family home. having been stored in our attic where we proceeded to abuse it with stickers, paint, and hand tools, it used to be almost-black with gunk and old varnish. not so much the patina of time as the fallout from a life of extreme hardship.

anyway, david worked away at it, keeping some of the old scars and getting rid of the super-ugly ones (like pools of yellow enamel paint meant for airplane models, circa 1967). then he rubbed it with a clear wax finish to bring out the grain in the wide variety of woods used in it

and now it’s a beauty. there’s going to be some renovation in my workroom area this month and once that’s complete, the desk will be moved up there. it’ll be great to have the additional writing and shelf space in that room as well as a reminder of my dad’s family.

i’m trying to organize goals for the coming year; it’s going to be a challenging one i know. more about that tomorrow, though—must go knit man sock.

43 Responses to “i got (almost) nothin’”

  1. Judi says:

    Now THAT is what I would call a present! What a perfect thing to do.

  2. bonny says:

    Your desk and David’s work on it are so beautiful that I’m a little misty-eyed. One year I got a painted desk that my husband refinished and now it’s just lovely old oak & one of my favorite things, but I was definitely scratching my head when I saw the turquoise underwater scene that was painted on it when he brought it home. This year I got half a roof (I gave my husband the other half!) for our old, old house, so I’d love to hear about David’s far-out gift. A happy, healthy 2009 w/ your desk & David!

  3. Leigh says:

    How beautiful! What a lovely present.

    My husband is also very bad at gift-giving. But then he cooks me dinner every night and rubs my feet when I’m tired and loves every single hand-knit gift I’ve ever given him. So I’m pretty far ahead, I think. :)

  4. Renee says:

    What a fabulous gift, family furniture brought back to loving condition is priceless. Happy knitting man socks and wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!

  5. Cheryl says:

    What a great piece of furniture. I love the height, all the shelves, and all the cubbies. That should make a fun and useful addition to your workspace. :o }

  6. Gwen says:

    Lovely wood, worked lovingly. And such lovely nothing you’re working on!

    This year, my husband gave me a set of pompom makers. Because my son decided to give me the yarn. (all of which I get myself, wrap, and label from them. Which we find endlessly amusing! “Oh, it’s perfect! How did you know?”)

  7. ah, those gifts…i know them well.

    perhaps his plan all along. ;)

    he did a beautiful job.

    happy new year.

  8. Rosemary says:

    Happy new year Anne and David. Beautiful and interesting knitting (I’m sounding like a broken record although it IS the truth!) Try “Restoration Hardware” for any missing knobs, handles, etc. for that wonderful desk. An architectural salvage company would probably have them locally. David did a beautiful job!

  9. paperdiva says:

    Happy New Year!
    I love the chest and can imagine all the cubies filled with yummy yarn.

  10. Kim says:

    Wow…..David did a beautiful job on that desk. I used to refinish antiques….loved the challenges they presented. David did a very nice job :)

  11. Mitty says:

    What a beautiful gift. Lots of hours of love went into it for sure. I love old family furniture; love the history that’s in it. My family calls my sofa “a fine old piece” (imagine it said in the *most* disparaging way possible) because it is a Federal bench-style piece stuffed with horse hair, but I love it (and it cleaned up beautifully, just like your desk). Have a Merry New Year!

  12. Nancy J says:

    Beautiful desk. I have a seven foot tall one that was my father’s. The only problem is that I make sure the very top shelf is the lightest in weight. The bookcase top fits very securely onto the bottom and is braced, but there have still been times when removing something from top shelf that you can feel the weight trying to shift.

    Happy, happy New Year!

  13. petra says:

    what a beautiful desk!
    Anne please let me know something about your nice green secret!

    Thank you for all these wonderful patterns and photos in 2008

    petra

  14. Beth says:

    What an excellent gift-receiver you are. I gave knitted gifts to several people this year and found responses… mixed. My dh loved his gift, but I think some recipients would have preferred gift cards to some chain store. Ah well. As the owner of my LYS says, it is the giving, the gesture, the doing the best you can with the effort that counts, then you just have to let go. So David gave to you and thought of you for Christmas and you accepted that so sweetly – excellent job. Then of course this massive desk. Beautiful wood, although it makes my back discs hurt just thinking about what it would take to move it upstairs! Good luck with that and the socks today too.

    Happy New Year!

  15. Hattie says:

    Gorgeous desk! We’re getting dumped on now with snow…I almost didn’t make it home this morning!

  16. Vickie says:

    Those man socks just go on forever, don’t they? Happy New Year!

  17. Barbara-Kay says:

    Beautiful work – two craftsmen in this family, I see. It’s worth of the New Yankee Workshop. I can imagine yarn on those shelves, along with books. Do show us when it’s in place.

  18. jessica says:

    That is a beautiful desk. I love using old family things. Much I lost in the storm, but I still have a few pieces that my father restored, and they are treasured! My family used to say that anything home made, cooked, or built/restored was “loving that showed. I think David came through for you in a big way!

  19. sherri says:

    Can’t wait to see what your green project is!

    WOW! WOW! WOW! What a beautiful gift from David! And something that will truly last- very romantic!

  20. Lynne E. says:

    Hey, I remember the digital weather station, which I thought you’d probably asked for–because I’d love to have one! Unfortunately, I don’t really have any place to set one up, because of the homeowner’s association that doesn’t want anything sticking up above the patio fences. They’d probably have a conniption fit if they saw a wind gauge. :-) Naturally, I’m really curious about this year’s gift!

    The gift of the work on the desk is lovely, but is it romantic? I suppose it is, given your fond memories associated with the desk.

  21. Kelli says:

    I love the desk and the detail that he went to to restore it for you.

  22. Jocelyn says:

    Ooh, it’s gorgeous! Go, David — what a thoughtful gift (of course, your hint leaves us wondering about the other gift… ;) ). And the socks look great — your brother will love them.

  23. WOW! That’s a beautiful piece now that it’s had some love. Beautiful! As are the knits, as always. :)

  24. Alvine says:

    David ROCKS but then again so do you. This years sweater/jacket was awesome.
    All the best to you and David in the new year.

  25. Riin says:

    Last summer I received a digital weather station as a gift, and I thought the idea was pretty cool (I’m geeky like that. I took a weather class in college), but then I realized I have no idea where to set up the outside part. I’m not allowed to attach anything to the outside of my building. I had planned to attach it to my deck, but that would get too much sun. I could attach it to some kind of stake in the ground, but how much protection does it need? The instructions said a north facing sheltered area. I could put it between some shrubs and the building, but it’s still going to get snow and rain on it. Am I missing something?

    The desk is gorgeous!

  26. Miss T says:

    What a great guy.

  27. Ruthie says:

    That gorgeous desk took my breath away…and then to read that it belonged to beloved family members proved how very special that desk is. And David is one special guy to put in all that loving but hard work into cleaning and restoring the desk for you. As to your other gift…well, we just consider that our men are rather gift-giving-challenged (to use your term). Lovely, romantic, wonderful men, but gift-giving-challenged. You are so gracious to overlook David’s deficiency. LOL Happy New Year!!

  28. Lin says:

    Happy new year! xx

  29. fleur says:

    Have a very happy new year and many many yarns :-)

  30. Beth says:

    Your desk is wonderful! David did a great job restoring it. And I can’t wait to see that beautiful green yarn in something!

  31. Gillian says:

    Lovely desk! What a fantastic gift. Happy New Year and much enjoyment of your desk and cleaned up space.

  32. janna says:

    The desk is gorgeous — David did a wonderful job! Happy New Year to you both!

  33. Phoebe says:

    Happy New Year! What a beautiful & thoughtful gift…the desk is exquisite! That David, he’s definitely a keeper!

  34. AlisonH says:

    What a work of love! It’s beautiful!

  35. Knitnana says:

    What a wonderful gift, he did a GREAT job!
    (((Hugs)))

  36. Lorraine says:

    Anne-Is there no end to this man’s talents? He did a terrific job.

  37. Romi says:

    Wowza. That desk is a beauty!!!

    Love the greens. :)

  38. Josiane says:

    Your dad’s desk is fabulous, and the work David did on it is a wonderful gift!

  39. Teyani says:

    that old desk is lovely.
    and having refinished some furniture in my time, I know that it meant a trillion hours of love by David for you.
    many New Year’s Blessings to you both.

  40. Katrina says:

    That’s such a beautiful desk! My Richard is the same way with gifts. He’ll show up through out the year with flowers for no reason at all, but for holidays and birthdays I get the oddest things. Things I appreciate but others would just shake their head at.

    My gift this year was a homemade andean plying tool. Imagine showing that to non-spinners while saying, “Hey, look what Richard made me for Christmas!” I love it, they have no idea what it is.

  41. KJ says:

    Hi!

    I just wanted to tell you that I went onto knitty.com and made a pair of socks using you lighthouse gansey pattern. I have always been afraid of knitting socks, but they turned out fine.

    Thanks for indirectly helping me make my first pair of socks! -KJ from Maine.

  42. Rachael says:

    It’s beautiful!

  43. Alicia says:

    Lovely mitts and socks for your bro. I’m sure the mitts will be well received. I use mine if I work in my parents office, it’s in portion of the house that isn’t heated.
    Lovely desk!