Longest Night

The winter solstice actually happens at 0530 tomorrow.   That’s good news, because dusk has been dictating when we end our doggy walkies of late.   Louise does the best posts, blending history and tradition and lore… 

October 2010 003

Still waiting to be plied...

Frau Holle would be angry at my home then.   The fiber on my wheel is almost two years old and has been spun on two different wheels.  Hem.   (Actually, I can’t even find a photo of the fiber I’m STILL spinning… oh well.)

While my heritage is exclusively English, Irish and Scottish, I enjoy learning about other traditions.  I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Frau Holle before and find it amusing that I found her, not through spinning or knitting, but through a friend’s food blog.  Of course, Louise’s regular readers know it’s MUCH more than a food blog, and I happen to know that her housemate is an avid crocheter…

Several of my friends celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.  What do you celebrate this time of year?

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Christmastime’s A Comin’

Santa’s grumpiest reindeer.  (The doggy gifts from Michelle.)  Gretchen was overwhelmed too, but it’s a darling concept, and you can bet your ham biscuits I’ll be attempting to get Christmas Card photos with them next year!  There were cute booties too, to keep Gretchie’s tootsies warm and dry, but she wouldn’t cooperate in the least.

Do the photos look crisper?  If so, there are two possible explanations.  Firstly, the Knight was behind the camera, and secondly, as he is wont to do, the Knight gave me my big gift yesterday.  It’s a new digital SLR camera, and he correctly figured that if he gave it to me early, I might have figured out how to use it by Christmas Eve.  He took about 35 photos with it yesterday, almost all of his fur-girls.  Boy, do they have him wrapped around Gretchen’s wee-est claw!

There were many packages received over the weekend.  It was a busy Saturday too.  We had a great lunch at It’s About Thyme with Rosanne and her SO, did a little shopping at The Frenchman’s Corner, and then had a delightful afternoon tea at their home, with their precious pups in their holiday attire.  Then, I got home just in time to feed the fur-girls and head out to my girls’ night.  THAT was awesome.  Good food, good friends, good wine…  Wish I could remember the name of the North Carolina wine I  enjoyed so very much.  Had the Hatteras Lighthouse on the label…

My custom ornament from Lynn’s Little Creations arrived on Friday.  I found Lynn when Natalie got her custom cake topper from her.  (Congrats, Gnat & Special K!  I’ve had a sneak-peek preview of the wedding photos, and I can assure you they’re off to a great start!)   

The Knight was even quite taken with it, so after the holidays, I’m going to order another ornament of two special angel dogs…    What you must understand is that on most computers, that photo is larger than life! 

Gaylen‘s package also arrived Friday.  Aren’t the stockings beautiful?  Gaylen spoils me; I admired the tissue case when she blogged it, so one found its way to Virginia for me!  Makes me feel twice as guilty that her birthmasiversary gifts will have to sit in Virginia for a while, but they will be waiting for her when she returns.  Aren’t those stockings incredible?!  G modestly says her machine did all the work, but since I can’t even turn on the sewing machine I own, I’m impressed. 

Last but not least, it seems that Jessi‘s package arrived here the same day our package arrived at her house.   There was something for everyone.   Because the girls wouldn’t give up their new toys and the Knight is a slow opener, there is no shot of the whole batch!

The girls love their toys.  They share well, so there really isn’t much point in pretending either toy belongs to a particular dog.  Do note the candy cane/peppermint stripes on both toys though, because I’m sure Jessi selected them for that reason, knowing the fur-girls lurvers some peppermint.

It’s an awful picture (taken by me, with my “old” camera) but you just had to see this cute “Christmas light” full of candy-coated sundflower seeds, my snack of choice.  I thought it would be cute to take it with Gretch, but she was startled by something in the process…

Likewise here is a leaves something to be desired shot of the stitch markers Jessi made me.   (In the future, all shots from home should be better, thanks to the camera that does all but turn itself on for me.  Only those taken at work are likely to be funky, because I’m not carrying the big camera with me!)  Aren’t they pretty though, despite my craptastick photo?

That’s the Knight’s ornament from Jessi.  Homerun, girlfriend.  He came to work telling everyone about it, and demanding that I share the photo for all to see.  (And hey, I took that one myself, with the new camera!)  Jessi, you’re in trouble if he makes one of these to hang on the front porch in life-sized proportions!  (There was more, but in the interest of time and space, I shared a few of the more unique items.)

Thanks to all!  We’re sure off to a tremendous start.  This evening, I’ll buy the last two gifts I need, bind off the last knitted gift, start wrapping and baking.

Phew.  I’m tired just thinking about it.

And good winter solstice and a very happy Hanukkah to my friends celebrating those holidays!

My First Hanukkah Gifts

I mentioned yesterday that I had received another package.  It was from Sharon, and it was chocked full of wonderfulness.  (If you don’t know much about Hanukkah, pop over to Sharon’s blog.  She took the time to share some details of the traditions and meanings with us each day.)  I have always enjoyed learning about other people’s traditions.  Even within my own family, there are so many different beliefs and traditions, and it’s both fun and touching to learn more.

There’s your happy, group shot.  You missed the lovely pink and green tissue in which everything was wrapped.  The colors were significant, because Sharon’s darling daughters and I all happen to be very fond of those colors.  Left to right, the bra bag, some lovely wood needles in my favorite size (#7!), a Sugar & Cream colorway I can’t wait to turn into a doily cloth, some Blue Heron chenille, Sharon’s own soap, and a dpn needle case.   It’s amazing how someone I met online earlier this year can shop so well for me, and yet we all have a family member or two…

Mary has been having kittens for about 24 hours now, because I mentioned the bra bag, but refused to show her a picture until now. 

There ya’ go, Mary.  It’s a cute little black, lacy bra, turned into an evening bag!  I’m gonna’ carry it New Year’s Eve, just because I can.  I think it’s a great conversation piece, and I’ll be toting it to my Pampered Chef Help Whip Cancer parties in May too!  I love that a portion of the purchase went to charity too.  Great find, Sharon!

Here’s a shot of the gorgeous Blue Heron chenille.  What’s fascinating is that my father’s middle name was Heron, and his favorite color was blue, so I’ve been meaning to find some of their yarn to try.  I’m going to have to spend some time on Ravelry and find just the right pattern for this incredible yarn.  In the meantime, I have it sitting out where I can pet it every time I walk by.  Very yummy!

Here’s a close-up of the inside of the dpn case, so SERIOUSLY needed.  It’s exactly what I wanted, even though I’d yet to see just what I wanted.  That’s the mark of a great friend; someone who finds you just what you wanted when you couldn’t even articulate what it was!

The soap has already moved into the shower. I’m going to try my lace on the new needles momentarily, as the Knight has informed me that I will be going to be earlier tonight, so I can get more sleep.  (He wasn’t impressed with my nearly midnight package preparations last night, it seems.)  Thank you again, Sharon.  You managed to box up peace and friendship and it flows all through my house tonight.