Monthly Archives: December 2006

In which Emily waxes melancholy and there is no knitting content.

While I am a big fan of New Year’s as a holiday*, I have never looked forward to having a new year before. I’ve never found anything particularly magical (except for the fireworks) about the turning of the calendar. January 1st is just another day. I have the same baggage, the same relationships, the same talents, the same faults as the day before. I am not at all troubled by that. Good and bad things happen to individuals in every year. Good and bad things happen in the world in every year. Sometimes a year seems to be more weighted toward one end of the spectrum than the other, but it’s still just stuff to live through. I pick up, go on and keep things in perspective**. If I’m lucky, I’ll be a better person for the all of the experiences.

But. Well. I don’t know. This year I feel differently. I am a little ashamed to admit it and am slightly worried that I am setting myself up for something, but I am looking forward to a new year. I have always been fond of the number 7.

Everyone have a fantastic evening and I’ll see you tomorrow! Happy New Year!

*Fireworks AND mandatory greens?! It’s the perfect holiday!

**Except when I don’t. Sometimes I am just mad for a while.

Wound Up

When we got home last night, William Henry was Wound Up. He ran back and forth between the den and the sun parlor (it’s a straight shot between opposite ends of the house) for at least 20 minutes while we unloaded the car. Every now and then he would slide to a stop (or crash into another cat) and look around. This got everyone else worked up and they stayed that way for quite a while.

Here is the knitting I did in the car last night in the dark:

kitty kitty kitty

That’s the light-up nativity through the window.

While taking this picture just now, I had a Startling Revelation: I bought this yarn before Blue Moon added the extra yardage to the Socks That Rock skeins. I have been knitting with it like it had the extra yardage (the sock leg is longer than I would have made it otherwise). I am not going to have enough to finish the second sock. I’ve weighed both the sock I finished on Friday (2 1/4 oz.) and the unfinished sock and rest of the yarn (2 1/8 oz. including needles). Sigh. I hope I can make them match by doing the toes in another color.

I haven’t made the macaroni yet, but Michael has just gotten up so it’s time for the Sweepstakes drawing! Everyone is in the hat that I made for M on Saturday/Sunday (Yay! I finished him one new thing to wear on Christmas). And here he is drawing a name:

names scrunched in a hat

And the Winner is…

blurry name

Hrm. That says “Beth” – you’ll just have to trust me.

Yay! Congratulations, Beth! And on the baby, too, if it’s here! I’ll email you to get your address.

To everyone else, have a Very Merry Christmas! I am off to make macaroni and last minute cookies for my Aunt’s family (they said they weren’t coming!).

Christmas-8, Emily-3 (I got a point for finishing the hat and one for having the ingredients for last minute cookies). I beat the spread!

Note: I forgot to add that if you aren’t Beth – Shear Panic can be ordered from:
Mayfair Games (the folks who made it)
Cardhaus Games
and Amazon (but it’s from one of their associates)
Thanks, Cindy! I forgot to mention that part!

Baking

cooling cookies

The greatest sugar cookies in the history of the world (in my opinion).

Sugar cookies, you never let me down. You’re not like other recipes in other cookbooks who claim to be fantastic. Whose ingredients look enticing and delightful. Recipes that promise untold delights only to fail miserably. Recipes that are really unattractive, tragically flawed or just not good. Sugar Cookies, you truly are…

The World’s Best Drop Sugar Cookies (Trust Me)

Ingredients:
1 stick butter (softened)
1/2c. vegetable oil
3/4c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2c. granulated sugar (plus some extra for later)
1 egg
1/2tsp. vanilla
2 1/4c. flour
1/2tsp. baking soda
1/2tsp. cream of tartar
1tsp. kosher salt

1. Cream together the butter, oil and both sugars.
2. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until almost white (about 5 minutes).
3. Add dry ingredients and blend together.
4. Roll 1 inch balls (a tablespoon-size ice cream scoop works great for this since the dough is soft) in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet (I use parchment paper on the baking sheet).
5. Flatten each ball of dough with the bottom of a glass.
6. Bake at 375 oven for 10 minutes. With the small ice cream scoop I get almost 5 dozen.

My Holiday Baking Menu now consists of: Lime Shortbread, Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies and Blueberry Muffins with a Twist. The sugar cookies were for the library and the vet. I made it to the armholes on the front of the Orange Vest and determined that it would take a Yarn Miracle for me to finish and get it blocked in time (we are leaving for Atlanta tomorrow morning). I abandoned the vest in favor of taking pictures of the cats sleeping. For those of you keeping score: Christmas-5, Emily-1 (I get a point for the Lime Shortbread, it turned out very well).

Don’t forget about the Sweepstakes! I could use some freaking cheer.

Christmas Shopping

Last night we were out doing a little Christmas shopping* and I saw something that made Christmas a tiny bit better** for me. In fact, when I saw it I was seized with the immediate desire to buy a copy for every single one of you.

SHEAR PANIC

Look! Look! A game about fiber!

Unfortunately, there were only two copies of the game on the shelf. Which means that instead of getting a game for each of you, I was only able to get a game for one of you. You know what that means!

Yarn Miracle Presents: The What’s So Great About Christmas Sweepstakes!

All you have to do to enter the Sweepstakes is tell me What’s So Great About Christmas between now and midnight (central) on the 24th. Everyone who leaves a comment (mentioning a memory, your favorite thing about Christmas, a sweet story, the best present ever, a warning about three spirits who will be visiting me shortly etc. etc.) will be entered in a drawing. There will be no exclusions based on what winter holiday (if any) you actually celebrate, no judgement calls about what you like best, no measure taken of personal enthusiasm about the holiday season and international entries are welcome. The idea is to help my shriveled Grinch heart grow three sizes. The winner will be drawn and announced after I make macaroni and cheese*** on Christmas Day.

Let me tell you a little bit about what you’ll win.

Shear Panic is one of the most insanely complex games ever in the history of the world. There are 72 individual pieces of game paraphanelia.

sheep and buttons and boards

Scoring changes four times during the game. There are Lamb Slams, Mutton Buttons, dice with no numbers, a ram named Roger and plot twists that make the winning completely unpredictable. In the end, somebody gets sheared. Awesome. Although it took a good half hour sort out the rules initially, we only looked at the instructions twice during the second game. This is probably why the box reccommends that you are aged 10+ to play. On the other hand, Shear Panic does seem to appeal to cats of all ages. Please note: we played with our copy, your copy is still in shrink wrap.

To sum up: Tell me What’s Great About Christmas by Christmas Eve and you can win this insane sheepy game! Yay! Oh, and here’s some knitting content:

about four inches

This was all pulled back to the ribbing when I realized that I had ribbed too far. I don’t think I will finish in time.

*We were right next door to a William Sonoma and I didn’t buy more vanilla, green sanding sugar or a new kitchen timer. I really don’t know where my head was. Now I am going to have to Make Do.

**Have I mentioned that Christmas is my not my favorite holiday? I haven’t? That’s probably because I thought you guys wouldn’t like me any more after I told you. But now it’s out there: As much as I enjoy lights, decorations, baking and goodwill, I am not overly fond of Christmas. To me it’s always been something you just had to get through so that you can have fireworks on New Year’s.

***The good kind. To take to Christmas Dinner.

One step closer.

I finally got around to making this year’s Christmas ornaments. The whole process went fairly smoothly right up until I needed the glue gun. I’ve got two, you would think that I would be able to locate at least one of them fairly quickly.

bowl full of glittered pears

The glittery stuff is called “microbeads.” It took a fair amount of googeling to find that out.

I also revised my Holiday Baking menu to contain only fruit flavored things: Applesauce Cake, Lime Shortbread, Strawberry Thumbprint Cookes, and Golden Fruitcake Bars. I am not particularly interested in eating any of those things (I wanted to make Anita’s Kringles), but this way everything matches. Next year, I am thinking of making the Knitted Ornaments in Handknit Holidays and baking only round things to go with them.

The other thing I’ve finally managed to do is finish the back of M’s cabled vest.

cabels and a Wii-mote

It doesn’t look finished, but it is.

It looks like it will fit just fine in the new size. It also looks like I am going to have a whole lot of yarn left over. I will save it for next year’s Christmas ornaments. Maybe I will bake only orange things. Cheese straws are orange. This could work out well for me.