(Trying to get a good photo for the Perfect Christmas Card, which once again eludes me.)
A few days later, there was a little Christmas party with girlfriends. Here we are at Laura's house. Clockwise from upper left is: Laura, Melody, Gretl, Ann, me, and Frieda.
Amid eating and laughing, we took a moment to behave like serious artists and show new work. Here is Laura, holding and standing in front of her new quilts.
Mel with her new work, you have surely seen on her blog.
And Ann's fantastic new work:
And because we are such hams, we post for another group shot.
(How many handknit socks and other garments do you spot in that picture?)
Later in the week, Uncle Kenny arrives.
Just in time to keep the kids occupied Christmas Eve afternoon while I do last minute food preparation for 11 people Christmas day.
My mom and sister Allison (who from here on will be referred to as "Pecan Tartlet Chef Extraordinaire") arrived Christmas Eve too. Remember my spotless studio from a week before? It is now the guest bedroom/staging area AKA: "Gift Wrap Shop."
So, Christmas Eve. Sorry to disappoint you, dear readers, but at this point I give up on quite a few of the hand-knit presents. At this point, I really have to narrow my priorities to finding all of the items I have squirreled away over the past months, and to wrapping. We're not even going to discuss the assemblage of the bike. Except to say, thank you God, for giving me a brother with serious bike assemblage knowledge.
Christmas morning. 5 a.m. Who wakes up with excitement and can't get back to sleep? That would be me. Everyone else? Six years old? Four years old? Totally asleep. Me: wide awake. So, I crept downstairs, avoiding those 2 creaky stairs and attempt to put on the coffee without waking any of the slumbering aero-bed inhabitants.
The minute I touch the coffee pot, up pops a bright eyed face--my mom! She shares in my total excitement! We make coffee, break out our knitting, and have a good hour of chit-chat, just the two of us, before the big day begins. It is one of my favorite memories of the week.
Okay, enough about the chit-chat! Onward to the presents!
First up, I bring you my best work! Here is Allison, modeling her new Flora. Some of you may have noticed the little red thing I tried to disguise in my pre-Christmas-knitting-blogging. Let me just say this. Flora: cutest gift ever. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops weeks ago, but my sister is my most devoted reader, so I couldn't. But file this away in your noggin for gift giving next year: Flora. Super. Cute.
(And sorry for the blurry photo, she will be back soon, and I'll get a better picture.) (Or I might have made another one--for myself--by then, anyway.)
Next, Dave. Who doesn't go in for the cute so much as the warm.
Very happy with his Woolease sock. He was going to get a sock and a half, but I found out recently that he might possibly get his feelings hurt when gifted with an unfinished present. (I know, how could he have lived with me for twelve years and still not understand "The Crafter's Way"? I am totally confounded too.) So he got a finished sock, and he is very happy with it!
And my cute mom, with her new blue sweater. (She modeled this the following day, after the ends had been woven in.) The pattern is the Neckdown Cardigan for Women, from Knitting Pure and Simple, and it took less than 10 skeins of Cascade Pastazza.
And I included this photo because it is one of my other happiest memories of the day:
And now: knitting-related presents for me! The book of graph paper is a spiral bound sketch book that my brother made up himself, of knitters graph paper in two different sizes, with my name at the bottom of each page. The Ponchos and Wraps book is from my sister, the tube of buttons from Dave (a tradition) and the beautiful beaded bracelet is from a quilting friend that is practically family, even though we have never met in person.
Three days after Christmas it was Mrs. Mel's birthday, and even though we are partied out, there is always room to celebrate such a special girl. Since she has already written a very entertaining account, see her blog for the whole story of the afternoon. Here we are for our traditional group picture. And fancy this, I have links for every girlfriend there! Top row: Judy, Ann. Bottom row: Jane, Melody, Frieda, Laura, and me. And talented chef Dave made the day complete.
Which brings us to last night. I am seriously pooped but who can resist the call of a good blogger get together? Especially when hosted by the illustrious Ann of Mason Dixon Knitting and her sister in law Mary Neal?
I went with knitpals Jodee and Carla, of the Survivor Contest comments, and we took the train into the city so we could drink I mean KNIT.
Here are Ann and Helen.
This is the only photo I have of the actual party, as the rest are too dark. I think/hope there will be other accounts of the evening on blogs since the room was filled with bloggers. It was a lovely evening, and really nice to see some people I met at the Yarn Harlot signing, especially Karen, who tried to steal my bad kitty, but only in a good way.
The party continued back onto the train home, as we knit our socks, checked for fit:
(that would be Jodee) and generally behaved like wild-and-crazy-suburban-train-late-night-sock-knitters. Whoo hoo!
Here I am, signing off with a pose of me, red sock, and Bad Kitty.