For the first time in years, I'm not spending Christmas Eve panicking, finishing up last-minute things in a big spastic hurry. All of my knitted projects are done & wrapped, save for one pair of socks (I'm down to the toe decreases on the last sock, so no big deal there) & the Ben & Jerry's cozy for my dad. The cozy itself is actually done, but I still have to wrap it. Those are, fortunately, the last two items to be wrapped, and I'm just thrilled about that. Even my husband had commented on how I tend to stress out a lot during the last week before Christmas, because I tend to get overconfident about what I can accomplish in a certain amount of time. Not this year!! It's really been quite wonderful...I've spent a good deal of time with the boys, watching silly Christmas movies, and with my husband (he beat me at a game of Scrabble the other day...he's terribly smug about it, too), and the stress level has been quite low this year. I have to say, I'm quite proud of myself. No, I didn't finish the Christmas stockings, but that's okay, I've got stockings that we can use, and I'm not going to fuss about the knitted ones. I'll finish them in January, I'm sure.
Speaking of finished knitted objects, I finished the alpaca sweater for my Mom, and it blocked up beautifully.
The discoloured splotches aren't really discoloured--that's where it was drying faster than the rest of it. It's not a great picture, but the sweater looks fabulous, and I gotta say, I'm really proud! The braided cable opened up very nicely, and the sleeves blocked to the perfect length. I really really hope Mom likes it...and if she doesn't, I hope she gives it back! I also knitted a couple Noro tea cozys for her, as well as a pair of Fuzzy Feets & a pair of lovely brown socks. Boy the Younger also gets a pair of socks, since he's such a sock nut. I did take a picture of his sockies, but Blogger won't post them, so I'll just tell you that they're made from Lorna's Laces Sheperd Sock, in the Black Purl colourway. They're more fraternal than identical, as one has more blue to it, and the other has more pale purple, but that's okay. Five year olds rarely care about such details. The boy just loves purple, though, so I think he'll like these.
In other news, I received another lovely package from my Sockret Pal! She sent some wonderful goodies, like some wonderful smelling tea, a yarn ornament for my tree, a green Chibi (oh Chibi, how I love thee!), some of my favorite hand cream (how did you know??), a sock pattern from one of my favorite vendors, and an adorable baby sockie coin purse (that my boys promptly swiped for their own nefarious purposes...I think they're carrying a marble collection in it or something). Thanks so much, Sockret Pal!! And speaking of my lovely Sockret Pal, she also sent me a cool little questionnaire the other day...y'all know how I like these silly things...
1) What's the oddest gift you've ever received?
Hmmm...well, I'm pleased to say that my family is pretty darn good at gift giving, so not too many weird ones so far. When I first moved out of the house & was just getting on my feet, my mom gave me a pretty odd gift...it was a huge bag full of just about every cleaning supply known to man. She had mops & brooms & rubber gloves & silver polish & floor wax & dish soap & a million other things...it really was a pretty darn cool, and very useful, gift, but it was just a little weird to open. I plan on doing that for my own kids someday, when they get their first place too. :-)
2) What's the oddest gift you've ever asked for?
Well, odd is in the eye of the beholder! My mother thinks I'm completely warped for wanting sock yarn for Christmas this year. Heh. It seems like a perfectly reasonable request to ME, though. When I was younger, my family was really fairly poor, so I always wrote out my Christmas list with that in mind. I'd include things from all price ranges, just so my folks would have a nice range to choose from, and wouldn't feel bad if they couldn't get everything on my list. As a result, every year I asked for a Boeing 747, and every year I was dissapointed. I never got a little genie of my own, either. Heh. (There's a certain irony here in that I *did* get a pony, even though I'd never actually asked for one for Christmas. She wasn't a Christmas present, but I was the only little kid I knew who ever got a pony.)
3)What's the oddest gift you've ever given to someone else?
Heehee...dh gets some pretty weird ones. He's incredibly home-oriented, one of those guys that would much rather hang out at home with his family than go out with the guys all night. He really liked the silly bathroom accessories I'd gotten once, the kind with little fishies floating in the base of the cup or soap dish, and was all happy when he'd found a shower curtain to match, so last year, I got him a bathmat for Christmas. It's shaped like an ironed-out duck. It's cute & dopey, all at the same time, and while I worried that it'd be a lameass present, he really did love the silly thing. Of course, it's not the only present he got, but it was indeed a weird one.
4)What's the worst gift you've ever received?
Oh heavens, that's a tough one! I really haven't ever received any bad presents that I can think of. Pretty much anything received from a teenage boyfriend could probably go on that list, but I can't remember what anything was. Like I said, my family's really good with gifts...dh is known for picking things that are really sweet (he's incredibly sentimental & thoughtful), my mom has really fabulous taste in all sorts of stuff, and my dad is getting a reputation for sniffing out the coolest, weirdest books & things ever. I'm really quite lucky that way.
Good questions, Sockret Pal! It's fun thinking back on Christmases over the years. This is the 8th Christmas I'll have spent with my beloved, and boy, we've had some good times. My parents love my husband, and really enjoy spoiling him at the holidays, and that's a lot of fun to watch. Y'all probably know that my sweetie is a drummer, and also a teacher. The first Christmas we'd spent together, my mom & I conspired to purchase a really nice snare for him (Yamaha Maple Custom, matching the rest of his kit, for those who care), and omg, the look on his face when he opened that up!!! He was literally speechless! Well, not completely speechless...he kept saying "Oh shit" a lot. Heh. He LOVES that snare, and was so happy to have it.
This year should be just as interesting...my sweetie is finally going back to school to get his Bachelor's degree (WOOHOOOOO!!!!!!), and he'll be starting class in a little less than two weeks. He'll be taking piano & voice lessons (the BA is in Music Education), as well as percussion, and the aging keyboard we have is kind of not so great...keys broken (thanks a lot, cat), sort of small, not very up-to-date. Don't tell my sweetie, but my awesome Mom got the mother of all keyboards for him this year! It's a full size keyboard (I think that means all 88 keys or however many octaves or whatever...it's over my head, either way), with all the weird MIDI bells & whistles & whatever else he wanted. It is, however, freaking huge, so we're going to have to drive both cars down to the farm in order to bring it home. Dh still doesn't quite understand why we need to drive both cars, and it's entertaining watching him contemplate the reasons. I'm really looking forward to seeing his face tomorrow!! This keyboard should be a huge help with his schoolwork, too. He practices as much as possible already in between teaching (there's a piano in the lesson room where he teaches), but now he can practice at home, too! Yay!
Okay, now I'm just getting way too excited about tomorrow. I can sure tell that I'm getting older, though...I've hardly given a thought to what I might receive, and all my excitement is centered around seeing other people open certain things (mom's sweater, dh's keyboard, Boy the Younger's sockies...). Life is Good. :-)
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!