Thursday, December 4, 2014

Post-Thanksgiving, and lovely surprises!

I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely, if you celebrate it -- if not, I hope you had a very nice Thursday! We drove up to my mom's house in Vermont on Thursday morning, bringing the turkey with us -- uncooked, in a cooler, of course. Mom's got some back problems and can't really lift the turkey, plus there's no Trader Joe's near her, and their brined turkeys are really good. So, we packed up the turkey and a couple of pies, and hit the road. The weekend was too short, as always. But there was a ton of food, and lots of relaxing, and this cute face:

mom's cockapoo Shania is SO sweet. She loves to cuddle, and is passionately fond of string cheese. She kind of looks like a little sheep. (Especially her butt, with its little stumpy tail. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.)

There was also yarn shopping, and an early birthday present for me from Mom:

It's not the best picture, since I hadn't taken it out of the bag yet, but it's a set of five little skeins of Wonderland Yarns' Cheshire Cat fingering weight yarn, in a lovely gradient set of purples. It's 640 yards total, and I need to find just the right pattern for it.

There was also knitting! The mini-things-marathon continued. I made this crowd:

There are two cupcakes there, a dragon, a unicorn, a baked potato (alas, you can't really see the little embroidered pat of butter and chives!!), an ear of corn, and a chicken. Then, I made this guy:

A wee lobster! (With Hershey Kisses for scale.) It turned out cute, but man, was it a pain in the butt to make. The tail alone took me a few hours -- the pattern directions weren't all that clear, and were incredibly fiddly. They called for knitting the tail in five tiny, separate pieces, then somehow overlapping them and sewing them together, then sewing that onto the end of the body. Along with not-very-clear directions, the photos with the pattern were blurry, so they didn't help. After a couple of awful-looking attempts, I finally threw the little pieces away, and improvised -- I picked up and knit eight stitches at the end of the body, knitted a triangle-ish fin, then bound off. Then I picked up stitches on either side, cast on a few additional stitches so that the little tail fins would overlap, and knitted two more little triangles. Then when I stuffed and sewed the body, I made sure to tack down the overlapping bits, and voila! I couldn't get it to not curl upward, but eh, it's fine. (And I know live lobsters aren't red. I didn't have dark green/ black yarn.)

Then, there were a few more Tiny Things, like another cupcake:

A pear (which turned out so stinking cute it gave me the giggles for a good twenty minutes):

And lastly, a tiny, somewhat goofy-looking pink elephant:

Those were all for Metafilter's own version of Secret Santa, the Secret Quonsar exchange. The person I drew loves miniature things, especially miniature food, thus the many tiny things! She also loves tea, so, she got some handmade strawberry shortcake tea (hand-blended by Jeff! Look, we have an online shop! All fair trade and organic!! Plus, we make awesome cold-brew coffee bags! Plug, plug, pluggity plug...)

My Secret Quonsee got her package today, and loved it, which was nice. And then I got home to find my Quonsar present awaiting me! And it was a lovely package, full of gorgeous yarn from an indie dyer (Dyeabolical Yarns) and fancy chocolates!! 

I can't get a photo that does the yarn justice -- it is BEAUTIFUL. It's fingering weight, 60% merino, 20% yak, and 20% silk. The colors go really well together, too, so I'm thinking a shawl. (The guy who drew my name in the exchange said he went to Knitorious in St. Louis and got help from the staff picking the yarn. They did a great job, and I wish I could go to the shop!!)

And now, there is a small calico cat loudly demanding my attention, so I must stop typing and start petting. Good night!

"Stop computering and pet me!"

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