Saturday, December 30, 2017

Winding down the Year

Only a couple of days left in 2017.

Christmas came, of course, as it always does.  I'm not really big into the whole Christmas thing (we don't decorate because it would mostly entail picking up after the cats) and I tend to try to hide from all the commercialism.  On the other hand, neither am I a Scrooge.   I like to blast Christmas music and take myself to the kitchen to make fruitcake and rum balls and other goodies of the season.  Make up goodie bags (with near-lethal eggnog) for my friends at work. Make meat pies to have with sherry while watching The Hogfather.

 Buckle down and get some Christmas gifts made.  I did pretty well this year (meaning I wasn't up late on Christmas eve trying to finish anything.

This was for Amanda. 

I had treated myself to a gorgeous yak/silk fiber blend in purples and bronze greens and used a bit of it to make a cowl (in the previous blog post).  I spun up the rest to a laceweight and produced this.  Yep--I'm pleased.  Pity we don't have feel-a-vision--it's sooooo soft and draping (and weighs only 3 ounces).

Being as I actually got this done well ahead of time, I also made a scarf/shawlette for Della (Bob's sister).   A few years ago I went to a fiber festival and bought some alpaca/silk in a red-to-bronze colorway, and spun it just for the pleasure of it.  So I dug that out, and as there was only 2 ounces I filled in with some fine black merino/silk yarn that I happened to have around.

I'm also super pleased with this--I call it "Dragon Wing"

On a lighter  note--the family seems to have become involved with the Vikings so I decided to make Don (Della's husband) the head Viking of the clan.  Like Michael's dive helmet, this is made from floor mats and craft foam.

And I must say that Don wears it well.

(and yes--I'm very aware that the authentic Viking helmets didn't have horns.  But it didn't look like a Viking helmet without them.  It's a fantasy, right??)

Finally, for a friend who sews, and is a Dr. Who fan, a TARDIS.
Perhaps foam work and knitting is more my forte than wood working.  It actually looks a bit better than this--the glue was not cooperating in drying, and we were actually late to the party because I was getting it done and just took a quick picture.  It's honestly not lopsided.   But the fun comes when you take off the top:

A sewing kit!

And she had made a gift for me--and I have to say that I think it turned out better than my Tardis.

He's the most wonderful and appealing doll and is called The Seeker.  I spend the rest of the party carrying him around.

Christmas itself was spent with the family--what with the kids (hah!  The "kids" have a 14-year-old son but they're always the kids to me) mostly living overseas it's the first time that they and Della and Don and Bob and I have gotten together for Christmas in 10 years.   It was fun, if a little low-key.  The "kids" had gotten Zeke (the four-year-old) a major huge swing set/fort/climbing wall for Christmas, and to give credit to Santa Zeke had been sent to Grandma's (aka Della) for the weekend while everyone else got the thing built.  So by Christmas day they were all just a bit zonked and ready for a nap.

And so winds down the year.  Unlike last year (see the post last spring on "Winter is (not) Coming) we've actually had some cold weather here.  Time to settle down with some hot chocolate, a good book, and a cat (or two, or three).

Reading:  The Intentional Spinner--even though I've been spinning for 30-something years it's always good to learn something new

A Curse as Dark as Gold--story of two orphaned girls trying to keep the wool mill going (which employs most of the town) after their father's death.  There is mystery and magic involved--it's a sort of retelling of "Rumplestiltskin".  What I love is that the author really did her research--all the textile terminology and descriptions of the equipment and the techniques is spot-on.   It's a pet peeve of mine when you're getting involved in a story and then the writer gets something totally wrong and just sort of snaps you out of it.

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