Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...

Greetings from beautiful snow-covered New Jersey!

I love this time of year for so many reasons. It's partly the decorations and the bustle of it all. It's partly the gifting and getting. It's partly bundling up in warm woolens and walking in the snow (and preferably not slipping and falling on my ass on the ice). It's partly Vince Guaraldi and a Charlie Brown Christmas. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed (Merry Christmas, Movie House!!!). But mostly it's the holiday baking:

The goodies include several recipes new and old from the 12 Days of Cookies Food Network newsletter and some old favorites: Martha Stewart's Kitchen Sink Cookies (my version made with cranberries and raisins but no walnuts), Super Gooey Chocolate Drop Cookies, Ginger Spice Cookies (chewy, yum), Peanut Butter and Chocolate Biscotti, and Jam Thumbprints by Ina Garten. Yum.

I'm on vacation until the 27th. This means lots of holiday knitting while bundled up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa.

Here's the agenda for my time:
1. Finish Chris' balaclava Update: Check!
2. Finish and full Dad's pillow cover Update: Check!
3. Finish JN's present Update: Check!
4. Finish Aunt Judy's Stole Update: One more row of binding off!
5. Sew buttons etc. on sundry items
6. Socks if I have time
7. Enid!

I'm getting so close. This weekend I wrapped up Lauren's Ponytail Hat (it's a knit cap with a hole in the back for her ponytail). She's been talking about getting something like this for when she goes running. I used the leftover Malabrigo from my Fetching Mitts and it is so yummy. I hope she likes it :). I've also sorely neglected photographing my FOs. I've already given away three of the Scholar Collar gifts and of the three, I photographed zero of them. Bad Jen!

Sunday night was the Sit'n'Knit New York Meetup group Holiday Party at Session 73. I brought the pale blue Scholar collar with wood buttons from M&J Trimming for the gift exchange. When my name was pulled I walked up to receive my gift and was carrying mine. When Hope (the woman who pulled my name) saw what I was carrying she started cracking up. Turns out she had made me a Pidge-knockoff as well! So I got to give the group a little explanation of the Pidge and how ridiculous it is to charge $400 for a scarf. I'm all for fair wages and fair valuation of handmade goods, but really now???? I estimate that the cost of one of the Scholar Collar based on materials and labor (ok... minimum wage) with a slight markup for profit should be approximately $100. A far cry from what they're charging, so those knitters are doing pretty well for themselves! I wonder if they're hiring. I can show them my Ravelry portfolio in lieu of a resume! :)

Tuesday night was our weekly sit n knit at Yarntopia, with some added festive cheer in the form of hot buttered rum, hot chocolate and Bailey's :) Huzzah! I even got a picture of me wearing the massiveness that is Lady Eleanor.

Also this weekend was our big Christmas in Inwood fiesta. I may have imbibed a bit too much... but it was all in the spirit of the holiday. Our annual theme for this party has been universally hailed as brilliant: Guests come with "nips" (little bottles of alcohol), upon arriving the bottles are tied with festive ribbon and hung as ornaments from the tree. Here's our tree pre-nips:

And here it is post-nips:

Very festive, no?

Theoretically in a few weeks we should have a "Drink the Tree party" when we use up all the little bottles. So it's like 2 parties in one!