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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Yarn Along: Not Knitting for Christmas. Really.

The pictures* of me up there in Driftwood is not really as far along as I am right now. I have begun the bands and neck already, but I loved those photos from our anniversary trip. That was actually on our anniversary. Since the sweater is almost finished, I only worked on it in the car or at home/home base (hotel, friend's house, etc.). Rich's manly rainbow socks have been an easy project to toss in my purse with me when we have something to attend without taking up much room or bothering others nearby while I knit, though. So, that is what I brought with us to knit on when we went to see the new Star Wars movie with the kids and their godparents, and when we were out and about or waiting for meals at restaurants. I found a mistake in it after the movie, and Rich told me to correct it and move along. But I am not considering making the same mistake on the other sock, so at least they match. I have that problem.

I have some stories about restaurants from this trip, too. Normally, we have good experiences at restaurants, and we tip well, and that was true this time, too, in terms of what we ate, but we went to two restaurants where the waitress was. Off. The first time, it was the two of us on our anniversary dinner, but she rectified the problem for the most part, and the food was exquisite, so her tip reflected the excellent food, and we didn't ding her for her bizarre behavior because she did acknowledge and fix the problems. The second time, we had a waitress who insisted on taking our order before everyone was ready, so we didn't go around the table in order, then she made some mistakes bringing the food, which was fine, I didn't mind her asking, as it was the whole gang, but she asked, and gave the wrong dishes, with the wrong side dishes, left off two of the side dishes, blamed us for how the ordering was done, and how it was served, and then was kind of snippy. Oh, she also argued with us when we asked for something that was forgotten, acting as though we already had it. So, her tip was pretty low. I did still leave one, but it was not good. I have never left a bad tip before. We went to a somewhat pricey place for dinner, and since there were 12 of us, there was a gratuity added to the bill automatically, but we thought it was too low a tip, so we upped it a bit. We are not the kind of people to stiff wait staff. Rich talked me down from leaving a nasty review about her online, because the first time we ate there, we had no trouble, and the food was good. Also, he said that since I talked him down with the waitress at our fancy dinner, he could do the favor for me at our breakfast diner. So, instead, I am venting here with no names. One of the nice things that came with our anniversary hotel deal was a gift certificate for a wine bar, and we got some winey things, and fancy mustard, and lovely pear preserves, and cornichons. We were going to leave it at that, but then we saw this:

That was our wedding dance song, and I love coffee, and the roast was local and good. So, we got it. Of course.

Each year, I tell myself that I won't get sucked into Christmas knitting and do pretty well until the week or two before and then, there I find myself again, knitting furiously to finish something(s) for Christmas. Not this year. I was about to start it up with two presents that were about half finished, eight days before Christmas, but I stopped myself. I actually had seven knit items for Christmas presents that were completed earlier this year, so I was able to work on Driftwood and Rich's socks instead, which was much more relaxing.

Of course, I purchased yarn on the trip, plus my yarn club yarn came. This month I have my Magnolia Society sweater club shipments arriving, and the holiday club, and my Paradise yarn club. Then, except for Paradise, which is ongoing until you opt out, I am finished with yarn clubs I've signed up for and I'm thinking with the remodel stuff we're doing, with the college money we're shelling out, and other obligations that I might have to say no to the clubs at least at the beginning of the year. If I tell Rich that, he will try to talk me out of it, but I just don't know how I can justify it with the expenses we have. It may be an opportunity to try Yarn Box or Knit Crate, but we'll see. On the other hand, if I don't have club payments going out, I can let myself buy a little more at will, maybe a little more modestly and to take advantage of sales and deals.

Magnolia Society December shipments, yarn club Delaine Merino in Forest Floor and Lumen (I'm not thrilled with the Lumen and want to trade for the Frequency colorway or for the Spring yarn club shipment of DK wool in Coffee Grounds, USA, maybe Canada), holiday club BFL Sock in Hibernate, which will become a shawl with some lace weight in Sea Salt, and came with locking stitch markers and a nice knitting themed gift card that I used in my gift for our wonderful postal lady.

Paradise Yarn Club yarn, Palouse Yarn Company's Cashmere Squeeze in an exclusive colorway, Cherry on Top. Souvenir yarn from Canon Beach, which did not have a yarn shop that I knew of when we went 19 years ago, some locally made Velveteen Alpacas Snowdrop lace weight, which is heavier than I expected for lace, I think it's more of a light fingering, in a natural color of alpaca, merino, silk, and angora, and this gorgeous sea blue Sublime Lace merino, which is impossible to capture the color on film (the paint chip in the middle is the color our utility room is going to be, and I put it there to try to trick the camera into "seeing" the blue better).

Not much on the designing front to share right now, I have several things in process, and I'm hoping to put them out in the next two to three months, all ready and published. Here's the weekly reminder to like Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, if you haven't already. That's where I put updates and preview knitting opportunities and other design news. Thank you!

The past couple weeks have been a pretty good week for reading, actually. Amira and I are still reading Myself and I, and are enjoying that time together and the story itself. We finished The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 25th Anniversary Edition with the kids, after a bit of a hiatus, started Life, the Universe, and Everything, and are enjoying the humor as a family. It's been a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of our school and life schedule.

I started and finished The Fellowship: a novel two weeks ago. Read it in two days, actually. It is a friend's first novel, and I found it compelling and interesting. The characters were interesting, and believable, the "bad" guys weren't all bad and the protagonists weren't all good. Sara wrote with experience in a similar religious environment, and I think was able to write about the problems without undue anger or bitterness. I have to say that the first chapter seemed weaker than the rest of the writing, but I did enjoy it, and as a first novel, I found it excellent. The topics she covers in the story are similar to real life scandals that came out from her religious group, but they don't seem to be a thinly fictionalized expose of them, as she was writing well before the scandals came out in the public eye, and her story doesn't follow the exact arc of what came out about them. She captured the comfort and community of this group as well as the problems, and I didn't feel like she was only attacking them as wicked. She was able to describe the sense of belonging and the fun and the joy, which I appreciated, instead of demonizing them entirely. It is a story of disillusionment, and it reads honestly. Now, I didn't like how each character, even the protagonists, lived their lives or made their decisions. There are things that I wish weren't part of them, but there is nothing in it that is explicit or outright morally objectionable. I definitely encourage you to pick it up and read it.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

*I am not loving how photobucket is making the photos out of focus when I make them smaller. It didn't do that before. Is there an easy to use, easy to learn, other photo storage place that is simple to use with blogger out there?

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Beautiful yarn! Sounds like you had some lovely time out with your hubby, isn't that great?? Have a wonderful day :-)_
We did. It was marvelous. We spent our honeymoon there over 19 years ago, and it took us 19 years to get back. The town has changed so much, but we did get a picture in one of the places where we did when I was a slip of a girl, oh so long ago. Have a lovely week!
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