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Christmas and More Finished Objects

We had a nice, peaceful, quiet Christmas. Brian heard that Pablo’s Panaderia in Old Town would be open a few hours on Christmas, so we decided to go make him happy he’d made that decision. We went for a late breakfast, wonderful hand-squeezed orange juice and authentic Mexican breakfast (at least for Brian).

We went home and opened gifts. We believe a) that a gift that is not right, is not worth purchasing, b) crazy running around trying to find a “right” gift is not sane or worthy of the time spent on the chase, and c) that we have enough “stuff” already, that our relationship is the real gift. So we don’t fuss if we don’t find a good gift, we just enjoy one another.

This year I happened to be at Sears with Altu one day, and found a wonderful red sweater that looked just right for Brian. I also got him a turtleneck, but it turns out it’s just a bit too big so he will go back and try to trade it for something else that fits better, once the crowds have left the scene a bit. The red sweater was enough.

Brian wrapped me three presents. One was a box of excellent green tea from the asian market. He knows I like green tea and haven’t been drinking much of it lately. I’m enjoying this stuff a lot, already.

The second box was 64 Crayola crayons! Oh, my! It was so fun just to sift through, remember my favorite crayons from when I had a box of these before, and notice the new colors I’d not seen before. I like many of the new colors quite a lot. We spent some time later in the day perusing Crayola.com and reading the history of the colors they put in the box.

The third box will take me some time to work through and savor. It was a boxed set of Memphis Minnie CD’s. Oh! Yes! This woman was a wild one, and an amazing musician. One of her solos, she played the same note over and over for several measures, and it was just hot, hot, hot… one single note played just right, in just the rhythm to make you exclaim out loud! This is a keeper. I’ll enjoy working through the set while dyeing yarn this week.

As we usually do, we ate Altu’s for Christmas dinner. We always go and get food from Altu’s restaurant right before it closes, before a holiday, and then we feast. It was great.

Monday we went to a music party in Ann Arbor. The music was good, the company excellent, the food so plentiful it was almost overwhelming. Definitely worth the 2 hours in the car to go.

In knitting news: I finished my scribble lace on Christmas/Sunday. I realized that binding off would not match the cast on I’d used, so I decided to cast on the last stitches on the same needle I’d used, and graft with the thin yarn to the opposite end to make a symmetrical piece. I generally like grafting, so that was OK, but working from super-fat to super-thin yarn was more than a hassle. It turned out well, though.

It’s nearly impossible to photograph this stuff. And I’m disappointed… the 55 stitches I cast on made nearly a square item. In fact, the direction that was thinnest on the needles is widest off the needles. I may just give in and make this panel into the back-door window covering I’d thought the next scribble lace project would be. The colors look great in the kitchen, so that’s OK if I do it.

I’ll wear it around town for a while first, of course. I’m the queen of “show and tell” around here, so I’ll traipse it around to all my yarn shops where I teach, and to Foster Center, and a few other places. Then I’ll consider making it into a curtain.

And in the car to and from Ann Arbor (and a short while on the couch on Monday night), I gave in to my inspiration. I cast on and knit the beginnings of a Bloom shawl by my friend Trish Bloom.

It’s a fast knit and fun! I was worried I’d lose track of my number of stitches because you have to do short rows and wrap and turn… no trouble at all. Piece of cake. I’ve done four of the pie-shaped sections. There are 18 in all. I think this will be a fun and fast knit. And colorful! And Pretty! And warm. I’m glad I went ahead and bought the yarn when I had a little extra cash that one weekend. I’m gonna love this one!

Photos: 1) Presents from Brian. 2) Jam session at friend’s Christmas/Music party. Brian is seated in middle, in front of upright bass player, in his new red sweater. 3) Scribble lace before grafting last row. 4) Scribble lace in artful pile. 5) Beginnings of my Bloom Shawl.

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