Tag Archives: holiday

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Whether you’re all dressed up for a big fancy party, or sleeping late and having a cozy day in, I wish you the Best Christmas Ever!  If you have to work, may your shift be low-stress and get over with quickly.  If you don’t celebrate Christmas, may you have a fantastic Monday!

We’re keeping it pretty low-key this year.  We’re not traveling, and no one’s visiting.  My husband is making a fantastic stollen (that smells amazing- it’s baking right now!).  Instead of going crazy and making a big Christmas Dinner for just the two of us (three, if you count the dog), we’re going to put together a big ol’ cheese plate, play board games and watch a bunch of Christmas movies.  It’s going to be a great day!Well, I gotta go- I think I need to go make some coffee (with egg nog, of course).

Have a fantastic day!

Inspiration: Christmas Cookies

I mentioned on Wednesday that I’m getting ready to begin my yearly Epic Baking Adventure.  I’ve been doing my Epic Baking Adventure just about every year since college, with more or less Epicness depending on the year.  I usually make a half dozen (or more) types of cookies, give them out to friends, take them when I visit someone’s house, and (honestly) eat more of them than I should.

Every year, the menu varies slightly (usually by adding on an extra variety or two).  This year, I’m making sugar cookies (of course), chocolate crinkles, spritz, pfeffernusse (a must-do holiday tradition in my husband’s family), mocha meringues (if it doesn’t rain too much), and soft caramels.  And, maybe I’ll add on a cookie or two if I get done with those too quickly.  (We’re having a small Christmas this year, just the two of us, so I’m trying not to go too over the top.)

Let’s celebrate Christmas Cookies with some cookie-themed patterns:

This little guy is too cute!  I love the big red gumdrop buttons and the “piped” icing details.  I’m not actually a big fan of gingerbread cookies.  If I’m going to make gingerbread, I usually make a big old gingerbread cake and serve it with generous dollops of whipped cream.  Yum!

Christmas Gingerbread Boy by Teresa AlvarezI love that this designer made patterns for 5 different cookies.  I think the variety is really what makes Christmas cookies special.  When else do you get to make (and eat) dozens and dozens of different cookies without guilt?

Christmas Deco Cookies (Set of 5) by Eva PolaripopAnd how could you forget Santa?! The most fiendish of cookie fiends!  When we were kids, my brother and I would always leave out cookies and milk for Santa (even though we didn’t super believe in him, it was better to be sure… just in case).  I love these cookies- you could totally use them as super-cute coasters this winter.

Santa’s Cookies by Jessica SpencerI can’t wait to get baking this year!

What cookies are tradition in your house?

 

The Eleventh Hour

We’re in the home stretch, folks.  Only two days left until Christmas.  What’s that?  You’re not done with your Christmas knitting yet?

Why stress about it?  Why not print out this letter, fill it in, pour yourself a glass of mulled wine, and kick back with a favorite Christmas movie?ChristmasLetter

That’s my Christmas gift to you- the gift of relaxation!

Knitting Sweaters for Others

A handmade sweater is a labor of love.  A labor of love that deserves to be worn until it practically falls apart at the seams.  And then it deserves to be darned and worn for a little longer.  And then for another fortnight.

After writing this week about all the knitting in Harry Potter, I’ve become slightly fixated on the Weasley Sweater.

thCA0MCQT1Molly Weasley, the mother of Ron, Ginny, Fred, George (and about a half-dozen other characters), sends her children a “Weasley Sweater” each year for Christmas.  Her handmade sweaters are the butt of an annual joke to her kids, and, admittedly, the image of the extra-large Weasley family all going to Christmas dinner, sporting matching sweaters emblazoned with their initials is pretty funny.  But, I always get little pangs of sympathy for Mrs. Weasley, who must have spent hundreds of hours knitting away by the fireside, listening to the Wizarding Wireless Network, making sure that her children stayed nice and warm in drafty old Hogwarts Castle.

Weasley[1]So, how do you avoid becoming a Molly, with all your hard work going unappreciated?

First, ask if your recipient even wants a sweater.  (Unless you’re 100% sure they will appreciate it, and really want to make it a surprise, always ask.)  Mrs. Weasley has been knitting these sweaters since her kids were tiny, and now they’re expected (and kind of dreaded, like tax season).

Second, try to figure out what kind of sweater your recipient wants.  Ron always gets a maroon sweater, not because he likes the color, but because his mother likes how he looks in maroon.  If you knit a sweater for someone in a color they hate, it’ll never get worn.  Which would be lame.

Third, think about where your recipient lives.  I’m making a big, fluffy sweater for my grandmother, who lives in Wisconsin, where extra layers are always helpful.  I once made a cabled wool pullover for my husband (which actually turned out really great), but he can almost never wear it, because Seattle never gets cold enough to warrant that much wool.

And fourth, think about if your recipient will actually appreciate all the time and effort that you put into the sweater.  I limit my knit gift-giving to my family and my knitting friends, otherwise they just don’t “get” it.

tumblr_lpsdihVFdI1ql72zio1_500[1]So go for it!  Make someone you love a Weasley Sweater (or a Jones Sweater, or a Robertson Sweater… whatever your last name is.)  Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

Giving Thanks (Better Late than Never)

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend, I know I did.  I got to go visit my brother and parents down in San Francisco.  It’s a pretty cool town, and we got to eat a lot of really great food and walked way way way more than I usually do.HappyThanksgiving[1]

Now, because of my busy weekend, I failed to come up with a plan for today’s post.  I’ve always thought that those “What I’m Thankful For” lists that you see on Facebook are kind of dumb, and just used as filler for when you don’t know what else to do.

But I don’t have any good ideas right now, so I suppose it’s as good an idea as any.  Here’s what I’m thankful for (in no particular order):

– My awesome family (and especially my husband).  They totally enable me in whatever crazy project I decide to try.  Want to get a spinning wheel? Awesome.  Want to drop a couple hundred bucks on wool and dye, just to “try out this idea I had?” Go for it.  Want to take over the living room with dozens of yards of fabric so that I can manufacture project bags for everybody I’ve ever met?  Super.  They’re amazing.

-My day job.  I’ve always been super academically inclined and really into planning and making lists (which is why I ended up going to school until I was 25, and graduating with a Masters in Neuroscience… yeah… that happened.)  But, when I left school, I realized that science, while enjoyable, wasn’t what really made me happy.  My new job is my first real artsy-fartsy job, where I work in a ceramics studio making custom tiles.  I get to play with clay and glaze and fire stuff in the kilns.  It’s pretty much the best thing ever, and I totally lucked out in getting it.

-My night job (which sounds shadier than I meant it to), roller derby.  I spend about 20 hours a week rollerskating and doing other roller derby-related things, so I consider it a pseudo second job.  I don’t get paid (unfortunately), but I enjoy it enough to not worry about that much.  And, on top of skating being fun, all my teammates are awesome people, and a great network of friends.

-My other night job (also not shady), my blog!  I’ve been working on the blog for almost a year now, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turning out.  I get so excited when I see your comments, and looking at everyone’s finished projects posted on Ravelry makes me smile like a crazy lady.  I am constantly thankful for every comment, like, and follower.

But enough sappiness!  I’ve got some good stuff planned for December, and I can’t wait until I get it out of my head and onto my computer screen.  Happy knitting and happy (late) Thanksgiving!