Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Holiday Greetings!

Dear Kay,
As the holidays are upon us, here’s a very random list of things that are making me smile.
1. Joseph’s bar mitzvah. Kay, seeing your 13 year old standing up in front of a huge crowd, doing that ancient thing, was tremendous. And to see you being such a menschy mom was likewise totally overwhelming. (Your hair was having a particularly good day, too.) (Also those shoes were great.) (Lunch was delicious.)
2. Snowflake Brenda sold out of snowflakes.
3. Finding the right yarn for the right project. I swatched for Kate Davies‘s Boreal using handspun alpaca from an alpaca named Henrietta. It is beautiful stuff, but even as I swatched, I was troubled by the lack of match with the other yarn I’m using, Tess’ Designer Yarns Grand Manan. Henrietta is slightly thinner stuff; she would not have Fair Isled happily with the chunkier gray. I don’t want to go all mixed media on this sweater. I want it to look Not Warbly And Weird.
A couple of skeins of undyed Grand Manan magically appeared in my mailbox.
borealcreamyarn.jpg
It’s so pristine and smooth, unlike the gray that was fighting a Rhinebeck of attention back when I rescued it. I expect the cream yarn will puff up once it’s washed and blocked. I mean: it’s the same dang yarn, right?
borealbegins.jpg
I’m working the Fair Isle inside out, so that the floats have to travel a teeny bit further between stitches, thus making pinched Fair Isle less likely. Nobody wants pinched Fair Isle.
4. Our first natural gas bill since The Great Geothermal Experiment began. Waiting for these results is the middle-aged woman’s equivalent of waiting for SAT scores.
geothermalgasbill.jpg
68% lower than last December. WE’RE GOING TO YALE! That’s 170 therms less than last December. A therm is 100,000 BTUs. Units of energy. (I just learned what a therm is. Probably should have learned this a long time ago.) Not to be confused with thrums, which happen on mittens mostly.
Now, our electric bill hasn’t shown up yet, and it will be higher because the heat pump runs on electricity. So things won’t be quite as dramatic as that awesome chart up there. But at least we’re using fewer therms, somewhere, somehow.
By the way, I am encouraged that our heat still feels exactly like heat. It’s not like going vegetarian and discovering that baked tofu doesn’t really taste like baked ham. (Note: I LOVE TOFU. NOT BASHING TOFU!)
5. More daylight every day from now until June.
6. That feeling of beginning to slow down. I hope you have a day or two of doing exactly nothing, or whatever it is you’d like to do.
7. Gratitude to everybody who comes by our blog. I wish we had a giant room somewhere where we could all hang out whenever we felt like it. Oh wait–that’s what the Internet IS.
Love, cheers, and I’ll be back after the new year,
Ann

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Gratitude back atcha. It’s always lovely following along with the hijinx in this little room on the internet.

  2. Merry Christmas back at you. And many thanks for giving us The Blog to hang out in! Knit on!!

  3. Beautiful yarn.
    Beautiful gas bill.
    Happiest of midwinter festivals to you and yours!

  4. Face to face with you all would be lovely!

  5. A fine and smile-making list :)
    (See?)

  6. Merry, merry thermal Christmas to you! Awesome on the gas bill. I’m curious how the electric bill will balance. You’ll have to compare BTUs to KWHs, or $ to $ may make more sense.
    My thrums are in slippers (Thrumbelina), no fiddly thumbs for my thrum(b)s.
    Your Boreal yarn is perfect. Magic yarn!

  7. If you are thrilled with the savings in December, wait until July – that is when we saw huge savings in electricity!

  8. Yay for 68% fewer therms (and a new vocab word for me).
    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Everything to both of you!

  9. Happy Holidays to both Ann and Kay!

  10. Thanks Ann and Mazel Tov Kay! Happy Holidays to all and happy knitting.

  11. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!!
    Thanks so much for the wonderful blog. It would be great to hang out for real, but this is a wonderful substitute :o)

  12. I have not been by your blog in many months, but I picked the right day. Gratitude is so important, every day. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Gratitude right back atcha. thanks for a fun blog and Happy New Year.

  14. A good day to stop by and say thank you to Kay and Anne for all the knitting and living inspiration. Thanks also to all their friends who stop by. If Kay says she can do seven Thorpes before Christmas, I know I can get at least one done. (PS Very fun project with a nine year old granddaughter who likes to braid.) Hope to see the resulting photo! Happy Holidays, everyone!

  15. Oh how my Christmas wish is to have yarn magically show up at my door and that the gas bill decreases ;) Oh how my Christmas wish is to have yarn magically show up at my door and that the gas bill decreases ;) <3

  16. That’s a great list! Merry Christmas!!

  17. Thanks to both of you, and yours, and all the readers who feel like the virtual crowd around the table at my LYS. That gas bill ranks right up there with the middle-aged thrill of the Breathe-Right nose strip.

  18. Happy Hannukah and merry Christmas to my very favorite bloggettes!

  19. Happy Holidays to you all! I love how when your therms go down, you think of going to Yale. So glad that menschy Kay had great hair and shoes (and son)! And I”m sure the coming weeks and days will bring more wonderful stuff, in this big hanging-out place you have! Cheers to all!

  20. Thanks for the wooly fun and merry, merry to you both. And Kay, I’m working on Scmatta number eight! :) Best holiday gift ever.

  21. Thank you for the giant room conversations! Merry Christmas one and all :)

  22. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah from the Great White North

  23. Happy Holidays to Kay & Ann – love reading your blog – always something amusing/enlightening/creative/inspiring!

  24. Thanks for letting us all hang out in your fun corner of the interwebz! Mazel Tov and also Happy Christmas knitting – wishing you both a year of friendly fair isling!
    Also, we had the exact same response to our electric bill when we put the solar panels on the roof. (this is not a competition though!) Yee Haw y’all!

  25. I read all the GT installation posts with bated breath, as I would love to do this myself. Hurray for fewer therms! That is super cool (well, warm, in this case). My yard is such a mess I would welcome an installation. An opportunity to redo it all!
    One day…. Anyway, happy holidays and happy knitting!

  26. Well said, esp on point 1, 2, and 7! I am unfamiliar with this slow down thing , and same with the saving money on your heat bills thing– but I’m all for them.
    Happy new year and more light for all!
    xo
    gz

  27. Oh, my – this Grand Manan is luscious! Look at that stitch definition. Mmmmm.
    Very grateful to you, and Kay, and that this lovely enormous room exists for us all. Thank you for that, dear Ann.

  28. Thanks for your blog, ladies. It’s always a treat to visit and nice to feel you welcome people who as MS. Davies says, ‘come quietly’. Grand Manan, by the way, is a truly beautiful place, so good yarn karma happening there.

  29. Ann, I think you should have skipped the I LOVE TOFU comment. Your combox would have overflowed with passionate comments from tofu-lovers…Just saying. Okay, returning to my knitting needles.

  30. We saw a similar drop in cost when we added insulation to our house shortly after we moved in. The previous owners had a balanced bill pay of about $300 a month, and I was flabbergasted that there was insulation in only 2 rooms in the house.

  31. Bonne année, Ann & Kay! Mwah all around!

  32. mehitabel has been howling all night
    she is unhappy mayor bloomberg replaced
    her with lady gaga she needs a warm place
    could she use kays place she does like
    to dance. archy would like ann to know
    that he and his friends find her basement
    real cozy and can help type her novels
    have a merry new year everyone

  33. I bought a new refrigerator, same size as the 25 year old one it replaced and highly rated for electricity use. My bill was $20 lower the first month (summer in Phoenix). The next month they raised the electric rates! Can’t win.