Noro Silk Garden Solo is available at Webs and Jimmy Beans Wool, and at your local purveyor of Noro.

Wowee!

Dear Kay,
While you’re out there in your Conestoga wagon wandering the wilds of the Plains states, getting all Laura Ingalls Wilder on us, I’ve been sitting here in the comfort of my home, patting the surprise visitors who have stopped by in the past few days. Actually, I ate one of them. But more on that later.
Surprise Numero Uno
First to show up, unannounced and unexpected, was a pressie from Emma. This snurgly skein of Colinette–my first ever–will be a friendly pet indeed until I turn it into the garter stitch triangle scarf that Her Emmaness suggests. This pale aqua color is a favorite of mine: cool and icy and warm all at once. Emma, thank you for giving me a new and tasty yarn experience.
Surprise Numero Two
pudding.jpg
When was the last time you received a Christmas pudding in the mail, straight from London? For me, came on Christmas Eve, in a mysterious box that weighed a ton. It was such a surprise that I burst into tears. A little too much time at the mall that day, clearly.
It was from Polly, whose generosity began with Christmas pudding. (We called it “figgy pudding” all night long and would appreciate some insight from a Briton who could talk us through the figgy pudding/plum pudding/Christmas pudding conundrum). We steamed that sucker for two and a half hours, just as we were told, and the tender dome was universally acclaimed as “Really tasty!” “Not disgusting at all!” and “So British!” It made our Christmas eve dinner very special.
But here’s what really knocked me out: Polly sent this:

which contained these:
pollysocks.jpg
And just to make things totally crazy, she threw in this:

The socks and bag we have all watched come into being at All Tangled Up, Polly’s weblog. I marveled at how easily Polly does things like work beads into her knitting. And while I admired these socks as she cranked them out, I know only now that they really are about ten stitches to the inch, with a fantastically intricate lace pattern. I wish I could photograph them properly. And somehow she knew that I am a size ten shoe. It’s all too Rumpelstiltskin to me. Polly is a spectacular knitter. I still can’t get over these beautiful things.
Surprise Numero Three
Then, to top it all off, Clif wanders in with a package today, “Mahommm, you’ve got YARRRRRharrn.” Aara sent two of the eight shades I need to complete my Alice Starmore Fair Isle sweater. Ocean and Seabright. Beautiful. I don’t know if Aara realizes this, but thanks to her, I am a full year ahead of schedule on collecting all these discontinued shades of Scottish Campion.
aaracampion.jpg
Seeing these shades with the Old Gold I scarfed in an auction last month gives me a glimpse of Ms. Starmore’s fantastic color sense.
Whoever says Christmas is for kids is nuts. Thank you all for making mine such fun.
Love,
Ann

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Dear Ann,
    It’s all too Fezziwiggy for words, isn’t it? You must have been very, very good this year. Be careful with the Colinette Isis. It punishes any ripping back with millions of shredded tufts. Besides, there’s never any reason to rip out–Colinette covers its tracks very well. And while I bow and scrape before Polly, you don’t have to be a Bronx High of Sci whiz to figure out that your shoe size is in the long and narrow range. It’s part of that Olive Oyl thing. (“I wear a size 6, but a 10 feels SO GOOD.”)
    If only I had brought along the software for the KayCam, I could show you the sight that brought tears to my eyes upon arrival here in Kansas: My brother’s Garage Fridge (in my family, the Garage Fridge is a cherished institution, a lifestyle statement, and a necessity), with a variety of refreshing bevvies lined up in military fashion, labels front and center. The Box Wine and the Veuve Cliquot, the Mike’s Hard Lemonade and the microbrews, chilling together in peace and harmony. I will admit I saluted and then, trying to be a model houseguest, I moved all the Amstels up to replace the one I took.
    Glad to hear the pudding was a success. Polly told me I could microwave the thing, but that seemed so….disrespectful. Saving mine for New Year’s Eve. Query: Does it really have suet in it and if so, does that bother you at all?
    Even for a Born Nebraskan, big-sky lovin’ gal like me, Kansas is awfully flat. Scarily flat. The smart-ass niece was snarking away about how they are selling sleds over at Walmart. I don’t approve of her attitude but I do wonder how one gets a sled going here.
    That’s the Kansas report. Love, Kay

  2. Dear Ann,
    So glad you got your little pressie.And that you like it – I saw it and thought you’d like the colour.
    Seems that someone else went off on her travels before the postman delivered !
    Glad you had such a fab,’knitty’ Chritmas.Cuddle all your yarn. ;-]
    Your new socks are really lovely,and such a sweet bag to carry them in.
    x

  3. Am I the only one who’s thinking that on Antiques Road Show circa 2030, there will be a specialist in “Turn of the Century Polly Sock Bags”?? Highly collectible. Save all your provenance documentation.
    And Emma, you can bet I am seriously stressing over whether there is a lonely package from the UK sitting by the elevator of my building, whether the super rescued it for me, etc. Hubbo returns to NYC tomorrow and it’s Job One for him to track it down. xox Kay

  4. Dear Kay,
    Extreme beverage selection = most excellent. Your brother clearly understands what the holidays are about.
    Thank you for the heads-up on Colinette Isis potential shredding issues. It does have that ultraforgiving fuzziness about it, which I’ll exploit. It’ll be that project for days when “Whatever” is how I deal with bad knitting.
    Re the pudding, the box says you can definitely microwave it in about ten minutes. But we viewed our Christmas pudding as a sort of Yule log: we would sneak over to the stove, peek under the lid, and wonder if it was looking the way it was supposed to. The longer it took, the better. Could have left it on all day for the entertainment value it provided.

  5. You should serve the Christmas pudding with brandy butter and a sprig of holly. Honest, that’s how the mother-in-law always does it. She also pours brandy (or calvados ) over it, and sets it aflame. Christmas traditions….
    Ann – I wonder if that makes you the 2nd to last or 3rd to last recipient for the 2003 exchange. A relief that the socks fit and the pudding went down O.K. Sorry to bring you to tears, I sometimes, have that effect of people :-), although it’s usually small children.

  6. We sprinkle icing sugar on and around our Christmas Pudding to make it look like snow – or a blizzard, if the grandchildren have a hand in it….. Definitely brandy butter, though, and holly.

  7. I’ve got to confuse matters here, in my (& my family’s opinion – prob. going back several generations on my mother’s side) Christmas Pudding with or without holly & flaming brandy is always served with clotted cream. No brandy butter or custard, just lots of oozy, thick, unctious, calorific, clotted cream.
    yum. (mince pies aren’t right without it either)
    re: the microwave thing… it’s just not the same if the kitchen’s not full of steam for most of the day!
    Jo
    xxx
    P.S. Just come back from the bump’s 20 week scan – and can now announce that I’ll be knitting with blue yarn :)

  8. Dear Polly, Jill, and Jo–Thanks very much for your advice. If I’d known we could douse our pudding with calvados, powdered sugar, and clotted cream, surround it with sharp foliage, then set the thing on fire, well, THAT’S a Christmas.
    We did consider giving our Christmas pudding a Southern touch and throwing it in the deep fryer along with the turkey and the pork rinds.
    And Jo! A boy! A real true boy! Very excited for you.

  9. Jo!! Bump is blue!!! Hurray! It’s a glorious honor to be A Boy’s Mom. They expect a lot. In return, they think you’re the best. xox Kay

  10. This has nothing to do with the current thread of discussion, but I didn’t know where else to put it – figured you might add it into your snippets. It’s just too good to pass up….it’s…a knitted (get this) Elvis wig pattern! Whoohoo! I envision it in Berroco Plush. Excellent alternative for chemo cap wearers, IMO! Web addy: http://www.theshed.co.uk/elviswig.html
    Enjoy!

  11. Fabo link Pam !
    Malton and ‘The Shed’ are ,sort of,just down the road from me.
    Greatly saddened to see that I missed the great Hank Wandford,who played The Shed on the 12th&13th.
    Hank = superb raw country singer & gynaecologist !

  12. Oooooh, Pam, hilARIOUS! The ultimate use for fur yarn. Ingenuity knows no bounds . . . thankyouverymuch.
    And Emma–Hank Wangford sounds right up my roots-country alley. Thanks for the introduction!

  13. With a name like Hank (t)Wangford, he could hardly NOT be a country singer, and a darn good one!
    Curly/purly Lis just found the perfect Elvis Wig Yarn at P & S Fabrics in one of her weekly rummages; something furry by Patons in a lovely deep aubergine. What she got for me, though, is a far, far better thing: Muench ‘Touch Me’. I am taking the risk of 28% wool, gladly. xox Kay
    P.S. Ann: are there any country singing/wacky knitting organizations in Our Land? Should we get on that right away?

  14. Kay–Well, there USED to be Pickin’ ‘n’ Purlin’, the nonprofit dedicated to preserving bluegrass and Appalachian knitting traditions, but they got into arguments among themselves about all the apostrophes and disbanded.
    Re wacky new yarns, wait until you see the boucle/fur funfest my sister Buffy gave me. It may be the only yarn that would be considered too much for an Elvis wig. It pretty much defines FABBY.

  15. Happy New Year darlings.
    xx

  16. Note on the Muench Touch Me – it’s one of the few chenilles I know that has a wool core (that’s yer 28%), so…. instead of having to knit it on really small needles to keep it from worming, you can knit on a US #7-8, and then (seriously!) you can put it in a warm wash AND then the DRYER! It does shrink a bit, but it felts the wool core, and voila, soft as heaven and no worming! Another big WHOOHOO!

  17. Hi girls, just wanted to wish you a happy new year!

  18. Wishing the two of you (+ families, of course) a very Happy New Year
    Jo
    xxx