It has been a very good week. In spite of my desire to slow down, and in spite of the fact that I developed some weird kind of head cold thing (first time I've been sick in a long time, which seemed a hint of sorts with regard to the whole slowing down thing), I didn't quite manage it until Saturday. Before that, I spent a lot of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday cooking, which was fun (and delicious), but not so much restful. In that time I made: pickled red cabbage, pickled cucumber salad, pork pie, rod grod, two loaves of cardamom braided bread, a duck, sausage, and celery root stew, three baguettes, and the most stunningly delicious chocolate cake EVER (I didn't make the marshmallows). (I have finally found the buttercream frosting of my dreams, and I am content.)
I also received a ton of knitting Christmas presents. I'll show them off a few at a time over the next little while; there was a lot of yarn, plus a few nifty gadgets and bags. For example, Rick and the girls got me this:
It's a Lantern Moon knitting box, and I love it. When they came in at Yarning For You I got a call to let me know (they remembered I'd been lusting over them but missed grabbing one from the first shipment; they are so good to me), so I took a picture of one and texted it to Rick, who very wisely went over that afternoon to pick it up. Good man. I particularly love the inside, which is a beautiful cheerful orange; I'll have to take a picture of that.
My really big present from Rick came as a complete surprise. I'd sent him my Loopy Ewe wish list, on which there were, apparently, a few things that I'd added without ever really thinking I'd get them (am I the only person who does that? It's a sort of vicarious pleasure -- I either dog-ear lots of pages in a catalogue and then throw the catalogue away, or put things on a wish list even though I know I'll never get them). But he completely surprised me, and ordered these stunning beauties:
Those are size two silver Celtic Swan dpns (there's a fifth in the set, as well). I love them. I have a set of size ones in bronze, one of the first really nice knitting tools I ever got (also from Rick), but these are truly a work of art. Of course, I couldn't not use these things, so I immediately put yarn into the box, grabbed the dpns, and cast on for the the Churchmouse Turkish socks (the third of the Churchmouse patterns I got at Yarning For You a few weeks ago), and knit a pair for Older Daughter, who loves short socks like this.
Aren't they cute? They're knit out of Sockotta yarn, which is a bit rough when knitting, but which seems to fit and wear well (it's a cotton/wool/nylon blend); it's nice to find a cotton blend yarn that's fun to knit with, living here in San Diego. I also love the colors.
I think she'll wear these a lot, and they were fun to knit (and the needles were a dream; what I love most about them is the folded part in the middle, which holds stitches on the needles like nobody's business, but the smooth tips make for quick knitting). And I'm pretty sure that I have enough of the Sockotta left to knit a pair for either myself or for Younger Daughter.
That probably won't happen for a little while, though, as I'm completely engrossed in Sprossling right now. I don't have any pictures, but I have finished the back and the left front, and am well along with the right front. I am really hoping to finish it up by the end of the week, but we'll see. I do have some plans to take the girls to do some shopping with their little bit of Christmas money, and to SeaWorld and the zoo during the week, none of which are particularly knitting-friendly, but that's OK.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a leisurely morning at home, wearing my other most-favorite Christmas present (from my sister-in-law and her family). Check these out:
Are those not the absolute best slippers in the world? They even have little tassels that hang down on the sides! (I am unreasonably pleased by those tassels.) They have soles, too, so they don't slip and they can go outside. I have been living in them ever since I got them; the moment I get into the house, the shoes come off and the slippers go on. And they're knitted! How cool is that? And I didn't even have to knit them myself.