Wednesday, December 28, 2005

in with the new

Hope you all enjoyed wonderful holiday celebrations with your loved ones! While the four of us enjoyed a relatively quiet and mellow Christmas, we'll actually be flying to the Big Island on Friday for 11 days to celebrate New Year's with my family. The extent of my cheapness knows no bounds, as I'll be rousing two sleeping children at 3:30 am, my friends, in order to take advantage of the first flight of the day reduced airfare. I may need to have some Holy water on hand to deal with The Exorcist proceedings that are sure to follow after waking two deeply slumbering kids. Yes, I am cheap beyond reproach and sanity. This is actually going to be a family reunion of sorts, as my younger brother lives in Washington and hasn't been home in over 3 years. This is the Kinda-Sorta Irish Hiking Scarf I've been working on for him (Kinda-sorta because I twisted the cables the wrong way and was too lazy to frog, as you can see)- I'm about 3 feet along now and insane enough to think I may be able to finish before leaving on Friday morning (Seriously, is 3:30 considered the "morning" or just a really late night??) My sister, Fredo and her husband will both be flying home for the holiday, too, for the first time in 5 years. And since The Mercenary will be graduating from college in May and may be moving to the mainland, this may be the last chance we'll have to all be together for a while.

That sounded all warm and fuzzy, right? C'mon now, this is my demented family we're talking about!! (And I truly mean that in the most loving way possible.) Now here's the real low-down. There'll be ten (count 'em!) of us living together in cramped quarters- 3 bedrooms, 1 functioning bath and NO internet access. This is the stuff MTV's Real World is made of!! Fredo, The Mercenary, Bozobana (longtime nickname for my little brother), Chicken Feet Dad, Coleslaw Mom and me....throw in a little Bossy and lots of Stinky, and you know you've got the makings of some seriously crazy blog fodder. Of course, crazy is all a relative state of mind. Literally- a RELATIVE state of mind! And did I remember to mention the outhouse?? Oh yeah, baby, the outhouse. Hilo is a town untouched by time, progress and ....well, plumbing, apparently! Stay tuned- you won't want to miss the upcoming Lord of the Flies post!

But first, I wanted to share with you some of the unbelievable Christmas gifts I received. I think Mr. Wonderful was a little bummed that I seemed so much more excited about all the fabulous knitting gifts I received than I was about the gifts he'd given me (which I honestly loved, too, but I just couldn't repress the squeals of joy when I opened all the knitting gifts!). I'd been admiring the many beautiful needle cases that Acornbud had been making on her blog, and lo and behold, this amazing and talented lady surprised and gifted me with a custom-made case in my most favorite color! I love it, Barbara!! The inner lining has adorable green froggies on it, and she sewed vinyl zippered pockets (and while I'm not an accomplished seamstress, I remember enough from sewing school to know that must've sucked eggs for her!! That's real aloha!) to make it more durable and allow access to see inside the pockets. Having seen everything up close and personal, let me tell you that her stitching is just impeccable!! And look at all the fabulous and generous goodies she enclosed! A Chibi, a needle size check, beautiful Angel stitch markers, a fishy pin cushion and my favorite....my very own Ghetto Knitter card! How awesome is that?? I'm now an official card carrying Ghetto Knitter- I love it! She also gifted me with the Knitting Pattern a Day 2006 Calendar, which I could not be more thrilled with. Thank you so very much for all the wonderful goodies, Barbara!! I'm so moved by your thoughtfulness and generosity and I absolutely cherish my beautiful needle case- you made me feel so special!

And look at what arrived unexpectedly from Keohinani! (Seriously, how generous and awesome is this girl?? You may recall that Jill just RAK'ed me not even 3 weeks ago!) Is that not the most beautiful sock yarn you have ever laid eyes on?? That Vesper Yarn is sheer and utter perfection; I just can't stop fondling it! All of the most gorgeous shades of my favorite color in one beautiful hank of self-striping goodness. You are too generous, Jill! And look at that awesome Jess Hutchison book- I love it! I've been secretly coveting that book for some time now and spent most of Christmas night reading it cover to cover- it's as if Jill read my mind. I can't wait to start knitting some sweet toys! She also made the most adorable angel stitch markers and a fabulous flower pin, too, that crafty girl. Thank you soo much, Jill, for the incredible gift of joy in a box! Your amazing generosity and kindness just Blows. Me. Away!

As if all this wasn't enough to spoil a girl rotten, look what arrived from my Secret Santa!! You are too kind and generous, Secret Santa! Knitting Vintage Socks, which I have been coveting for ages- it's almost surreal to see it sitting on my desktop, and I could not be more ecstatic about it! I'm probably the last knitter on the planet not to have read Yarn Harlot's infamous Meditations, (though I've tried to read it covertly in snippets and portions everytime I visit Borders-that's why I'm Ghetto, people!); I'm so thrilled to finally have my own copy! I adore my very cool Kirigami calendar (as does Bossy, though the thought of my four year old wielding scissors frightens the hell out of me) and cannot wait to indulge in that chocolate bar and bag of gourmet Guatemala Roast from Ristretto Roasters. And saving the best for last...Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Safari- such a rich and beautiful colorway! Thank you so very much, Secret Santa for your amazingly generous and thoughtful gift- you made me so very happy!

And last, but certainly not least, look what my lovely girl Lolly sent me!! Holy yarn gorgeousness! Man, I sure hope Olga isn't patrolling this post; I'm going to get my Ghetto status revoked for sure! Lamb's Pride is like gold in Honlulu because the only LYS that sells it is on the Big Island. And that Trekking sock yarn and Noro Silk Garden are more beautiful than I can begin to describe. As if all that gorgeous yarn wasn't outrageously generous enough, look at all the other goodies this wonderful lady enclosed! White fudge covered pretzels (Hello!!) and chocolate covered mint cookies (!!!) that I promptly hid from both Mr. W and myself (trust no one!), a Washington D.C. mug, monogrammed stationery, a photo magnet, crafts and pencils for Bossy and Stinky, and my very favorite- the very beautiful Last Minute Knitted Gifts! There's such a plethora of gorgeous projects to knit from this book and I couldn't be more thrilled to have been gifted with it. Lolly, I am so moved by your amazing generosity and wonderful kindnes- you're such an incredible person! You made our Christmas more special and joyful than you can even imagine- from the bottom of my heart, thank you soo very much for everything!!

I've said it before and I will say it again- Knit bloggers are the most incredible and generous people there are!! I'm so grateful to count all of you among my friends- thank you for all the joy and happiness you bring to my life everyday! And as our family gets ready to ring in the new year, I leave you with 2005 Christmas Eve and birthday images of the three blessings in my life I am most grateful for. I'll be without internet access (I'm hoping the withdrawal shakes won't kill me!) from Friday till possibly the 9th or 10th of January, but I'm looking forward to catching up with all of your wonderful blogs as soon as I get back (Bloglines, be merciful! No quadruple digit feeds to read, please! ). Bits of Knits will be on temporary hiatus, but I hope to return with some FO's and of course, as promised, tales of the outhouse. Wishing all of you the best in 2006- Happy New Year, everyone!!

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

New Year's greetings from somewhere.

Cat said...

Nice gift´s from Santa (and those fab knitting girls!)!! I did get some nice things too. A swedish knitting book with patterns of hats, scarfs and mittens. A couple of sets of needles. I will post some of it on my blog tonight. And it did start to snow on Christmas day - and it hasn´t stop since.. Every one loved my knitted pressie´s. Especially Mr T, who got that Men´s Rustic scarf.. He actually didn´t take it of for his afternoon nap on Christmas Day.

Have a great New Year on the Big Island and take care! See you in 2006!

Jenn said...

Ooh you got spoiled girl! Glad you had such a fab holiday - good luck surviving the outhouse! Can't wait to hear all about it!

amylovie said...

Boy, I thought I grew up in the sticks. An outhouse is REALLLY the sticks. That will be some blog post.

What wonderful gifts you received from your friends. Well deserved too.

Happy New Year,

Amy

Karen said...

I hope you have a wonderful trip (once you get past the 3 am part)and I'm so excited you will get to visit with your brother. He will love that beautiful scarf!! Enjoy the reunion - although the outhouse stuff does sound scary. (I'm a girl who can't see why people would go camping when God has given us hotels.) Your knit gifts are fabulous - that needle case is beautiful and I love your Ghetto Card. The Vesper is so pretty (Jill has fabulous taste) and I've heard raves about the book. Oh, I had forgotten Pea got me At Knit's End too (actually, he got me both Harlot books) - we can have a Read-A-Long (see, you're not the last to read it)!! Looks like everyone got the Pattern-A-Day calendar this year . . . can't wait to dive into that one! Also looking forward to seeing all the great Vintage Socks you'll be knitting with all your great new sock yarns! And oh, you've got to love coffee gifts - I made out with FOUR pounds this year! And look at all the great stuff from Lolly - you sure are loved, girl. And you sure do deserve it. Merry Christmas!! And have a wonderful New Year. Hugs and kisses to your whole family.

Danielle said...

Wow! The holidays sure were good to you. It looks like you'll have lots of handknit socks in your wardrobe before long. I love the green sock yarn -- it matches your blog :) The needle case is pretty amazing too. I have a terribly old Singer sewing machine, but seeing things like that make me want to haul it out and start sewing some more.

Have a wonderful trip!

(ps -- I MIGHT be in Honolulu in July 2007 ... should I start stashing the Lamb's Pride for you now???)

Laura said...

Holy Guacamole! You scored! I am deeply envious of the sock yarn, both Trekking and Vesper. So so so beautiful! I don't think that receiving these yarns as gifts emperils your ghetto knitter status. I mean, what could be more thrifty than having Generous Fibersnobs for friends? (Remind me to find some of those, LOL!) It's all good, baby!

Hope you had a great holiday and looking forward to hearing those outhouse stories! :)

Lynda said...

Oh.my.goodness. All that knitty wonderfulness!!! I would just lay there in the middle of it like a kid and revel in it all, with chocolate dripping down my chin!

Can't wait to here about the New Year's adventures. No one makes me laugh like you do - I can't even imaging what's in store for us, at your expense!!

Talitha said...

I think you officially had the knittiest Christmas of all. I'm soooo jealous, but so happy for you. It couldn't have happened to a better person, really and truly. Thanks for all the laughs and wonderful kindness this year. Have a super wonderful "holiday" (he he, holiday with family... rrrrrrright) and I can't wait to hear all the stories (The Mercenary + outhouse + 9 other people who need to get in there... can we say The Ten Stooges?). Hopefully Bossy and Stinky won't wake up enough at 3:30 AM to be cranky ;). Or, you know, you could take them out clubbin' the night before, whatever works. Well, thanks again for being such a wonderful person and I truly hope you have a great time!

P.S. I have yet to even touch either Yarn Harlot books and I live in the same damn country as her!

P.P.S. You realize that now I'm gonna hafta photoshop myself a Ghetto Knitter card. For real.

Kim said...

Oooo, I love the Vesper sock yarn; I haven't been lucky enough to knit with it, but it is awesome stuff! You got a lot of great stuff :) Hang in there during your big family weekend--I know how taxing those can be. Just pretend you're leaving on mainland time, then your 3:30am wake up call could be 7:30am or later depending on which time zone you choose--hee, hee. You think the little ones will buy that?

knittinmom said...

Wow, now that is some serious yarn love! Enjoy it all!!!

Good thing you got bunches of sock yarn to go along with Knitting Vintage Socks ;-).

Have a great new year! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Jennifer said...

What wonderful gifts from good friends. Love Christmas!!!

Have a good time with the fam. I'm sure you'll come back with great stories to share.

erin said...

Such special gifts from knitting friends! Have a good time with your family.

keohinani said...

looks like you were a VERY good girl this year, chris ;) santa was very good to you! poor Mr. W...but maybe he won't feel so bad if you make him a few socks?
hahah! i just had to laugh at laura's comment about having Generous Fibersnobs as friends. too cute! your ghetto knitter status is safe!
barbara sure is talented! wow! that needle case is great!
anyways, hope you have a wonderful holiday!

myra said...

Wow! What an amazing lot of Christmas gifts! Looks like Santa visited your house in full force this year!

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoy New Years with the family on the Big Island!

:)

Acornbud said...

Have a good time with the family, "roughing it". I always get a kick out of roughing it in Hawaii, as any 7-11 is just a few minutes away;)

When you feel the Internet withdrawals just pet some of that high class yarn:)

Agnes said...

Wow ... so many gifts! Wish you a wonderful time with your family!
Your little girl is so photogenic! Lovely!

Jo said...

Holy Camoley! What a loot :) I think we share a favourite colour - I just bought bedsheets in what I like to call it, 'Kermit green.' Enjoy your trip to see your family, despite the living conditions ;)

Jo

jennifer said...

have an awesome visit with your family and by all means, keep a journal so you can post all about it! i still cannot get over how adorable your kiddos are - picture those smiling faces and think of their college funds when it's 3:29am and you are just about to wake them! aloha!

Sorka said...

ooooh you are soooo spoiled! Enjoy all those goodies!
They look delightful!
Denise
knitchat.com

kimberly said...

Oh my, you did well this Christmas. Nicely done, you really were a good girl. Have any tips on how to convince Santa about being so good for next year? You deserve it!!
About those shakes-don't forget your camera, your knitting and a good knitting related book and you should be fine. We'll miss you and we'll be anxiously awaiting your return. A fly on the wall would be a good thing to be at your parents' house next week. ;)
Barb amazes me with her talent!!

katarinaw said...

I'm a lurker who have enjoyed your blog for quite a while, just want to pop in and say hi! and a Happy New Year! I am soooo envious of all your wonderful gifts, I didn't get any yarn this christmas... :( But a lot of other really great stuff, so I am happy anyway.

Sonya said...

Wow! What wonderful knitting gifts you received! You're such a sweetie, so I'm not surprised. Looking forward to an outhouse story or two. My grandma's Amish neighbor still had an outhouse when I was a kid (she did have indoor plumbing too), and my cousins and I loved it. My mom could never understand that. She could stand at my grandparents back door and walk to where the outhouse used to be with her eyes closed. Enjoy your knitting goodies and your time with family.

Anonymous said...

You are a well loved knitter! Just look at all those goodies.
Don't worry about getting the kids up a little early. Tell them it's an adventure. It will work until they can tell time. Have fun with your family. I can't wait to hear about all the togetherness.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Terby said...

Fun toys! I think you'll be knitting some really pretty socks, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you create next.

Best wishes for you and your family. Happy New Year!

Sheryl said...

Wow, did you get some great gifts! The yarn, books, and other goodies are just too exciting for words. I just finished my first real sock and am hooked on sock knitting. The Vesper sock yarns all look yummy. Thanks for your kind words regarding my dad. I knew you'd like the shrug too - more pinks and browns! Looking forward to your post-Christmas blogging.

Debi said...

Great post!! The "Lord of the Flies" comment so cracked me up!

Lovely, wonderful gifts, all! That and your beautiful family make you a very lucky woman!

I wish you peace, serenity and first dibs at the bathroom for your New Year holiday and a Happy, Healthy,Prosperous 2006 for you and those you love!

Sandee Yo! said...

Have a great visit! And hope you don't have to use that holy water on your children...boy do I know about waking a sleeping kid and the results! hoohoo

Great pics of your kids (and the big kid)!

Happy New Year!

christine said...

Happy new year to you and your beautiful family.........enjoy the aromas in your family home....Tee hee...;0

Cathy said...

I swear you write THE BEST posts ever! I LOVE them all! How exciting are all of those fantastic knitting gifts?!!!! Goodness! It just goes to show how much you are loved! Your family reunion sounds like a ton of fun! I can NOT wait to read all about it, but I have to say.... outhouse? God I HATE outhouses! lol Your children are absolutely GORGEOUS and you are right, our families are our greatest blessings! Have a wonderful, wonderful time at your reunion, I, for one, will miss you terribly! enjoy!

Cathy said...

OH, THE SCARF! it is wonderful, I would NEVER have known that anything was twisted around (cables are not my thing..... yet ;)). I'm positive he'll love it, and I have no doubt you will finish it, but Friday (who said WHICH Friday! lol)

Mimi said...

The twisted cable is really not noticeable. I am sure your brother will enjoy the scarf and have lots of wear.
So many wonderful knitting gifts. It's a great way to start a new year!
Travelling with children is certainly not an easy task. I've been doing that a lot, and I couldn't know better the experience! My kids have grown up and I miss the previlege to be able to board first! :D
I hope you are having a terrific family reunion. The excitment and happiness should make up for the cloudiness of the house. It's so nice to be able to meet everyone in the family at one gathering.
Happy New Year to you and your family!

Say said...

Holy Moly!

What fabulous Christmas gifts! I'm looking forward to see what you make, and enviously eyeing your sock yarns.
(I recieved a copy of Knitting Vintage Socks too, which was really a surprise because J picked it out all by himself for me.)

I empathize with how impossible it is it to get the family together when half of it is in Hawaii. I hope you have a wonderful New Year's and a great time with your family (cramped quarters and all)!!!! And thanks for the holiday wishes in my blog.

Regarding Clapotis: My best friend and her family now live in Kaneohe and I wanted to give it to her for Christmas. But she insisted that no way, she would never wear or need a knitted garment of any sort, at any time of year, not out there. I'm giving up on attempting to knit her gifts!

Oh, and I can't even tell the cables are twisted!

dina said...

Wow! Great stuff! Lucky you!

When we read your next post, we'll know you survived the "living-off-the-land-fun-with-the-family-during-the-holidays" ordeal!

Have an awesome, happy, and safe New Year!

And that scarf looks just fine! I didn't know the cables were supposed to twist the other way!

Sheryl said...

Hi, it's me again. Thanks for your new years wishes. I love the Irish Scarf so much I am going to make one, and maybe even join the KAL - like I need something else on my plate! I'm taking a cabling class with Melissa Leapman at the trade show Amy & I are going to in January, so I guess I could use the practice. Plus, I'm 1/4 Irish, 1/4 Chinese and 1/2 from a good neighborhood - so how could I turn down the chance to knit an Irish scarf inspired by my friend in Hawaii?

Olga said...

Ooh, caught ya! "You have the right to remain silent...any Noro you use can and will be used against you in a court of law!" Hee hee, just kidding...I'm not sure I'm the best person to be patrolling, cuz all the yarn-related presents I got this year were from myself! I also finally gave in and bought Last Minute Knitted Gifts after pawing it at the Borders every time I stopped in, plus Scarf Style, and you know all about Handknit Holidays. Half off from Amazon, mind you!

Anyway, your post reminded me of *my* parents waking us up at 4 in the morning to get started on our roadtrips to Mexico. Man, that was tough, but by the time the sun rose, we were already in St. Louis and could stop for a Mickey-D's breakfast! Maybe you could sweeten the deal for Stinky and Bossy a little.

Happy New Year's, babe!

Teresa said...

Yowza woman-those are some gifts! My eyes are buggin' out! Sounds like you are in for some good ol' fashioned family fun, and I can not wait to here about it! Wishing you all the best in 2006, full of family and of course tons of knitting.

Now on to claim my rightful place as an official Ghetto Knitter...

Stricken madchen said...

What fun knitting gifts! You will be having a lot of fun enjoying them, I'm sure. ;-) I hope that your family visit is going well. I'm not sure if my family would survive that many days together...hehe.

jessica said...

What adorable children you have! Looks like they were having fun. I hope they do well on your trip... Waking sleeping kids is never fun;-) I bet you just love all the knitting gifts... They are all drool worthy! Take care, and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Lolly said...

Much love to you and the family, girl. You are so awesome! Can't wait to hear about your trip. Safe travels, and happy new year! Talk to you soon ;) xoxo

Ragan said...

wowie...look at all those goodies! i am so jealous!!!! :) sounds like you had a good holiday!

Maryn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maryn said...

I do hope you are having a wonderful time with family on the Big Island. DH and I hope to make it over there next summer when he gets back.
I love the pictures of your sweet children. They are too adorable.
Happy New Year!

Jenn said...

All I have to say is that the Mercenary and an outhouse can't be a good combination.

The pictures of your family are adorable! I hope your trip was great, can't wait to hear the stories! And enjoy all that knitting loot!

Lolly said...

hehe - my sis commented on your blog! I was telling her to call you. She is learning to knit too! ;) I hope you are coming back soon - I miss my Chris!!