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!!