Monday, December 18, 2006

It's a Christmas Miracle!

Miracles really do happen! I've finished all my Christmas knitting one week early! Let us admire each and every one, shall we? Earle was kind enough to model the scarves, although he was rolling his eyes throughout and he told me to tell you that he had no pants on (that part wasn't true). And remember, I spun the yarn for all of these (yes, I'm full of myself tonight; just deal, OK?).

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So, in order of completion, to the best of my memory .... here's Mom's scarf, knit in the classic feather and fan pattern. The yarn was spun from a Grafton Fibers Corriedale Cross batt, plied with commercial Zephyr.

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My brother Dave's scarf, standard mistake rib. This was spun from Ashland Bay navy merino/silk.

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A Madge-lace scarf, for my friend Pat. A Grafton Fibers batt for one ply; the other was from the Sheep Shed.

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Dad's scarf, basketweave pattern, in Ashland Bay alpaca/silk.

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Sue's scarf, in a pattern from One Skein, spun from Louet Gaywool merino/silk.

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Earle's hat, not modeled by Earle, obviously - it's a surprise! - spun from Bartlett pencil roving; my first successful handspun yarn. I like the way the light from the lamp shows the structure of the hat. In reality, this hat is a light sheepy gray.

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And here's the pile of scarves on the back of a chair. I really enjoyed spinning and knitting every one of these immensely; it was a pleasure to watch the yarn emerge and the pattern develop. I hope the recipients enjoy them as much as I did.

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Furthermore, I finished all this knitting despite spending five - that's FIVE, people! - hours Sunday afternoon putting up the Christmas tree with Earle. It's amazing how long it takes to put up a tree. The decorating doesn't take so long; it's all the associated upheaval that takes so long. In our case, that upheaval included:
  • cleaning a spot in the back room to put the wing chair from the living room;
  • putting away the debris in the path the wing chair will take from the living room to the back room (five doorways; the entire length of the house);
  • vacuuming the spot in the living room where the tree goes;
  • trimming away the dead leaves from the plants in the window behind where the tree goes;
  • watering said plants, before the tree blocks easy access for a week or two;
  • wrestling the boxes of ornaments down from the attic;
  • trimming the tree trunk outside;
  • putting the stand on the tree outside, and discovering the tree four inches above the cut is too wide to go all the way down into the stand (this becomes important in the story later, hint, hint);
  • wrestling the tree inside and attempting to stand it upright;
  • screwing the four bolts into the tree trunk;
  • discovering that the tree will not stand upright in the stand, unless the bottom of the trunk is securely seated into the bottom of the stand, which we have already established it is not (see above);
  • filling the stand with water anyway, because the tree is sort of standing upright;
  • finding a plate to put under the stand, to catch the water that sfrom the stand, while attempting to keep the tree upright;
  • wiring the tree to the nearby window, which involves Earle rooting around in the cellar for 15 minutes looking for wire, while I hold the tree upright;
  • Lynn going directly to the spool of narrow-gauge wire lying right there in plain sight on a shelf in the cellar, after Earle can only come up with what looks distinctly like TV antenna wire, ahem;
  • winding the lights around the tree, and then around the perimeter of the nearby bay window, after the tree takes only 1.25 strings of lights;
  • winding the garlands;
  • hanging the ornaments...
  • PAUSE IN THE ACTION, while Lynn goes to the nearest store for a new tree stand and Earle hovers near the tree, which quite clearly is determined to fall over despite our best efforts;
  • Lynn returns with new stand, Earle lifts the half-decorated tree, still attached to the window by the light string, Lynn slides under the new stand, Earle lowers the tree, Lynn tightens eight bolts; and
  • ACTION RESUMES: hanging the ornaments, till they are all hung, and the white dove is perched on the top;
  • tinsel is forgone this year (enough is enough);
  • watering the tree, to overflowing of course; and
  • turning out the lights in the room, so as to admire the gorgeous tree, followed by the inevitable
  • Vacuuming up of the damn needles.

No wonder it took so long! Here are a couple close-ups of ornaments, just because....

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Batty said...

Oooh, I love your dragon ornament! That is such a pretty tree!

And your productivity is mind-boggling. Here I am, desperately trying to finish the 3 puny things I've been working on for months... and you've created so much gorgeousness, even from your hand-spun yarn! You should be proud of yourself. You rock!

Elizabeth said...

I didn't actually read all the details in the prep work to get the tree in place, but I know from my own experience how it goes.

Great work on all those scarves! And too cool how Earl's hat glows on the lamp. Tell Earl we all believed he was naked and now your sitemeter counter is going through the roof. And also, you will be deluged with google hits for searches on "naked Earl" or "Earl with no pants" or stuff like that.

DeltaDawn said...

A most excellent story of the tree-raising. I don't put up a tree anymore, mostly because my stories are so similar to your!

The handspun Christmas magic you'll be gifting is breathtaking - all of your yarns and scarves are so pretty! Gifts don't get much more meaningful than these.

ladylinoleum said...

Your scarves turned out wonderfully. And I love that you made them from spinning on up. Very cool.

I'm with ya on the tree ordeal. My daughter and I spent many, many hours two Saturdays ago performing the same tasks as you. I love the tree when it's up though.

Terby said...

Great scarves! I especially like the blue feather and fan one.

You have some very cool ornaments. The frog is excellent.