A heartful holiday greeting to you all. Regardless if its Christmas, Hannukah, Yule, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice in your home - may it be filled with laughter and love. From the bird's nest to your nest...
Ted is back safe and sound, there were no bloody hamster parts strewn over my back yard. I left his cage open on the ground and sometime during the next night he climbed back in. I dont think I've ever been so glad to hear his squeaky wheel.
Thanks for all your good vibes sent this way - the furry hammy will live another day
Primroses that is. Moving along on the finishing - I went ahead and seamed up one of the fronts to the back piece and tucked in all the ends during some TV watching last night. I'm not terribly ashamed to show the wrong side of the work and the tension is coming out pretty nicely. I weaved the gajillion (which is 100 x gazillion) ends into the seam and it turned out. Its not a perfect seam - the yarn ends were making it hard to pick up the bars in mattress stitch, and I knew I should have done a selvage and knit every end, and moved in the decreases a couple of stitches etc etc. But I think it's turning out pretty damn awesome myself. The Knit Picks Elegance yarn is really nice to work with and the stitches are coming out really pretty. I can't wait to soak it and block it out again to see how well the yarn blooms.
I have just picked up the stitches for the arm and am knitting those in the round in a solid color to match the ribbing. I think it will come out quite nicely and gets me out of doing any more Fair Isle. A fun technique to be sure but those ends are a bitch. The colors I picked are not too girly but nice and bright and happy. I will definately be able to get this done before the new year and before Absinthe the Revenge pops out.
So what might a furry child be so intently staring into the bottom of the bathtub for? None other than Ted E. McSnackersons! I made sure that Lila stayed seated - and she was enthralled by Ted's cutiful fuzzy buttness while I cleaned out Castle Stinkenstein. There was one attempt to climb into the tub that was cut short and I was given the look. You know the look. The "You are such a mean mean mommy that I must now go eat worms." Thats life kiddo - you can't smell the hamster's butt just because you want to. And this ain't a democracy.
It's a good thing he is so cute or he'd be a kabob by now.
Just to prove that I have zero sense of self control - and why I do not manage the finances in my house hold - I'd be holding afternoon tea in the west wing of my Kenmore Fridge box... Some retail therapy and yarn porn.
Curious Creek Fibers Serengeti (I loooove this stuff) in the Glacier Lakes colorway. I'm thinking will be a pair of fingerless gloves for me.
So as an early birthday present, Mr Bird took me up to Napa Valley to a shi-shi resort for the weekend. We even got to bring our darling dog-child, and a good time was had by all. The drive up was brutal - getting caught in the morning traffic in LA AND afternoon traffic going past Vallejo added nearly 3 hours to the trip bringing it to a mind numbing 11 hours. The package included a couple of massages and dinner at their restaurant (very good for a hotel restaurant btw) each night and a "Pampered Pet" package. There were lots of stops on the way up to try to get the pooch to run around a bit and stretch her legs - she was a trooper the whole weekend.
We were unlucky enough to get stormed in a good portion of the weekend so there was quite a bit of knitting done. I got to work on Primrose and got both the front pieces done (knit at the same time). There is a mistake on one of the fronts but there is no way in Helllllll I'm going to frog that sucker and reknit it for one row. Do you see all those ends? No way. I'd rather peel my eyeballs like grapes.
Now I'll seam the front and back, and then do the sleeves in the round I think. Going down the final stretch wooo hoo!
Considering how complicated the chart was for the fair isle Primrose - I had to have an easy project for the cart. Nothing fulfills that need like a stockinette sock in delicious Curious Creek's Serengeti in Plum Thunder. I am so in love with this color. I'm going to do a short row heel, stockinette foot and the cuff will have a small cable running up each side. I haven't decided if these will be for me or if they will be a Christmas gift.
Napa was really beautiful - even if there was a lot of rain. We didn't go to any wineries - probably because I already drink a lot of California wines. We did have a rather weird experience at the groomer that was setup by the hotel. It was down this dirt road and there were piles of junk and broken down cars all over the place, and Mr. Bird and I just looked at each other and said "Texas Chainsaw Massacre all over this."
The lady was nice but her place was rather unkept and I wouldn't have brought my dog there if I'd known it was like that.
Most of the vineyards you could see from the roads have turned yellow and withered from the cold weather but I'm sure it must look amazing during the spring and summers.
There is nothing like a gathering of friends and an excess of good food. Sunday was an English afternoon tea hosted by yours truly. We tried to be all sly and turn it into a surprise party - but considering the nature of surprises - our guest of honor wasn't feeling well. It all turned out for the best though - cause there was knitting to be done and my present isnt even near ready!
On to the food - cause thats what it is all about Chez Bird.
There were three kinds of scones - Ginger Carrot, Blueberry and Apple Carrot - all based on this basic cream scone recipe. I just would mix the fruit mixture into dough before making the little balls to go into the oven. There nearly was more fruit than dough in these lovely crumbly bits.
Tell me this isn't what dreams are made of...
In addition to the scones, there were proper tea sandwiches (cucumber dill, curried egg salad, and smoked salmon cucumber), real devonshire double cream, lemon curd (so tart and tasty), fig pear butter, lemon poppyseed rosettes (thanks to Hilari), and yummy goat cheese and french bread that Crissy brought.
And what is an English tea (hah! I typo'd teat first) without a generous selection of teas. I had some Earl Grey, Chai, Green Tea and some fresh tea of Lemon Verbena Leaves, Mint and Crystallized Ginger (which was my personal favorite). Yoly brought a very cool selection of loose leaf teas, (Rooibos, some minty stuff, another chai, and this dragon blooming tea) which we all enjoyed as well.
So part of the dress code for the tea party was a tea party HAT. No tea without a hat, bitches. Happily - everyone came with a hat, and someone even came with a boob. With a tassle no less! There was even some knitting done.