Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!

The Winter Solstice happened very early this morning, right after midnight. Things can only get brighter for the next six months, although it will probably get colder before it starts to get warmer.

From my viewpoint, both of these things can only be good. It hasn't gotten really cold yet, and in spite of having my windows wide open, it's been around 80 degrees in my apartment all day.

I'm about to make myself sound old, but I really am old enough to have seen a change in climate, and I can see that things are getting warmer.

OK, when I was a kid, I lived in, and later right outside Philadelphia, and now I live near Washington DC, but there shouldn't be that much difference in Winter temperatures. By the beginning of December, we would have had at least one snowfall, and it would be cold enough for us to ice skate almost anywhere there was water, except in the channel of the Pennsauken Creek, where there was running water and it didn't freeze. At this point, I still need to keep my windows open in my sauna (which my apartment building manager euphemistically calls "my apartment") to stave off heat stroke.

When I looked for photos of the Winter Solstice on the internet, all I got was photos of snowy landscapes. But if you look out my window, it really doesn't look like that at all.

It rained today! It was all drizzly and warm (not for Summer, but definately for this time of year). Something is seriously out of whack with our weather!


I hope you've finished getting/making all your Christmas presents! I, personally, am so far behind that I've given up completely, and explained to everyone that this Christmas is such a disaster that only a few people will be getting Christmas presents, and it has nothing to do with how I feel about each individual, it's based on whose present I happened to make first, and I hope I'll do better next year.

I finished up all the stockings I've been making on commission, and delivered the last three today only to discover that there's a dispute about the date on one of the stockings. Although I put the date I was told to put on it, it may not be the right one. I can fix it, but I'm waiting on confirmation of the date before I do that.

So, the stockings aren't completely done.


If you're up for it, you can track Santa and what he's up to via NORAD!

I just realized that my former Christmas countdown at the bottom of the page is no longer working, and have replaced it with a temporary countdown timer. I'll get a better one in there soon, but in the meantime, at least you can see how much time is left.

And to get you in the Christmas spirit, here's something that's been wandering around the internet so long that nobody can remember where it came from, but it's a lot of fun:

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care
’cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
but I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both dad and the boys.

And though I was tired, my brain was a bit thick,
I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick.
But what I heard then left me perplexed-ed,
For not a name I heard was what I had expected
“move, Ashford; move, Lopi; move, Addie and Clover
Move, Reynolds; move, Starmore; move, Fraylic–move over”
“Paton, don’t circle round; stand in line.

Come now, you sheep wool work just fine!
I know this is hard semi, it’s just your first year,
I’d hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer.”
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a’grazing.

And then,in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa’s feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned round, Saint Nick, I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe
And his clothes were handknit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
and his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.

The scarf round his neck could have stretched for a
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable,
And suddenly on one I spied a small label.
SC was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
and I asked “Hey Nick, did you knit all this stuff?”

He proudly replied “Ho-ho-ho, yes I did,
I learned how to knit when I was a kid.”
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself for I’d thought up a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I’d laid my needles and yarn for a cap.

He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two;
For the first time I thought I’d really get through.
He put heels on the stockings and toes in some socks
While I sat back drinking Scotch on the rocks!!

So quickly like magic, his needles they flew,
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon
“Next year start your knitting sometime around June.”

-Author Unknown

And here's a little something for Christmas. Check out how to put a twisted fringe on the side or in the middle of something you're knitting here ! This is really cool!

If I don't get a chance to blog before then, have the best Christmas ever!

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