I'm working from home for most of this week, which is awesome. There isn't a lot to do at the moment so I take breaks to do things like mop the floors and update my blog. I might also handwash some sweaters.
Yes, it is an exciting life.
Our Christmas trip to Arkansas went well, considering that my sister is still living with my parents and is self-medicating with Klonopin. There is some tension there. And, while I want to help all parties involved, I also don't want to touch that situation with a 300-mile-long pole.
Present-wise, it was a great Christmas. My mom limited my sister to just a few new, purchased gifts for everyone. If you remember last year's presents, you know this is a Good Thing.
Porkchop surprised me with all of my presents, but particularly this set of new cookware:
The full set is from Porkchop, and the bonus soup pot is from my parents (which I had asked for). You know what this means? We get to retire our set of pots, which Porkchop's mom received on her wedding day 30+ years ago. Those pots still have a lot of life left in them, but I am happy to have our own adult pots. I've already used some pieces of the new set, and they are fabulous.
However, when we were gathering up the old ones out of the cabinet, we became a little sad. Retrieving the small one-quart pot, Porkchop said, "Oh, little pot, I'm going to miss you!" And I said, "I'm going to miss it, too!"
It is hard times when you get teary-eyed about a little one-quart pot. Oh, but that pot has cooked many a Ramen noodle for Porkchop, and we made many a simple syrup in it for sweet iced tea.
My other super-surprise gift from Porkchop was this little tea-brewing cup:
Under the cat's chapeau is a strainer for loose tea. It is perfect! I first saw it in an art museum gift shop in Minneapolis, but didn't want to buy it there. Sadly, when we came home, we couldn't find it online. Porkchop persevered, though, and it was eventually posted on a Japanese market site. I love my little tea cup and can't wait to brew some tea in it.
On my end, I surprised Porkchop with this hat (the shoes are from my parents):
The hat is loose because Porkchop doesn't like tight hats. It is lined with baby alpaca so that the Cascade doesn't scratch her ears. I used this pattern.
The past couple of weeks were a hat marathon. I made Porkchop's hat, and then hats for her older brother, sister-in-law, and niece.
The brother's was a basic watchman cap using this pattern:
The sister-in-law's was a star-crossed slouchy beret (Ravelry link):
The niece's hat is my favorite, and I really want to make another for myself. I used the basic Kim's Hat pattern (Ravelry link) in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. It's a great pattern because you can make all sorts of variations and add your own touches.
I made the garter brim variation with earflaps, I-cords, and tassels. I added some purl rows for ridges on the hat, and I'm pretty proud of the way it turned out.
Here I am modeling it:
It's a little small on me, but it fits the niece well. It's a bit loose, so hopefully she can use it for 2 or 3 winters.
All for now! I should probably go "work" some before I pick up lunch at Pappy's for Porkchop and me.