i’m overwhelmed. totally snowed under with so much to write and so many photos to edit--as if five days’ worth of awesome mccall activities wasn’t enough, last night i went to red light variety show’s “time machine,” which the lovely jeanne joined me for. we were both dumbfounded by some of the acts...jaw-dropping, cirque du soleil kind of stuff. their best show yet, i think. i filled an entire 4-gig memory card before the night was over.
what i should do today is chain myself to my computer until i’m all caught up. i say that every time this happens, but i never do it, i always wander off before everything’s finished.
not sure where to start so i’ll just jump in with these christmas gift photos. jason and i exchanged “small” gifts on christmas eve, since neither of us had finished the one big gift we made for each other. the smaller gifts were so wonderful too, though.
he gave me a copy of his finished album, a sachet he knitted and filled with herbs and spices, a collection of very meaningful stones, a green beaded jar, a bottle of homemade elderberry tincture and a tea that he mixed specially for me.
he named it “flight of the shmemily.” he knows i like flower teas so that’s mostly what he put in, and he even remembered to leave out chamomile (i’m allergic). it’s so yummy.
i gave him a bag full of similarly random goodies: a bird identification book, local cookbook, sprouting trays and broccoli seeds, a jar of my dandelion jelly and a toy for his kitties. i took an existing plush cat toy (made out of recycled soda bottles) and tied it to a stick with a length of silver elastic. sammy went nuts for it:
she also had fun with the bag, which i made out of a burlap coffee sack:
jason’s now using it as a case for his banjo-ukulele.
sammy exhausted herself playing and passed out in my lap:
while we were in mccall j finished knitting my big gift, a pair of stripy knee socks:
i love them! they’re super soft and comfy and cute. he used an acrylic yarn made from recycled soda bottles, despite his total aversion to knitting with non-natural fibers...he usually uses animal fibers for his projects.
he let me copy the pattern and showed me how to turn a heel properly. i’ll try a pair like these (maybe not knee socks, though) for my next attempt.
as he was finishing the socks he asked me, “did you know they make clear vinyl shoes just for showing off socks?” ...and my response:
i bought these crazies years ago when i was into CFM boots, with the intention of wearing fishnets underneath because clearly they aren’t stripperish enough as-is.
never wore them because they’re terribly uncomfortable, but how perfect are they for modeling socks? i can certainly teeter around in them long enough to take pictures.
i also finished knitting my first pair of socks while we were in mccall.
in one week i went from having zero pairs of handmade socks to two pairs! the pair i made doesn’t match very well. they both fit perfectly, but one is taller than the other, and there’s an unmistakable difference in skill level when you look at the toes and heels:
the one on the left is my first attempt, when i was hopeless with kitchener stitch, and the one on the right is much smoother.
here’s the big gift i made for jason. he requested a meditation pillow, and it works for that too, but it’s completely an all-purpose awesome comfy pillow. he uses it constantly, even sleeps with it.
the way i patterned the corduroy makes it look multi-hued, but actually it’s just two different shades of brown fabric. he loves corduroy and patchwork so this was an obvious choice.
after making the shell i stuffed it with a calico cotton bladder that i filled with about four pounds of buckwheat hulls, an entire large bag of microbeads and an ounce of lavender to make it smell nice. it’s kind of heavy and very unusual to sit on--it gives a lot of support despite not being overstuffed, it’s firm but soft at the same time, doesn’t shift around underneath you, and it instantly contours to your body. also, the lavender scent is kind of hilarious, it literally makes your butt smell like flowers.
i’m happy with how the squares matched up despite my lack of experience--this is not my kind of sewing, i don’t quilt at all and i don’t often make things where the measurements have to be super precise.
andy bogarted the pillow a couple times and contributed a good deal of fur to it. do NOT try to dethrone him or he will go POSSUMFACE on your ass:
he looks so vicious when he yawns.
last thing...j’s birthday was the 10th, so i carved him a pair of cottonwood knitting needles. about size 10.5 i think.
and i sewed a cozy for them. the most challenging and time-consuming part of the whole thing was turning the damned sleeve inside out.
i used a small scrap of branch for the tag, inscribing it using this 60s woodburning tool i thrifted years ago.
rather than knitting with them he’s using them as hair sticks. way better than knitting needles! this photo kind of sucks, i wish i’d gotten a better one in decent light and before it started to fall out a bit. his hair looks so cute like that.