Clearly I'm a craptastic blogger, I've not said a thing all November. I barely had anything to say in December either...
This is partially work , partially a hectic social calendar and partially because I didn't want to let my Harvest Sock Swap partner down. I wasn't on time with the sock, but I got it sent out, and I know that she received it.
Last Christmas I allowed work to completely rule my life ... to the extent that I didn't participate in any of the the normal Christmas parties and social events. I was working in Belgium at the time, so a lot of evenings were spent alone in a hotel room, either reading, knitting or reading and knitting! Everyone else working on the project in Belgium lives there, so after work they have their regular home life. I don't think they realised how cheesed off I became, knowing that I am missing party after party, with no one recognising the sacrifice to my personal life. This year, I decided that there'll be none of that! I was going to every. single. thing. to which I'm invited: I'm pleased to report that I did exactly that. On top of all of that, my birthday is late in November, and I decided to throw a party. I hadn't had a party since I was 13, and I decided one was past due! The net effect was that I was partying each and every one of the six weeks up to Christmas.
Then I went to Denmark for the annual family get together. Three generations of my family in one house. Play with the niece and nephew; play with the dog; try to knit but end up spending more time tinking than knitting; collapse in bed exhausted each night... you know how that goes.
During all of these shenanigans, my Chinese colleague David came to visit whilst he was on a business trip in the UK in early December. He had previously given me a traditional Chinese tea set (photos to come). On this visit he brought along some tea, some special fish seasoning (which I've yet to use), and a traditional Chinese game called Wéiqí (aka "Go" in Japan). It is an ancient game of strategy, the rules of which are easy to learn, but take a lifetime to master. So during the visit, after playing me and then my father, we all agree this would be a fantastic game to take to Denmark to play with my brother-in-law (BIL). David suggests that since my sister and BIL are returning from a three year stint in Japan, I should get her to buy a "Go" table. I forgot to say anything to her, but remember whilst in Denmark, saying "damn, I think we've missed an opportunity". Yeah right, my smarty-pants sister proceeds to tell me how she got the bargain of a lifetime, purchasing a valuable antique "Go" table and some virtually heirloom "soldiers"! Grrr... Then we had a whole big debate about how the game is played. I'm not sure who won that one.
On the knitting front, well, apart from the Harvest Swap sock, there wasn't any real progress. I've joined the centre for the Seraphim inspired wrap that I'm working on, but I just cannot get it right. I have tinked back the same five rows over and over and over again. It's gotten so bad that I started knitting the Woven Cables scarf in a bluey-green Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for some relief. I haven't done cables in years; I find them very easy, but super tight on the needle on the following row.
I received a fantastic package from my Harvest Sock Swap "spoiler". Note how I'm using terms like "spoiler" as though I know what they mean. That's the subject of a whole 'nother post! I just love the Koigu yarn she chose. If that wasn't enough to put a grin on my face just before Christmas, I also received my first parcel from the Socktopus Yarn Club. And what a parcel. I am so glad I joined this club, Alice has included some truly lovely extras in the "Bells and Whistles" package that I signed up for. I only wish I'd gone for the "Humdinger" package now...