My jaw is finally beginning to relax. Yesterday I handed over all of my out-of-town gifts to the US mails. Four to friends in Vancouver, four to family across the US. Plus one to the UK, not a gift, but 2 skeins of a particular yarn and dyelot which will finish off a warm sweater, another happy thing due to Ravelry. I didn't feel particularly stressed, but the ache in my jaw every morning from teeth-clenching said otherwise.
Now I just have to organize and finish and wrap gifts to my LA friends and to my DH. He has hauled home all the holiday decor from the storage locker, and we can Deck the Halls this week. The outdoor lights and wreaths and greenery have been done since Thanksgiving weekend, being stored in the garage.
On Tuesday morning I learned that my beloved Sears microwave, circa 1984, is finally in its last days. That's right, 24 years of service with only one $80 repair! The fan didn't come on, but I didn't realize that meant the heating was very uneven, and when I reached in for my reheated morning oatmeal, I scalded 2 fingertips and left some skin from a third finger on the bowl. Swears, you bet!! A couple of layers of band-aids helped me get on with most of my life, and by Wednesday I could even type and knit, very carefully. But I couldn't write, and the idea of typing and printing mailing labels and holiday messages didn't enter my tiny mind. The fingertips are back to normal, but re-growing a full layer of skin will take a while. Side note: Your experience may vary, but IMO the genuine Band-Aids, the 'flexible fabric' ones, are the only way to go. Other brands, whether proprietary or major branded, just don't stick through a day.
I did finish knitting the Woven Bands Pullover for DH, and with the help of some little hair clips to hold the sides together he tried it on. I am very happy with the result, which fits him well. I have to sew the side and underarm seams, but he should be able to wear it next week. Size 42 took just a bit less than 10 skeins of Elann's Sierra Aran, which is 80% wool, 20% alpaca, in the Fiddlehead Green color. Note that my row gauge was way off, and I finally just added rows (it's knitted from sleeve edge across to sleeve edge) to get to the length I wanted; as written, the sleeves are only 17.5in long, so they're 3/4 length or so. The 'Woven Bands" are done in linen stitch, running down each sleeve and around the open neckline. BTW, the next time you do a bit of linen stitch, check out the wrong side. I think it makes a pretty texture of its own, with definite diagonal lines, something that would work very well as trim for a stockinette project. Or even an entire scarf or hat, etc.
The week ended on a majorly fun note. P, one of my Friday Night Knitters group, set up a spa evening, with a masseur bringing his table and massage chair, and a hairdresser offering trims. Of course there was wine and egg nog and lots of holiday treats - any chocolate, you say?? Oh, yeah! K, a new group member, brought a dessert spread made with mascarpone cheese, candied nuts and Grand Marnier, among other goodies. Calorie count way up there but incredibly yummy!! Some non-knitting friends also came, and we ended the evening with a lavish roast-beef dinner. I rolled down the hill (she lives on the uphill side of town, I live on the flats) to Chez CBM, full of great food and friendship, relaxed from 30 minutes of chair massage, and with a much shorter hairdo.
I leave you with a picture of Midnight, in her current cave, which has a heat-reflecting kitty pad (I learned about it at Wendy Knits, something she got for the famous Lucy) and a little blankie folded in front to help keep out the drafts. It's been in the 40s and 50s at night around here, and a couple of mornings during the week it was cooler in the house than was strictly comfy. I'm taking advantage of the 'winter' coolth to wear some of my shawls, ;D