Monday, December 20, 2010

The weather isn't at all seasonal!

The Tree is in its new corner, complete with lights but not yet decorated. The house smells wonderfully of balsam fir (and a bit of white pine in a vase. I must remember to buy some fresh flowers to add some colour to that vase). It is quite a wonderful tree, shaped and pruned and quite thick. As we have never had one of these before, I am sure it will be a challenge to decorate.
We are expecting a nor'easter, apparently - complete with 40 mm of rain, wind up to 80 kph and storm surges related to the full moon and the solstice, which is coming with a lunar eclipse this year - although I expect that we won't actually see much of it, as it's already overcast. Portentous weather indeed. If I were Snoopy I would have the setting for a novel.
Em is on the train as I write. She has wifi just to Montreal, so I've emailed her. We pick her up in Moncton tomorrow, and Kt in Halifax on Wednesday...and then we are all home for Christmas! So even though the weather isn't cooperating, we shall have Christmas anyway.
It's snowing a bit at the moment, but the wind is picking up, and it is up to 2 degrees, with more to follow. We have been remarkably lucky throughout this wet, stormy and windy fall - unlike our sister Atlantic provinces. Knock on wood that the storm surge isn't too high and wild!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hang a shining star upon the highest bough...

I've got to say, that carol is not one of my faves, but I do like this phrase...there's a picture in it, even though I don't think of the growing tip of the trunk as a bough. Too much a gardener, I suppose.
Weather and woes at work have conspired to make this not the most organized of holidays for me - however, I did look out the drawer full of stashed knitting and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found there. There will be knitted items for some!
One of my failures was a bad felting experience recently - I had made three of those short-row socks - huge ones - of Soy Wool stripes and solids, and then felted them, along with a pair of clogs and a bag (I was going great guns at that time).
So, what went wrong: I checked the clogs and the bag several times during the cycle, thinking that the other slippers would be felting at the same rate, but no! They felted much faster, and as a result they have come out too tiny for anyone on *my* Christmas list. The clogs were knit double, so they took longer to felt, I suppose, and the bag was made of white yarn, which is notoriously hard to get to felt. So, anyone know people with size 4 and size 6 feet? I don't!
Our weather has been unseasonably warm for the past week or so - with rather a lot of rain and wind - so I actually harvested the last of the carrots just two days ago. It's a great crop. I fully expect to make carrots for Christmas dinner, carrot Christmas pudding, and carrot soup for Boxing Day! There should be plenty for general eating as well. As we don't have any reliable root storage, we have to get most of them gone by the new year, as they will freeze in the unheated garage, where they are now (covered with a discarded down comforter. What luxury!).
Our local Co-op store had many, many bags of spring bulbs at the end of the season, and was selling them for $1 a bag! So I got some for forcing (crocus, hyacinths) and some for planting (alliums and daffodils). Got them all potted up at last. I have several of the hyacinths in glass because I rather ran out of pots. They are in the living room, trying their best. I let them cool off in the garage for a couple of weeks - it probably wasn't enough. Oh well. Some of the real potted ones are starting to sprout out there in the garage now. Don't think they'll bloom for Christmas, but they should cheer up those winter days to come.