White Christmas

This morning we all woke up to see snow covering the ground.  White Christmas?  When was the last time there was a white Christmas in the Netherlands?  I don’t know, but quite a few years anyway.  Above you see the little bear in the window, welcoming the snow and any visitors who might come by (not likely).  You also see a newly wound cake of yarn.  Now, how did THAT happen?

With this!  My Christmas present!

swift

I also got a ball winder to go with it.  I kind of knew it was coming since I had given DB the link to the web site where he could order it.  That web site is HERE.  We opened presents first thing this morning.  When I say “opened” I mean we each opened the shipping containers that our respective presents came it.  Nothing was wrapped in Christmas paper.  I guess we are getting less and less romantic about such things.  I got DB what he wanted, a hair cutting machine (a tondeuse) so he/I can cut his hair at home.

As soon as our presents were unpacked, I went upstairs, set up the swift and ball winder on the table in the attic and proceeded to wind up a skein of lace weight yarn.  All 1300 yards of it!  I figured, let’s give this thing a run for its money and see how far I get with it.  You see, lace weight yarn usually comes in 50 gram cakes, which is around 500 yards or so.  This was going to be a MEGA cake.  I wanted to find out if the ball winder AND the lace would wind nicely at such a large amount.  You know me, never satisfied to start small and work up to something.  Nooooo.  I always jump right in and test something to the limit.  (For example, my first lace shawl was a very complicated thing that most people make after trying simpler patterns first.  I’m too impatient for that!)  The winder got off track 4 times during the winding, but it was easy enough to stop and sort it out and continue from there.  I managed to get the whole thing wound into one cake.

You can see that the inside is a little bit collapsed and the outside is a little loose.  I think I will knit this starting from the outside and work in.  That seems the safest thing to do to not make a total mess of it.

Isn’t this yarn lovely?  It’s from Pigeonroof Studios, 1300 yards of Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere in Pumpkin color.  I have a project all lined up for this yarn.  I’m going to test knit a new brioche lace shawl that Nancy has designed.  I can’t wait!

Last night, Christmas Eve, we went to friends’ house in Amsterdam for dinner.  They just finished renovating and moving in to the house.  It is really beautiful.  They don’t have a real kitchen yet, so everyone who came brought a dish.  This is not a very common thing to do in the Netherlands, although to me it seemed quite normal.  I brought a chocolate fruit cake which I thought was a nice combination of traditional Christmas fruitcake and the irrational love of chocolate that many of us share.  Yumm.  I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.

We had really delicious main dishes, then a cheese course, then dessert.  The only lighting in the house was candlelight and tree lights so it was hard to get good photos.  Below are the two best photos from the evening.

cheese course
cheese course
friends at Christmas
friends at Christmas

We made up the yearly “Who’s Going to Go Next Year” list.  It’s not a morbid activity, but rather an interesting look at famous people around the world and who’s likely to not be around for another year.  There are rules to this game.  There can only be 25 names on the list for one thing and everyone has to agree that the name belongs on the list.  We make an effort to have a good representation of both sexes and some international names.  We try to include not only famous people from entertainment, but also politics and sports and just whoever comes to mind.  On a couple of occasions DB had to get out the laptop and Google a name to find out if the person really is still alive (Mohammed Ali).  B. is going to email the list to everyone and I’ll post it here when I get it.  As I remember, it includes names such as Nancy Reagan, B.B. King, Margaret Thatcher, Keith Richards, Bernard Madoff, Ron Brandsteder, Hella Haasse and quite a few other famous Dutch people.

Well, that’s about all for my Christmas story (so far, it’s still the morning after all).  We’ve got a kitchen stocked with food, movies to watch, laptops to play with, and new toys too.  I can hear the neighbor girls already screaming and crying over their Christmas toys.  While I’ve been sitting here writing, the snow has turned to rain and the white is already melting.  It WAS a White Christmas, even if for only a few hours.  Merry Christmas to you all and let’s have some Peace on Earth.

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