Monday, December 27, 2010

Couldn't have planned that

Merry Christmas .. or happy holiday, or seasons greetings, travel well, or whatever might be appropriate where you are. Things here are an odd mix of quiet and busy, we had a quiet Christmas day, then the busy started, people to visit, wonderful food to eat, and traveling to do with more people to visit. We have just got back from a whirlwind visit to my Dad, where there was even more wonderful food to eat - Harpuka caught by his friend Bruno, and local strawberries. Oh the joys of a summer Christmas, as usual we spent a day at the Waimate Rodeo, it was warm and overcast and great fun as it always is. I can't decide if my favorite event is the junior calf throwing or the sheep riding (you have to be under 6 years of age to ride a sheep - and those sheep are fast). I love the way the horses in the calf riding know to back up and keep the rope taut while the cowboy/girl binds the calf, impressive teamwork going on there.

With all the 'not working' I have been knitting - a lot. Knitting while visiting, knitting while being visited, knitting while the cubs played with new games and toys, knitting in the car ... in short - knitting. Which means that I have finished one more sock, well finished apart from working the afterthought heel.

And made a significant inroad on its mate. These sock are being knit from Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and I had expected to knit two fraternal socks, as happens with Noro, but these are coming out as a very well matched identical twins. A quick check on Ravelry shows that this is not uncommon - people who knit socks with this yarn seem to have matching pairs, I guess Schoppel-Wolle are clever enough to put two complete repeats in each ball and if you work it right then you will knit two that match. I'm not usually a fan of afterthought heels, but they are a sensible solution when knitting with yarn that has long colour changes. If I had knit a more conventional heel with a flat then I would have risked an unsightly (to my eyes) colour change across where the foot meets the leg.

Bear was very generous to me this year, I got what is known by pen buffs as a 'grail' pen. That is a pen that one learns about and wants but can't afford or find straight away. Like most hobbies people who are into pens have a wish list, and this kind of pen was on my list. His gift was a Parker 51, Vacumatic from 1946, in Cedar Blue. There is several exciting things about this pen, first it is Vacumatic filling mechanism and it has a 'split arrow clip', with the blue diamond, and the cap has a 'stacked coin band'. For all sorts of reasons this pen was only made in this configuration for a few years, before the filling mechanism and clip style was changed, so this is kind-a-rare and so kind-of-valuable - but not to valuable to use. Having said that around 20 million Parker 51's were made in various forms and sold ... so this is just one of many. I'm a little embarassed as my gifts to him are still in transit, so I wrapped up the reviews and order confirmation and picked him up a copy of Pencils from UBS to tide him over until the post is delivered. It is entirely my fault - I left ordering until it was too late.

So we are home, for now, the warm sunny weather has been replaced by rain, and overcast sky's and more worryingly the weather forcast if for torrential rain and river flooding across much of the country ... so I think we will bunker in and relax with another slice of our home made Christmas cake.

take care
hope there is some relax with fibre time in your week
na Stella


barbaramary said...

Happy Christmas to you too. Love the socks. And the idea of sheep riding! Not on our Christmas activity menu, unfortunately. Nor a summer activity here either - we have sheep, too, so why not?

Knitting Linguist said...

What a wonderful pen! I love the idea of a "grail pen" - I have to remember that. In fact, it was nearly ten years ago (on a big birthday) that Rick got me a pen that I'd wanted and couldn't justify, and that I still use constantly (a Waterman Opera); I love the combination of truly unique and yet everyday-useable.

The socks are gorgeous, too - those colors are wonderful, and I love that they turned out to match for some reason :) I hope the rain doesn't flood you out, and that you continue to enjoy your time off!

adriene said...

Those are impressive socks! I had no idea you could get a matching pair with Zauberball... but then, I don't knit socks. I might just start, now that I know this info!

KathyR said...

Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas! It was great weather, indeed, for the rodeo. Sorry we didn't manage to meet up but I know that you would've been a whirlwind of business. I must get down to Dunedin sometime in the New Year. Lovely pen; you'll enjoy using it for a long, long time, I'm sure. Great socks, too. The zauberball I have I intend to knit up into socks for a Grandgirl. I wonder if it will still knit into an indentical pair for small feet or if they'll be more fraternal in that size?

Sonny56 said...

I don't know anything about knitting but I do like pens. Your post on the Parker 51 was interesting. Having christmas with friends and family is something I can identify with. I visited my mom on christmas and enjoyed the time and food that was there. I try to keep in touch with family even when we are living in different towns in

Vanda Symon said...

The cake was yummy, thank you (-:

Hubby enjoyed looking at Bear's pens and pen books so much, I suspect one may end up in our home sometime soon. Your family is a bad influence on our family!!!