Happy Solistice

This blog post is brought to you by Mad Men. Not an ad, just what I've been watching for the past day. I bought the season pass from itunes and settled in for several hours of solid viewing as I knit my last Christmas gift for the year. I had a realization while soaking in the tub that five days are not sufficient to knit a lace jacket, even if it is bulky. Lace. Talk about serious denial. So, I marched into work the next day and bought two skeins of Artyarns Silk Rhapsody, a gasp-worthy silk and mohair yarn, to make my grandmother a Clapotis shawl from Knitty. I chose the pale blue and silver color, which looks the way I imagine an invisibility cloak would look if you could see it. Maybe this is another attack of denial. It's a fairly wide scarf, knit on the bias. The pattern is fairly simple, though the rows are littered with stitch markers to keep track of where the dropped stitches will later occur (or, as they say on Cribs, where the magic happens). It's about half done now and my shoulders could use a break from all of this knitting. Yet another excuse to take a long bubble bath.


Through a bit of horse trading, I managed to see Dr. Atomic, the John Adams/Peter Sellars opera, this Friday. One of the customers at the store described it as "Dr. Strangelove to music". I cannot stress enough how wildly inaccurate that statement was! Yes, it's about the dawn of the nuclear era, but there's no learning to love the bomb. I really didn't know what to expect, since I am not the biggest fan of contemporary classical music. It was incredible. Peter Sellars really challenges the audience, but succeeds wildly in creating a truly 21st century opera. I hope that the production finds an audience (there were a *few* empty seats on opening night).

I also traded my day off this week, so I have a real weekend. Joy! Bliss! Sleeping in! This will be followed by the sucker punch of a 9am meeting on Monday, but I'll try not to think about it. So far, I've knit two pairs of slippers and made a dent in the Christmas Card pile. Unfortunately, I've misplaced my little black book and must scramble for a lot of addresses. Maybe I'll have a nice long soak in the tub before attacking anything else.

That will give my computer a chance to download my big itunes purchase. I'm such a sucker for the end of the year lists. They reveal albums you hadn't considered and remind you of ones that you meant to give a chance before. So, I am purchasing a jazz album, a Swedish indie, and a rock album. I really must drive their "Just for You" predictor program crazy. What do you suggest to someone who buys Haydn and Timbaland? Maybe that's why their musical advice is always so off the mark....


Another brilliant concert at the symphony. When I bought the tickets, it was a pig in a poke: no program listed. Still, the annual CSO Brass concert seemed like a good bet. It was. The program included a piece that was played at my grandmother's wedding, one of my favorite pieces, and two encores. I'd heard Pictures at an Exhibition last season (by lingering in the rotunda while I was supposed to be working) played by the whole orchestra, but was totally blown away by the all-brass version. It was breathtaking, especially the Kiev Gate movement. It was so grand. It also gave me another opportunity to hear Christopher Martin, the first trumpet. After the Haydn concerto last month, I would go see him play almost anywhere. He was marvelous today. My grandmother declared him cute. He has an obvious joy for his work and a lot of talent. Who wouldn't find that attractive?
I'm a little sad that I don't have another concert until after my birthday. I may have to buy a couple of single tickets between now and then.
We had our Holiday Party at work this week. It was a real production, involving driving in a snowstorm (old hat for me, but it was the California transplant driving), a case of glogg, two crock pots, two new employees, and a color sale. Naturally, the employees took advantage of the compound discount to stock up on red, blue, green, and white yarns. I bought six skeins of powder blue Manos del Uruguay wool to make the Treeline Striped Cardigan from the Purl Bee. A customer came in recently to put this project together. After seeing their picture, I'm impressed by her imagination. It doesn't look like much in the picture, but all of the finished projects on Ravelry look great. I also got a couple of skeins of Claudia's Handpaints Sportweight to make a pair of cushy socks.
The party was well attended. People came early and stayed until closing. Maybe it was the mulled wine and meatballs, or our sassy good cheer. A miracle that, given how stressful these events can be to get on their feet. Someone spilled wine all over the bathroom, as well as in the corner by the bulky yarn. Since we have a concrete floor, it really soaked in overnight, leaving a big red stain. It looks like we killed somebody! A lot of the guests spoke of making gifts from their yarn purchases. I wish them the best of luck, given the quick approach of December 25th. I am beginning to feel pessimistic about my own projects. To that end, I went to the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair to look for possible presents. I didn't buy any, but I looked at a lot of things. I was restrained. I purchased a necklace from an artist I'd seem before on etsy and amazing blue-green handspun alpaca from one of our favorite customers. She didn't have enough to make a garment, so I bought a few skeins to make the yoke on sweater (with a body made out of commercially milled yarn). It's really gorgeous, just my colors. I wish that I'd taken a picture this morning, when there was some natural light, but I was too busy doing my hair and changing purses.

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