last night.

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Last night this happened. Really. I almost hesitate to share because I don’t want to jinx anything. I got out my wheel, and spun a little bag of leftover Hello Yarn Targhee in the Sprout colorway. I listened to a podcast, drank some tea, and watched the sunset.

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And then I went inside, curled up on the couch, and pulled out my Snowbird. It actually smelled sort of damp and musty, probably from being shoved in a bag at the base of my fiber closet since at least December 2012. The “hard” part of this sweater is done — now there’s only knitting the body and adding the pockets. (Okay, and seaming the collar to the body. That might be hard.) I have a growing list of baby and wedding gifts to knit, but I might just cut myself some slack and try to finish the stuff that I both love and have let languish. Let’s see if I can keep this up.

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In other news, I spent Saturday night with my parents, and after we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday, we enjoyed a fire in the pit that’s built into the brick patio behind their house. Boh normally has to stay in his box for family gatherings (he is not very good with larger groups, especially if they include strangers), but when there were only a few folks remaining, I brought him outside to enjoy the fire.

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I think he liked it. I know I did.

Thanks, you guys, for all of your kind comments on my last post and my unintended absence. It means a lot to know you’re still here.

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scorched wool smells bad.

Ask me how I know this:

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On our snowshoeing adventure, my mitts got a bit too close to a barrel stove (read: I used one of them like a hot mitt to open the door), and it seems the fire (and handle) had grown incredible hot. This was great for my cold toes, and bad for one of my mitts. Luckily, I already had a pair of mitts on the needles. I got around to finishing these this morning, and I have to say, I love this pattern (Ravelry link) by Twinknit. This is the second pair I’ve made, and they are nice and long and they fit snugly enough to do things while wearing them (you know what I mean). Plus, the cables are simple and beautiful.

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This may become my “go-to” mitt pattern. Here’s a classic coffee mug shot, though I could not position the camera in such a way to use the timer to get both mitts in the picture — and Boh could not be enticed to push the button.

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I’m taking it easy today, doing some recharging after a very full weekend and working to stave off the beginnings of a cold/sore throat. I have some traveling for work coming up next weekend, and it will be much more productive if I am healthy. I will likely begin winding yarn and choosing a pattern for my next pair of socks. I am thinking about Schrodinger’s Twisted Tweed Socks, as I have some Trekking and the pattern is already written for Magic Loop (no extra thinking or converting necessary for my first attempt at this method). I’ll keep you posted!

Also, if you need some inspiration, check out this gorgeous cardigan over at slippedstitch. This cardigan has already sent me digging through bins of yarn to figure out what I could use to make this. I aspire to this kind of beauty in my knitted things — which reminds me — soon, I shall post on my knitting resolutions for 2008. The list keeps growing, and I will have to edit and prioritize in order to settle on something remotely attainable.

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After spending Christmas with my family, Boh and I jumped back into my trusty Honda and headed even further east to meet up with our dearest friend (Boh did some serious bonding on this trip). We spent a day gathering our provisions, finishing some top-secret work (thanks, Mad) and movie watching before heading up to Southern Vermont to the Merck Forest and Farmland Center, an educational organization that runs a sustainable farm and has several cabins for rent, year-round, on its 31oo acres.

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The theme of this trip for us was “luxury camping”, so we hefted our packs, filled with sausage, knitting, reading, down booties, part of a growler of Southwestern beer, brownies, etc. and began the gorgeous hike in to our cabin, a few miles from the main visitor’s center. (Note: the above picture is from the hike out. You’ll notice there is a good 9 inches of snow on the ground. This was not there when we arrived, so we left the snowshoes in the car.) An hour or so later, we arrived at our cabin, stocked with firewood and complete with two wood stoves. Soon the fires were roaring, and we were settled in for the evening.

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Note that the dog is in MY spot. We made dinner, brought in firewood for the evening and began to hunker. I made some serious progress on tiger sock number 2:

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Santa brought me these deliciously warm down booties, and I was thrilled to have them for this trip. It snowed through the night, and on into the morning. It was still snowing when we packed up and began the hike out — a bit more challenging due to the many inches of powder we’d received over the last 12 hours. Here’s a shot of me and the dog at that same vista overlooking the farm portion of the land trust.

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From there, a review of the forecast for continuous snow modified our plans a bit — worried that we might get snowed in at Merck and never make it up to our final destination in northern Vermont, we left early in order to cover some of the mileage before the roads froze and spent a more “civilized” New Year’s Eve making pasta and lounging in a hotel room halfway “up” I-91. The following morning we left early, and it began to snow. We reached the Wheeler Pond Camps just as the previous evening’s guests were leaving. Still snowing.

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Plenty of snow for snowshoes. We packed our daypacks and snowshoed out the cabin door, eventually deciding to climb Moose Mountain in the Willoughby State Forest. With Boh leading, we climbed up and up and up, eventually reaching a rather anticlimactic summit that had to be the top! (We confirmed this on the cabin’s map upon return.) Here’s a view of the frozen pond, from part of the way up Moose Mountain.

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Feeling invigorated (and okay, a bit sore!), we returned to luxury camping, which involved soup, yahtzee, more knitting and reading, a crackling fire and a bunch more snow. I can’t think of a better way to spend the first day of 2008.

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I haven’t been this relaxed in months, and the company and the setting made this one of the best camping trips I’ve taken in recent memory.

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(Surreptitiously slipping in some knitting content: See that on my head? That is my finished Foliage, made in purple Malabrigo. I wore it the entire trip. It stretched out a little bit, but that is likely fixable with some blocking…I love it.)

The next morning (still snowing), we dug the car out and drove south for one more evening of lounging before I set out for my parents’ house and Maddy went back to work. The next day, Boh and I began the 1801 miles back to our casita — and here we are.

Now that I’ve told you about New Years, I’ll have to sit down and make my resolution list — knitting and otherwise. Stay tuned!