Advent Knitting

Last year I made an offhand comment on Facebook about the Opal Advent Calendar. Much to my surprise and delight my aunt bought me one for Christmas. It was so much fun opening the little windows to see the pretty new yarn each day. I loved advent calendars as a child, but mine pre-dated the chocolate variety (or any other type of gift) and only had little pictures inside. Yarn definitely beats pictures and sometimes (but not always) chocolate.*

 

 

By Christmas I was left with 24 mini balls of sock yarn and some questions about what I would do with them.

 

My anal knitter side wouldn’t let me make mis-matched socks. I find Opal slightly scratchy so I didn’t want to make a shawl or scarf. My back up plan was squares for my sock yarn blanket, but that didn’t seem quite right either. Then I stumbled across a pattern for Christmas ornaments knit from small amounts of sock yarn. Perfect!

 

There are two varieties: spiral:

 

And chevron:

 

Chevron is my favourite of the two. I had trouble with the spiral pattern that was completely related to my inability to count and completely unrelated to the pattern, but it’s finally working out.

 

Because I remain totally, hopelessly delusional about the amount of free time I have leading up the Christmas holidays and totally, hopelessly delusional about the speed at which I knit, I thought it would be fun to knit an ornament a day, sort of a reverse advent calendar. So far so good, but I’m traveling for work this week and I’m pretty sure things are about to go off the rails. I’m posting a picture a day (hopefully) on Instagram, so please follow along there.

 

* I’ve never really thought of yarn vs. chocolate. That’s a debate I’m not ready to have.

Well Lit

I know it’s a bit early but today I put up my outside Christmas lights. I try to put them up on a nice-ish day in late October or early November, but usually don’t turn them on until December.  I don’t know why I consider it such a victory when they’re done; maybe it’s my irrational fear of climbing ladders. (Given my klutziness, it may not be quite so an irrational a fear).

 

Tonight though, I left them lit.  There’s something quite cheerful about looking out the window and seeing a twinkle of colour.

 

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In other news, I bought a roll of wrapping paper when I was restocking on extension cords and staples for my staple gun (Every year, I swear it’s the same trip to the store). Anyway, in the less than 5 minutes it took to drive home from the store, Charlie decided to let me know what he thought of the festive prep:

 

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It’s going to be a long month.

My 5 Favourite Things about Christmas at Disney

Last week my sister, her 3 girls (ages 7, 7, and 6) and I went to Walt Disney World for three days. It was a quick trip but we had never been to Disney at Christmas time.  Following are my favourite things about Disney during the holidays.

#5 – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This is a bit of an honourable mention and it comes with a bit of a disclaimer: while we can maximize the number of rides completed at a Disney park, taking in shows and parades has never been something we focussed on. So when faced with an event that centred on parades and Cinderella’s castle being “Frozen”, we did not excel at getting good a good spot to see the show.  And it rained.  A lot.  So much they cancelled the parade.  The hot chocolate and cookies were good though.  Were they worth the extra money – nah, maybe not.

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#4 – Gingerbread: Ok, this is a bit odd. I’m not sure I’ve ever made a gingerbread house during the holidays, but I can definitely appreciate the work that would go into it. So I was amazed by the actual gingerbread structures at the Grand Floridian and Contemporary Resorts.

And the gingerbread cupcakes were pretty good too!

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#3 – Decorations: I loved the Christmas decorations everywhere! In typical Disney fashion, they matched the theme of whatever park/resort they were in.

 

 

#2 – Candlelight Processional: I was looking forward to this the most and it didn’t disappoint.  My sister had purchased our dinner and tickets several weeks in advance (one show sold out while she was looking at the options) and it was a must.  The standby line was crazy trying to get into one of the three nightly shows.  Neil Patrick Harris was the celebrity reader the night we were there. I think he said it was his ninth? year there and it appeared he really enjoyed it. The candlelight and the singers were amazing and I think it would be great with whoever the reader was. (We had tickets to the second show which I think was good because it was dark; it wasn’t for the first show).

 

 

#1 – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: This was hands down my favourite Christmas thing that we did at Disney. The lights and music were amazing; we walked through twice. The blowing snow added to the atmosphere, but what I really loved was that most people you passed were also singing the Christmas songs. Very festive and well worth a visit (or two).

 

I may have overwhelmed my Facebook feed with just about every picture I took of the lights.  I was a little a lot impressed!