Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

Could that actually be new FO's having a pre-blocking "SOAK" chez Sel and Poivre?

"FO" being plural?

In fact it is! Of course if they're all in there together it isn't a pullover or an afghan but it does mean January 2011 has seen the end of the 2010 Sel and Poivre FO drought that started last July!

Its been a long hard slog back to some knitting productivity...surprisingly hard. I couldn't get it all together to knit and blog and take photos so I've just been trying to knit every day - even if its only a little. Its amazing how that eventually adds up!

So this morning I'll channel Patrick Madden - the finishing class I took with him at a DKC workshop utterly changed the way I block my knits - and enjoy the unique accomplishment of producing something (multiple somethings!)  from "sticks and string".

Its a cold sunny morning, the house is empty except for me and my cream coloured side kick and I feel like I'm close to being back on top of things in my little domestic world. After months and months of lurching from one huge unwieldy challenge to the next that feels pretty darn great!


Hard to Believe

Christmas was only three weeks ago?!  It feels more like that many months! Maybe its seems like that to me because we took a few days after Family Celebrations on the 25th and 26th for real holiday.

We visited Jay Peak, in Vermont about 2 hours south of Montreal. This was our third visit to Jay as a family and as ever we got our money's worth out of the hill, all of us skiing first lift to last each day. It feels almost medicinal, after the annual December insanity, to head out of town to the woods where we can spend all day outside and then eat dinner in front of the TV before collapsing into bed.  

Our second day was a full battle with the elements. Bitter cold, with the kind of wind that sways a four man chair lift and can slow you down on a flat section of the hill. There was also persistent ice fog limiting visibility, subtly coating our goggles until you suddenly realized you couldn't really see anything clearly. At the top of the mountain you had to ski by kind of feeling your way down..

We were out for the whole day with only a one hour break in our condo for a hot lunch and a spin in the dryer for mitts, cowls and socks. As we trudged through the trees towards our unit in the failing light as the lifts stopped running I was drained, chilled and absolutely relaxed. (Even though a 40 minute walk up the now empty runs nearby with the dog still lay ahead). There had been no opportunity to think of anything all day other than staying warm and getting either up or down the hill. We had done it all together without a single text message having been sent or received or a cell phone call having been made either! 

After weeks of thinking of gifts and decorating and deadlines and exams and seasonal social commitments it is just perfectly brain draining for everyone to spend that kind of intense time on the hill.
The following morning we enjoyed "bluebird" skies and the kind of magical scene I have come to associate with Jay Peak...

...all that wind and ice and snow leave such amazing features behind to greet you at the top of a gondola ride.

This is the spindles of a railing coated in horizontally blown snow and ice to point where the space between is completely filled in..

Hudson of course didn't get to ski but he amused from the moment we pulled out of the driveway on departure until we raced in New Year's Eve with a couple of hours to spare before our New Year's dinner guests arrived. He was still proving an engaging travel companion in the first wee hours of 2011 as he joined us driving about the city collecting the kids from their various New Year's activities.

I hope you had a great time whatever your holidays entailed!