This weekend was the first time I've had four days off work in a row since early June, and it was a pretty productive / relaxing weekend. I caught up on my sleep (quite a feat--Frieda likes to get up at 4:30am most days), finished the last bit of Sock Wars work, did a little bit of holiday shopping, and worked on numerous holiday-related projects. Today I made cranberry chutney and a meatless mincemeat made with pears and apples. I never really thought about mincemeat having actual meat in it, but evidently that's the case. The flavor of this mincemeat is similar to traditional mincemeat, although I used dried cranberries instead of raisins so it's a little more tart. I think it would be delicious heated over ice cream, or used in little hand-pies. I've never been a big fan of whole mincemeat pies, because there isn't enough crust for the amount of filling. Little hand-pies take care of that problem! The chutney is savory, and would be delicious with a baked brie or roast pork. It's also good on crackers with brie or goat cheese. It's nice to have these done, they are great hostess gifts and I like to have something handmade at the ready so that if any holiday invites roll in, I'm prepared.
This weekend I worked a couple of inches on Shedir, and am a few rows into the decreasing section. I love the way the cables transform from the repeating braided cables into the star-like top cable, and I'm looking forward to seeing this happen as I get further along. I took out one repeat of the braided cable so that it wouldn't come down so far over the forehead (and so I could move along to the top faster). Once the decreasing starts, the beginning of the row shifts occasionally, it's a little tricky but the way that the cables are charted makes it very clear. The biggest problem I've had so far is that the ball of Calmer is getting all loose and tangley--hopefully, I can stem the tide! I haven't decided yet whether I'll give this one away. Living in WA, I don't need a hat very often, but this is a hat that I could wear without itching, so it may need to be mine. Or I suppose I can knit another one in the same yarn after all of the holiday knitting it complete.