Picture of contentment

OK, so I know I said I wasn’t going to post anything until the new year, but I couldn’t resist sharing this picture of a totally contented author!

HVF Knitting Christmas 2013

Here I am at a friend’s house over this past weekend. She lives in Seattle in a beautiful home overlooking Puget Sound, which you can just about see through the window behind me. Could I look any happier?  My family and I had just been fed an amazing dinner, which concluded with one of the best desserts I’ve ever had in my life (the Barefoot Contessa’s Panettone Bread Pudding – click here for the recipe). I had TWO HELPINGS!

Hey, it’s the holidays. Don’t judge me.

And now I’ve collapsed into this wildly pretty and wildly comfortable armchair for after-dinner conversation and knitting.

Check out the blanket I’m wrapped in. Is it fabulous or what? My friend gave it to me for Christmas, and I’m crazy about it already. It’s the perfect blanket for a writer, printed with famous lines from classic novels. Lines such as “Call me Ishmael” (anyone?), “Reader, I married him” (c’mon, you know this!), and “It’s a truth universally acknowledged” (my favorite).

As for the knitting, if you look closely, you might be able to tell that I’ve got my project stashed in my favorite Betsy-Tacy bag, the one I got at the 2012 convention. I met some of you there, remember? Anyway, I recently started knitting again after a long hiatus — like over a decade — and I find myself wondering why I ever stopped. It’s something that gives me such joy! I love everything about knitting, from poking around in yarn shops swooning over all the colors and textures, to choosing just the right pattern, to watching the project grow. I love thinking about the person I’m making the item for as I work on it, too (in this case, an infinity cowl scarf for a young friend and former Sunday School student – the lavender is going to look beautiful on her).

Since I haven’t knit in a while, I started off with something simple. A soft, nicely textured bulky mohair blend on size 10 needles, in an easy K2, P1 ribbing. Piece o’ cake, which is just what I needed to get back in business again.  I used to knit all sorts of intricate things — Fair Isle and Icelandic patterns, cute little multi-colored baby sweaters with animals designs on them, I even mastered cables! I need some practice before I leap back into the deep again, though, so this simple scarf is the equivalent of paddling around in the shallow end.  It’s working up quickly, which is highly satisfying. I can’t wait to finish it and give it to my friend. I’ll be sure and post a picture of it, both here and on ravelry.com (I’m HeatherVF for any of you fellow ravelers).

That’s it for the update. Now I’m really signing off until the new year.  Happy almost 2014, everyone!

Signing off for the holidays

That tree my guys cut down yesterday?  It now looks like this:

Frederick Tannenbaum 2013

Nice, huh?  We had such fun decorating it last night!  I put on some Christmas music (currently at the top of my playlist: Pentatonix), made hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows for everyone (confession: I didn’t make the marshmallows myself — I bought them at Baker & Spice, my favorite local coffee shop/bakery/hangout), and then we took the ornaments out of the storage boxes one by one, reminisced over them, and found the perfect spot for each one.

When we were done, we sat back and admired our handiwork.  What is it about twinkle lights, the smell of evergreen, and shiny baubles? They put the magic in this holiday, for me at least.

So to those of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a very merry one. And to those of you who celebrate other holidays, I wish you a happy new year.  I’m signing off for now to spend time with my family, but I’ll be back in early January with some treats in store for you, including the cover reveal for ABSOLUTELY TRULY, my next novel, and an all-new story starter and a giveaway to kick off 2014 in stellar style.

Ciao for niao!

Christmas Mantel 2013