Well, a little at a time I've been scratching things off of my mile long to-do list. I emailed BritRail about luggage regulations, hoping I wouldn't have to ship my trunk ($330 minimum!). Thankfully, they do allow checked luggage, contrary to what I originally thought, so I can take my suitcase. I also talked to some hostel-hoppers on Ravelry, getting more info on hostels, their security and regulations.
My other activities this past week have included copius amounts of knitting and--gasp--crocheting. I finished up one lap robe, got most of the way done with another before I ran out of yarn (might still manage to finish it if I'm really, really lucky), and started a third. That one will actually come with me to Europe. I've decided that rather than risking my knitting with the TSA and European anti-terror groups (I've been reading the horror stories on Ravelry, trying to gain more information on what is allowed and what isn't), I'm going to pack it all away and just take a K or N size crochet hook and some scrap yarn. I'm making myself one of those blankets that folds up into a pillow out of some leftover balls of yarn. The afghan will probably go in my checked baggage so I don't have to carry it (You hear that, George Bush? I'm sneaking an Afghan in my suitcase!), but I will most certainly be bringing another skane of yarn for other, smaller projects on the plane. I'm thinking of a laptop cozy and a cell phone cover, just because the phone is a rental and I'm a klutz. I know how many times I've dropped my ipod, and I'd rather it have a hard case, but for some reason Walmart has stopped selling them for that style of phone and I'm too lazy to search elsewhere, particularly since I leave in LESS THAN A WEEK. Can you believe it? Two months ago, I didn't even think I would make it this far, and now I only have five days.
Another think that has been keeping me busy is my knitting book! Yep, I'm working on putting together a special book of patterns. I have it outlined, a list of everything I want to put into it, and about half the patterns are written. I'm looking for test knitters though, since I'm new to this whole pattern-writing thing. If you're interested, please post in the comments or e-mail me using the yahoo address in my profile. I have patterns for both knitters and crocheters, and I think that there's a fair range of skill levels.
I hope everyone out there had a blessed Yule, Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza (does anyone even celebrate that? They always made a big deal about it when I was in elementary school to encourage diversity, but I've never met anyone who celebrates it. Of course, my teachers NEVER mentioned Yule...some diversity...) or whatever else you celebrate.
The holiday itself was okay, but most of my presents where food. How, I ask you, am I supposed to eat 2 boxes of necco thin mints, one double box of cherry cordials, half a dozen mini bags of M&Ms, one bag of sour starburst jelly beans, one large jar of pickled eggs (love me some pink eggs! (don't ask. We have a lot of Amish around here. If you don't know what they are, they you probably won't get it)), three mint 3 musketeers, 2 bags of skittles, and one bag of Dove Dark Chocolate, on top of Gingerbread men and whatever my Grandma gets me (we haven't even had the extended family Christmas yet; just the one with me and my parents).
I decided that the skittles and the dove (un opened bags) are going to come with me to Europe. I can take those in my checked bags, right? I don't want them to go to waste, since no one else in the house eats skittles or dark chocolate.
As to the rest of my "vacation"...There have been fire works. Family tension continues. It is actually one of the reason I am on the computer at the library right now instead of at home.
But I'm dealing. I get out of here in five days, and I cannot wait to be gone.
Pictures of knitting and crochet to come soon. I hope to get them updated at the latest on New Years Eve, when I'll probably be loading images from Alice's house, if her wireless internet decides to give me a signal.