The mystery object is complete. It is made in Wool-ease Chunky, fisherman color, on size 7 needles.

So I met my self-imposed December 10th Christmas knitting deadline.

I also made most of one of these little aliens, but mine turned out marsupial and stuffed with foam, which pretty well spoils it for its purpose. More on that later.

One reason that I was able to finish this yesterday was that it was such chunky yarn — 3 stitches to the inch on #7 needles. I don’t usually use bulky yarn (like, never), so I was impressed with the speed. Another reason is that I knitted during the gory parts of  “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” It was an excellent movie, but the level of gore on the big screen was such that I was better off being slightly distracted in some sections.

I would highly recommend it, though I wouldn’t take small children to it myself.

The third reason was that my menfolks spent the evening disporting in low dives (well, actually #1 son was bowling and #2 son was at Pinky’s for the traveling sleepover, and only my husband was out at the pool hall) and I was sitting up in the expectation of having to go pick someone up. So I was up way past my bedtime, knitting the little alien creature blearily from memory.

This is why the little alien looks so different from the pattern. Quite early on — having forgotten how the pocket worked — I decided that I would just pick up stitches around the base instead of casting on and sewing up. That left the pocket hanging around uselessly when it was time to do the finishing, so I made it a front pocket instead and stuffed the critter. The pocket will hold a penny, or perhaps a love note, so it is not entirely worthless.

We had our work party yesterday. It was a talking-and-eating party, which is often the best kind. We all squeezed into the break room with our potluck offerings, leaving one poor soul at a time out on the floor with the customers. I was not scheduled to work, and there were so many of us that I ended up not even taking a turn on the floor.

Following the party, I came home and made some Honey Nougat. Honey Nougat is less suspenseful than fudge, but do not think it is lacking in fun moments because of that. The point at which you pour boiling hot sugar syrup into egg whites while beating them is particularly exciting. I did my sugar syrup in a heavy cast iron Dutch oven and used a hand-held mixer, just to keep the thrills in the process. At one point, I enlisted #1 son’s help, but we still managed to get rather a lot of quickly-hardening sugar syrup all over the kitchen. Sort of like King Midas, but with candy.

Then I dipped some of the nougat into chocolate. I may do more of that today. One of my low-priority goals is to learn to make chocolates like Mrs. See’s. I do not aspire to Godiva. Making candy is generally a matter of chemistry and physics, but hand-dipping is an actual skill. Having been reminded of Turkish Delight by the movie, I am considering making some of that as well. Naturally, I packed up all the candy and put it in the freezer. It was the ladies at Russell Stover who told me that they always do this. You think that you can’t freeze chocolate because of the bloom, but they told me that the secret is simply not to open the package till it reaches room temperature. In this way, you can make your Christmas candies with some degree of leisure, enjoying the chemistry-experiment aspect of it instead of hurrying on with your most familiar recipes. But I am not attempting fudge till #2 daughter gets home.

This morning we do our big music at church. It seems awfully early to me, but I am still looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun. Many of the choristers have expressed particular fondness for one song or another. One of my favorites to sing is “Where the Stable Light Shines.” This is not that great a piece — you can find the  sheet music here or scroll down here to download a choir singing it, and see what I mean — but it is a tango. How fun is that? There should be maracas and trombones and major choreography, possibly with saffron-colored draperies. There won’t be any of that, of course, but it would be fun.

As for the book I am reading — well, it suffers from being non-fiction. This woman decides to travel around the world, having a single date with each of 80 men, trusting that love at first sight will reveal her Soul Mate to her in the course of the experiment. I put it on my Booksfree list when it was announced in the Advance because I figured it would be fiction, and entertaining. But so far (I am up to date #5) it is a record of one blind date after another. Have you ever been on a blind date? Or, for that matter, met a complete stranger with limited facility in your native language? Not really that interesting, was it? I mean, it was probably fun, and I often, in my work, meet people whom I enjoy talking with even if I never see them again, but it’s not much of a plot. Maybe a magazine article, but hardly a book. I figure I’ll give it to date 10 before I quit reading, just in case she has some twist coming up.

Must go practice now. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!