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Much of my day was spent reading and knitting, as you see here. I finished The Science of the Discworld IV while working on #2 son’s Christmas sweater. I started the sweater again with size 2 needles. This is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Grizzly Heather, and the pattern is from Men’s Knits: 20 New Classics. I was finding it difficult to work with the size 1 needles — it may have been the bamboo or the sleeve needle, but it was keeping me from getting the knitting done. Working the front on size 2 is quite comfortable, so I’ll just frog the sleeve and do it over.

I did the grocery shopping and house cleaning first. Laundry, scrubbing, stuff like that. It made the house nice to be in. The lovely fall day helped with that, too. I even did some baking, making some Linzer Cookies to go with chilaquiles for dinner.

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#1 son passed on them, and I won’t say he was wrong. Toasting the hazelnuts created an intoxicatingly good small, but these cookies are a lot of trouble and when you finish they taste like a very upmarket peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so they might not be the best choice. We had green salad and pineapple with the chilaquiles, so I don’t think he missed the dessert.

I was at home to receive packages, too, which is always nice.

My Christmas cards arrived, along with clever gifts for my sons which I know they will find exciting, the yarn for #2 daughter’s Christmas sweater (she chose the pattern), and my deep-discount planner binder and tote.

I always buy my planners and binders from the same company, and if I see a truly amazing discount (which I do every few years) I will buy it.

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I think you can see that my beloved binder is getting very shabby. Next to the new one it looks particularly feeble, and this is for work, too. The tote is, if anything, worse.

However — and I did not see this coming –the new binder and tote are not leather. They were certainly priced like leather, but they are some highly textured version of plastic. In fairness, I see that they described it a soft durable texgtured vinyl with a metallic sheen that is both fun and fashionable. I ignored that part because it never occurred to me that an item from that company would not be leather.

I’m not happy with this. I think I like shabby leather better than new plastic. I’m trying to get used to the idea, though. DSCN3939

The tote is designed to hold an iPad rather than a laptop, and I expect my Kindle Fire  (okay, my husband’s Kindle Fire, but he lets me use it) will be happy in the nice padded compartment.

And I will look less shabby at meetings.

I learned this week that the average Christmas shopper spends $140 on herself as she shops. We’ll see whether I do that or not. I am certainly on my way. However, my shabby old ones have served me well for four years or so and these were half price, so it was not a madly frivolous purchase.

The jamming angels are the Christmas cards. Quite frivolous, but Christmas should be frivolous. The boys’ gifts and the Christmas sweater yarn are discreetly almost hidden in case the recipients peek, which I’m fairly sure they won’t.