During my trip, I did a lot of planning and dreaming about knitting projects to come. As I started to think about my plans for the upcoming holidays, I started to get a bit nervous. I believe the bulk of my knitting will now be directed at gift knitting, at least until January. Of course, if I finish my list ahead of time *insert hilarious crazy laughter here*, I can always work on something for me. Here's the list: 1. Birthday Poncho. You know I've already started this, and am almost to the halfway mark. The birthday this is intended for is in September, so I don't have that much time, but I'm feeling pretty confident. 2. Flap Top Mittens, from Handknit Holidays. These, I hope, will be a birthday gift for my step-dad, who celebrates his happy day in early October. With allowances for Canada Post, who are not the most speedy folk, it should be done and gone by the end of September. Haven't even bought yarn for these yet - oh darn, I suppose that means I'll have to do some yarn shopping. 3. Pirate Sweater, Adorable Knits for Tots. I've already told you all about the yarn I picked up at Make 1 Yarns for this. I have cast on, but am only just past the ribbing for the back. This is Brian's Christmas gift, and I'm pretty excited to watch his face when he sees the skull on the front. 4. Pig-Tailed Dolly, from Weekend Knitting. Again, no yarn (the sacrifices I make for my children are amazing, I will be forced to pick up yarn for this project, too). This is for Gwenyth for Christmas, because she loves a dolly more than anything. I don't hold out any hope that the one I make her will be more loved than the cloth one my mum gave her at her birth, but I'm sure she'll enjoy it, anyway. We also have a pushchair that once belonged to Katie, so plan to present the dolly to Gwen in that. 5. Katie is getting a plush, sleeveless hooded pullover, but without the motif. She's a girl who likes the plain things, and I'm determined to make her something she'll actually wear and enjoy on a regular basis. I bought the yarn for this, Patons Be Mine in light blue, when Lewiscraft was closing out. 6. Hee hee, I thought I was done. How silly of me. Next up is a matching set of hats and scarves for my mum and step-dad. They're very cute, still very in love, and like cute things, like matching. Yarn safely in basket, pattern there too, just need time and desire to get it done. 7. A cabled, lace scarf for my mother in law. I bought the most beautiful Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk, and really hope she loves it. She's the old school kind of knitter, who works mostly with acrylic, and I'm thinking she might not appreciate the lovely yarn, but I'll still love working with it. 8. I would really love to knit up a teddy bear for my step-mother. She has a huge teddy bear collection, (I was checking it out during our visit) but not a single knitted bear. No pattern, no real plan, either, just a nice idea. It may stay a nice idea this year, too, since my list is starting to make me feel queasy. I've been working away on the birthday poncho, not because I'm feeling stressed about it, but because the recipient was called away for a very sad family emergency, and I'm taking the opportunity of doing it while she's out of the house. I don't know if I have ever talked about my crazy blended family - my husband was married before to a lady with 2 children. He thus has 2 step-children, both of whom are older than I am. His step-son doesn't live here, and doesn't speak to him at all. His step-daughter, however, is here in Prince George. Last spring, Jeannie went through a separation, and moved into our basement suite with Stuart's granddaughter, Victoria. Victoria, obviously, does not call me "Grandma", although she does call Stuart "Grandpa", which makes for some very funny looks when he & I take the kids out. We love them very much, are happy to have them here, but it makes for some interesting family dynamics at times. It works well for the most part, largely due to the fact that we have different living spaces. Although we eat most evening and weekend meals together, and spend a lot of our free time together, it's important to have our own space, too. Victoria is 6 months older than Katie, and they are the best of friends. Brian is surrounded by females, but is surviving admirably. The baby is spoiled rotten, since there are now 6 people in the house to dote on her. Long story short (too late), the poncho is for Jeannie. Phew, what a story!