Saddle up

Five of Twelve.

The McPhee clan continues to party on at extreme speed. Last nights escapade came off at my house without a hitch. And today we find out intrepid McPhee team launching The Big One.


Ali’s cutting up cheese. (Lots of cheese.)


Ian’s putting stuff in bowls. (Lots of bowls.)


I’m making little tart things. (Lots.)


Mum is directing traffic. (Lots of directing. Trust us.)


The sock’s putting out goat cheese and crackers.


Tuppers hauling in a smoked salmon….

And off we go. The dancing comes later.

100 thoughts on “Saddle up

  1. I hope you show us the dancing again this year. Looks like a blast!
    Keep up the good work.

  2. Have a glorious time! the sock is amazingly talented putting out the goat cheese and crackers like that. Is that cranberry stuff on the cheese? And share the recipe for those tart things!!! They look awesome! HAVE FUN!

  3. what’s in those tarts? they look yums!
    and tell sock to BE CAREFUL! we don’t want it to smell of goat cheese before it meets its feet.

  4. It’s nice to see a family enjoying itself together, taking time out to have not just one but many holiday gatherings! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the 12!

  5. Glad you’re relaxing and having a fine old time with family and friends. And love the menu — smoked salmon, tarts, dip — oh, and I second the motion — recipe for tarts? I’ve only just managed to make my first unburnt quiche, and I’m itching now to try tarts . . .

  6. Yum! Everything (lots) looks good. I’m very impressed with the sock’s goat cheese. That looks absolutely delicious! Party on!

  7. Damn, I’m coming to your house…apparently the family is sick of “hey, let’s have breakfast for supper” as I throw cereal in a bowl.

  8. Wow! What delicious-looking snackies! We’re not even half-way through the 12 days and you call this party the BIG one!?!? Can’t wait to see the rest. Raise a glass to happy days for us all!

  9. If I hadn’t gotten the third Wee Free Men book (Wintersmith) for Christmas I would be roiling the sock drawer for my passport while calculating driving time to Toronto (party won’t be finished by 8, will it? Surely that crowd has stamina?)
    Gas credit card, check. Toothbrush, check…

  10. And a good time will be had by all (including each and every teen girl present, hopefully!). btw, please tell Tucker he is looking especially dashing in that picture… James Bond better watch out!

  11. Wow cheese cutting, tarts, smoked salmon, OH my! (sock is talented, he puts out goat cheese, why don’t my socks do that?)

  12. We had a side of salmon on Christmas Eve and we’re still eating it. I think we need to party more. You can tell your mum that she’s too young to be your mum and I want a haircut just like hers.

  13. All looks quite tempting. We are just about through the leftovers. Still got pie, cookies, and cake if anyone is interested. With all the time I’ve had on my hands, I should be doing copious amounts of knitting. Have done some, but I am at my parents, in Colorado. Needless to say, I have been shoveling lots of snow. They live in the country so snow plows can be a little slower out here.

  14. Don’t forget to enter the contest! No wait! You are the one person who can’t enter. But don’t worry, I think you’ll get a prize anyway. After all it’s my contest and I’ll prize who I want to 😉 *ducks*
    Ha! Missed me!

  15. Hmmm what’s in those tarts? They look delicious! I love that you do the 12 days of Christmas, that is so fun.

  16. Sweet brother of Maude. Goat cheese and crackers and smoked salmon and dancing… *swoon* Yer *killin* us down here in the Warm, Damp Southern Reaches.
    We love you anyway. Some of us are happy just living vicariously.

  17. Looks like fun! Headin to the cottage tomorrow for our fam fun. Boys will eat fondue for the first time. There will only be dancing if I do it. There will be walks on the beach with dogs & kids, we’ll see if any kids take a dip. They did it once at Thanksgiving & I never saw three little blue butts high tail it out of the water faster! I wonder if they remember?

  18. That goat cheese looks scrumptious! Are those cranberries on the outside? And your tart thingies look delish too. Have a great time!

  19. A beautiful *and* talented sock! You are a very fortunate lady and not just in the area of knitwear.

  20. Whooopeedooo!!! Fun to be had and everyone helping even the sock. Tis a wonderous thing to have family all together at this special time. Memories are being made to last a life time. May ALL your dearest wishes for the whole family come true in this coming year.

  21. Ah, the Canadians know how to do it! I wasn’t around last year, what kind of dancing? You’re an inspiration: we have cheddar full of cranberries, and I believe I’ll get some with crackers. I might cadge some leftover salmon from a friend…. and yes, those TARTS! I’m imagining a McPhee revels as being framed in that stunning French-Celtic music That’s it, I’m locking the door, putting on all of my Nat McMaster CDs and drinking tea. Talk to you later.

  22. We started Christmas early– our party was the 9th, and we’ve been to one almost every night since. Tonight will be the first time alone with my husband in ages, and I can hardly wait. I finally, today, finished the sweater that is my *main* gift to him this year. I’ve only been knitting for a year, and this is only the second sweater I’ve done. It came out great! Yay, me!
    I love seeing your family having a good time together. I don’t have any family, so seeing happy relatives is like seeing elves, unicorns, and other magical beings.

  23. Is it just me, or does it seem that folks in colder climes have more fun in the winter than we Californians? The tarts look scrumptious, and dancing shall be mandatory!

  24. I want to come over to your house! Enjoy, and Happy New Year!
    PS The MSF total is wonderful – you deserve many thanks for orchestrating this, you know.

  25. Is that cashmere sock yarn? It just seemed logical since it is goat cheese … (yes, it has been an extremely long week and that is my feeble attempt at humor).
    Happy 12 days of Christmas and Happy New Year!

  26. !!! Sidebar Alert !!!
    You’ve been cleverly distracted by today’s post.
    raised to date: $ 240 116
    current goal: $ 240,000
    Congratulations, Knitters!

  27. MMMMMMM Smoked salmon is my absolute favorite. Grilled salmon comes a close second. Wish I were there instead of being amongst all my fish snubber kiddos. Cheers! Have a great weekend.

  28. I was thinking Tupper looked rather dashing. Plus he has the salmon so who wouldn’t suck up?
    I wish I was there.

  29. Ode to a Torontonian Winter Event
    12 days of revelry at the Manse McPhee
    12 nights of lights and dance to chase the dark a wee (that’s away with a scottish accent, ye fools)
    where fun and friends and food abound
    with nae knitters but family around
    as the rest of us make a mournful sound
    and wish we were secular humanists, too!
    Raise your glasses and think of us. Happy holidays to all, and to all, many good nights!

  30. Tupper looks like he might be thinking, “Why aren’t you finishing a sock?” [vbg] But also dashing and Bond-ish, I agree with the others! (And that reminds me, I’ve got a pound or two of wild Chinook in the freezer…)
    Happy 5th Day, Stephanie, and may all your family’s parties be grand ones!
    Oh, rams? I’m envious over Wintersmith! I’m waiting until paperback. 😉 Have fun, you lucky one!

  31. Everything looks so yummy. I am already in my “fat” pants now and they suddenly felt even tighter after just seeing the goat cheese and little tarts.
    Laughing at Megan’s warning about goat cheese and feet.
    Have a wonderful time McPhee clan and friends.
    Happy New Year to all

  32. I have to say I’m envious. My family had to go take naps after the excitement of present unwrapping. And that unwrapping occurred in the early afternoon!
    Enjoy your holidays to the hilt! (BTW, your Mum looks like a gorgeous woman–now I know where your good looks came from.)

  33. I’d envy you your partying if I could raise the energy. We are pinned to the sofa by the weight of our own stomaches (I blame the mince pies) and partied out before New Year’s Eve – it must be our age catching up with us. How do you keep it up for 12 days?

  34. ah yes – I recall the fabulous dancing photos from previous years. Enjoy all the beauty of these moments. every one of them counts.

  35. Enjoy your party, Stephanie, and raise a glass to Janine. All the best for the new year to the Harlot family.

  36. YUM! Looks good. What is the sock yarn? Looks perfect for wearing with jeans! Happy New Year!

  37. Looks like a fun round of holiday parties. When do you guys get to just sleep in, watch movies and do nothing? January?

  38. Merry Merry to all.
    I’ve been wondering….has anyone ever used the space saver storage bags for yarn? The kind you roll or vacuum the air out of. It would keep pests out and compact yarn for storing I just don’t know how the yarn would recover from having the air sucked out like that.

  39. Inquiring minds want to know…
    1. Did you wear a bra for your Mum?
    2. Can you train our socks to bring us cheese?
    3. Does Tupper have any salmon left over?
    Happy happy!

  40. I just went over to Blue Moon. Having tried a few of my stash yarns in linen stitch, I decided that Pink Granite was better.
    It’s sold out. Who’da thunk?

  41. Had a problem with your email address…wanted to say I have donated $35 to Doctors without Borders in memory of a friends husband.
    Loving your blog and your books. Have been knitting for 60 years…learned as a child from my Brownie leader at age 7!
    Happy New Year to all….enjoy!

  42. good socks, if only i could get my half done projects to help me with the post holiday cleaning. “hey top down sweater, get your tushie over there and start the dishes” Oh wait it might felt.

  43. Sigh. I was so hoping for a Special Saturday Post so we’d get to see pictures of the dancing. I like the idea of the dancing. I don’t get to dance much myself.
    I also want to grow up to be Tupper. Or at least have a similar saw collection. With perhaps a different hairstyle, what with me being a girl ‘n’ all.

  44. it all looks soooooo tasty! so, do you really participate in festivities each and every of the 12 consecutive days??? i’m pooped after the general 3 days of merriment(24th to 26th) that we cover in this extended family.

  45. Wow. Look at that total! I just received my “confirmation” email and looked in to your blog to see if the total had been updated. For those of you keeping track, my donation went in on the 19th! We’re going to blow the top off this! (Sorry, Stephanie – I think this is another “knitting olympics” kind of thing…just a huge response and you’ll be adding it all up for days and days – even though you’ve already been doing it for days and days!) The power of knitters is awesome. We should get some of those t-shirts!

  46. I like Christmas to last the full twelve days too!
    I thought people might be interested to hear that all proceeds raised at the fireworks display in Sydney, Australia, are going to MSF this year. =)

  47. I love that everyone in the pictures looks very intent and serious about doing their assigned tasks. Work now, dance later. 🙂 Hope you and yours have a very happy New Year!

  48. what a wonderful sock to help out with the festivities! what a wonderful feast your family must have had! what wonderful knitters to give so much! it makes me all warm and fuzzy to know that there are people out there who haven’t forgotten what this time of year is about.

  49. Dear Stephanie, when I read this I remembered last year’s New Year’s party – the first without your Janine. I said a prayer for her. Just thought you’d want to know she’s still remembered by someone who only knew her through you. Isn’t it wonderful how some people live on through others?
    Happy 2007 to you and the rest of your clan. May Joe find something (and somewhere other than YOUR knitting room/office) to keep him happily employed, may the children continue to be “good” and may you all enjoy health, good fortune and much success this year.

  50. The salmon looks yummy! What are the tarts? Everything looks soooo gooood! Happy New Year!

  51. Ok, I have to say those tarts look wonderful. If you can get someone to part with the recipe for them I would love to see that.

  52. this is a general knitting question to the community at large out there in harlot land.
    i keep reading about felted projects and i want to know how you felt yarn. do you make a project and then somehow magically felt it? do you buy special yarn? do you prepare the yarn in some way first and then knit with it??? someone please elucidate!
    ps: is there a question board or chatroom attached to this site somewhere? it might be fun to have one (although i have no idea how easy or complicated that may be to actually do!)

  53. Hi, Christine M. Have you ever ruined a sweater by washing it in the machine and it shrank and got all fuzzy? That’s felting. When you felt a project, you’re doing the same thing, just on purpose. In order to felt a project, first you need to use real, legit wool (not superwash, it won’t felt) and knit your project as usual. I suggest using a pattern, as someone much smarter than I am has already figured out the rate of shrink so that the finished object will be the correct size after felting. Once finished, pop your project into a pillowcase and tie the end. Get some hot water and a dribble of liquid laundry or dish soap into your washing machine, and in goes the pillowcase. Let it agitate for about ten minutes to start with. Take it out and check to see whether it’s felted evenly. If not, back in it goes for a few minutes longer. Give it a good rinse, block it out on a flat surface to dry, and admire at will. There are also some cool tutorials online. Maybe try Knitty–they’re awesome (although I haven’t checked myself for felting). Good luck, and have fun!

  54. Christine M — a friend’s newby-knitter daughter produced a hat from the book Stitch and Bitch which was so glamorous even her elder sisters were impressed. I’d start there. (She had the additional satisfaction of the law-school-snot sister cutting off her explanation with “I KNOW you knit it. What I’m asking is how did you get the felt onto it?”)

  55. In the honored tradition of living out loud (as per Crazy Aunt Purl), I would just like to tell the world that I think Tupper is HOT. And I can’t be the only one who thinks so.

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