Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Friday, December 04, 2009

So then November went away.....

and I'm not sure I will miss it much. Not that November was particularly bad or anything - it was just.very.gray. LOL. I love me some gray and think the every many variations of light and dark gray are totally stunning. Heck, throw some silver sparkle in it and I'll come running with my tail wagging (yes, it is big enough to wag...pass the chocolate please). But, after days and days of it, grey starts to look kind of limiting. You know, it's a short walk from just a touch over silver to gray to uth-oh, that's black and not gray at all and then, well, you're kind of bored with it. I think that pretty much sums up how November looked...and went.

Myrtle/Chai BaclavaBut, at least I got a little gift knitting attended to. And, for some reason I cannot explain, the forces at be have granted my wish and I have managed to finish COMPLETELY all the 'bought' gifts for the upcoming holidays. I KNOW - me - ahead AND prepared. It's scary, a little, isn't it? The first gift knit is out of the way. Thing 3 has long since outgrown his knightly baklava in both size and the fact that he's double digits now and believes wearing a knitted hat that looks like armor is silly little kid stuff. So, I took this gorgeous 'Myrtle' roving from Boogie's Spunky Club (it's an over-dyed oatmeal bfl with dark, rich colors, mmmmm) and paired it with a 'chai' batt and whipped him up a new one - a better one (psst...you knew I'd be quoting Jack Sparrow in here somewhere since I'm still waiting on the sexiest pirate alive to come and steal me from my real life - LOL). He's going to love these colors and while I'm trying to look like I'm ahead of the game in all areas - let me just confess that still on the knit list for him are mittens, another simple hat, and a cowl plus, in my wild fantasies, a pair of socks. Yeah...right....just when I start having miracle grow shakes for breakfast and sprout 8 arms:) Still, one has to aspire to the impossible from time to time and living in the lap of luxuries like running water, electricity, and a road that is passable in the wet month of November has sort of spoiled me in the reaching for the impossible department....I guess I needed to stretch those muscles again.

It is the small gift I give myself for what I have stopped calling the Holidays and now refer to as the season of the dreaded swatch. Swatching, to me, is a practice only of obligation. I feel obligated to make sure a thing I make for someone else will fit. For myself? I will often forgo swatching and just dive right in, adjusting the fit as I go along. Gift knitting means swatching. Urgh.

angelfish ensembleSo, I laugh at myself and then I ask the eternal question, "why do you despise swatching?" I think it's because of the whole impracticality of it. I mean, a little square? Why can't we swatch in the form of something that can be used? I know a square can be used for many things like a patchwork blanket, an ipod cover, a coaster, etc. but I'm not really interested in changing my behavior (lol), I only want to distract myself by looking at it. So, to comfort myself, I knit a garter stitch rectangle instead. Because, you know, I'm just ornery, I guess. I called it a bookmark and put a bead on the end of it and that made me feel better (neurotic much?) Then, I got into a garter stitch groove and whipped out this little ensemble for Thing 1. The headband (left), cowl(middle - scored the leather buttons at the craft store the other day and squealed out loud in front of many people) and the cuff of the mitts are from the 'angelfish' colorway in David's SCF Fibre Club. Then, I pulled out some farm raised 'Gold Dust Woman' yarn and some yarn I made from my 'gypsy' batts and made the rest of the mitts. Whew! I happily put a big check next to 1. cowl 2. mitts and 3.headband for Thing 1. Now, let's just stay in a positive place with this giftie because - don't fall over laughing or anything - but I already have her socks knit (they are the gold dust woman socks from the last post) and the only other things I wanted to knit her were leg warmers and a hat. I might still make it if I just can get by on 2 hrs. of sleep a night. Wish me luck - as I have no intention of not trying. I mean, what would that do? Save my sanity (yes, I have some)? Allow me to function like a living human being instead of a droid who's wiring is faulty? Ha ha aha ha...why would I want to do that? nah...I'm going to try to get them done, still.

Estuary cowlThing 1 is in the desperate zone, though. So far, his mittens remain unchecked. His hat is only just begun and has the same ribbing as this cowl so I didn't bother taking another pic of it - you'll just have to trust me. His sweater is barely there and his birthday and holiday socks are laughable but - I have Christmas in my heart (and snowflakes blinding out all traces of reality) and I believe I may get some of it done.

In short, every year I vow in January that I will either give up on gift knitting or become a more practical and evolved thinker and actually start knitting way in advance. Both are clearly fantasy. It just isn't likely that I'll give up on gift knitting any time soon. The truth is that even though I will probably cry in January the first time someone asks my kids if their mom knit that hat and need to go in the bathroom and splash water on my face and stop foaming at the mouth whilst remember the days leading up to the season of the dreaded swatch when I walk around with my knitting in my hands ALL THE TIME....feeling guilty if I take a long hot bath or something silly like that when I could be knitting (insert recipient's name here)'s mittens, I am strangely attached the the whole race and I don't see myself stopping any time soon. And, the whole planning ahead thing, I am finding, is not really all its cracked up to be. Sure, I don't have to head out to the shops or pay hefty shipping costs to acquire those things on the wishlist because I spent a few days in November getting all the freaking shopping out of the way so my Saturdays are still my own apart from taxiing teenagers all over the place - but, with the gift knitting, I think I kind of need the thrill, the pressure, the total craziness of it all. I guess I'm choosing those special moments when I have to rip something back and I sit down with my needles in my hand and actually carry on a conversation with them - asking them if they know how many hours of knitting we just screwed up and asking them to express some degree of accountability for the problem. That's totally normal, right?