Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page
specs: Pattern- “The Bag” from No Sheep for You; yarn- Hempathy; needles- size 3; time invested- LOTS! I started these in July, and finished the first two bags during my Latin class (ahem!). The third was a pre-Thanksgiving effort, I think, and the handles were done here and there between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Lining done at Christmas, and they’ll be gifted at New Year’s!
I changed the handles- I wanted to keep them knitted, so I just knit lengths of St st. and let them curl. Sturdy, yet comfortable and with just a bit of give.
The lining fabrics and materials are courtesy of my mom’s amazing (free–for her and me!) fabric stash. I used iron-on interfacing on the lining, and a strip of matting on the bottom for stability, and they are rather sturdy. I ended up just folding down the top and sewing it on the machine, then hand-stitching the provisional stitches in a little bit of a decorative fashion.
Christmas came, and by Klaus I was ready for it!
(Dad’s socks were finished on the 23rd, gifted on the 24th, and worn all day on the 25th, so sorry no picture!)
In a land of people already accustomed to defending (or not) their choice of hobby to the rest of the world, I fear this confession will make me an outcast.
But out it comes: I enjoy deadline knitting.
Knitting for me has never really been about relaxation. Distraction, yes, relaxation, no. You see, I don’t handle the whole relaxing bit very well. I am most happy when I have a clear project, a clear time line (both of my own making, of course), and when both are related to knitting it sends the experience to a new level of joy.
Thus when my mother noted at Thanksgiving that most of the socks I’ve made for her have been too thick to wear with her normal shoes, I was delighted to add a pair of SP-McPhee’s “Earl Greys” to my non-existent list of Christmas knitting. They were completed shortly after the DH and Grandpa socks, and I thought, wow, that was easy.
Then when my brother (probably not realizing the gift he was giving me, he being quite accustomed to enjoying relaxation) called last Monday–two weeks before Christmas–and could not stop talking about how much he loved the socks I gave him last January, and gave me the line that he wore them EVERY NIGHT without washing them because they were the ONLY ONES that kept his feet warm, I was thrilled (not with the lack of hygiene I was apparently encouraging, but with the opportunity to knit for my bro. And another funny thing? The other person to use that exact same line on me…was my MIL!!).
I was even further delighted when he oh-so-casually mentioned that his dear girlfriend likes blue. Actually, he thinks the color she likes looks like green, but she insists it is blue–you know, THAT color.
Ah, happiness! Two pairs of socks to make, AND a trip to the yarn store because I was fresh out of sock yarn in the colorway blue-but-looks-green!
My delight was compounded when I realized that with these new additions to the gift list, everyone with whom I’d be spending Christmas would be getting handknit socks from me except for my dad. And you may or may not know this, but my dad is the best person you could ever hope to meet (being in elite company with DH and my mom). He probably wouldn’t even think twice about not getting socks, being delighted with the Alison Kraus/Robert Plant duet CD he’s getting. But of course I would know about the lack, and that would never do.
Moral of the story? Two weeks, three pairs of fingering weight socks…sign me up! Gives a whole new meaning to, “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care”!
(Plus I mentioned the situation to DH and he responded, “I fail to see the problem. You can do that no sweat, right?” I’m afraid my loved ones are sadly misled as to my abilities…and I am more than happy to continue the delusion).
*It’s the Twilight Zone theme song, of course! I am also a firm believer that onomatopoeia enhances every conversation…as long as one is required to spell only the sound and not the term itself.
P.S. The pictures are from my Christmas decorations, providing a bit of playful commentary on the text at times. There are two, um, unique family traditions shown here: L*g* Santa, who is one of those traditions that has no reason for being but having been for so long, and the Christmas pickle, well, enough said, right (actually in my family whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first present. Except I always get to open the present, but that’s another enough said now isn’t it?).
I’ve reached a new and fun era in my knitting–people actually WANT me to make them things! My mother still remembers the Christmas break in college when she says I wandered around the house one evening before finally imploring, “Anybody want a hat?” It’s true for me, as I imagine it is for many others, that when I started knitting I made mostly presents. Since I gave everything away, it wasn’t until I started knitting for myself that I really began to understand what was really desirable in a handknit item, and the idea of custom fit. Now I’ve got lots of requests for socks and scarves and Calorimetries and slippers, and I love it!
These were only supposed to be one pair of socks for my grandpa. The astute among you will notice that there are two pairs here, due to DH’s passing observation that maroon and gray were his high school colors. Thus, they will instead serve to hold some of his Christmas treats this year, and Grandpa gets gray and green. (Isn’t it funny how even rather boring socks look better in multiples??)
Merry Christmas to friends and family who love you enough to ask for handknit gifts!!