Monday, December 27, 2010

The presents I left behind

This post contains poo-talk and a poo picture.  You have been warned.

So, Christmas came and went.  I managed to get most of my knitting done in time. Implied is the fact that I finished up a dishcloth at the foot of the tree (not pictured here).  It's a pity, since it was, I think, the nicest of the four that I made, including grafting instead of seaming.   The pattern was pretty decent to knit, although I find kitchen cotton to be rather unforgiving when weaving in the ends.  I tried to use materials I already had in my stash, rather than buy even more of the stuff.  Hence, these got wrapped separately.

Dad received the slippers originally intended for little sis.  I'll finish hers today.  I am in the process of writing up my version of the pattern, which let me knit it in the round, among other things.  I've been wearing my sample slippers, which are kinda fun and a good bit comfy.

And here's me being so very depraved witty.  My sister has long corrupted me with her potty humor, and I was at a loss for what to give her.  So I knitted a gag gift: a Christmas poo.  Or rather, it's a Christmas poo-poo-ri.  I stuffed it with coffee beans--rather tediously because I lacked a funnel--to give it a strong aroma; I figured my sister would not appreciate the typical flowery potpourri scents.  And besides, coffee beans look rather like little droppings.  The odor was indeed strong.
For the twisted and curious folks out there who would admire such a gift and wish to seek out the pattern, I improvised this on US 2 or 3 needles using what I think is Berrocco Ultra Alpaca yarn.  I think I started with I-cord, increased to about 22 sts, and used lots of short rows to make it bend.  I enjoyed asking people to guess what I was knitting, and I got worse answers than even what it was intended to be.  When it reached enough length, I turned it inside out, stuffed it with coffee beans, and knitted the decrease rounds until I could draw it closed.  I only had the final tail to fuss with, as the other end was left inside the poo.  (The beginning end is resting at the top in the picture.)  To help drive the joke home, I included a pack of wet wipes, which added a useful dimension to the gift.  I included chocolate covered espresso beans in her stocking as an edible supplement.  As a finishing touch, I included on the package a line from Weird Al's hilarious movie UHF, which is followed by the rather a propos exclamation, "What is this piece of crap!?!"

In an act of penance, I also gifted to big sis the dear, sheepy project that has haunted me of late.

On Christmas afternoon a few snowflakes drifted to the ground, which I promptly celebrated as being a "White Christmas."  I had no idea that today I would be shoveling over a foot's depth of snow.

Igor was very gracious to help me.  (Actually, I just haven't been able to get him off since he first latched on.  I'm becoming kinda fond of the little sucker.)  I recently heard someone who didn't know any better hating on the fish hat because she thinks it is kind-of silly.  Apparently, she hasn't taken into account my extraordinary fashion sense.

Like I said before, I know I have a promising future in modeling or fashion or both.  That's good, since I need some income to replace my poor car (R.I.P).  I got him after last year's third and final blizzard, and he died just in time to save me the trouble of digging him out this winter.

On a much happier note, registration for the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat is open!  Check out QueerJoe's blog for details.  I'm excited this year to be helping out a bit with the organizing of the retreat.  If anyone would like to donate to the retreat, it's a great opportunity to promote your unique products to a group of enthusiastic, if not somewhat overlooked, knitters.  And if you're considering attending, register soon; these events have a history of filling up to capacity.

I can't wait!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas isn't all about the presents, but...

I think I do gifting mostly because it holds a sentimental value.  I recently received a Christmas gift in the mail, and it reminded me that someone is thinking of me enough to send me a beautiful package.  (Mind you, the jerk won't let me peek until next Saturday!)  And as I bunkered down today to knit gifts for loved ones, I found that it was comforting in a way.  If I can avoid getting too worked up making extravagant gifts (as I learned last year), I'm finding that I really enjoy being able to make something small as a wonderful meditation on the other person.  I don't get that experience when I go Christmas shopping.  Oh, no.  A recent experience in the swollen traffic volume of the season reminded me how much I hate the mania that is called Christmas shopping.  True, when I was little, it was a fun event as the family went to the mall together and would switch off partners and help each other shop for the other members.  But now that we've all grown up and apart in some ways, I find that handing over some money to hand away a gift card just doesn't seem to tap into the old memories and affections.

Warm, wooly knits, on the other hand, can be gifts that keep on giving after the exchange of presents has been completed.  I asked for underwear this year, because it's something I can use everyday.  But chances are that I will forget to remember who gave it to me each time I wear it.  (And yes, I'm figuring underwear is probably a given; Mom doesn't pass up an opportunity to clothe her kids.)  But the pair of boxers that I knit are super special; I love wearing them, and if my mother had knit them, I bet I'd think of her every time I selected them.  Hand-knitted stuff just has that kind of presence.  At least in my mind.  (So if you want me to think of you, knit me some shorts.)

I think my recent Marr Haven knit is largely to blame for this gushy sentimentality.  Yum again.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sheep on the brain

I just realized that Ebenezer Scrooge wasn't the Christmas grinch; he was just a misunderstood sheep.

Wakka wakka wakka!

Life has been busy these chilly days, which I'm sure is no big surprise to anyone living in North America.  I'm knitting every moment I can, but I still can't talk about it much, since it's almost all on the down low.  Suffice it to say that I'm enamored with worsted weight, rustic, sheepy-smelling yarn. When knitting with Marr Haven yarn, being hypnotized by wool fumes is not just an excuse for extravagance in a yarn store. It is a wonderful reality.

I fussed with my cabled mittens design until I kinda hit a wall; it's on the back burner now, having scratched the itch.  So much for my dreams of becoming rich and famous.  I can better appreciate the already-designed patterns I'm working on for gifting.  Thank you, you smart designers.  I enjoy the way your patterns flow so effortlessly.

Between sentences, I'm pausing to knit some honeycomb cables.  Now I want to knit a full aran sweater in the color grey.  Yumm.  Is it bad that I'm fantasizing about smelling like a sheep?  (That is to say, because I'm wearing sheep's clothing...)

Because I'm blogging and knitting in entertaining and somewhat mercurial company, the next statement is unrelated to the previous line of thought.  The weather is really cold today.  Really cold.  To all disrespecters, I just want to say,
How do you feel about knitting now??  Huh???

So there.

Oh!  I almost forgot to show you how my Akimbo turned out:

I think the Noro behaved this time.   Woot!

P.S. Can you guess what is today's new vocabulary word?