December 23, 2009

Last night as I was ripping back a slipper for the third time, I had a light bulb moment.  People generally don’t know what they are getting for Christmas.  And if that statement is true, I can relax, stop knitting my thumbs into spasms of pain, get some sleep and hold off on handmade gifts this year.  So I overruled my executive decision.  I put down the needles and went to bed.  At a decent-for-me time.

It’s not like I’m totally Scrooging out.  There are other gifts to give on December 25th…..Mama Mia tickets, gift cards (lots and lots of those), toys, baked goods, the list goes on.  While it’s nice to get something handmade, it’s not happening at Casa Not So Clean.  Not this year anyway.  Well, ok, I will finish the hat I started prior to the lightbulb moment.  But that’s it.  Really and truly that’s it. 

On the bright side though, I’m two gifts ahead for Christmas 2010.


Executive Decisions

December 22, 2009

In October I had big plans for Christmas.  I’d knit and bake and decorate.  Maybe even throw in some sewing.  I drew up lists and schedules.  I was going to be awesome.

Until life and apathy and crappy yarn and weird patterns and a general case of I-don’t-give-a-rat’s-ass-about-any-of-this happened.  Not to mention several migraines and the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome caused by using the aforementioned craptastic yarn (Phentex worsted…worst yarn EVER).

So, I’ve made a few executive decisions.  DH is not getting anything beyond the iPhone (and accessories) I bought him (and he’s been using) in October.  Well, he’ll get Dogs Playing Poker poster for the cottage as he’s been whinging about it f0r years and since he’ll be spending much of his time there and I’ll be spending not much of my time there it’s win-win. 

His cousins are all getting cowls.  That’s it.  They’re done.  I had fun magnets to attach to their presents but I put them in a safe place and now can’t find that safe place.  Oh well, they’ll keep until next year.

His parents are getting sweaters.  Itchy is nearly done (working on it sucks my soul) and his mom’s is finished.  His aunt and uncle are getting knitted slippers and felted clogs respectively.  Easy and pretty fast.  Or they would be if I didn’t run out of yarn midway.  Because making a trip to Michael’s three days before Christmas is ALWAYS fun.  I should also know better than to shop my stash.  Sure being frugal is good but so is having enough yarn for the project on the needles.

My parents are going away in March and my sister and I decided that because they have everything they could possibly need and then some, we’d get them an onboard credit for their cruise.  Awesome!  It will fit, it will make them happy, it will not clutter up their house and it’s 100% green. 

I don’t exchange gifts with my sister any more.  As we are both adults and have houseloads of crap I now buy gifts for my nieces and they (via my sister) buys gifts for me and DH.  And when I say I buy gifts for the Golden Children I mean that my sister buys them and I pay her and wrap them.  Sometimes if I’m lucky she wraps them…I was not lucky this year.  And when I say she buys gifts for DH and me what I mean is that I tell her what store I want a  gift card from. 

I still have a hat to knit, a pair of French Press slippers that I may or may not get to, a small manta ray toy and probably something else I am forgetting.

Oh yeah, two cherry pound cakes and a fancy dancy cake to take to the outlaw Christmas on Christmas Day.  The cherry pound cake is for my dad so I can’t put that off but the fancy dancy cake….I think that one might have to wait until next year. 

And speaking of next year I think I will either try making a gift every month to avoid the pre-Christmas knitting stress or forgo gift knitting altogether.  And while I always say the latter I never follow through.  I like making stuff for people I just need better time management skills.  Or the ability to live on no sleep.  It’s overrated anyway.

All is not well that ends well

December 4, 2009

Twice a year my mom and I drive for about three hours and end up in Erie, PA.  We go for the weekend to do a little (or a lot of) shopping.  I invariably buy yarn and cookbooks  (I know, so very unlike me) and my mom buys whatever catches her eye. 

Quite literally we shop until we drop.  From about noon until 10 or 11 pm (I swear if I lived in the US I’d be broke) we walk and talk and shop.  It’s usually a good time.  We sometimes eat at the Olive Garden (we don’t have those up here in Soviet Canuckistan and despite them being not at all haute cuisine you always know the salad and breadsticks are gonna be good) or some other all-you-cat-eat buffet and invariably tempers flare a bit because all that walking and shopping is tiring and let’s face it, sometimes my mom forgets I am 30 something years old and treats me like I am six. 

This last visit a few weeks ago was awesome.  There were no spats or arguments. We had a great dinner at some buffet and wrapped it up pretty early around 9:30 pm as we got there earlier than normal since we decided to go during the week and didn’t have to wait long at the border.  The pre-Black Friday sales were in full swing and I got some good deals.  Three awesome super soft organic cotton and bamboo t-shirts for$5 each at Walmart (no lectures people I don’t care…they were $5 and I LOVE THEM), several one pound mill end bags of Patons Classic Merino (or whatever it’s called now) for less than what a ball at home, a few first run cook books for under $11, some underwear for cheap, black boots  and a Coach bag at the outlet for $99.  Which sounds expensive until I tell you it was reduced from $398.  Exactly.  I can’t believe I only bought one.

So the trip was awesome, I got great deals, a good time was had by all.  Until three days after I got home and pulled my brand new Coach bag out from the back seat and the strap broke.  Grrrr.  But it can be fixed.  And the next day my fancy new never worn underwear elastic snaps (and yes, before you ask it was the right size and was not factory seconds).  It can’t be fixed.  And today?  Today I planned to wear my hot pink $5 supersoft tshirt.  Except when I put it on this morning I noticed a stain.  Which was odd as it was fresh out of the laundry.  And it turned out not to be a stain but rather a small hole.  On my boob.  Siiiiiiiigh.  I don’t know if it can be fixed.  At this point I’m pretty sure my mill end wool is infested with moths and my cookbooks are full of mistakes and missing pages.  At least the boots are ok.  So far anyway.

In retrospect I think I’d rather have a less awesome trip and get to keep all my purchases in wearable/useable shape rather than having an awesome trip and picking out defective merchandise.

Once again I have bitten off more than I can chew. Unless I give up sleep.

December 3, 2009

Every year I knit (or sew) for DH’s family (I do like some of them) and every year I swear it will be the last year.  This may very well be the last year as I’m tired of a) knitting for them b) not knitting for my family and c) not knitting for me.  So, as I posted a while ago, I’m going out with a bang this year.

So far the five cowls are done.  Woot!  Itchy and Scratchy is moving right along and while I want to finish it by this weekend I think maybe Wednesday is a more accurate goal.  That craptastic Phentex Worsted (oh yeah nothing but the best for FIL) is giving me a rash and my wrists are KILLING ME.  But I am perservering. 

I still have a pair of socks to go (well, most of a pair that is), a size medium man’s sweater, a hat, another pair of socks and a shrug.  I’ve already made one shrug so a week will be more than enough time and the man’s sweater is bulky so that should also go quickly.  The hat I can knock off in four hours or less.   The socks will kill me though.   I may just finish the pair in progress and forgo the second pair.  After all, the recipient lives in the tropics…no need for socks there. 

There’s how many days until Christmas?  22!!!!  Eh, who needs sleep?