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.

Am I evil? Wait, don’t answer that…it’s a rhetorical question.

October 23, 2009

A few weeks ago, the DH and I were at the outlaws place for dinner.  Because these things never run according to any set schedule I almost always bring something to knit.  On this particular day I brought the strap to a market bag I was working on….a long strip of moss stitch made out of green cotton yarn.

So the FIL, who rarely takes an interest in much of anything I do, asked me what I was making.  I explained it was a strap for a market bag for a swap.  He told me he thought I was perhaps making him a sweater.  I replied no, 100% cotton isn’t generally considered great material for knitting a sweater and this would be some kind of weird sweater as it was about a foot long and maybe two inches wide.

Not satisified with my answer the FIL tells me that he wants a sweater, but not made of nylon (????) as he only wears natural materials.  Oh sure I think, as I have NEVER seen him wear the 100% merino wool scarf I made him, I’ll get right on that.  And further to my grouchy thoughts, why would I want to spend 60 or so hours of my life and at least $100 (and quite possibly more) of my hard earned cash making him a sweater?  He’s not exactly my favourite person.

When I got back to the yarn cave/craft studio/happy place later that night and was mindlessly rummaging throught the stash, I came across several balls of black acrylic yarn.  Enough to make a medium sized men’s pullover.  Hmmmmmm.  The evilness began to bubble up.

I have no use for several balls of black acrylic yarn.  I’m not making a black afgan or black baby blanket.  Plus it’s taking up valuable room in my stash.  And it’s definitely scratchy.  However, I also don’t want to devote a chunk of my life to a man I don’t like.  But, it would win me some big brownie points.  And get rid of the acrylic (which was made into balls many years ago and the ball bands are long gone).  I really think this black acrylic wants to be made into a sweater for my FIL.  Really.  I can’t get it out of my mind.

To further ensure I am going straight to Hell, on my yarn crawl in Ottawa I bought a bag of superwash wool that is enough to make the exact same sweater for MIL’s brother (we see the whole clan at Christmas and everyone needs the same gift.  Or at least comparable gifts so noses aren’t out of joint.  Plus I like MIL’s brother.  A lot.).

So itchy scratchy black acrylic pullover for FIL and lovely black wool pullover for uncle-in-law (UIL?) for Christmas this year.  It’s an easy pattern I’ve made twice before and the yarn is chunky.  And I get some satisfaction in that as much as FIL irritates me the sweater I’ll make for him will be equally irritating.

Yes, I am seven years old and vindictive.  And made strangely happy by my “plan”.  May as well have fun on the way since I clearly will be going to Hell.  Where I’m sure I’ll see many of you.

It’s the luckiest day EVER… (originally posted 8/8/08)

October 21, 2009

….to have a birthday or get married.  Sadly, my birthday is in April and I got married in October.  Which probably does not bode well for me but what can you do?  Pay your money and take your chances I suppose.  However, today is my mom’s birthday and she’s 65.  Yay Mom!  Happy birthday!!  She also retires in four days.  She’s planning on taking up Tai Chi and Belly Dancing (!).  She is not a knitter but does appreciate hand knits though.  I have a lot more than four days left to work.  I’m not bitter.  Really.

But today is the start of the Bejing Olympics.  Which, to be honest, I don’t much care about.  Oh I like the gymnastics and the swimming and such.  But I don’t do mornings well and with China 12 hours ahead….no freaking way am I getting up at 2 am to see ANYTHING.  I figure I’ll watch the replays on CBC.

What I do care about today is that the Ravelympics started on Ravelry (password required).  My team, Team SmartAssYarnHos has entered and I’m up for two events: mitten medley and baby dressage.  Now now, don’t get excited, the baby stuff is not for me.

Let’s have a recap of today’s exciting opening events.

The first event was the Baby Dressage which got off to a dismal start.

Look for brown/yellow/grey (I know but I’m hoping it will stripe into bumblebee type stripes to match the ADORABLE bee buttons I bought) sock yarn for the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket.  As my knittas have made frequent mention of, I rarely knit for myself.  And I’m not pregnant so this is clearly not a project for me.  DH’s cousin on the other hand, has a fiancee who is.  She’s due in February.  Which gives me lots of time to knit the jacket and send it to Greece.  But it has to be done by the end of the Olympics…in 15 days.  How hard can that be????

Well, I cannot find the yarn.  Much swearing ensues.  I toss the sock yarn bin.  No luck.  And I look for pattern too since I’ve already tossed the yarn cave.  I do find extra helpful BSJ hints but no pattern.  I swear some more which scares the cat.  Leave house in a huff so as not to be late for my chiro appointment.  Am not surprised when chiro (who is also pregnant) comments I’m a little stressed out.

Well, that came close to ending in tears so let’s move onto today’s second event, the Mitten Medley.  Here’s the backstory.  DH has three close female cousins and a sister.  For the past two Christmases I have made them each a handmade gift.  Now they expect it.  Sigh.  Given that I have to make four of whatever I’m giving them, it has to be something that is easy, interesting, come in four different colours, be cheap inexpensive and most importantly because I am a world-class procrastinator, the project must be fast.  Enter the Lucy Mittens made out of this yarn, which although the web site doesn’t show it, came in four really nice colours.  For $2.99 a ball.  That, my friends, is almost free!

And yet another dismal start for me.  CRAP!  Where the hell is the orange yarn?  Oh, there it is.  Double crap!  Why is it still in a skein?  Well, let’s change the project page details and make them blue mitts instead.

Ahhhh, cast on.  Finish the wrist cuff.  Damn!  Notice a slipped stich.  Too far gone to frog…mark with a stich holder for repair later.  Thank Knitting Goddesses that this is boucle yarn…nasty to work with but awesome at hiding mistakes de-emphasizing design elements.  Start shaping for thumb….looking good so far!

As speed is of the essence, for once in my life I did read ahead and even highlighted the sizes I’m making.  I’d say I’m 10% done the first mitt.  I hear mittens are like socks and that SMS (second mitten syndrome) is inevitable.  Which will suck big time since I have four more pairs to go.  Which is why I started them in August.  On my mom’s birthday.  And the start of the Summer Olympics.  And the luckiest day EVER!

Thankfully though, only this pair is for the Ravelympics.  I’ll have to get someone else to kick my ass into gear for the next three pairs.  And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day in the Baby Dressage.  Cross your fingers for me.