Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

not knitting for everyone this year

As you know, I am a hand-maker-of-things. Knitting is my craft, I can do rudimentary crochet, am a not-to-shabby cook and I pride myself on my baking. I am okay with a sewing needle, a menace with embroidery, draw great stick people and can do rather a lot with pencil crayons and paper.

Since being with Dan's family, I have created almost exclusively knit items for the family for Christmas. They appreciate it, see, and it is way more fun to knit things for people who appreciate them. (A few years ago, someone in my family threw something I had knit in the garbage because there was a hole in it, not realizing it was a simple mend). So with Dan's family, that's about ten people. Then if I knit for my sister, her kids, and my mum, we're up to 14. For the past few years, almost every gift has been knitted or at least handcrafted in some way. This is largely a function of time and money, since we haven't been in a position to spend lots of money on presents, but also because of my state of paid employment. I'm finding myself for the fifth winter in a row with not much work (2007 & 2008 I was in grad school, so that sort of doesn't count).

I joke about being "a woman of leisure" at the moment, because I have so much time on my hands. I go to bed and wake up when I want. I take my time with my morning coffee, and my to-do lists for the day are generally small and flexible. All this sounds wonderful, right? To be honest, I feel terribly inefficient. I mean, on the one hand, it is very good for my health to be able to relax this way, to get some much needed rest, and I am getting some time to work on my 'stuff' (there is a lot of stuff going on in my head, I'll tell you about it sometime). On the other hand, yes, I would love to be working and earning some money, which would take my mind off my 'stuff' and provide some framework for how I organize my day. But I digress.

One toast mitten for Christmas 2009


There have been a few late-night Christmas eves where Dan and I would be madly working trying to finish up the last few gifts to take over for the family on Christmas Morning. The toast mittens in particular took WAY longer than I thought, because after they had been knit, they still needed to have the ends woven in and the liners inserted. By 2:30am we decided that John would just get one toast mitten for Christmas and the other for his birthday, two days later. That was one of those years where, after knitting gifts for everyone, I said NEVER AGAIN, and "next year, everyone is getting gift cards!"

The other toast mitten joins its partner two days later in 2009


So.

This year, because of my state of uncertainty and not knowing where I would be for Christmas, I didn't make any plans to knit things for the family. Not really. I also didn't think I had enough yarn in what was left of my wee stash to be able to pull it off in time anyway. Then, by late November, it became apparent that yes, I will still be in Canada for Christmas and yes I will be with the family on Christmas day. And I have no income. Crap. Better figure something out.

So then I got really creative. Of course I can't tell you anything about that just now, but list-making and planning and knitting began in earnest.

Now, I will say right here that I did not sign myself up for a breakneck knitting schedule, not everyone will receive knitted items this year. There will be a few small items that will be purchased, some have been purchased already, and I hope the family will understand why they are so modest. I'm sure they will.

So as I am knitting on the last thing for a Christmas gift, I am really looking forward to preparing the other family Christmas surprise, which I will blog about afterwards.

For Christmas 2010, Toast mittens are joined by the Toester
 

There is really a lot of stuff happening in my life that I simply can't blog about. All I can tell you, dear reader, is that when someone says to me "how are you?", I can honestly answer "pretty well, all things considered". I've been living almost seven months without my husband and he told me yesterday that I will see him next month, whether for a visit or for our grand road trip to North Carolina. With our luck, it would be in deepest, darkest winter. He will see the lawyer today and maybe there will be some news, maybe not. But I'm hanging in there, making the best of things. After Christmas and all this knitting/crafting is out of the way, I will turn my attention to being the Best Farmhand Ever for my friends here at backyardfeast.

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