Optimism is my middle name

With the advent calendar done – and thanks so much for all your lovely comments, I’m so very proud, I sat down with the spreadsheet to figure out what remains to be knit. We’re right properly into December now, and that means I’ve got 22 days to finish what’s left on my list, and lucky me, the list doesn’t seem to be too bad.  (Right now Presbytera is scoffing into her coffee mug, and writing down the date and time I’ve said that. She’ll be posting a link to the statement in the comments in about 20 days when I’m a crazy person.) I’ve got a pair of dress mittens to make (This is Canada. We have dress mittens, and shovelling mittens, and they’re not at all the same) and a wee sweater (that hardly counts. I started it last night and I’ve already got a good start, assuming the fact that I’m not really using a pattern doesn’t come back to bite me in the arse – but why would it) and a hat (that’s not due until just after Christmas) and a shawl/scarf thing, and maybe a pair of socks.  Not too bad, considering the size of the hole I usually dig myself this year.  Of course, there’s lots of other things to do (we have no tree, no cookies – and I haven’t wrapped a single item) but I still feel like it’s all going to go just fine. This is largely delusion on my part, but I’m keeping it that way for as long as I can.

A few of you noticed yesterday that I didn’t start my Gifts for Knitters list on time, and you’re right.  I didn’t.  Traditionally, I provide a little running list of presents that non-knitters can use to buy us the things we really want each year, and I’m totally not breaking with tradition this year – I was just so chuffed with the calendar that I wanted it to have it’s whole own post. With that out of the way, I’ll tack on the gift suggestion for the day to each post going forward – and today I’ll give you two, to be caught up.

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Dear Non-knittter who loves a Knitter,

It’s that time of year again, when you need to buy your knitter a gift, and want to make it something that fits with their interests, but near as you can tell, they only have one interest, and that interest is as cryptic and mysterious to you as golf is to them. We know about that time you went to the yarn store and tried to get them something “knitty” but there were too many kinds of yarn, and you didn’t know what sort they liked, or how much to get, and if they even like alpaca.  We know that you stood in front of the knitting needle rack, and you tried to buy some, but you know your knitter already had some needles, and you wondered if they even need more. We know that some of them are straight and some were short, and some were called circular, and for the life of you, you couldn’t figure out what was circular about them. We know that right after the shop owner asked if you needed any help, you realized you were beyond help,  freaked out and left, and bought them those slippers and a book on the way home.  We know, and this list is here to help.

Not everything on this list is going to be right for your knitter. You know them, and you’ll do fine.  Just follow the tips and hints, and everything will be okay. You’ll be a rock star this Christmas, and your knitter won’t have to pretend to like your gift. It will be better. I promise.  The first tip? If your knitter forwards you a link to this blog? Scroll down to the Gifts for Knitters section, and see what they’re on about. It’s a hint.

Gifts for Knitters Days one and two.

Does your knitter drink coffee or tea? If they do, then consider a knitting themed mug. For lots of knitters, sheep are an emblem – so mugs with sheep on them are knitty. (Just about anything with a sheep on it can be good, if your knitter is the type. You’ll have noticed other sheepy stuff around if they are.)  If they make you drive so they can take knitting and a coffee in the car – consider this one. (Trust me, it’s funny. Also true.) You might not know, but for many knitters, Elizabeth Zimmerman is sort of the closest thing we have to a patron saint.  You’d be hard pressed to go wrong with this mug.

If your knitter isn’t the mug type, or if you’ve noticed that the already have a mug that they always use, then look around for knitting needles.  Are they everywhere? Do they spill out of drawers, bags and boxes? Do several roam the bottom of your knitters bag, or poke out of random spots in the house? Then consider getting them something to keep them in. There’s a few kinds of needles, so look around, and get a case that matches.  If they have lots of short needles with points on both ends, then think about getting them this gadget – it’s pretty new, so I bet they don’t have one. It’s the Handwork Hardware needle sorter and gauge and it’s very, very cool.  The needles fit through holes on the top that are different sizes, and sorts them into slots that store them by size. They’ll love it. It solves a bunch of problems.  If you don’t see that kind of needle around, then you probably see short needles, connected by a plastic cable.  Those are circular (they aren’t circular themselves, but let you knit in a circle) and they’re hard to store.  Think about getting them a Circular Solution or this beautiful one from Della Q. (Warning, if your knitter isn’t American, they might be annoyed that a few of the metric sizes have no spots on those.) There’s lots to choose from, and a lot of them are handmade. (Your knitter likes hand made things. It’s part of their gig.) If there are LOTS of needles around, then the hanging one might be better, it holds more – but if your knitter really digs taking needles with them everywhere they go, those cases are awesome. Namaste makes a neat one that’s like a box, and one that’s like a wallet. If you see lots of long, straight needles around, look for a beautiful needle roll, like this one, or this one, or this one.  There’s lots. If you’ve heard the word “interchangeable” bandied about, or if you notice your knitter putting needles onto those cables and taking them off again (or heard them swear when one comes apart by itself) then a case like this one from Madsen Originals is the ticket, and if you’re looking for one that does it all? Look no farther than Graces Cases. Love that one.

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Finally, what’s Luis hanging today? Apparently all hell’s cut loose over there, because despite it really not being in the day 2 pocket, today the camión was hung.

camion 2014-12-02 (2)

Festive, right? Well, maybe only if you’re Luis, but he is.  Despite several upsetting attempts to knit a truck, this ornament was cut and sewn from felt.  I took inspiration from this tutorial, although skipped some of the details, because Lou’s truck was much smaller than the one that blogger made.  I sewed all the pieces onto the top piece, then blanket stitched the front and back together.

I think we’ve all figured out that Luis is going to hang these in order of preference. I wonder what he’ll choose tomorrow?