One up, one down

The tree is up.  Sam helped me out last night and got the lights on the thing while I was at a Bike Rally function (I’ve joined the Steering Committee this year. There are many meetings even though we’re months and months from the ride) and when I got home I got all of the ornaments on it.

treepic2 2014-12-05

It’s very, very pretty, and it would totally have given me the sense of accomplishment and festive prowess I was looking for, if I hadn’t have had a fairly significant knitting setback.

treepic1 2014-12-05

I’m still trying to get everything for the holidays on the needles. I have this sense that if I can get it all started, that finishing will seem easy – and so yesterday I grabbed some yarn, chose a pattern and whacked a pair of mittens onto the needles.  Then I left the house, and hopped a bus, and then a streetcar, and two minutes into my travel I knew I’d made two mistakes. First, the yarn, needles and pattern weren’t playing nicely together, and second, I’d brought no other knitting.  None. Not so much as a wee sockie, and so there I was, knitting on a project I knew was doomed pretty much the whole evening.  I kept going. I mean, what else was there to do? Not knit? For a whole evening? Two streetcar trips? That would end in disaster, I know that for sure. That ends with me having to apologize to a bunch of people all while saying something like “I didn’t mean to say that, it’s just that I was out of wool and it effects my self-control.”

mittenbath 2014-12-05

When  I got home, I took the thing off the needles, and I guess I’ll have to start again – although to be sure it’s bad, I’m giving it a bit of a bath first.  Part of me thinks maybe it will be all right, although I can tell it won’t be.   In the name of all things moth repellant, why do we always think these things will work when we can feel it in our hearts that it won’t? Does hope spring that eternal? Are we that determined, or stupid? What about my good sense has me swishing this mitten cuff round a sink of warm suds like my forty years of knitting experience hasn’t already told me it’s bloody awful? It’s the desperation born of twenty days till Christmas, that’s what it is, and frankly, I can’t believe I’m falling for it. It’s nothing but a failed swatch, and I know it.  One whole day of lost knitting time.

What did Luis hang today?

El corazón. The heart.

heart 2014-12-05

I asked Carlos why he picked that one, but apparently the reasons are a mystery.  It’s not what I thought he would pick next, but there you have it. (I understand there’s a bit of a debate happening over there. The Santa is supposed to go last, to indicate that Santa’s coming that night, but apparently Lou’s got it in his head that if he hangs that one, he can call the great man at his bidding. The heart may have been his second choice,  for not being able to make today Christmas Eve.)  For this ornament I used this pattern, (I think) and added a little row of other hearts inside.  You know, to make it more heartish.  I can tell you that this one is really a symbol of my love, not just because it’s a heart, but because that thing was a royal pain in the arse to sew up.

Gifts for Knitters, day 5.

Tee shirts for knitters! You’ll know best if your knitter is the tee-shirt type, but if they are, trust me, these are great.  This one is an inside joke, but your knitter will get it. I’d wear this one as regular clothes, although this one is probably more appropriate. This one is still a dream that won’t come true,  and if your knitter is also a sewer? This fabric printed to look like knitting is very, very cool (and comes in other colours too.) This fabric has balls of yarn on it. (We like those.) These are knitting needles, and if all else fails. Remember. Sheep.

There’s a million things like this out there. If none of these speak to you, check the comments below. I bet most of these knitters have a favourite shirt.

PS. Because someone will ask, the glass ornament in the top picture are these snowflakes.

41 thoughts on “One up, one down

  1. Yay for getting the tree decorated, though, right?? And don’t despair – if you could knit that mitten as quickly as you did while feeling despair that it wouldn’t work…won’t the real one work up even faster??

    Either way, good luck. And I love the heart. Let’s hope Santa waits until December 24!

    Katie =^..^=

  2. You are ahead of me.
    I tried to put up our (artificial) tree yesterday, declared it the wrong height entirely, dragged 2 kids round 3 stores, came home treeless, and discovered a friend of a friend has a tree in her attic just the right height and she doesn’t want it anymore. (yay facebook!). Now I’m just hoping it’s in reasonable shape – picking it up tomorrow.

    And I’m not talking about the knitting. It all hates me.

  3. I am knitting ten identical scarves. It’s a commission. The pattern is OK and not boring but I’m having a hard time knitting ten of anything. I’m on #6 and these have to be delivered well before Christmas because the customer will have to make sure they are wrapped and delivered to the intended recipients after she gets them. All I can say is thank goodness for Fringe and Bones on disc. If my DVD player quits, I’m done for.

  4. The tree is beautiful. Luis is way cute and you are an awesome aunt! I want all the knitting swag, especially the sheep fabric. There are some sterling silver knitting needles out there that I really need too.

  5. It’s hard to tell what might be wrong with the mitten since it’s soaking wet, but are the two contrasting stripes supposed to be the same colour as the live stitches near the edge? Because they don’t look quite the same, but maybe that part is wetter, therefore darker. We knitters are eternal optimists so I’d not write it off yet. I’m sure it will look better after its bath.

    • Heavens, no! There are no lesser knitters. There are only “knitters.” Let me try to explain: to a non-knitter, the directions for the two rows look like some exotic language. SL1 WYIF looks like it might be some weird acronym. The text inside the box would be incomprehensible to a non-knitter. Knitters, on the other hand, are used to abbreviations, so we can read it. Hence, the “inside joke.”

      • I think the joke is that there is an error in the pattern. It is a 4 stitch repeat. Row 1 (RS) begins with 3 stitches then goes into the repeat. Row 2 (WS) begins with the repeat then ends with 2 stitches. The knitter would have an extra stitch on the second row, likely left wailing ‘I don’t understand!’.

        So, at first blush, it separates the knitters from non-knitters, but there’s a deeper level too. Works on so many levels…

        Maybe. Could also just be suffering from a lack of test knitters.

  6. Pingback: One up, one down | Yarn Buyer

  7. So now you have it, and the next part is figuring out what to make of it. A wrist warmer for someone with a really big hand? A sock-cuff-cover? A flared Little Black Dress for a doll?

  8. Those snowflake ornaments are so beautiful! I now know what to give my daughter and her fiance next year for their first Christmas together!

  9. While not my favorite – super bulky yarn is the way to go! I have knocked out two fabulous infinity scarf / cowls in 3 nights. Now on to boot toppers although those are worsted – but small. Like 25% of a sock. And then some sucky thumb mitts for the grandbaby. And, ultimately, celebrating Chanukah makes it so much less stressful! 🙂

  10. Steph:
    If those mittens are for me, put them last. I never have to shovel right at Christmas anyway, so you would always have a few days extra to “produce” after the 25th.

  11. Kids are great at trying to manipulate Santa. I told my daughter once in November that Santa was watching (desperate times called for desperate measures), and she said, “No. Santa does not start watching until December 1st. Until then he has to watch the elves make the toys.” Only the child of two lawyers could find a loophole for Santa.

  12. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m loving this whole Luis and the Advent Tree thing because it means we get a DAILY yarn harlot post!

  13. You may not be able to take him away this year, but maybe Santa could stay hidden until Christmas Eve? I can’t imagine that debating a three-year old is easier than debating a two-year old.

  14. I think I love hearing Louis’ sweet holiday logic more than anything else about the calendar. And what a gift for him later to have this little journal of its first journey.

  15. Your knitting and writing WOW me. You are the best auntie in the world. AND now… (even though it is none of my business) I think you have the best Mom in the world.

  16. Oh your post brought a smile to my face! Yes, yes, it IS the 20 days, now only 19 days, til Christmas that causes all of this! I love your philosophy of “if I can get it all started, then finishing will seem easy”. I’m afraid I have shot myself in the arm, so to speak, as I have a Christmas project on my needles that is taking me 15 minutes to knit ONE round!! What was I thinking?

  17. Feeling your pain re: blocking denial. I’m currently soaking a gift that is suppose to be 12″ wide and measured 9.5″ before going into the bath. Lots of cables. I’m hoping the soak will relax it, but know in my heart it (probably) won’t make it to the 11.5″ minimum. Also, it has a Dec. 31 deadline. The sad thing is that I went down 2 needle sizes because it looked so huge when I started.

    Pattern right. Me wrong. Ugh!

  18. Thanks for the timely reminder. I’m ripping out the first half of my sock-in-progress and starting over in a completely different yarn. This is not working. Better to bail now.

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