Yesterday, while Joe and I were outside throwing $50 bills into the hole every 15 minutes (we've decided that's the fastest, least expensive way to fix it) my next door neighbours did the craziest thing. They walked up the lane between our homes with a huge Fraser Fir Tree, and after greeting us warmly, they took it in their house. Joe and I stood there stunned - and then I said something like "a little early isn't it?" and Joe mumbled a phrase along the lines of "bloody keeners" and then it hit us.
There are really, actually only 17 days until Christmas, it is really December 8th, and the world didn't get our memo about how we were really just too swamped to do it this month and would need to defer until late January. (February at the absolute latest.) In short, we're screwed. The shopping, buying, wrapping, baking, knitting, decorating, tree, stockings, cleaning, visiting... it's all ahead of us, and you would think that would send us scurrying for a tree, but nope. There's still a great big hole, and for reasons that I can't really explain to you (lets call it a cascade of crap) because I have a new furnace I don't have an office, and that can't change until the 23rd of December, which leaves me in this horrible limbo place. When things are good Christmas leaves me with a twitch over one eye, what with the stress, money and time... and this year we're coming into it with crazy, crazy amounts of stress, no money and no time, and that - That is making both Joe and I crazy enough that when we see someone taking a tree into their house all we can think of doing to cope with that is to begin taking turns burying each other in the construction waste that fills the backyard.
Since burying Joe would only dirty his clothes and deprive me of the only person in this house who is trying to fill the hole, I have resorted to drinking obscene quantities of coffee and knitting. Beyond it's usual effect on my mental health (which is to say that as long as I keep knitting I don't yell things at my neighbours - things like "QUIT FLAUNTING YOUR TREE AT ME YOU HOSERS") the knitting is having the side effect of helping me get ready for Christmas, which is awesome, since I've got nothing else.
Finished item #1, Swirl Shawl (Scarf Version) 2 balls plus 11.4m, Jojoland Superwash Melody, colour #MS 18, lot number unknown.
4mm needles, lots of ends woven in, completely worth it, a really neat looking knit that looks way harder than it was.
(Running out of yarn notwithstanding.)
Finished item #2, Escher Socks from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn
Yarn is the very nice Claudia Hand Painted Yarns fingering weight in "Navy Olive" (Lot number 007, according to the new system).
They're a mens medium and took almost all the yarn, but worth every metre.
I love them- and they put me one step closer to whatever it is that we're calling Christmas in these parts.
Gifts for knitters
Day 4: The Knit Kit. A really nifty little set that includes scissors, thread cutters, stitch counter, crochet hook and a couple of other handy things all in a little case that is apparently (and this is really neat) TSA approved. That means that at least within Canada and the USA, you're going to be able to take it on a plane. Darn handy.
Day 5: A really beautiful holder for your knitters interchangeable needle set from Della Q. Slots and zip pockets to hold it all, in several pretty colours. Way nicer than the boxes they usually come in, and you can choose between metric and US labeling, which is a pretty great thing.
Day 6: Also from Della Q, the straight needle version, holds up to 60 pairs (which would put a dent in most collections) also in your knitters favourite colours, also with metric or US labels.
Day 7: The Swift Knitting bag from Tom Bihn. I've got about 10 knitting bags, and this is a favourite for going out into the world. It's seriously durable and has lots of neat accessories, and even comes with one of those yarn stuff sacs with the clear bottoms. Nifty.
Day 8: 14k Gold Needle Gauge pendant from Debra's Garden. I don't know a single knitter who wouldn't like this, it's pretty and useful, and I like the way it looks like regular jewelry. It's like a secret handshake. Regular people think it looks like a seashell pendant, but any other knitter you meet will know it straightaway for what it is, and smile.