I think I’ve been pretty clear about how it is that I like to get through the holidays.  I find that the more I do in advance, the more organized I am, the more that I engage in this time of year like it’s "Operation Ho Ho" than a holiday, the better a time I have.  Ironically, since I started pulling this thing together with a list and a schedule and a real sense of how much work it is, we look a lot more like a family and less like a group of shattered people helplessly wrapping things at midnight while silently holding each other responsible for the nightmare it’s all become again.

So far, so good this year. There’s a tree up in the living room. It’s naked, but it’s there, and thanks to the system, it is exactly the right height.

(We started taking a measuring tape to the tree place, which sounds obsessive and weird, but it’s a lot less weird than having a tree that won’t fit and hacking bits off of it with a strange old saw while trying not to have Christmas argument #4 – Working Title: Why do you care so much about the height of the tree/What is wrong with you that the tree has to be a specific height.) Sam and I will decorate it this evening, and then tomorrow I’m off to North Carolina for the last trip of the year (there might still be room for the talk, I’m not sure) and then when I get home, it’s full steam ahead on the holiday.

I feel bad this time of year, because the blog sort of dries up knitting wise.  Here I am, knitting a veritable mountain, and there’s almost nothing I can show you, because it’s all sort of stealth.  A lot of the things that will be coming off the needles are gifts, and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s surprise, but that makes things a little boring.  I think you’re going to have a lot of shots like this one to look forward to – if it’s possible to look forward to a shot like this.

That’s a little sweater for Christmas, coming right along as I flew home earlier this week. (Before someone asks, the fab box bag is from Splityarn.) Extra bonus points in the boring department go to me, on account of the picture is also blurry. 

I’m relying on Gifts for Knitters to make things just a little more interesting, so here we go.

Gifts for Knitters Day 4: Good Tools.

There’s a few things that your knitter uses all the time, or if they don’t use them, they probably wish they were.  A decent ball winder, swift and scale are pretty basic places to start.  If your knitter doesn’t have these three things, then I can pretty much promise you that any one of them would be appreciated and used.  If your knitter is just starting out in the tool department, then good places to start are the Royal Ball Winder,  a pretty nice umbrella swift, and a pocket scale .  If your knitter is seriously into yarn, and they already have this stuff, then think about upgrading them to some seriously fly gear.   I have a Hornshaw wooden swift, and I love it.  I make do with a plastic ball winder (I know it’s almost used up because it’s started making yarn breasts, rather than balls) but when I allow myself, I dream of a Strauch.  The scale of a knitters dreams? Lee Valley has it – if only because all their stuff lasts forever, and it weighs in all standard formats, plus pennyweights, and who wouldn’t want that. It’s charming.

Gifts for Knitters Day 5: Jewelry

Oh, the lovely things there are if your knitter is the type.  How about something knitting themed, like these earrings, or these ones, and if that’s too cute for your particular knitter, how about something more subtle, like this or this. Wait! This is nice too!  Got a funky knitter? Then maybe they’d like this necklace, or this one, made from sliced up knitting needles.  When in doubt, remember. Most knitters feel an affinity for sheep