Another Freakin’ Column

Without a word of a lie, I swear in the name of all things woolly that today was going to be easy.  Yesterday’s shopping mission went off without a hitch. I left, I shopped, I returned, and I even got home about an hour earlier than I thought, because it was all so easy.  I poured myself that reward beer and wrapped gifts for that found hour (I see now I should have been knitting. Someone else could have wrapped.) I got the meringues in the oven – right on time, and despite the perilous business of having to turn the oven on and off (it gets too hot otherwise, and the cookies colour instead of just dry out) I did not once forget that they were in there during the “on” phase, and ruin the whole batch. (I used a timer. I can’t be trusted.) I even put a post it note on the button for the stove, so that someone else wouldn’t turn on the oven – not knowing they were in there, and torch the whole thing. (We had a pizza dough incident a few weeks ago. Joe’s right. You should tell people if you’re going to leave something in there.)

meringues 2014-12-18

Last night I almost finished a knitting project, and made the gingerbread dough so that it could chill in the fridge for long enough – and I went to bed early, thinking that today was just about going to be the most pleasant walk in the park that you can imagine.  I drifted off to sleep thinking about what a pleasure today was going to be.  I can only imagine that the high of finishing the shopping did some kind of number on my brain, because I woke up this morning, made coffee, sat at my desk and looked at the spreadsheet, compared it to the calendar, and then opened the top drawer of my desk and threw up into it.   Okay – that part didn’t really happen, but it could have.  I am a delusional lunatic if I think I’m finishing by the 20th.  I can’t even believe that was a goal. See, I think I forgot another column on the spreadsheet.  Social.  We have FIVE family gatherings between now and Christmas Day, and let me be super clear about this, that’s cool.  Actually, it’s better than cool, it’s fantastic.  I love it when the house is full and the family is here, and I feel right and whole and happy and the reason I do all of this is so that we have those evenings, but why the hell didn’t I put them on the spreadsheet? What part of me thought I would simultaneously host the whole family while baking gingerbread and pounding out another pair of mittens? Who exactly did I think was going to cook for that crew? Santa?

cookie cutters 2014-12-18

I’ve moved up the cookie baking to today, so that tomorrow I can cook, clean and get that together, and since knitting tomorrow night will mostly be out while I run with Lou and the girls and put dinner on, that means that today I need to somehow finish the knitting I need for Saturday.  I suddenly regret the bath I took yesterday.  Time wasted, I see that now.

Wish me well, knitters.  Today has to be a miracle, and so far it doesn’t look so good. It’s 3 in the afternoon, and progress has been dismal. I think I’m tired.

What’s Luis hanging today?

I’m embarrassed to say that I had no choice this morning but to look up the word Carlos texted me.  I know I don’t speak Spanish very well (that is an understatement. Lou speaks Spanish better than I do) so usually I’m not bothered when I can’t figure it out, but this one is a word that matters to me so much in English, that I can’t believe I didn’t know the Spanish!  It was “El calcetin”

weesock 2014-12-18

The sock!  Now, this one I remember the pattern for very well.  It was this rather charming bit of business, although I converted it to be knit in the round, and knit it on smaller needles.  Also, when I was looking at that pattern just now? Mystery solved on the mitten.  There’s the chart I used. (I must have been having some sort of urge to make a matched set.) Voila.

Gift for Knitters, Day 18

There is an affinity that lies between knitters and bags that’s hard to explain. Knitters are, in general, so drawn to them that the presence of several bags about a person is a good way to spot a knitter.  (Usually we try to condense this, putting bags inside bags, but sometime we still end up with a couple visible.)  For reasons unknown, no matter how many bags your knitter has, another bag is always a good present. You can get just about any bag you think your knitter might like, except remember two things.  First, no velcro on the bag. Velcro is, along with moths and carpet beetles, a natural enemy of knitting. The presence of Velcro automatically makes something not a great knitting bag. Second, zippers aren’t so awesome either, depending on where they are in the bag.  A lot of zippers on the inside or near the top of the bag is just going to snag yarn in the pulls and teeth, and force your knitter to use language  unbecoming an artisan of their ilk. Last, it should stay open, and stay upright. If you’d like to get them a knitting specific bag? Start here. Tom Bihn had a whole line of knitter-friendly bags, from wee pouches to larger ones that are fabulous. (I have several swifts, and love them.) This Knit and let Knit tote is big this year, I see it everywhere, and this one is cute too.  Namaste bags are to die for, Della Q makes several nice ones, Offhand Designs makes ones that could go with any outfit (if your knitter wears outfits, instead of just clothes) and Green Mountain Knitting bags? Well. just look.  The Nantucket Bagg is super cool (and masculine, if your knitter rolls that way.) Jordana Paige has some good ones – and while you’re there, check out the tool butler. (Your knitter would dig that. They would put it in their bag.) Good hunting.