And Happy Winter Solstice too!
Today was always one of my Dad’s favorite days of the year. Though the first official day of winter, my Dad made a point of focusing on the best part of this day, instead of the fact that there are several long months of cold ahead. The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year and that means that from now on the days are getting longer. Something special to hold onto when it seems like the dreary dark days of winter will never end. I love that I have another occasion to remember my Dad and how special he was. We always had Christmas together too, seeing as we were both complete and total Christmas freaks. I’ve been thinking about him now that it’s the holiday season and I miss him more than ever.
There’s been some intrawebs silence from me for a while because I have been on a freakishly frantic Christmas knitting blitz, the likes of which are rarely witnessed here at Chez Knittymuggins. Many of you long time readers know that I don’t knit for Christmas. After many failed attempts to engage my family members in the joy I feel gifting them handmade lovelies, I decided it wasn’t worth the trauma I was causing myself when my gifts were rejected. But this year, with our budget in a state of crisis, I decided it was time to break out the needles. I may not have cash, but I’ve got stash!
It actually started with preschool. My son’s class has nine darling little kids in it (including Knittymunchkin) and I thought it would be sweet to gift them all something for Christmas. Of course I decided this about 2 weeks before I had to have 9 things knit. But such is the mania of Christmas knitting. You figure you can rest on the 26th when all gifts have been delivered safely out of your hands. I had originally planned to knit something for each of the mamas too, but that didn’t materialize when I realized it was about all I could do to knit for the kids & the teacher, and whatever else I had planned. I chose the Monster Chunks pattern by Rebecca Danger & with a pile of brightly colored superwash wool gifted to me several years back by my sweet friend Kathy, I set to work. What fun! As I knit each little monster I tried to envision which child would like which combination best & each little creature took on its own personality. I let Knittymunchkin pick out his favorite body (a red one) and then let him choose the color for the feet (purple). I think he liked being involved in the creation process, though he was quite strenuously against gifting the rest to his preschool friends, saying “I no want to share with preschool friends!” I used this opportunity to instruct him that Christmas is about giving & not getting, and then sneakily distributed these to his classmates in their cubbies so he wouldn’t have to deal with the sight of his little monsters being given away. Counter productive? Maybe. But a meltdown was avoided and sometimes that matters just a little bit more.
I also knit a little something for his sweet preschool teacher. The Stacked Eyelet Cowl is probably one of the fastest gifts I’ve ever knit (in fact, I made another for gift giving this year, but more on that later). I knit it with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool which I’d bought at my LYS’ annual Stashbusting sale a couple years back. It was my first time using this yarn and I really liked it, though I encountered at least 2 knots which never fails to disappoint me in a high end yarn. I liked the yarn even more after blocking it, as it made the cowl drape quite nicely. Interestingly, the silk in this doesn’t impart a sheen as I expected it would, it’s more tweedy like I imagine raw silk would be. Also, I found it suprisingly itchy around my neck after a short amount of wear (but then again, my neck is a bit sensitive to wools).
Normally I have the unparalleled luxury of a personal photographer for my hand knits (thank you R. Darling!), so I have not perfected the blogger’s unique talent of photographing themselves successfully in a mirror. As you can see, I need a lot more practice. This is the result of at least 45 photos with closeups of my hair, my ear, or unrecognizable blue and red blobs. Thank goodness for digital!
Hope your holiday knitting is going well too & your needles are ablaze with Christmas spirit!