2

Cross-Stitches, Bitchez.

 

Stitchin’ It Up Right

 

Yeah, that’s right. I’m bi-craftual, yo. Actually, I’m multi-craftual if you want to know my dirty little secret. I like ’em all.

Before there was knitting, there was cross-stitching.  My aunt got me hooked in high school and I had one project or another in the hoop for many years after that. Something about the counting, the neat and tiny stitches, and the beautifully glossy flosses appealed to me from the start.  I know. I’m a weirdo. But then, wooly true love and pointy sticks came along and I dropped it quicker than bargain bin yarn in baby poop brown.

So what’s up with the cross-stitching? I needed a gift. And I needed the right gift.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once, I was in my 20’s working hard on my mad scientist street cred at WSU (I used to be a microbiologist at a university before having my son).  It was a good time; friends, lots of free time, making my own money, youth, all that fab stuff. Then I met the love of my life and I had to decide between a job and a life I loved and the man I adored.  Of course I chose love (wouldn’t you?!). So I had to say goodbye to that life and it was hard, but not as hard as I thought it might be.  They had a little party at my boss’ house to send me off and a surprising amount of folks showed up.  Many brought cards or a small gift, which truly surprised and touched me.  I hate being the center of attention and it was all a little uncomfortable, though undeniably thoughtful and sweet.

One of the post-docs I worked with frequently, let’s call her Maggie, brought me a little gift. And to this day, it remains the most perfect gift I’ve probably ever received. Not the best gift, or the one I loved most, but the most perfect gift.  I’ll explain.

Maggie and I worked together frequently as I mentioned.  Though we were friendly, I wouldn’t say we knew each other particularly well.  But we chit-chatted daily and shared a lot of lab equipment and reagents and buffers and stuff. One of the things we passed back and forth often was a timer.  A lot of the procedures we were running required varying amounts of time in various solutions or apparatuses, so careful timing was necessary to run an experiment well.  At least once a day I cursed at the timers in the lab.  These timers could only be set in increments of 1 minute.  Meaning, if you had a 45 minute experiment, you had to push the damn button 45 times to set the timer.  I’m getting pissed just writing about it. What kind of IDIOT makes a timer like that?!

When I opened Maggie’s little gift a huge smile broke across my face.  She had given me a timer that could be set manually to any increment of time I wanted at the mere touch of a couple buttons.  I was stunned. It was the perfect gift! It was personal, yet not extravagant or too unnecessarily intimate. It showed forethought and highlighted the fact that not only had Maggie been listening to the nonsense I spewed from day to day, she understood and sympathized. It wasn’t expensive, so I didn’t feel abysmally undeserving, but it was exactly what I wanted and needed. Truly a perfect gift.

And now I needed one too.

This little project will be a set of jar-toppers for gifting canned foods.  A mom friend I know from preschool (not too well, but well enough to meet for coffee now and then with a few other moms) just had a birthday on Monday and we have a group coffee date coming up next Tuesday. I wanted to bring something not too big or expensive, but still thoughtful, personal, and useful. We taught her how to can this summer and she gave canned items as gifts for Christmas this year.  Jar-toppers, I thought, would be something she could use. And she could keep them for herself is she liked them, or gift them away if she hated them. Win-win. As she’s a single mom with very little free time, instead of gifting the kit itself, I decided to stitch these up for her. They’ll be ready to use whenever she wants them.  I hope she’ll find these to be the perfect gift (not best, not most loved, but just right).

 

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10

It’s Beginning To Look Something Like Christmas…..

christmaspresents2007 

 

For the last 4 days I’ve done nothing but shuffle around the house with my box of kleenex and pocketful of cough drops, drinking cups of tea and exhausting my Christmas movie supply.  My boss brought some nasty bug to work last Wednesday where it got busy with the other bugs in our humid laboratory, and proceeded to launch a full on sneak attack on my normally iron-clad immune system.  So I didn’t make it to the Deception Pass Dash yesterday to cheer on Mr. CrazyPants (R. Darling), which I felt pretty bad about, but he managed to complete the grueling 5.8 mile race in high winds and miserable conditions where many others dropped out.  Hooray for Crazy!!  I’m proud of you honey :)

Saturday we had a little taste of the holidays as we woke up to a dusting of snow and a day filled with soft white flurries.  For once the snow came on a weekend when we didn’t have to drive anywhere so I could just smile and enjoy the fluffy white marshmallow world outside.  Nothing inspires the latent photographer in me more than a fresh snowfall.  So I dragged my photography assistant (R. Darling) outside with me to snap a few photos of one of my recent FO’s while the light was nice.

 

orchid fetching 3a

 

orchid fetching 1a

 

orchid fetching 2a

For knitty specifics, you can visit this previous post

 

I love how these photos turned out.  If you look closely, you can see R. Darling and me reflected in the ornament.  I guess we should have smiled for the camera! 

In typical Pacific Northwest fashion, the snow disappeared by Sunday afternoon and now we are back to the rain and wind that characterize winter here in our little corner of the world.  Between sniffles and hacking up a lung once or twice, I was able to finish the Valley Yarns’ Falling Leaves Scarf that I’ve been working on since last weekend.  That was a relief because I expected it to take me much longer to knock that one out and with it behind me now, the future of The List doesn’t seem nearly as bleak.  It’s not blocked yet, but I hope to do that soon with my nifty little Knitter’s Block.  I’ll let you know how that works out.  But for now here’s the Frosty Falling Leaves in its unblocked glory:

 

frosty falling leaves scarf 120307

 

frosty falling leaves scarf detail 120307

 

I started the Holiday 2007 IK Clutch yesterday and it’s going fairly quickly, so that’s encouraging.  I also expected this one to take me some time but I think the most complicated part will be hand sewing in the lining and zipper and that shouldn’t be too bad since I’m starting on this one early in the month.  Then a couple more Fetchings and a hat and I should be set for smooth gift giving. 

 

 BTW:  Whatever idiot made up that law of the universe that says you will have some kind of nasty skin eruption the day you are scheduled for a dentist appointment, needs a severe spanking.  I can just hear the dental hygienist behind his magnifying glasses, staring at my volcano sized pores and saying to himself, “Eeeewwww.  Gross.  Hasn’t she ever heard of Benzoyl Peroxide?”   

 

So…….how was your day?

9

The List

christmas list 07

Nope. This is not a joke.
I do actually own SpongeBob Squarepants Christmas stationery.

 

Every holiday season I make The List. It’s always on Christmas paper and it’s always categorized.  Yes, I’m list-obsesessed.  Yes, it might be just a bitty bit creepy how obsessed I am with lists.  But apparently, I’ve got lots of company.

I’m one of those people who shops all year long and buys things that would be the perfect something for someone as soon as I spot them, most especially if they happen to be on sale (thrifty, I am). Then I ferret them away into little niches and closets around the house and have me a grand old time looking for them when the holidays finally come around again.  Imagine an ultra-caffeinated squirrel in your side yard who spends all autumn digging little holes for its acorns and then, when winter appears, can’t find the damn things. 

So The List usually kicks off with the names of people I’ve purchased gifts for, what I purchased and how much it cost.  Then The List expands to the “Must Make” part of the list.  “Must Make” is further broken down into: “Finished”, “Need to Make”, “Should Make” and “Maybe-Kinda-Sorta-Will-Make-If-I-Have-Enough-Time”.  Let’s be honest though.  In zero hour, just before Santa arrives on the rooftop expecting his cookies and milk, a lot of stuff gets shuffled into that last category which magically transforms into the “Oh-shit-I-didn’t-finish-that-gift-in-time-must-now-buy-you-the-perfect-something” column.  Ah, the magic of Christmas!

 Seriously though.  I adore Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year and I love making gifts for people.  And man do I have my work cut out for me this year!

 

Christmas Knitting 2007

 

Need To Make:

Should Make:

  • Pattern:  Sheldon

    • For Niece A – in Green Apple & Grass Knitpicks Shine Sport

    • For Niece T – in Cherry and Blush Knitpicks Shine Sport

  • Pattern: Fetching

    • For Parents’ neighbor B – She wants acrylic!

  • Pattern: Cabled Earflap Hat

    • For MIL – in Plum Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky

Maybe-Kinda-Sorta-Will-Make-If-I-Have-Enough-Time

 

There it is.  In a nutshell.  There’s more, but it’s secrety squirrel so you’ll have to wait until Christmas!