Thursday, October 08, 2009

I know you don't want to hear it...

Christmas is coming.

(Of course, I'm right in the middle of getting the house clean for Thanksgiving, and sewing up the cloak for DD1's Red Riding Hood costume for Hallowe'en, but nevertheless...Christmas is coming.)

Now, I don't celebrate Christmas in the religious sense. I celebrate it in the gift-giving, seeing-family, eating-a-lovely-meal, celebrating-the-end-of-another-year, trying-to-find-something-to-get-happy-about-in-the-middle-of-all-the-snow sort of sense. The gift-giving is especially fun for me, even though I do most of the thinking-up of gift ideas, buying stuff, knitting gifts, and wrapping presents around here. (If you read just a soup├žon of bitterness into that, you would be correct.) So yes, it's stressful...but it's also a lot of fun. I've got some gift plans this year that I'm quite excited about, and quite an ambitious knitting to-do list.

In a moment, I will reveal this list, but first, I want to make sure no one is reading it who shouldn't. So, a short quiz...

  1. Are you a descendant of my parents and/or my husband's parents?
  2. Do you provide care or education for any of my children?
  3. Are you cared for by my children's daycare provider? (That includes her kids!)

If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, then for heaven's sake, get your nosy eyes off the blog this minute!


So, the list...

Mi escuelita for Devangi
This is coming along really nicely. Both sleeves are done and attached to the body, and I'm decreasing for the raglan shaping.

In progress, 2009-10-08

I am nervous that I'm going to run out of yarn, though.

Cotton wool socks for Mom
These have not seen any work for I can't remember how long. I've been at the done-first-sock-started-second-sock stage for...oooh...ugh. Over a year, I'm guessing. But I'm hoping to be able to find the motivation to pick it back up and finish it off in time for Christmas.

Barbie wardrobe for DD1
I've got several items that I'm hoping to finish. On the needles right now is Rhonda Gehringer's Summer Sorbet Dress for Barbie, in white. I'm going to make the skirt fuller and longer than the instructions say to, because I think DD1 would like something that could pass as a wedding gown. So far, we have this:

In progress, 2009-10-08

Other Barbie garments I'm hoping to finish include Judy Gibson's Barbie's Basic Tube Dress; Isabelle Dutailly's Robe tube arc-en-ciel pour Barbie (Barbie's rainbow tube dress); the long coat from Elaine Phillips's Barbie Elegant 2-Piece Suit; and Silvana Catallo's Gilet Big Jem (something for Ken).

Socks for DD2
It's not tremendously vital that I manage to finish these, but I thought it would be nice. For one thing, with the cold weather coming, I'm feeling a deeply parental responsibility to keep my children's extremities as warm as possible. And for another thing, toddler-size socks are super easy to make out of the yarn left over from making adult-size socks, which I have rather a lot of, so I wouldn't need to go out and buy any new yarn. Also, small socks are fast and cute.

Socks for Dad
My dad is pretty hard to come up with gift ideas for; at least, gift ideas that I can actually afford. (Ideas would come thick and fast if my budget were big enough to buy fancy camera doodads and gadgets, for example.) But I know he loves my hand-made socks. I'm thinking about Alice Bell's "Bakerloo" pattern, which is a sideways sock pattern that can apparently be done up to look like the keys of a piano. My dad's unpursued career dream was to become a concert pianist, and he adores classical music, so I think this would be much appreciated.

Double-knitted mitts for BIL#2
BIL#2 has recently moved to Ottawa. It gets cold in Ottawa, and I want to make sure he is warm. Last year I knitted him a hat, so this year it's going to be mitts. I will be using Marcia Lewandowski's Houndstooth Double Knit Mittens pattern from her book, "Folk Mittens" (although it can also apparently be found in Interweave Knits Winter 1997 issue). I'll probably use Cascade 220 - I'll get two masculine colours which vary slightly so that the pattern is understated. DH agrees with me that this is a great idea, so this project is a must-finish.

Ragna sweater for my brother
Finishing this in time for Christmas would mean one less gift idea I'd have to come up with for my brother. (He's tough to buy for.) Unfortunately, I have no idea how I'll manage to finish in time. If memory serves, I've finished the back and am close to finishing the front, but there has been a serious screwup and my row count is totally off. Getting back into it is going to be a challenge, to say nothing of the fact that I still have to do both sleeves and all the making up. We'll just have to wait and see on this one.

Challah cover for DD1's teacher
DD1's teacher has a Jewish surname and took the day off on Yom Kippur, so I'm guessing a challah cover will be a nice gift for her. Judith Goodman Johnson's Challah Cover [scroll down to find it] pattern is really beautiful - I particularly like how the cabled braid around the edge mirrors the shaping of the bread. :) I will be changing up the wording, though, so that it doesn't look quite so "busy". Probably a nice, simple "Shabbat Shalom" (in Hebrew, of course) will work well.

DD1, who has been enjoying the role of "spy", informs me that her teacher's favourite colour is purple. So I will pick up some nice purple cotton fingering weight sometime fairly soon.

Ljod for moi
I'm toying with the notion of trying to finish this in time for Christmas as a gift for my husband. Yes, it would be a cardigan for me to wear, but it's very shape-accentuating, so really it would be for him, if you know what I mean. :) However, the odds of me actually being able to finish it in time on top of everything else I need to do are pretty much zero, so I suspect this will end up being an anniversary present or something.

Tree skirt for our tree
Right now we have just some green cloth to cover up the plastic legs of our Christmas tree. It works okay, but a knitted tree skirt - such as the gorgeous cabled one by Teva Durham in "Handknit Holidays" - would be scads better. Will I have time? Probably not, but it's worth putting on the list of things to attempt, anyway.

Wish me luck. Maybe elves will show up and help me...


Carrie K said...

Nicky Epstein has a pretty fabulous treeskirt that should only take a decade or two to knit up.

I took your quiz and......I don't think I'm on your Christmas list. Darn.

Weren't you working on Ragna for him last year?

Double knit mittens - great idea!

Christmas is NOT coming. NOT YET.

Linda said...

I love the way you celebrate Christmas in the "gift-giving, seeing-family, eating-a-lovely-meal, celebrating-the-end-of-another-year, trying-to-find-something-to-get-happy-about-in-the-middle-of-all-the-snow sort of sense." :)