Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I have 4 sisters. I am the youngest. They each have great gifts and strong personalities so we drive each other crazy in many and varied ways. But there was a time when the four of us, the big guys and the little guys, were a strong unit and stuck together to help each other grow up and explore the many interests and ideas that we are known to generate. We are idea people.
I remember sitting around a table making boxes to wrap gifts in, making extraordinary Christmas baking. I was four years old when we made beads of magazine papers and strung a curtain for my nanny. I can still smell the turpentine. I was not much help.
We knit and sewed and made candles and macramed and did anything that was a new fad or an old heritage craft. This was before we had heard of Martha Stewart and we had no money to "source" items. We just used what we had.
The handspun was made by my second oldest sister who lives on Saltspring Island. It is lush and smells like lanolin. She gave it to my next oldest sister who passed it to me this summer when she was moving. Now I guess I have different rules about gifts. Most of what I believe I blame on them. But this wool wants to be with the giftee.
So I made her and her husband hats for their cold Kamloops ranch. They were a quick knit from the amazing "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" by Ann Budd. I love this book. If you have any unmarked yarn in your stash, you must find this book. It goes hand in hand with EZ's idea that the gauge you get in your swatch is the right gauge and you just adjust the pattern.
But look.

I may have enough left over to make another hat. For me? I think that will be allowed because it was not intentional, and the gifts were made first.

In the list of Christmas knitting, I have only a few things left. I don't like to stress my Christmas further with the stress of unsatisfactory progress.

One hat for my hairdresser who does both my kids now too. He can use it for mountain biking, maybe.

Two mittens for friends' boys 2 and 5 years old. Ann Budd and some sock yarn for that. We don't have very cold winters, so I think non-bulky mittens would be more useful for play.

Squiggles shawl. It is not big but I don't like the side-to-side knitting. Get it done next!

D. asked for a toque. That means he feels left out by my knitting for others. I bought an alpaca blend and I'll whip it up in my travel knitting. But he will criticize it's fit or colour or feel. Oh well. Perhaps it's his way of being interested. I have knit him a masterpiece aran sweater which is "too big" and a vest that is also "too big". The vest fit when I made it (of brown fine weight alpaca) and the aran sweater looks really good on him. I'm not inclined to knit a lot more for him.

It's like my daughter asking for popsicles. There are popsicles in the fridge but she doesn't like them. When she has finished them, I will buy more. The ones I buy next will be wrong as well, anyway. This is low on my priority list. Go get your own popsicles and quit whining.

So on to more baking. I finished the Christmas Pageant, cast it, chosen and handed out the musis, had a first run through with the main actors and am waiting back for the word on set helpers and kiddie attendance. One lady came and took all my costumes out until a few days before. Horrors! I was not going to let them go. But she has been roped into fitting the costumes (that same night!) and helping with the little kids. Whew. This does not help me.

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