Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Friday, November 30, 2012

Never Not Knitting Podcast

I am a bit excited today.  Yeah, it's Friday and whatnot, but this is even better.

My funny story about my Comedy of Errors Sweater, aka Napoli Sweater, is featured on Alana Dakos' podcast #68 of Never Not Knitting!

I have enjoyed Alana's podcast for a few years now. She started out as a frequent knitter talking about her own projects, knitting product reviews and injecting her own funny knitting stories. Then she started adding funny and interesting stories from her listeners from around the world. In the last few years she has branched out to running her own knitwear design company and has self published, with friend and co-author Hannah Fettig, the very popular Coastal Knits books. Alana has recently self-published a new children's book called "Annie and the Swiss Cheese Scarf"; it is an adorable story about a little girl and her effort to learn to knit.

Alana always puts together an entertaining podcast full of knitting stories and now my story, read by me, is being featured on this month's episode!  Check it out!

Have you ever heard your own voice on tape and been surprised at what you sound like to others?  Um, yeah! Kind of surreal.



So I have been very busy knitting up some Christmas gifts so I have not been posting much as I don't want to ruin the surprises. My previous hysteria over Christmas knitting has lessened. I am almost feeling Zen about the whole thing now. What will be will be, as such.

But I can show you one really cute thing that I have knit recently.
I'd like to introduce you to: Mr. Bunnyman Blankstare.
He doesn't say much.
pattern is: Snowball Buddies, by Susan Claudio Designs
I had no stuffing at home when it was time to fill this little guy's body and I found myself at a dollar store buying a full sized pillow and cutting it open at home for the filling. I needed a palm full of stuffing and now have enough stuffing for an army of these little guys.

Which, if I am not careful, will ruin my new found Zen-like calm and bring me right back to hysterical as I control myself from the idea that I can make 87 more of these before Christmas!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A pre-Christmas panic attack


Breathe deep. Keep calm.
I CAN see the calendar.
Head between your knees.
I do know that it is only early October. 
Bring paper bag to face.
I can't seem to get Christmas off my mind right now. And I may be getting a little panicky about it.
Go to your happy place.
 
It seems ridiculously early but Christmas is front and centre in my brain right now. And the really odd thing is that I have sooooo many other favourite holidays that come first! (Halloween, Black Friday, Yarn Sale day etc.)
 
My recent panic attacks might have to do with a list that I made for myself of potential Christmas gift ideas for friends and family members. I make one every year. Typically this list includes things to buy for my loved ones.  But this one is a little different than in previous years. This one has a list of only knitted items next to each name.
 
It started simple, with my immediate family: my husband and my kids. That's 4 people right there and they all want sweaters!  I add my parents, my in-laws and I am feeling a little light headed now. Then I add my sister, her husband and their two sons that are both over 6 feet tall and my sister in law. Bubbles of hysterical laughter escape as I frantically look back and forth between my list and the calendar.
 
From here it snowballs... badly. I add our best friends,  my counsin's kids, a good friend with a benchmark birthday and my grandparents. I have drool frothing at my lips when I start thinking that I could pound out  6, maybe 8, of these really cute little stuffed apples for teacher gifts.
From Knit Simple, Holiday 2012
I need to go through my stash!
I need to get to the yarn store!
I need a sharp rap to the head... because it would take a fleet of about 5 professional knitters working full-time between now and Christmas to make this list happen! It's so ridiculous that I should be laughing about it instead of hyperventilating.
 
I do know that I can't possibly make something for everyone in my family between now and Christmas. So I wonder why I am spending time worrying about this. This may have been doable, maybe,  if I had started in January- of last year- and had budgeted a couple of small projects a month. But even then I doubt it.
 
Seriously, it is a really big list.
 
This might have something to do with the fact that I have finished more projects this year than I have in the previous 4 years combined. I think that I have recently jumped a skill level which has allowed me to hit a groove. As a result I have churned out some really nice projects this year. I have made a combination of small and big items.  I think this recent productivity has made me insane cocky.
 
Each month I review the newest knitting magazines and on-line patterns and the list gets a little bit longer. And I find myself saying "Oh, that lace scarf would be so nice for my sister-in-law. I think I have the necessary 1500 yards of lace weight in my stash!"  Or I remember that my friend has always hinted that he'd like a pair of warm cabled mitts and LOOK at that pattern, right there for the very same!
Flint Cabled Mittens,
Brooklyn Tweed, in Shelter
 
Never mind the trouble I get while on Ravelry. I currently have 62 items in my queue and those are only the items for me.
 
So why am I torturing myself?  It is simple really. As much as I am a process knitter I really like to make handmade gifts. I like being able to show someone that I care about them enough to have spent tens of hours making something just for them.
 
I am trying to understand this better but just because I can make something doesn't mean that I should. Not every gifts needs to be handmade. Something that I think is beautiful may not look the same to another. And not everyone values a handmade gift. This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way. Some people really do like store gifts better. Or cash. This is okay.
 
A gift, when given, should be more about the person receiving and less about the hang ups of the giver.
 
My rational brain knows that I should calmly put down my list and walk away. I should pick the few items that I can reasonably accomplish between now and Christmas and focus on those.
 
That sounds like a great idea but my knitting brain is still in panic mode.