Monday, August 29, 2011

Spinning and 117 Days

Sunday was certainly for Spinning.

I spend the morning quickly cleaning up and started the laundry with the idea Ben would be home from his guy trip early, but since he was not home till after 1pm I used the time to watch Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and spin up some alpaca, blue face Lancaster and Angelina I’d blended on Friday night.

I’m nearly done spinning my 4oz batt

I wanted something that looked like fire and I think I got it. WIN! Sadly I can’t say what it is destined to become because it’s for a Christmas gift for someone I know reads this. But what I can say is that it’s currently a light fingerling weight and I plan on using some plain red silk thread to ply it with.

Also, no one sent me any pictures of WIPs! So we’ll call this week a wash and extend the deadline till the 4th. Send them in and win a prize, or just post a comment and link of the pattern. It’s all about the works in progress!

Lastly with all these thoughts of the dye day coming up and that I’m spinning for Christmas I thought I’d give you all an inside look on how I hand my Christmas knitting!

I learned from my mother that you should spread Christmas shopping through out the year so that you don’t blow your budget at the last minute or forget anyone. For this reason I’ve always been picking up a gift here and there while shopping and I keep a box of knitted items that are not for me.

We all have those knits that go slightly array. Like you thought the color was great, but after you knit a hat out of it you realize its not for you, or the mittens you’ve been painstakingly knitting are too big or too small (I always try to block out the small ones or felt the big ones, sometimes it works). Then there are those things that you want to knit but have no purpose for them. I habitually go on baby knit sprees because baby stuff goes so quickly and sometimes a project is taking so long I need something with instant gratification. I know some people who don’t wear shawls but love to knit them, same with wash clothes. Things like this all go into the box. If it hits me that it should be for a certain person, it gets a tag tied to it with the person’s name.

Then around this time of year I go look in the boxes. I take a carefully thought out list of recipients and they are divided into two categories:

Wool/Knit People – These are the few that deserve knits:

My aunt, who married into the family (blood does not give you an up into this category), because she loves the sample lace scarves, cabled bags and because she rocks

My mom, she buys me wool and yet is allergic to it, but she will go into any yarn store with me and is one of my favorite people in the world.

My dad, he tends to shift in and out of this category because of his 52” chest, he funds my mom’s wool purchases for me and we love doing geeky things like Harry Potter opening nights. He’s a little hard to knit for but if its green and black and not obviously HP, it’s a win

Ben, he also goes in and out of this category for not wearing his knits enough, he helps with wooly problems like making me skeiners (they make yarn go from cone to skein) and he’s my honey. I normally knit him socks and if we were not dating he would most likely not get hand knit items.

Anna, she understands the wool.

People Unworthy – They for one reason or another don’t get hand knits:

My uncle, though married to the aforementioned aunt, he does not really get how much time or effort goes into knits and has mentioned that I can get socks cheaper and easier at the store. Though this might have been a joke, I don’t take to teasing well.

My other aunt, though a knitter herself, my giving her and others hand knits was taken as an insult. She’s competitive and her plain knit scarf was slightly outdone by my gift of a Swollowtail shawl to my grandmother.

Ben’s brother, because all he wants me to knit are things like willy warmers.

I use the plain knit hats, fingerless mittens and wash clothes for stocking stuffers, and if I have extras I add them to my donation box for St Anthony’s in San Francisco.

Every year St Anthony’s does a knit drive for hats, scarves and mittens, then they donate them to the homeless living in the city. I’ve got to say that it is cold and windy in the city and any extra knits helps.

This planning stage is step 1. It might look like I have few to knit for but here is the entire list of people I knit for:

Aunt Bobby
Grandma Sue 
Grandma Jane 
Grandma P
Ben’s Folks 

This list scares me, so to scare you I'd like to take a moment to remind you that there are 117 days till Christmas. :)

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