Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday crafting: How is that going, Tiffany?

Well, it's funny that you should ask. :0 It's been on my mind a lot lately too, great minds think alike, right? ;-) Soooo, here's the scoop, settle in with your beverage...

There are traditionally many stages to the holiday crafting life. In my experience, they go like this:

(1) July. You excitedly make a list of handmade items for Christmas gifts. You get all giddy with creative energy and feel tremendously accomplished.

(2) Still July. You place a giant yarn order, feeling zero guilt whatsoever, because, seriously, THIS IS FOR GIFTS!! You can go *hog wild* and feel nothing but sanctimonious warm and fuzzies about your purchases.

(3) August. You cast on for a pair of gift mittens, feeling that if there were a Nobel Peace Prize for Knitting, you would clearly win it this year.

(4) September. You have finished one mitten, and are hip deep in the fall frenzy that is sweater knitting. None of these are gifts, but you fret not. It's only September. There's still PLENTY of time!

(5) October. You have finished the mittens, but you have finally re-looked at that list you created back in July. Oh dear. Better start focusing on those red and green colorwork dishcloths.

(6) November. You have finished multiple gifts, but you have come to the sinking realization that you are in deep trouble. You still have MANY gifts to go, of which socks somehow number about 57. You place another yarn order for sport weight yarn to replace the thinner fingering weight you originally bought. This will make them knit up faster!

(7) Thanksgiving. You are in denial. You are frantically knitting sock #6 and have convinced yourself that there is STILL TIME! to finish everything by Christmas. Is it possible to knit socks out of super bulky weight yarn? They'd be like pillows for your feet. Who wouldn't want that?!

(8) Early December. You are morose. You have come to the conclusion that you are an absolute IDIOT for making this clearly unattainable list and have set yourself up for failure. AGAIN. Also, you are sick to death of knitting socks.

This is the point I am at, my friends. I have indeed finished some gifts, but I am no where NEAR what I had hoped to complete. I'm not even going to go back and link to my originally posted list from this summer, because the whole thing would be just too demoralizing. :0 I recently finished this pair of socks:

But SO many more socks to go. I'm nearly done with another pair, I'm on the heel flap of the second sock, so that will get done this week, and I can mail those off. After that...more yarn winding, more sock knitting.


To add insult to injury, I nearly *ran out of yarn* on that blue pair you see above. I was holding my breath knitting the foot of the second sock in the pair, praying to whoever is Patron Saint of Overambitious, Insane Knitters, that I would not run out. Because if I had to order another hank of yarn just to close up a toe, I would NOT have been a happy knitting camper, no sir. I finished with a few yards to spare and felt very thankful indeed.

That's sort of where I'm at. I'm not going to finish everything, but I'm doing what I can and have gotten substitute gifts where possible. Mike isn't going to get his promised sweater, but I have other ways of distracting him until I finish. ;-) You know, around the 4th of July. Perfect alpaca tweed sweater weather, right?!

In other news, the kids have harvested the saints they received on St. Nicholas's feast day from their shoes, and tucked them away with their friends in preparation for Christmas. Here is Henry's saint collection:

All nice and orderly.
That's St. Stephen, St. Isadore the Farmer, St. Blaise and St. Nicholas, from left to right. Lined up like soldiers. Anne's saints, on the other hand?

What is happening here?

Apparently, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Czestochowa are taking a nap in a plastic container she rescued from the garbage, and St. Nicholas is watching over them. She also has a collection of soft felt saint dolls who are all packed together into a baby crib. The saints like to sleep a lot, it seems.

Everybody is in high Advent mode with Christmas readying, it seems. ;-) How is your holiday crafting going, dear reader? General Christmas preparations? Do write in and tell me all about it!


  1. I like those socks. Glad you had enough yarn left to finish them. I didn't think I was too ambitious in my gift knitting plans this year. 2 hats and 2 scarves for cousins who recently moved to colder climates isn't too much even if I didn't decide until November, right. However, looking at the calendar I have 10 days left (since I want to send them back with a cousin when she visits) and I'm still on scarf #1. I think they'll be getting just scarves this year.

  2. Hi Melanie! Yes, just scarves sound good. :0 I don't know why it is, but it's just so easy to think our knitting needles are just going to SMOKE from how fast we knit. But if we don't knit that way the rest of the year, why would Christmas be any different? ;-)

  3. 1. Where did you get those saints? They are fantastic!
    2. I am not crafty enough to make many gifts. So, I am making one for a friend and buying for my goddaughter and sibling gift. Christmas preparation is coming in the form of getting all of the projects done for next week, and then spending time in preschool (my happy place) during exam week to help them finish up Christmas crafts and gingerbread houses to take home. :)
    And then I get to go home.

  4. Tiff, you're not behind! You're ahead for next year! ;)

    I'm not knitting anything this year, which is so weird for me. Instead I'm simplifying with doing gifts in a jar for my extended family. They don't need more hats or scarves and these will be yummy/useful/fun gifts to give instead.

  5. Hi Samantha! The wood saints that Henry has are from an Etsy shop called St. Luke's Brush:

    ...and the plastic ones that Anne has are Shining Light Saint Dolls:

    I love them too! I absolutely love that you are going to be doing crafts and gingerbread houses with the preschoolers as stress relief during exams. Brilliant! And so festive. :)

  6. Steph! So nice to see you. :) Ahead for next year, I like the way you think. :0 And it's good to mix it up from year to year with crafty things, I totally agree. Some years instead of making gifts myself, I'll buy them from others who hand make items that I cannot do myself: so embroidery, quilts, other sewing techniques, candles. I love it!

  7. Thanks, Tiffany!! I'm going to have to look into those!

    The education professors here don't believe in exams, so I always have extra time on my hands that week. I go to preschool every week anyway and they always bring a smile to my face. Exam week just gives me more free time to go play with the kids, and not disturb my roommates who do have exams. :P

  8. Samantha, oh how wonderful! Are you studying to be a teacher? I thought about doing that when I made my switch away from law toward something else. I ultimately chose librarianship, as you know :) but elementary education was also on my list of possibilities.

  9. That's a shame about your holiday crafting efforts, but I second Stephanie: you already have supplies and projects for next year:)

    For my part, every year, I want to make a Christmas dress for my daughter, and every year, there Like you, maybe next year, right?

    1. Amy, little girl Christmas dress = <3. I love that. But of course, yeah. Ambitious. ;+) Anne wants a blanket, but I haven't even started. Easter blanket!


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