Friday, December 19, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

First, this is why no one, not even the Little Blackheads should ever EVER over-indulge on Thanksgiving. Even if it is just some "harmless" catnip.

You never know who might have a camera while you're drowsy with food-coma and sitting on the couch with your pants undone. Hex is OK now. It did take a little while to come down from the high, but he's back to his weird, bathtub-obsessed, normal self.

I love the holidays. Master Blackhead and I haven't reached the point in our adult lives where the holidays are a time of stress and frustration... yet. We still like the decorating, eating, and gift-receiving... and I still LOVE the gift-buying/making. I fully recognize that in about 5 years, when I'm standing outside of ToysRUs at 4:00AM on Black Friday, trying to score an elusive "toy of the season" (e.g. Tickle Me Elmo or Furby), and crammed in line with other obsessed parents that I will undoubtedly hate gift-buying. I just hope at that time, while I'm busy cursing Mattel or whomever, that I just remember one thing: that this freakish holiday rush is a blessing because Huellen's here and the biggest crisis in my life is getting her a toy.

This year we've been busy eventhough we're pulling a Crichtonesuqe Christmas-Skip: no presents will be exchanged between Master Blackhead and me. We did however still manage five key tasks:
1. send out hundreds of holiday cards
2. get / make presents for our most beloved friends and family
3. hang up lights outside
4. decorate inside
5. host a knitting party

It's been fun so far, well until yesterday afternoon. I head to my LYS for a few hours of jolly knitting with my friends and what do I hear? This.

Seriously, this woman has no sense of what it means to knit something for someone. It takes careful planning, pattern selecting/designing, finding the perfect yarn, sizing (sometimes), and most of all KNITTING the gift. Ultimately what I find most disturbing about this article is its flagrant demonstration of what most people have known for years: journalistic integrity is on the decline. If she had done her research (which I thought journalists were supposed to do), she'd realize that crafting is a pretty nonsensical way to try and save money. Take for example a seemingly simple pair of socks. At the low end of the price range are socks in Target's One Spot section for $1 a pair... at Neiman's a pair of cashmere socks will cost you $33. At the low end, sock yarn for a pair of socks at JoAnn is going for $4.49... cashmere sock yarn at Webs runs at around $36 or Koigu's silk Mori at just under $55/pair. These don't even factor in the cost for needles (from $5 for dpns to $30 for two Addi circs) or time (16 hours x $6.55/hr = $104.80). Yes, crafting is a great way to make gifts on the cheap. Yeah right!

Moving on, here are two handknit sweaters I designed and knitted just for the baby. The pictures suck, I know. When I post the patterns, I'll have better ones.

Name: Prima Donna, size 12 month
Yarn: Shepherd's Wool in Pink Heather and Cascade 220 in Khaki
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 5 32" Addi Turbo, Size H crochet hook
Pattern: My own.
Comments: Shepherd's Wool is fabulous. I love the elasticity and it is so soft. If feels more like a merino yarn. The price was fabulous too: $7.50 for 260 yards. I can see why this has been a bestseller.

Name: Creamsicle, size 6-12 month
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in Peach and White
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 7 32" Addi Turbo, Size H crochet hook
Pattern: My own.
Comments: This is awesome yarn and I'm sorry that Bobbi doesn't carry it anymore; however, I think Berroco Pure Merino would make for a nice substitute.

Anyway here are some pictures of what's been happening lately.
Party favors for the knitting group.

A really cool sunrise.

Another baby sweater has started and stalled. I ran out of yarn! Ahhhh! Must go back for more.

Here are it's fronts and backs. I think I'll get some navy blue for the sleeves and side gussets.

Starting some legwarmers in the meantime. This is Filatura MajMahal, which is discontinued. That's a real shame because this is truly luxe yarn.


Anonymous said...

Hi Helen,
Were you able to find more yarn for that baby sweater? is it Koigu? I just finished a pair of mittens and have almost an entire skein left of what I think is the same colorway... Let me know if you want to check it out... Hope to see you next week. Until then, Merry Christmas... and thanks for the wonderful time at your house and the beautiful candle. You guys were the perfect hosts!

Lady Blackhead said...

Glad you had a good time. The yarn is Hacho. I found a navy blue for the sleeves and just have to attach them. Thank you for the offer. See you next week. Have a Merry Christmas!