Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Dave

Rather than have to utter the unwieldy term "Christmas Eve Day," B and I have taken to calling the hours before nightfall on December 24th, "Christmas Dave." We are highly ingenious, are we not?

We have no plans for Christmas other than to lounge and loaf. I'll probably continue on with my craft marathon. I finished the Quant headband a week or so ago.

Finished Quant (the first one I made)

I'm quite pleased with it, and it's been cold enough that I've even gotten the chance to wear it a few times.

I'm now working on one for my sister that, sadly, is not turning out too well. I spent an hour dithering back and forth in the yarn shop over yarn. She is very particular about colors. Her favorites are shades of brown, gold, and green. Basically, the colors of '70s-era kitchen appliances. I'm personally not overly fond of any of these colors. I probably had the perfect yarn in my hand at one point, but when I thought about having to spend an extended period of time with it transforming it into a Quant, I had to put it back on the shelf.

What I fear I did was buy some yarn that I liked, and talk myself into believing that it fit my sister's criteria. It does have some brown/burgundy tones and some green in it, but really it's overwhelmingly blue--my favorite color--and the blue comes even more into the forefront because of the nature of the entrelac style (texture? whatever it is).


Quant WIP

On top of that, the gauge seems to be off and there are some mistakes in it. I think I'll just rip it all out, and start over with different yarn. There's a lesson here about knitting things for other people. There's too great a chance that A) he/she won't like it B) it won't fit C) it will never be worn D) all of the above.

And speaking of making stuff for other people, the "Keep Portland Weird" notecards I made for the handmade gift exchange party were the most unpopular gift of the evening. What an accomplishment! Out of something like 17 gifts, mine was the absolutely last one to be chosen. It sat there on the table with all the other gifts, nicely wrapped (I thought) in Christmas-themed National Wildlife Federation wrapping paper with a little pouf of shiny red-ribbon curlycues that I'd laboriously spiral permed, but time and again it was passed over. Finally, it was down to two gifts. Mine and one that had been damaged in transit. Surely, I thought, mine looks more appealing than the one with the wrapping paper half torn off of it. Apparently not! The shoddily wrapped present went first. The last person had the choice of "stealing" one of the already opened gifts or taking my gift. She said she wanted to open something, so she took my gift and put me out of my misery. She kindly said she liked it, but who knows?

Obviously, I shouldn't be so invested in any of this, but it took way longer to make the notecards than I'd anticipated. I'll bet I spent a total of 12 hours on them. I had to reglue them at one point (I failed to remember from my brief stint as a Girl Scout that glue sticks are total crap). Then they started to curl, so I had to flatten them under a stack of volumes of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Then I had to trim each one verrrrrrry carefulllllly with manicure scissors, so they would fit in the envelopes I had for them.

But I still wasn't done.

As in previous years, I realized at the final hour that I needed something to put the gift in. I didn't have any suitable boxes, so I spent even more time constructing this elaborate handmade folder for the cards and envelopes. By the time I finished making that, I was really starting to resent the whole thing and found myself thinking, "I sure hope whoever gets these appreciates them," but fully realizing that I'd gotten to the point where no reaction or explosion of praise was ever going to be big enough.

Here's a sampling of a few of the cards (arrayed on the freakin' folder I had make). Please say something nice!

Keep Portland Weird Notecards

OK. I just had to get that out of my system. B says that I am too hung up on the need for approval. It's totally true. I am and always have been. But I don't know how to get over that.

On the flip side, the Amy Sedaris Lil Smokey cheese ball (one of two) I took to the party was a smash hit! At one point a whole swarm of women were gathered around it acting like it was the best thing they'd ever eaten (I kept my yap shut about the fact that it had a stick of butter in it). Go figure. Here's all that was left at the end of the party. It had some pretty stiff competition, too, including regular gingerbread men and hash gingerbread men (distinguishable from the regular ones by their missing heads and limbs).

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