November is upon us, making it officially “that time of year”. I’m not generally one to knit all (or even many) of my gifts to others. I keep it strictly for those who ask for something specific. However, it’s not unusual for me to still wind up knitting something for my loved ones for one gift occasion or other. In my family, November through mid-January means Thanksgiving, an aunt’s birthday, Christmas, my birthday, New Year’s, and another aunt’s birthday. Gift knitting for all would make me absolutely go grey.
However, if you are either more ambitious or have a smaller family than me, Ravelry is here to help! Several dozen independently-published designers have banded together to provide a massive array of patterns perfect for holiday crafting, as well as the support of your fellow Ravelers and favorite designers while knitting them. We’re talking to full range of indie designers, from newbie first-timers to quietly productive small-timers like myself to big names like Marnie MacLean and Alex Tinsley. Even better…?
All of the included patterns are 25% off, now through November 15. There are also PRIZES for those who tag their projects and participate in the GAL threads. Those prizes also come from the participating indie designers, as well as a few indie dyers and small time craft-tool makers. Are you drooling yet? If not, the pages and pages of photos of participating designs will fix that! I’m having a hard time convincing myself I don’t have time to knit the 200 or so patterns I now want after paging through that thread. I won’t lie that knowing I’d be helping the economy and a small business also helps it feel worth the dollars I really don’t have.
Interested? The Indie Gift-A-Long runs today through the end of December 31, GMT. Even if you don’t buy a participating pattern during the discount period, you’re still welcome to join in the “-along” portion of the even and try for a prize or two! We’d love to have you!
I know a lot of people are showing off the crafty goodies they’ve gotten for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc. and I’m going to join the party. Look, look!
A new stitch dictionary! I’ve checked this one out of the library a million times already, so I’m excited to be able to save myself the trip now. Also,
A new GorillaPod! It’s an awesome, bendy, magnetic tripod for my camera. No more shaky hands and blurry shots for me! I particularly love that it’s so easy to mount nearly anywhere. I take photos in some pretty odd places, and the hubs is not always around to help.
I also got a gift certificate to a yarn shop not terribly far from me for a spinning lesson and some money towards…drumroll… a spinning wheel!! I think I’m going to wait and get a bit better with the spindle before I shell out for a wheel, and I do still kind of want another spindle for my birthday, but I am very excited to go play with wheels!
Last but not least is not strictly a Christmas present, but still very exciting and it came the day after Christmas, so I will count it. This is yarn support in the form of KnitPicks’ new Capra line. It’s cashmerino and I can not stop rubbing the gauge swatch across my face. It feels soooo amazing I practically drool every time I pick it up.
This is not my present at all; it’s just a bonus photo because it was the most popular gift of Christmas. Why yes, it is a remote-controlled helicopter, and yes, it did go to a man my father’s age. But it. is. awesome.
The solstice has passed and with it, the darkest days of the year. In honor of the slowly returning sunlight, I’m going to take a moment to appreciate the other things bringing light to my life right now.
Thanks for your generosity!
The donations from this post have been made, and giving, no matter how small the donation, always makes me feel a bit warm and fuzzy. I hope the families of Sandy Hook and recipients of NAMI’s aid are also feeling a bit more warm and fuzzy now.
On more of an “immediate gratification” level, my coworkers were very excited and gracious about the apples and handful of cabled bracelets I made for them. I deliberately chose projects that wouldn’t take more than 30 minutes or so apiece so I wouldn’t feel crushed if they were simply met with a polite smile. However, there was a literal gasp of excitement as two of my office-mates arrived at the same time and rushed over to the basket, then immediately began negotiations over who got the orange bracelets and where the best place to hang an “amazing” ornament like one of those apples might be.
I also taught a student to crochet during the little party we had at the end of the last school day. He was really intrigued by the apple ornaments and wanted to know how to make them, but I unfortunately didn’t have any knitting with me that day. I did have my half-finished tree skirt in the car though, which is crocheted. He took to it like a fish to water, picking up the hook and producing perfect single crochets after watching me make all of 3 stitches. He can now lay claim to most of a row in my new Christmas tree skirt, and I am proud as can be.
Which leads me to my final bit of joy today. All of the presents are wrapped, just about all of the baking is done, and there is nothing left for me to do but enjoy this Christmas Eve in peace. Whether you’re celebrating anything this week or not, I hope you’ll find a little time to appreciate the light in your life during this dark time of year. Love and peace to all!
Happy Thanksgiving, American readers! Happy “it’s still a good day to be thankful”, everyone else!
I’ve got a warm home, a full belly, and excellent company. Don’t know that I could be much more thankful today.
Psst – 20% off all patterns in my store all day Saturday, November 24 for Small Business Saturday!
Well, it’s July1 (happy Canada Day to any Canadian readers!) and I’ve now put in an even 6 months of work on the Sky Scarf.
For those who haven’t done one, the idea is to knit 2 rows/rounds each day that match the color of the sky that day. Personally, I also add beads when it rains or snows. With the exception of the wicked overnight storm we had Friday night/Saturday morning, there hasn’t been much rain to speak of lately.
The scarf is only halfway done, but it’s already long enough to be complete.
In this shot the other end of the scarf is just touching the floor. It’s a solid 50 inches (127 cm), which means it’ll be of absolutely epic proportions by New Year’s. Part of me thinks that’s going to be really cool, but a tiny, quiet part of me kind of wishes I’d used lace weight. This is Knit Picks’ Palette, which has a fantastic array of color options (even more now than when I first ordered, it appears), but is fingering weight.
It sure does look pretty all bundled up though. Even if the scarf does barely fit in the basket any more.
Sometimes feeling good requires us to take a moment out of our day to actually pay attention. Once I take the time to tune in, I find I invariably feel better than I did just a moment ago. So in no particular order, here are 5 things making me feel good at this moment:
1. The stretch of gorgeous weather that is making my Sky Scarf look like this lately:
2. Blossoms on my tomato plants!!!
3. The tsoureki my family is about to devour.
4. The drool-inducing smell of the ciabatta currently in the oven for Easter dinner (yeah, we’re pretty shameless bread fiends around here).
5. The knowledge that my husband and I get an entire day tomorrow to lay around and do absolutely nothing. Bliss!