The first year my husband and I were married, money was tight to say the least. My job as a day care center director was cut due to lack of funding (contrary to popular opinion, it was not because I ordered too many hunormous cans of green beans), and Hubby was working in a hardware store while going to grad school. We bought a $2 cedar tree from a young boy selling them on the side of the road. I used tin cookie cutters tied with red ribbon for ornaments along with an assortment of other weird household items. I made felt stockings (the hearts and Santa ones) and stamped blank newsprint for wrapping paper using red tempera paint and a potato. All the bows on gifts we gave were white and silver- left over from wedding gifts.
The next year, I tied red bows to the Norfolk pine we’d been given as a wedding gift and put a disco light behind it. Then for several years, we cut the tree ourselves- and not on Christmas tree farms. (I use the term we loosely as I’m not allowed to know where a couple came from.) Charlie Brown had nothing on us! DDs made lots of paper and glitter ornaments. I strung popcorn, and the star, used until a couple of Christmases ago, was a toilet paper roll sandwiched between two star shapes cut from cardboard, covered with glued on macaroni, and spray painted gold.
We just bought our tree this year. It’s a 7 ½ foot artificial tree with clear and colored lights- and a remote control. How ridiculous is that? (To save face a little amongst my naturalist and crafting friends, we had a real tree last year, fresh cut from the Blue Ridge and smelling so sweet it made DD#2’s allergies flare, and she couldn’t get near it. She had to use the back door. She couldn’t even walk through the same room. At least she couldn’t snoop.) Most of the ornaments are hand made, although I’m no longer allowed to put on the paper and glitter ornaments. I do the same thing my Mom did- let the kids decorate then sneak back in when no one’s around to rearrange and put on the ones I like.
And to carry on tradition, there is no way I’m going to finish all my knit gifts. As usual, I’ve gotten side tracked. Mittens for the little girl we sponsor and her sister have become an all consuming obsession lately. With a little help from an Internet friend, I’ve discovered the smallest are okay, but the largest are too large. I have more mittens to knit. Santa hats and booties for the hospital are too fun not to knit. I got the idea from Wool Windings but didn’t have the pattern printed so decided to wing it. Too much fun. Just need to finish the booties.
The lace scarf is languishing. One thing I’ve learned about lace knitting- it requires a clear head. I get headaches when the weather changes and we keep going through the four seasons at least once a week. My head is out of whack, so I’ve had to keep my knitting simple. Mom’s sweater is simple- just need to block and sew. The pewter clasps from Schoolhouse Press came today. They are luverly. I can't wait to give it to her.
Now to tackle my sister's sweater. I found this pattern from Garnstudio that I really like. I have to figure out how the do the stripes. These are all the colors I have, but I don't think the pink really works with the rest. And I may leave out the single balls for logistical reasons- how do I divide it for fronts, back, and sleeves? I'm not sure how to figure out a stripe sequence unless I knit a row for each ball of yarn in that color. That way I don't run out of one before another.
SIL’s scarf is a breeze (but we won’t talk about how many times I started the setup rows.) Iris Schreier's patterns are fun to knit. One day I'll try her yarns. My brother’s hat is finished (go Hookies!). One down, elevendy-dozen to go. Two weeks- no problem.
Back to knitting and eating sugar cookies. Have you tried the Chocolate Truffle Kisses? Oh so good with a cup of Cinnamon Viennese Coffee.