December 18, 2007

Peace, Love & Snuffy

Yesterday I saw a woman in her pajamas at the grocery store. Yes, it was before 9am. Yes, they were those flannel pants that in my family we refer to as "house pants" or even "lounge pants," but she had clearly slept in them. I remember my grandfather wouldn't have been caught dead without his hat in public. He put on a tie to go to the bank. I can only imagine his response to the pajamas.

This seems to me the height of holiday stress. Was this poor woman made so insane by all her Christmas preparations that she was too busy to get dressed? She stood up from her bed, and blind with purpose went directly to the grocery store? She must have taken at least the time to pee. I don't know. It was also just kinda gross, to see someone in slept-in pajamas in the produce section, so close to the tomatoes that might end up on your Christmas salad.

Anyway, I'm sorry for her. Christmas does tend to make us all crazy, but let's not go into that right now. Right about now, everyone's thinking of presents, given and gotten.

So here he is, our Christmas present to ourselves, Snuffy. Formerly of the junkyard, then the humane society, and currently residing in our kitchen. We were so taken with his enormous head, five o'clock shadow and wimpy demeanor we had to have him. Is he a Christmas Puppy? Technically, but he won't be jumping out of a box on Christmas morning with big red bow tied around his neck.

The thing is, we love him and he loves us. When I bend down to hug him, he frequently nips at my ear. What middle-aged woman could resist that? He will curl himself into anyone's lap at a moment's notice. Timmy has taken to calling him Junior. Love, love and more love.

So, whether you do or don't celebrate Christmas, peace and joy to you.

December 13, 2007

Scarf It Up

There are lots of questions that come with knitting. What yarn? What gauge? Will it fit? Will it itch? And the bigger questions, the ones that come with the merest whiff of existential malaise -- what the hell am I sitting here knitting for? What am I doing with my life? Why does my obsession/compulsion/addiction manifest itself in just this particular way? Why do I continue to knit, when I have sprained my thumb, and now have what I suspect is Knitter's Elbow?

Anyway, my question is this: Why, at this stage in the knitting game, have I become consumed with scarves? Because I really never knit any scarves at all -- except for a red and black striped one for my stepson (because he asked) and one for my daughter -- straight garter stitch (because she asked). All last year it was sweaters, blankets, lace patterns, even socks, which really aren't my thing. The best answer I can come up with is this: Holiday Knitting.

It all started with the Huckleberry Ascot, which was really a love at first sight thing -- I HAD to have the yarn, and I HAD to knit it immediately. It went fast. I learned how to make bobbles. I learned that I love alpaca. Specifically, 2 hanks Blue Sky Alpacas Melange in colorway 812 - Blue Cheese.

I finished and began the Child's Rainbow Scarf from LMKG. I bought the Kureyon for that, what, like five years ago? Now, I'm busily finishing the Rustic Scarf, also from LMKG, thriftily knit with Cascade 220, from stash. All Christmas gifts. So.

I had high hopes this year for a Christmas Cobblestone, a Wicked for my daughter, but it's not to be. I could do what my mother did one year: she wrapped up the sweater kit and gave it to my bemused father Christmas morning. Bemused, because he probably knew that 30 years later, the kit would still be a kit. And it is.

So, this year, scarves it is.