In which I pretend that Christmas is not, in fact, almost here

My powers of denial are great.  This afternoon it occurred to me that Christmas is next week.  Have I bought any presents?  Nope.  Decorated the house?  Nope, except for the Advent train my sister-in-law gave us, which Marc put out only because, well, it’s a train.  Sent any Christmas cards?  Nope. And I probably won’t.

Over the many years that  worked for churches I developed a dread for the holiday season.  Apparently the fact that I’m no longer in that line of work has not lessened my scrooge-y-ness, nor has my recent reading of Scroogenomics helped (I do recommend the book!)  I just don’t like all the emphasis on buying stuff, and the heightened expectations of family togetherness inevitably lead to disappointment or conflict (not always in my family specifically, I’m just saying…) I’m singing one Christmas eve mass, which is not stressful (and I don’t have to plan it!)  But there is no avoiding it… I’m going to have to shop.  I try to stick to the local shops, as even thinking about the mall gives me headaches.

Above: how I feel after any type of shopping excursion.

I’ve got to finish baby socks for my niece.  Baby socks are like all the annoying parts of sock knitting with none of the nice boring straight parts (unless you enjoy turning a heel, in which case more power to you!)  Other than that I do not knit presents.   It just adds stress to knitting for me.

I’m finding Salina oddly stressful as well.  I think it’s all the stockinette, combined with a really fragile yarn that keeps breaking.  I’m carrying on, but I do not feel inspired, so I avoid knitting and then feel stressed out about not knitting (issues, I has them.)  I wish my knitting machine could handle sport weight yarns, because this would be a prime candidate!

The new knitty is out, and I find Spoke to be interesting.

The directions say you could leave it a cardigan, which I think I might prefer.  I almost never make anything from Knitty – I think it’s just not my style.  Occasionally there is a lovely sweater (see: Amelia) but often I find the designs puzzling – at least once every issue I think “well yeah, you could knit that, but why? ”  But anyway, Spoke is really pretty, if a bit more unusual than I usually go for.  I’ll be curious to see some finished versions, since I know I won’t get to this for awhile.

I have been teaching myself to sew knit fabrics on the Bernina (who, thanks to you all, is now named Audrey!)  I may get a serger someday, but that’s not in the cards right now.  I bought some leopard print matte jersey.

Here’s something that’s probably not apparent from my knitting: I love animal prints.  Seriously, I bought a pair of zebra print ballet flats a few months ago, and they are nearly all that I have worn since.  I was thinking of attempting this top:

But I’m not for sure on that yet.  I have more of the leopard than I thought (it was an exceptionally generous cut) and it may want to be a dress.  At any rate, I’m pretty sure that I want a leopard dress.  I’m picturing this top in something a little softer.

After my experience with the vintage shift, I’ve decided that it’s going to be important for me to learn how to grade patterns.  Modern patterns are multi-sized (though occasionally not multi-sized in my size) but vintage patterns are one to a package.  In addition, I’ve been buying Burda magazine (Burda is put out by the same people who put out Verena knitting magazine) and their patterns often stop larger than I need.  I have at least 2 right now that will need to be traced and resized.   I’ve found some good tutorials online (Threads magazine has one) and there are instructions in my “Vogue sewing book” as well.

Sewing is not helping to curb my pattern addiction, but hey – it’s been ages since I really took a good look at my non-knitted wardrobe, and it needs help!