I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone yet again. I’ve hung all my decorations that fill every inch of my apartment, and packed them all back up again. I wrapped a bunch of presents for friends and loved ones, and unwrapped a fair few myself. I made a ton of food, and ate way more than I should have. The whirlwind of the holiday carried me through the weeks between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s in nervousness, anticipation and excitement.
For me, Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love the traditions, the movies, the food, the gatherings. I love the Christmas lights dangling from the trees, kitschy decorations in every house corner, the carefully wrapped gifts donned with perfect ribbon.
I especially love the music. From classic carols to recent standards, one could consider me a Christmas music junkie. I have more than 1000 songs of the holiday persuasion. And I download more each year. I have a number of Christmas-themed playlists dividing my collection by favorites and genre. In the past, I devoted a few Tunes posts to holiday song recommendations (in a 2007 sampler, and a seven-day series from 2006: Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7).
But above all, Christmas holds a special place in my heart because of the spirit that beholds so many of us. This spirit is a special energy that surges through the month of December. The mixture of excitement, anticipation, anxiety and happiness bundled into one encompassing emotion makes the end of the year unique, as well as fly by. A lot of people don’t really like the holidays, namely ThanksMas Day, but I’ve always loved it. As I unpack my many boxes of Christmas decorations (I have six crates/boxes that house my stuff … and I live in a one bedroom apartment.), I remember how I got every item, each ornament. To me, my ornament collection represents memories of past holidays, reminders of loved ones and life events captured in a moment. My trip represents a conglomeration of not only December 25th, but of the important things in my life. Decorating my tree each year allows me to revisit these things from my past.
The red-and-green donned time of year also means a busier time for me at work, which is one reason for my recent blog-writing absence. An absence I hope to fix in the coming months. During this time of revelry, my company revs up for its largest trade show. It takes months to prepare for the show, and put the various publications supporting it together. I work on all of those, so I work a lot of hours.
As of late, at least for the past few years, the overlap of a busy work time and the holidays has made experiencing this time of year to the fullest challenging. This year was especially challenging as the weeks went by and I was busier than ever. I’m hoping my hectic schedule is to blame for a slightly less enthusiastic spirit this time around.
Despite my busy schedule and limited free time, I was able to knit a few people a special gift. Here’s a roundup and a conclusion of my Stash Knit Down 2011 progress.
For my dad, a man who’s drawn to the nostalgic days of old, I made a voyageur cap—a long, droopy hat with a tassle at the end. This dashing hat was worn on hunting trips, something I’m not sure my dad will be doing in the fullest sense. Here he is sporting his new headwear.
For my stepmom, I created this unique mobius scarf. According to Wikipedia, a mobius strip “can easily be created by taking a paper strip and giving it a half-twist, and then joining the ends of the strip together to form a loop.” This pattern alternates colors in blocks of alternating garter and stockinette, creating a thick ribbed creation. At the beginning, before joining in the round, you make one twist. Keep knitting, and the twist will hold as you work in the round. It was pretty simple and easy to knit, and created this fun scarf. In fact, I’m making one for myself.
Last, but not least, I made these classic garter fingerless mitts. I’ve made them in the past, so this was a no brainer. The picture is hard to see, but the yarn was a burgundy, brown maple shade that looked really nice. I followed the pattern for the most part until the end. I didn’t knit quite as many rows as indicated and judged based on how it fit around my hand. The first pair I made seemed a little too baggy, so I wanted these to be snug. It worked out in the end.
Stash knit down 2011 total: 14