Archive for December, 2008


Christmas of Plenty

So yeah, it was weird to put my ornaments up on my family’s tree a couple weeks ago, but what wasn’t weird, was the actual day. It was like all the awkwardness disappeared, and I felt at home again. It was good to wake up in my bed in this house, in my new Christmas Eve pj’s and make a cup of tea, sit down in the living room and open up my stocking. It was good to pull out the hand knit socks and matching keychain Mom had made me, and put them beside my mandarin orange and bag of chocolate coins.

It felt natural to be taking turns opening gifts, and I was thrilled watching my siblings and parents open the gifts I had gotten them. Everyone was so generous to each other, it was great to see the family love, to hear the good natured teasing, and to watch eyes pop open when something especially good was unwrapped.

For my knitting haul, I got a pair of sock blockers, a pair of hand knit socks (Lorna’s Laces yarn too!), and a skein of Fleece Artist sock yarn that is going to become a small shawl. My grandmother gifted me the Knit Mittens! book (of which I have no idea who I’ll end up knitting these things for…I don’t know anyone who wears them…), and giftcards were also a plenty.

Watching my mom open up her shawl gave me chills.

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I knit her the Forest Canopy Shawl out of Smooshy in Dusky Aurora. Thank the snow for being an excellent backdrop. I used just one skein, and I knit it on 4.5 mm needles.

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For a second ever shawl, I think it’s pretty damned good. Oh yes, and you couldn’t pry those socks off dad’s feet yesterday either:

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And that has to be one of the best pictures I’ve even gotten of him. Chelsea got the Panda Silk socks and loved them, and I also gave her a pair of Knit Picks colored wooden knitting needles, for when she finally gets her butt over here to learn how (not that I’m hinting or anything….).

Ramond will be arriving sometime this afternoon and will receive his Earl Grey Socks then, and yes, he will be subjected to an obligatory picture.

But the best gift of all was from my parents. It’s the gift of family time together. People, in May we are going together to Disneyland! We’ve wanted to go together for eons, and I just can’t wait! It renews all my feelings about being so happy that I’m safe here, and not back in the States. When we figured it out, I started crying because I was so happy that I was here to share it with them.

So, you know that that means…I’m going to need a couple knitted items to take with me there… maybe I’ll pack my Twisted Tulip socks?

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I’m on the gusset of the first… what about my Travelling Fern scarf? It’s so delicate and lacey…it would be perfect. Well, either way, if I’m going to have them ready, I had better get busy.

Right after I get back from the Boxing Day shopping….

Happy Holidays everyone, I hope your season was a happy and safe one.

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Reflections

This month has become the month of reflections. Not just on how much my life has changed, and how different things are now to how they were then, but of my personal reflection too. The experiences I have had over the past year have changed who I am to a great extent. I am not the same person now as I was then, by a long shot, and I believe my knitting has reflected that as well.

Last Christmas, my knitting was all about making things for my boys, to keep them warm and comfortable, I was literally trying to bestow love and warmth to them in the form of a gift that was hand knit. This year, well, my knitted gifts are much more personal, and tuned to each person. Instead of love and warmth, I have tried to gift each person with something that reminds me of them, or will remind them of me in a way. And I’m happy to report that my Christmas knitting is finished as of last night, and this evening, I even managed to finish a new pair of socks for myself.

I keep comparing the differences in setting, and I couldn’t help opening up my photobucket to reminisce on the past couple of Christmases, where what I was surrounded by was this:

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and this:

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where as now I see this:

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and this:

xmastree

It feels strange to hang my ornaments with theirs again, and even though I know I am apart of this family, it almost felt like I was crowding THEIR tree with MY stuff. It felt different to be putting up a tree that wasn’t mine, a village that I didn’t purchase myself, and I don’t think I’ve even seen what the house looks like with all the lights up yet. For the time being, things are still a little painful, and I’m taking it one day at a time. I really believe that if I were on my own, I wouldn’t really "do" Christmas this year.

The biggest glaring difference however, is that I am not the person responsible for making it happen. No one is looking to me for cookies, decorations, presents, Christmas dinner, or to facilitate the events. This is both good, and bad. To be honest, in my current setting, I am glad I am not going to run Christmas, because they aren’t my decorations, this is not my house, and I am not the hostess. On the other hand, if I were responsible, well, it would be a very good distraction to keep me from focusing on what’s not there, and what’s changed.

Christmas for me has changed in meaning as well. Last year’s was so abysmal (though I will continue to keep most of the reasons why that is to myself), that I really didn’t want it to happen this year. I as a person have changed too, my outlook is definitely very different. I used to get very excited about the holidays, not just Christmas too. Halloween, Thanksgiving, I would decorate, clean, get seasonally appropriate foods ready, and I would revel in it. Now however, I just feel the urge to sit quietly by and live my life without too much upheaval.

Perhaps the New Year will bring more change, and hopefully good change too. Perhaps there will be exciting new adventures and experiences that will push bad Christmases and aching feelings of missing friends away, and maybe I’ll try a bunch of new knitting techniques and get lots of beautiful things made. Perhaps.