Holiday traditions

Do you have holiday traditions?
On Thanksgiving we usually went to my maternal grandparents. It was usually the biggest family gathering we had. One year we had 22 people in my grandparent’s small house.My mom, her two brothers, a couple of spouses, four grandkids, friends and a the grandparents gathered around one long table. It was fun trying to get the butter. I miss family Thanksgiving dinners. This year I stayed home, by myself, with my cats and a cold while Boo and my husband had dinner with his family.

Growing up, we usually cut down a fresh tree in the first or second week of December and decorated it as a family. I loved seeing the familiar ornaments year after year, my favorite were the engraved metal ones that my grandparents would get me every year. Eventually I began to dread those because I no longer went by Debbie, but I still have them and use them and cringe when I pull them out. I was always mystified by families who didn’t up a tree up until Christmas Eve or worse, put it up after the children went to bed. I thought, how sad, it’s a wonderful family activity. Then I had a baby last September. We put up a tree last year because I thought it would be fun for him to stare at the lights but it was work. This year I’m going to wait as long as possible and put the baby play yard gate around it. I may even commit the unthinkable and put it up after he goes to bed. Will that make him more curious about it? If we do put it up, it’s going up in stages, first the tree for a few days, then the lights for a few more and finally the ornaments but only the nonbreakable ones. Between the three cats and Boo there won’t be much of a tree if I don’t.
Does anyone know where I can get indoor barbed wire?

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The Sock Saga Continues

Sunday, we had family Thanksgiving with Jason’s family, it was wonderful. Granny hosted Thanksgiving again, Mom made smashed potatoes, and my contribution was to eat too much. Since I’m on a deadline, I worked on the sock in spare moments when my help was not needed and I surmised that it wouldn’t be too rude. I was able to add a few rows, these socks will have quite a story. I added a few more rows on the way home and decided against my better judgment to leave a partial row on the needles. I attempted to tuck it carefully in my bag so I would not lose any precious stitches. Somewhere between the car and Daisy, though not her fault at all, my sock began to fall out of the bag. Luckily, the tension on the yarn caused it to dangle in mid-air rather than drag on the ground. Unluckily, the tension on the yarn caused 10 or so stitches to fall off the needles as it dangled. Fortunately, I had just finished reading a charming book with a rhyming title written by Debbie Stoller. I borrowed the book, entitled Stitch ‘N BWitch1, from the library. While the title suggests that the book may be a little over the top and I won’t be purchasing it for my grandmother, it is an extremely informative book. I knew the theory of picking up dropped stitches, but usually I avoid it by frogging2 enough rows to eliminate the problem, sometimes to the point of casting on again. However, after reading this book, I felt confident enough to attempt to fix 10 or so stitches, five of which only lost the row I had knit in the car. Two or three stitches slipped two rows and four or five stitches slipped several rows, including some purled stitches and one decrease. I have to say that I almost let one of the stitches unravel several rows to fix a previous mistake, but my brain was unable to process the command and shut down instead, so I proceeded to fix only the dropped stitches. After fixing it, I tried to knit two more rows, however, I didn’t look at the pattern. I had done enough rows that I felt I knew what to do. It turns out I did it correctly, but thought I had done it correctly, so made a few rows that are well, unique. I don’t think too many people will examine his socks closely. I am fixing part of the error on the current row and will learn from the mistakes made. Number one, finish a row and push the stitches back or cap the tips. Number two, keep better track of where the decrease belongs, even if you just dropped 10 or 12 stitches and had to perform minor surgery.

Julie suggested a fantastic title for the sock series, she is rather creative when it comes to writing. I, however, have since forgotten what it was and so will continue with my only slightly creative titles that pale in comparison.

Before beginning this sock, I would have said I was a descent knitter, with my knitting ability located somewhere between advanced beginner and intermediate level knitting. However, since tackling the task of sock making, I would reclassify myself currently as intermediate, but a beginner-beginner before the sock. Yes, yes, the scarves are pretty, but they are the same stitch over and over and over and over with really fancy looking yarns that cover a multitude of errors. My goal is to finish Jason’s socks as quickly as I can. I allowed the dropped stitches to scare me, well, scare is not correct, discourage is probably better. I was tired after picking up the stitches, so I put it up for the evening and didn’t touch it at all Monday until late in the evening. This is unfortunate for many reasons, not the least of which is that I STILL owe someone a present from last year’s family Christmas, I will soon owe this year’s person a gift and need to finish Jason’s socks first so that I can make some socks for me, but after I finish some Christmas gifts. If the pair for me goes well, I may want to try knitting socks for others, but it’s a safe bet I won’t cross-stitch for too many others, at least not projects that take over a year to complete. Oh, and there is the shawl for the wedding, but that was not my fault, the yarn didn’t come in until three weeks after the wedding. Maybe I will try to have that done by our first anniversary.

Footnotes:
1. In an effort not to offend anyone and bypass any content filters in place, the name had been changed, but I know you are all smart enough to either a) figure it out based on the given clues or b) use amazon.com to find a book by that author.

2. Knitters will ocassional rip out stitches to correct a mistake. Say “rip it” to yourself several times quickly.