Making a List and Checking it Twice or Preparing for Christmas

Today it is a balmy 72 degrees and yesterday we reached 80 degrees. It’s not feeling very fall like around here but, I know it’s on the way. Last week we had a few cool days as a foreshadowing of the brisk autumn to come (Mother Nature is such a tease!).

I’m excited.  I like the autumn and the accoutrements of the season – the best apples and apple cider, one pot stews and soups return to my meal plan and, of course, woolen wear or woolen like wear   ( I’m no yarn snob.  A good acrylic or fun novelty yarn always has a place in my stash.) gets put on display.

When we have a true fall, sweaters, lacy scarfs and hats and fingerless gloves get a brief opportunity to take center stage before icy cold winter arrives.  Once winter arrives sweaters get hidden under coats; lacy scarfs and hats are replaced by their heartier and bulkier brethren and the fingerless gloves are replaced by mittens. So I’m eager to wear some of my own creations and the creations I have purchased. I’m also motivated to start working on holiday gifts.

I’ve been looking through my library of books, magazines and pdf files to get ideas for my very short list of handmade gift recipients. There’s plenty to choose from but I intend to be ruthless in my selection process.

 Here’s my list of criteria:

  1. The item must be something the person can truly use or truly wants.   It can’t just be about what I want to make; like tea cozies.  Checkout the site What not to Crochet if you need a clue as to what should be avoided.
  2. The yarn must be in my stash.  I’m determined not to buy any yarn for this season’s gift giving.  The yarn in my stash has no value if it isn’t made into something.  Also, if I hold to this I will be able to go to Smiley’s Annual blowout sale with a clear conscious to replenish my inventory.
  3. The pattern should fall into the “keep it simple stupid” category. You see, I want a totally mindful gift giving experience. I want to be praying for the intended recipient with every stitch; not cursing the pattern at every row.   I want the recipient to know that I’m giving them something made with my hands and my heart and that it “carries all my good intentions” (Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club).

I’m working on a Cowl for my niece Theresa who lives in the high desert of California.  You might think a cowl won’t be a useful item to a “Cali Girl” but, you would be wrong. It gets pretty windy there and from December through March the high temperatures average in the 50‘s during the day and drops to the mid 30’s at night. I think she could use a little something around her neck.

The cotton acrylic I’ll be using has no loft so the layer of warmth around the neck won’t add any bulk as it keeps the wind at bay.  Also, the cotton is not mercerized; yet it seems to have a little sheen that should be flattering; in the way the luster of a good strand of pearls is flattering when worn around the neck. The yarn was among my inventory of yarn; a remnant from another project.

The yarn shows off the stitch texture

Finally, the pattern is a freebie pattern from KnitPicks. The pattern is very easy which works well for my developing knitting skills yet I think the textured design is fashionable.  So check, check and check – this project meets my holiday gift making criteria perfectly.

I’m calling it my Christmas in California Cowl.





About atreegrowsinbklyn

I’m an analog girl living in a digital world. I’m happy except when I’m sad. I’m serious, smart and sophisticated except when I’m silly, obtuse and crude. I’m ambitious and disciplined; except when I’m apathetic and self indulgent. I‘m thoughtful, generous and honest; except when I’m insensitive, cheap and lying. I’m grateful; I’m grateful; I am grateful.
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11 Responses to Making a List and Checking it Twice or Preparing for Christmas

  1. Touch2Touch says:

    Great post!
    Long ago in antique days I used to knit quite a lot and loved it (sweaters for little ones mostly). Now in our new town there is a yarn store/warehouse reputed to be the biggest in the US (can this be?) called WEBS. Or Web. Anyway.
    When I went through it, the colorful yarns and needles and assorted paraphernalia called to me, and your post adds to the allure. Can one regain former skills? Hmmmmm — winter is coming.

    Anyway, a LOVELY post, good luck to your cowl and to the Cali girl, and all —

    (P.S. If you are overcome by the desire to make a tea cozy, the hand-knitted one a friend made years ago for our teapot is now quite stained around the spout opening, hint 😉

    • When you get the call you must answer. I think it is like riding a bike. Just hop on and go for a spin!
      I’ll keep your cozy request in mind but, I think you will be making one for yourself; soon enough!

  2. Touch2Touch says:

    Here’s the link — I think you’ll enjoy it:

  3. northernnarratives says:

    The cowl is so beautiful, I will probably take a look at the pattern. I like so many things that you said in this post. Happy knitting, Judy

  4. ElizOF says:

    I like that pretty blue I see in the pictures above… I love Autumn but not so much winter… And yes, the temp has not been as fall like; even my trees are still green. It’ll come like a thief in the night I bet… Here’s to lots of meaning things this fall. 🙂

  5. Raynor says:

    I love you checklist item #3… words to knit by if ever I heard them. 🙂 Also, that cotton looks amazing! Perfect for a non-bulky cowl. Can’t wait to see it all done!

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting. It’s so important to give our full attention to the things we do. Finding the meaning in what we do is important otherwise everthing becomes just a task to check off on a never-ending list.

      The cowl is coming along nicely. I will post it when completed.

  6. Pingback: I Don’t Need no Stinkin elfs | atreegrowsinbklyn

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