Impending Doom! or the Mad Christmas Rush!

So what does one do when you are finally finished the challenge for the year?  Other than signing up for a Resolution Run on January 1, 2015, this person looks at the calendar, after defrosting from the Vancouver Historic Half and starts to feel, ANXIOUS!  A feeling of impeding…something…impending doom?  Stress! that there’s not enough time!  But not enough time for what?

In past years, the first day of December, regardless of the day of the week it falls on, would be the day I put up the Christmas tree.  It’s a fake tree of course, but it’s what I’ve grown up on.  But this year, I decided to put it off to the first weekend.  And I think that’s what started my stress.  But at the time, I couldn’t pin point the cause.  All I could think of was, This time last year, I didn’t feel like this.  What the heck is going on?  And then it dawned on me that this time last year, I was prepping for a fantastic adventure and I was pretty much in vacation mode by November of last year.  This year, there is no adventure for me to prep for, instead I had this feeling of running out of time.

I was running out of time.  I had 25 days till Christmas.  I had 4 Christmas knits to complete and I was only nearing completion of one project.  Twenty-five days left.  I was running out of time.  Crikey!  I don’t have time for the flu!  Cursed Flu Shot!  Always a guarantee that I’ll get sick from it but to get the full blown FLU!!!!!  I don’t have time for this, but I also don’t have energy to fight it.  Thank you Neo Citron and Tylenol Cold and Flu.  However I should’ve remembered from the last time I had full blown Flu, too much medication and/or a combination of both will give you heart palpitations.  That didn’t help my feelings of stress and anxiety.  Crikey!  Poh Poh has set the date for the family Christmas Party.  I have 11 days left.  Eleven!  It’s a good thing that heart palpitations affects your heart and not your hands.  I could still knit while on medication.  I have 11 days left.  I have two projects to complete.  I was running out of time.  Knitting was supposed to keep my calm.  But I was no longer feeling very calm.  And depending on the project, there was literally blood, sweat and tears poured into these projects!  Well, maybe not into the projects, because that would be gross and I would warn my sisters to wash the projects before handing over to the children.  But there were needles stabbed into fingers, you know, the kind of stabbing where you just stare at the needle in your thumb and think, Holy crap, I can’t believe I just did that.  That’s a big hole.  That’s gonna scar.  That actually really hurts.  That’s a lot of blood.  I need a Disney Princess bandaid!  Maybe two!  There were late nights till 1am for the last seven nights, prior to the party and for the last project, I was still putting on the final touches 15 minutes before the dinner party.  Blood, late nights, stiff neck, hand cramps, lack of sleep, and lots of love went into these projects.  But they were completed just in time to hand over to the kids.  Not to be opened till Christmas morning, of course, but at least they could go home at the end of the party with a gift from their Aunty.

And now time has returned to normal.  I have just finished my final project of the year, to be handed over to Little brother N on his second birthday.  I still have two projects on the needle.  One I started early in March of this year.  Yarn was purchased in New Zealand.  Pattern is a Lord of the Rings inspired pattern.  The other, I started two years ago.  This one has always been my fall back project, the one that I turn to when I need a break from the more complicated projects.  I feel no stress when I knit it and whenever someone asks me who I’m knitting it for, I can honestly say that I don’t know, because I haven’t decided who to give it to.  I do know that I will give it away.  I almost always give away everything that I knit.  Currently, I have kept only 4 of my projects, two shawls and two pairs of fingerless gloves.  And it’s not that I don’t love each and every project, but I love knitting each project for someone that I know.  I just don’t have the right person to give it away to yet, hence it’s been on the needles for two years now.  Well, enough babbling.  Let me show you my objects of stress, anxiety and love, started and completed in 2014!

Pattern is from Sarah Keen’s Knitted Wild Animals:  Monkey

I finished the monkey for Sister P’s first baby, Baby A (Auntie likes to call him Stormtrooper Hobbit) back in June or July so he’s really not part of the Christmas rush.  But he is one of my 2014 knitting projects.

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Christmas Special:  Christmas Stockings

I thought this was the perfect size stocking for a baby.  And I really liked that Santa was removable from the chimney!  Sorry, there’s no presents in Santa’s bag.  I hope Stormtrooper Hobbit likes the Santa!

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Christmas Treasures:  Mr. Twizzle

I love it when friends flip through my books and tell me which ones they like, especially when they don’t realize that they are telling me which Christmas gifts to knit for them!  Of course I already knew that Nicole liked snowmen.  Mr. Twizzle can stand on his own.  But he cannot be thrown into the washing machine!  Spot clean only!  And it’s not because of the yarn.  There’s cardboard at the bottom of his shoes and in his hat, to help keep their shape and to allow it to stand properly.

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Christmas Special:  Cinderella Topsy-Turvy Doll

I can’t decide if this one or Mr. Twizzle is my most prized knit.  Big Sister B is now the happy owner of Cinderella.  However I just found out that Big Sister B doesn’t like the frowning Cinderella, because she’s sad.  I’ve had a request from B’s Mom to change the frown into a smile.  Not a problem.  As long Cinderella is well loved, I don’t mind making changes.

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Fabulous Fun-Knits:  Mini Sports Car

You would think, being so tiny, they would be the easiest and fastest to knit up.  NOT SO!  For Little Brother N, I had to makes sure these guys were baby friendly.  The pattern calls for googly eyes to be glued on.  For fear of the child deciding it would be fun to pick the eyes off and eat it, I decided to embroider on some eyes.  Everything is secured on so tightly, that there is really no way for any “car” parts to fall off.  Hand cramps!  Needle in Thumb!  Late night knitting while the boy was sleeping on the couch!  Knitting under really crappy lighting for fear of him waking up from too much light!  There was a lot of love poured into these cars.

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Fabulous Fun-Knits:  Mirabelle the Mermaid and Kevin, the Baby Crab

Big Sister Z is now the proud owner of the mermaid and the crab.  I don’t think I ever mentioned this story, but when I was working on this project, I was still recovering from the flu.  And on one of these days, Big Sister Z was over at our house.  She had just finished school and was in the kitchen getting a drink of water.  And standing from the kitchen, she spotted me knitting away.  Then there was silence.  She looked at me.  I looked at her.  And I knew I had a problem.  She wanted to look.  She came charging at me as I foolishly hid the doll under a pillow.  Clearly I wasn’t thinking properly.  The kid was 5.  There’s nothing hidden under a pillow.  All I could do was rush towards her as she rushed towards me.  It was like football and blocking.  She rushed to the left.  I blocked.  She rushed to the right.  I blocked.  Then she rushed down through my legs.  SMART girl.  And fast.  I had to grab her by her ankles and drag her away from the couch back towards the kitchen as she shouted at me telling me she wanted to see her Christmas present.  I had to use the tickle distraction technique.  It was too funny!  Anyway, Kevin the crab is sitting on Mirabelle’s chair in the photos.  However there is so much stuffing in her tail, that she can’t really sit, so it is Kevin’s chair or Mirabelle’s pillow.  I had a slight issue with the crab’s shell.  Yes, it’s a shell.  But sadly, it kind of looks like a funny hair piece.

Pattern is from Jean Greenhowe’s Dolly Mixtures:  Jake, the Pirate and Bob, the dog

When I was talking to Big Sister Z a while back, I asked her what I should make for her little brother for Christmas.  She pointed to the cover of the magazine and told me to knit the clown.  I asked if she was sure I should knit the clown and she nodded definitively.  And I of course realized that it was because of Bob, the dog, sitting right next to the clown.  In his whole three years I’ve never know Little Brother Z to like clowns, let alone be exposed to clowns, so like all good Aunties, I asked his mom.  Pirates!  Little Brother Z likes pirates.  So the final project before the family Christmas party was the pirate.  And then on Christmas day, I was told that Little Brother Z loves Bob the dog better than Jake the Pirate.  Bob, the dog, who was finished 15 minutes before the dinner.  Bob, the dog who has now been renamed Baby Woa Woa.  Next year, he’ll just get a whole bunch of little Bob, the dogs!  Bob will need little brothers and sisters of his own!

There is one final project to show, but it was completed just the other day.  Since it hasn’t been revealed to the child and to the parents, I won’t be showing any photos until the new year.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, surrounded by all your loved ones.

Luv, Aunty!

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