Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas failure

I always feel like I'm a failure at Christmas. I have all these grand plans, and don't live up to any of them, really. I intended to sew for Christmas -- I had plans to make pillowcases for everyone. Something that everyone needs and uses, and I have all this fabric already, so it wouldn't take any money, just time. But I can never seem to do anything ahead of time. I kept thinking I still had time, but time got away from me.

And then I had all the dental issues, and my mom went in the hospital, and things were just basically awful, and I didn't get anything done. I started out with such good intentions, but I didn't even get Christmas cards out. Maybe I'll just go ahead and address them now, and mail them next Christmas.

We had a nice Christmas Eve with Bob's family at his brother's house, and we had our family Christmas at my sister's boyfriend's house on Christmas Day. We stopped to see my folks briefly on the way there. One of my nieces was sick, her whole family was sick, so we didn't see them, and Bob's sister and husband didn't come because they live out of town and she had to work (in a hotel) on Christmas Day, so we didn't see them, either. And Bob's mother is gone, so that still seems weird to me, and my parents don't really want the whole big deal holiday anymore, which I completely understand. I know we have to make new traditions, and we're working on it, it's just really hard.

But we will all survive, and I will just try -- as I always do -- to do better next year.

Old Dog ≠ New Tricks

(I had to go look up the code for the "not equal to" symbol.

I ran across a pattern that I really wanted to knit, but when I opened it up, saw that it was charted, and was very disappointed. I know that there are people who like charts, and maybe that's the wave of the future, but I don't like them. I Googled "how to read knitting charts," and honestly, reading most of the links I found made it seem more complicated. The thing that I thought I might never get the hang of was that on one row you read the chart from right to left, and the next row, left to right. I'm pretty sure I would screw that up.

So I sadly put the pattern away, and then I thought, I could translate it. So this old dog, instead of learning a new trick, wrote the pattern out in words. Or, not really words, I guess, but knitting shorthand, i.e., K3 M1 K20 SSK K2. I guess if you learned using charts, it might be easier, but it isn't for me. Oh, and crochet charts? Forget it.

When I was a teenager I crocheted Barbie clothes, edgings and doilies out of crochet thread and steel hooks, using old pattern leaflets. I crocheted them by reading the patterns line by line. Looking at crochet charts makes my head explode.

I suppose, like anything else, I could learn to do it, and once I had practiced awhile, I'm sure it would come to be easier, but I just don't have that motivation right now. That's why I love the multi-directional diagonal scarf pattern -- I can knit it on autopilot.