Friday, December 28, 2007

Disappointments and Tribbles

Poor Dad. A few years ago he got into watercolor painting and started taking classes where he lives in Minnesota. There are few paintings in frames at his apartment, and this year he decided to paint his Christmas cards by hand instead of sending out commercial greeting cards. When he told me, I kidded him about the old episode of Fibber McGee&Molly, in which Fibber also decided to paint cards and ended up with disaster at every turn. Anyway, dad sent out his cards after scanning them--a smart move in my opinion--and waited with baited breath. And no one bothered to even acknowledge they'd gotten a card that was any more exciting than the usual commercial crap. Poor Dad. When I talked to him this afternoon, I thought to myself, "Now you know how it feels to put a lot of effort into something you make with your own hands and do the absolute best you can, and then the recipient doesn't appreciate the result."
I'm not sure if that's a reflection of living in a culture where everything is disposable and it's all about being acquisitive instead of appreciative. Everything is done as quickly as possible, then used quickly, and thrown out to be replaced with something newer, better, faster than the old model. It's disheartening; I know exactly how Dad feels. But, sometimes the best things are the ones without the expensive designer label slapped all over them.

This wasn't as fibery a holiday as it was last year, but I'm fine with that. How many of us are heretical enough to admit that we're actually running out of space? All the soup tureens are full, all the boots and blouse sleeves are stuffed, all the sofa cushions have miraculously turned into cleverly disguised bags of yarn, and you're getting the feeling that you're somehow caught in a taping of "The Trouble With Tribbles"? Something like that, right? Naaaaaah. There are lists and books and magazines and catalogs dedicated to the notion that there is never, EVER enough yarn; the keeper of MochiMochiLand certainly proves it with her photo of the world's biggest yarn stash.
So, while I got neither yarn nor roving to spin more yarn among my holiday gifty things this year, I can definitely say I'm pretty happy with what I've got and that I've been able to pass on at least a little of what I've learned about stash management and stash manipulation (i.e. knitting) to two whole people this year. Not only did I succeed in corrupting one of my childhood friends, but I've also succeeded in corrupting my poor, unsuspecting mother. So many victims, so little time. :P That in itself is a gift that does in deed keep on giving. At the same time, my knitting library grew a little bit because mom gave me a couple more books; one was the Best of Interweave Knits, which does include a couple of nifty sock patterns. She's also gotten me a subscription to that marvelous publication as an early birthday gift. I's a happy kitty, I is.
And, at the same time, I'm knitting myself a pair of extremely fuzzy, warm socks out of the Lopi Lite I snagged from eBay earlier in the year. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and that your stashes grew by leaps and bounds, and that your houses are full of warm, happy, woolly tribbles.


theyarnwhisperer said...

I really feel for your dad. It seems that the Christmas card goes unappreciated today and hold about the same amount of sentiment to people as a flyer from Dominos pizza. I only sent out a handful of cards this year and if I feel the inclination to send out cards next year, I'm going to send out solstice cards instead since the people I seem to send cards to would find more meaning in a solstice card anyway.
I'm so jealous of your birthday present. Maybe I can convince my hubby to get me the same present for my upcoming birthday. Although I have been wanting the sweater wizard software for like 2 years now!
The crocheted sock was so incredibly easy. My 12 year old son was the one who actually made it and it took him a day and a half. I do prefer the knitted sock though, and making it from the blue skies alpaca is so soft and snuggly!
I also have the tribble problem at my house and its actually worsened since my two boys have taken up yarn craft. Its hard enough keeping my projects off of sitting space and without it having a yarn rally on the coffee table, but now I am finding the boys' yarn in common living space as well. My husband will soon think its a conspiracy.

Rachael said...

I totally feel for your dad! I hate it when things like that happen. But that's so nice of him to have made beautiful Christmas cards.

And I agree with you wholeheartedly. Things without designer labels are thousands of times better.

My holidays weren't very fibery either. But I did get some gifts that I'm going to return (because I really don't have anywhere to put anymore bath bubbles and body spray gift packs from Walmart that have god knows what poisons in them thanks to Walmart and China) and get cash which will then be spent on fibery things... like a pair of Viking combs I think...

("The Trouble with Tribbles" is my favorite Star Trek episode ever! And the DS9 ep where they go back in time to that episode is also amazing! I got a few balls of Rowan's Kidsilk Haze at a shop just after Christmas and a relative said they look just like pastel tribbles. LOL!)

It's good that you're happy with what you got though, and congratulations on getting new recruits to the fiber obsessed hordes of the world. :D And you've also got more people who can appreciate just how much effort it takes to make your knitted and spun confections. Yay!! I managed to get two of those myself, and although they've not yet moved beyond scarf knitting, they already have little stashes of way more yarn than they think they can use. LOL!

I love Interweave Knits! It's my favorite knitting magazine! Oh!