Need a holiday handknit? Time for a Schmatta!

Oh, Bring Us a Figgy Pudding

christmas-hat-2013

Dear Kay,

I found this hat in Hubbo’s coat pocket last week. At first I thought, Good grief, what is this abomination in my husband’s pocket? And then I thought, Oh, I made this.

I think this hat came into existence during a fairly low period last year when I was knitting hats in quantity. I apparently ran out of Cascade 220 up towards the top, though I can’t imagine how I could run out of Cascade 220 given that there are bales of it around the house. Maybe I did it on purpose? It’s a design feature?

It is so huge, this hat. Even my big-headed spouse has room to spare up top when he’s wearing this. And that’s the thing that really gets me: he wears it, uncomplainingly. Maybe it’s because he can’t see how lumpy and odd it is, but—you know where this is headed—it warms my heart that he would wear this hat.

Here, on Christmas Eve, I’m feeling wobblytender about pretty much everything. Clif has requested roast beast for Christmas, having heard about it in How the Grinch Stole Christmas for 14 years now, so I have to figure that out.

If you’re looking for some guaranteed holiday cheer, I find these things to be joymakers:

    • Feed the birds.
    • Buy an amaryllis bulb and watch it erupt.
    • Go get yourself a humidifier (I am not kidding!) and fill it up. Breathe!
    • Get lost in a book. (Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has kidnapped me completely.)
    • Walk in the woods.
    • Give somebody something you made.
    • Donate to a cause that is doing good.

 

I know everybody has their own joymakers. Would love to hear about the things that you like, this time of year.

Wishing everyone a warm and easy holiday, with knitting and naps and all good things. A new year is just around the corner, and hey—the days are getting brighter again.

Love,

Ann

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. That’s one of my favourite hat designs: run out of yarn with 10 rows to go. I make it often.
    I am just making gingerbread cookies today (but, alas, it is noon and I’m now supposed to chill the dough for 3 hours) because we neglected to get one of those put-together gingerbread houses from the grocery store.
    And indeed, a MDK post on Christmas eve is a joy-bringer! Happy 2014 to you all!

    • Graham cracker squares make great teeny gingerbread houses!!

  2. This time of year in Hawaii, its nippy – cold and damp in the quiet early morning. It’s breathtaking to go outside in the dark and feel a bit of winter in the thick silence. Then the birds start. Right now there’s a thrush next door. Joyful.

  3. Merry Christmas to you both! I have also been captivated by The Goldfinch, the first reading I’ve done not about knitting or by a knitter since State of Wonder.
    I love to notice the leafless tree shapes this time of year.

  4. Comment

  5. Trying to keep the dog from wagging the ornaments off the tree is a constant source of laughter at our house. She is such a big, goofy, happy doggie! I wish the same simple happiness to everyone this holiday season.

  6. I am making a cabled hat for my son. I have lost control of the cables completely and they are running roughshod everywhere. I know he will love it anyway. Cable on. Almost finished,

    • Of course he will. My cables run roughshod all the time. Merry Christmas!

      • “Out of control cables”, sounds real and caring, made by mom with love. That’s joyful!

        LoveDiane

  7. All of the above are good things to do. Happy Christmas to you all.

  8. Feed the birds is on my list, listening to NPR Christmas music, knitting, tree lights, a walk in the cold, especially on the beach, and my grown girls still acting young at Christmas, no matter how they are dressing these days, eesh

  9. One of my favorite joy makers, ANY time of year, is knitting socks and hats and mittens for charities. Kind of a two-fer. I also love baking special goodies to share with everyone. And marshmallows….homemade marshmallows are a guaranteed joy maker!

  10. Merry xmas Ann! my joymakers: visiting my friends’ xmas trees , drinking white russians while painting cookies in increasingly “creative” ways with all ages of family (creativity increase corresponding to white russian consumption), movies & thai food on xmas , and definitely the light returning. OK gotta run. It appears we are out of kahlua from last year….

    • Gail – we know all about the ‘creativity’ that increases with the consumption of (in our case) gin, followed by wine… Happy Christmas!!! B x x

  11. Roast Beast! The best thing is eye round. Cooks illustrated. Chowhound boards post the recipe. I think I’ve done it without salting (surely without salting for 24 hours – I don’t plan like that!), and it’s amazing, so so so good, and great leftover, too.
    Happy Christmas!

  12. Ho ho ho! Christmas Eve finds our region sunny, bitter cold, but no wind! A walk to the market for a sandwich and coffee with my honey, then home to make chicken soup! Not traditional? Who cares! The smell is intoxicating, there’s music on the radio, and the knitting is *almost* done! Happy holidays, Ann and Kay!

  13. I hope you are listening to The Goldfinch – it is an awesome audiobook from Audible.com. The voices are terrific! Talk about getting lost in knitting – find a nice garter stitch to spend 23 hours in. Memories of the book abound when I look at that work. Happy holiday!

  14. I am always the last to go to bed on Christmas Eve. I like to stand in the glow of Christmas lights, listening to everyone sleeping, knowing all that I hold near and dear are safe and sound. The merriest and happiest to all………..

  15. Happy and safe Christmas to all.
    Afer a week of rain and wind and daytime temperatures ranging for 37 deg to 15 deg (Celsius), have
    woken up to a beautiful sunny and still day, and today’s temp is meant to be somewhere in the middle. Will take the dogs for a walk on the beach and then an hours drive to family lunch – and hopefully that will be enough knitting time to finish the Xmas pressie socks!
    Tonight I cook Anzac biscuits for present for our neighbours, and we receive yummy shortbread biccies in return.

  16. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ann, and thank you for the term “wobbly/tender” which sounds SO much better than anything I’ve come up with, especially after finding myself singing “China Doll” yesterday for the first time in about 20 years (I mean, how long has it been since Jerry passed away, anyway? Yikes). Aaaaanyway…
    With you 100% on the birdfeeder, which is also one of my favorite gift recommendations – especially for folks who must (or choose to) spend a lot of time indoors. Binocs optional, but often surprisingly helpful even at short distances!
    Also agree on the donations. Bonus: nothing like reframing my “hardships” with an online trip through animal shelter websites. Or Kiva.
    Here’s one you may not know about: dragging a chair into the goat paddock, sitting awhile, and listening to their stories. You’d be surprised, the stories goats will tell, but if you don’t take the time to sit quietly and let them come to you, you miss out. They are ALL like that quiet kid at the edge of the playground who turns out to be a delight.
    Happy, happy Christmas to you, and I love the wonky hat. It reminds me of a blanket square: grey, with one little yellow corner. :)

    • Your observations made me smile. Especially the goats. It reminded me of going to the barn when we had Christmas as my grandmothers, and visiting with the cows. Merry Christmas!

  17. Proof, once again, of why this blog always feels like a conversation with friends. In the last week or so, I have done every single one of those things, and I just downloaded The Goldfinch last gift for my winter reading.
    My dad, who has Alzheimer’s, LOVES the amaryllis.

    Peace and joy to you and yours and other Constant Readers.

  18. Hmmm. Have just spent the best Christmas Eve ever, with gin, wine, pasta, best friends and several Christmas garland kits destined for completion with BFs 5 year old (woefully uninterested). Much glitter glue and creativity later, we are totally happy, child is asleep and have not laughed as much since watching ‘Withnail and I’ with Kay. Ok, that wasn’t that long ago but that just shows how lucky I am. X x

  19. Christmas Music! Choral, orchestral, traditional or pop star versions, and then singing enthusiastically at Church. A new album or albums every year! This year the complete Amy Grant (to replace my old CD)! Also-cooking together with family.
    You reminded me I need to fill the bird feeder.
    My sister asked for a humidifier, and she’s getting one!
    Playing all day on 12/26- no wrapping, no big dinner, just new toys and games and books.

  20. I would replace the amaryllis bulb with seed catalogs, but otherwise, yes, right on! (The walk in the woods could really use some snow, though.) Enjoy!

  21. At least he’s not wearing the hat I made that, after washing, looks like a giant white Tupperware bowl! Merry Christmas to you and yours. Mindful of the ice storm here in southern Ontario, we are sending some gifts to the shelter, for the hundreds of people who are displaced on Christmas Day. Though the world here looks like a sparkly winter wonderland, it’s been tough for a lot of folks. I am thankful for the power (on at the moment), my coffee pot brewing, and my family. Cheers to all.

  22. I like wrapping gifts for people. That makes me feel joyful, puts me in the spirit.

    Many blessings Ann, Kay, and everyone!

    LoveDiane

    • Oh, and I like wondering about Figgy pudding and how it is made and how it tastes. :)

      LoveDiane

  23. coffee with single cream ha! and bouga bouga chocolates. Yes to seeing the twinkly xmas lights. Yes to christmas cards people actually making the effort to get in touch.

  24. Baking cookies or making soup are also activities which make me feel good especially in the depths of winter.
    Thanks for the terrific posts in 2013! Your readers look forward to 2014.

  25. I went for a walk today. The clear sunlight on the pine trees, the shadows of the branches against the trunk, was breathtaking. At a time in my life when so much is up in the air, it is nice to come across these trees – so silent and beautiful, perhaps for no reason at all.

    Thank you for the idea of buying a bulb. I think I shall have to try that!

  26. A new Donna Tartt book? How did that fly under my radar?!? When I read your post, I immediately ordered it! Love her stuff. It was SUCH a long wait between Secret History and The Little Friend!! So glad you posted about the new title!

    Oh, and BTW, your Feedly feed is feeding right along now! If anyone else has issues with Feedly: delete Mason Dixon Knitting and add them right back…worked like a charm!

    Happy New Year!

  27. I absolutely love the idea of your list of joymakers…and each one that you have named. Thank you for this, it is wonderful food for thought.
    What might I add? Read to a book to a young child.

  28. A very merry Christmas to both of you! Enjoy the blog so much! The tree looks lovely, Ann.

  29. Making gift tags — ink and glitter all over everything.

    Snickerdoodles, and those fruit bar cookies from the recipe that my mom cut out of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch decades ago, and annotated ‘Dad’s favorite. These keep well if hidden’.

    Watching the cat expand with joy and disbelief when we give him his annual cheeseburger (minced).

    Juncos.

    The two distinct layers of holiday cheer at family Christmas gatherings: above a certain elevation (roughly three feet six inches) actual adult conviviality, though at an unusual decibel level; below, a hurricane of wrapping paper, toddlers, cookie crumbs, RC cars, pets bedecked with bows, etc.

  30. Your tree should be full of handknitted Christmas ornaments! I don’t see any except for the snowflake, but that’s crochet.

  31. I have subscribed multiple times yet I’m not getting any emails from this site…ever.