Saturday, December 18, 2004

Christmas with the Moenches (my dad’s family) is always very fun, and never on Christmas. This year it was the weekend before and in Minneapolis. Mark and I spent most of time playing with my youngest cousins (sisters ages 9&10). Mark used them for weight lifting and quite a bit of tickling, and I knit with them. Yes, these adorable children are turning out the Fun Fur scarf Christmas gifts like little machines. They take after their mom in that way; anything they do they do en masse and a million miles an hour. She is currently selling Eros scarves (and some other types) and felted pot holders in the gift shop of the hospital where she is a nurse. As someone who would rather be nibbled to death by ants than work with Eros a second time, I am very impressed with how many of these babies she cranks out. Actually, the rule at this meeting seemed to be if you were female, you had knitting needles in hand. It was very fun.

The one crisis of the day was that the Estonian mittens I made for Chris would not dry. I had blocked them the night before in a desperate play to make them both fit, but even though the air is pretty dry in a MN winter, it is also cold, and my parents turn the heat way down at night. I had to transfer them from theironing board to which they had been pinned to pieces of Styrofoam and smuggle them into the party. Even after hours drying there, they were hamp. We had to move them to the center of the celebration so they could sit by the fire. I had a very jumpy hour or so, as I guarded the blanket-coveed gift; flinching whenever anyone near me moved for fear they would suddenly leap forward, tear off their human mask revealing the Grinch, rip back the blanket and shout, “Here’s a gift! It’s not a surprise anymore! Christmas is ruined! Ha ha ha!” Or accidentally bump the blanket or try to put it away or something. Fortunately, they dried just barely in time.

For some reason I had been really nervous about giving these mittens. I didn’t worry about my other knit gifts, but in this case I really felt like I was copping out not buying soething she wanted. I got every knitter’s dream reaction, though. When Chris pulled the mittens out of the bag she had your general “Oh. Mittens. All right, these are pretty, thanks.” Smile on her face. Then my mom shouted out that I had made them, and her eyes got wide, and you could tell her whole perception changed and she loved them. She started gushing and passing them around and everyone oohed and aahed and asked questions and I got to tell everyone all about Estonian knitting tradition. Present giving stalled. It was great. In the rush to get them done in time, though, I forgot to ever take pictures of the mittens and didn't have my camera. Here is a poor picture from my phone of my aunt with her gift:


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