Sunday, December 04, 2005

It's Not a Cinch

ARGH! SO CLOSE! Yes, I know I should be working on presents, but this is just so pretty and I'm so close to finishing it! I just can't for the life of me figure out how to attach the cinch straps! This damned pattern says to sew them into this one particular column of stitches, which I understand. Easy, no problem there. But then it says to sew up the sides, "catching straps into seam." WHAT THE FUCK?! How....wha...ARGH! Goddamn, I really hope there's some blindingly obvious answer to this that I'm just not seeing because someone needs to point it out to me.

Damn you, lovely, frustrating pullover! DAMN YOOOUUUUU!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Now that my swap's over I can really buckle down and make some holiday gifts for a bunch of people who probably won't appreciate them nearly as much as their requests would lead one to believe: my family.

So far my gift list looks something like this:

Thanks to an unusually productive conversation with my mother I now have wonderfully specific ideas for everyone on my list!

Mother - A handmade sweater. How someone who knits and crochets can view this as a reasonable request absolutely baffles me. I'll keep it in mind for 2007, but shall have to keep pestering her to provide me with an alternate gift for this year. Ah-HA! She has expressed a desire for massage/bath&body stuff.

Father - What on earth does one give to the man who already has everything and doesn't really give a damn about most of it? The Monty Python DVD boxed set, apparently.

Baby sister - A knit sweater/jumper/dress. This one is reasonable. After all, she just turned 2. I've almost completed her gift, in fact. Just have to finish seaming. I'd say something more specific, but shall withhold details and pictures both until after the holidays, just in case.

Other sister - Well, I made her clothing for her birthday and she claims to have worn it several times already, so it would appear that another step in that direction would be met with gratitude and approval. Now I just have to come up with specifics. Nevermind, she already has tons of clothes on the way. Bath products for her instead. Maybe a camisole top to match her birthday skirt.

Brother - Alcohol. Goddammit, I really don't want to encourage my 19-year-old brother's substance abuse, but the only other idea I've had (a cock sock) has been stolen by my sister. He actually requested a sock (the left one), which is how the whole cock sock idea came about, but in the past, when he's asked for seemingly ridiculous things and received them, he's always seemed to conveniently lose them within a matter of days. Civ 4! And the cock sock, since I don't trust my sister to actually finish one.

Mother's Boyfriend - Hat and scarf set in a dark brown, dark green, or black. Easy and done as of 15 minutes ago.

Aunt - A tattoo design. So far she's specified a size and tentative style/theme. She and I have always been the "black sheep" of the family and have a sort of running joke about her being my "real mother." She's requested a tattoo that will somehow represent that outsider quality, but I haven't put enough thought into it to come up with anything yet.

Best Friend - The real challenge here is to figure out what not to give her. She's so easy to make or buy things for and so damnably cute that I'm tempted to just spoil her rotten. At the moment I'm leaning towards something stenciled, but that could always change depending on what inside jokes we come up with in the next couple of weeks.

Cousin - We're not terribly close mostly due to age and geographical distances, but I'm told he likes anything to do with video games. A gift for him should be quick, easy, and storebought.

Great-aunt - She reportedly likes stationary, scented candles, soaps, and small earrings. Her style can be best described as "conservative." No problem here, thanks to her list of specifics.

Maternal Grandmother - She's been sweet enough to send me giftcards for my last couple of birthdays, even though I neglect to keep in touch with her. I feel bad about being socially lazy and want to make it up to her, but so far she hasn't e-mailed me with any requests. Sources report that she enjoys travel, cooking, and gardening. An assortment of seeds has been suggested.

Paternal Grandmother - Same deal as the other one. I have a slight advantage here, as we share a healthy genetic dose of creativity and artistic ability. Travel, cooking, and gardening also. I'm seeing a common theme here.

And that's that. As you can see, I've made not so much progress and December starts tomorrow. Unless I want to end up giving a lot of last-minute purchases I'd better start getting some good ideas. Please, help me.

I got some help! Ideas are always appreciated, however.