What a year it’s been! I’m so
pleased that our respective legal representatives
have finally worked out an acceptable settlement
regarding the damage that you and your relatives
inflicted upon my home last holiday season.
I’m sure you’ll be happy to know
that the floors have since been refinished,
the Persian rug has been replaced, the sliding
screen door has been re-screened, my leather
sofa has been repaired and my liquor has been
Of course, as you’ll recall, every single
gift that we planned to hand out was ruined.
(Also, the dinner was ruined, the dessert was
ruined, the supposedly unbreakable dishes were
ruined, the kitchen counters were ruined, my
relationship was ruined, and the toilet was
ruined. Somehow.) I doubt that you’ll
understand, but it was difficult for Asif and
I to face our friends and his family and tell
them that their many expensive gifts had been
crushed under the gouty feet of a half-dozen
inebriated old women fighting with frying pans
and rolling pins while their senile husbands
laughed and shielded themselves behind the
lids of my garbage cans. It was just easier
to pretend that there’d been a death.
We’ll have no such luck with that excuse
this year, which is why I’m going against
my better judgment and resuming contact with
you. I have compiled the following list of
suggested presents for you to purchase and
send to my home in repayment for last year's
fiasco. Yes, you. Yes, every single item. And
there'll be none of that C.O.D. nonsense. You
have till December 15th, or within 24 hours
you'll find yourself hosting a gaggle of lazy
ill-tempered drag queens for a week, loose
all over your house, all expecting to be fed.
None of my friends can never have enough yarn,
so I'd like you to parcel up two skeins each
of Flaxen, Silken and Sea Silk yarn (all sheep-free)
Artist's Handmaiden yarns.
These are beautiful yarns, with considerable
yardage. Two skeins is more than enough to
make a sizable lace shawl. Two more might make
a handy strait-jacket for Aunt Wilma—if
she and I were speaking.
Even though we all love to browse at
the local yarn store whenever we can, it's sometimes
easier to receive a kit with a pattern and
all the yarn you need, rather than pull all
the various items together yourself. I'd like
you to have delivered a Imogen
raglan jacket kit <---;
Morrigan cardigan kit
and a Habu
Paper Linen Silk Mohair Jacket kit.
Some of my friends—of the few I have
left after last year's Christmas debacle—have
been greatly frustrated at knitting patterns
that state US needle sizes in a country that
(quite rightly) focuses on needles in metric
sizes. A good part of that annoyance disappears
when you have an interchangeable needle kit.
I'd like you to order a Denise
Interchangeable Needle set, preferably the
portion of its profits is contributed to breast
I think also the Knitpicks Options
(metal) or Harmony (wooden) interchangeable
and as well a complete set of the old-school
Turbo lace needles —and
maybe a nice pouch to keep them in. And not
one of your leftover purple velvet Crown Royal
all about the crafty guys, and I'm pleased
to say that they have some great patterns online
that are worth checking out. Danny
some new ones including a Traveling Rib hat,
an Acorn touque and a Diamonds and Roses lace
Flood has designed and adapted a number
of great pieces, including the Red Light Special
fair isle hat, a Murse 'European carry-all'
and the Hemlock Ring Blanket, as well as two
patterns in recent issues of Interweave Knits:
the Koolhaas hat and the Cobblestone sweater.
aka Criminy Jickets
is the creator of the soon-to-be-classic Basketweave
Socks--> as well as the Ridges and Ribs socks
and the Garterlac Washcloth. I'll take one
of each. Since I also have some hooker friends,
I'll take a few of the many patterns that Drew
Emborsky, the Crochet Dude, has at
his blog including
dishcloths, purses, vests and a Flying Afghan.
Well, I think the number one book to give
this year is Debbie Stoller's just-released
Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch, which focuses entirely
on men's patterns (45 of them), from the fashionable
to the whimsical to the slightly insane. (No,
no clown suits in there for Uncle Harry.) Running
a close second is Kristin Spurkland's The Knitting
Man(ual), with more than 20 patterns that have
a traditional feel but a more modern use of
colour and construction. And of course there's
always Michael del Vecchio's Knitting With
Balls, crammed with designs by both men and
women that any guy would be more than thrilled
to have. I can think of three men who could
use these -- and if they never learn to knit
themselves, they can regift them back to me
and I can pretend to be surprised.
Last but not least,
I'm told that some people would rather receive
handmade gifts than make something themselves.
I try not to know those people, but a few of
them slip in under the radar and then it's
too late. Online craft store Etsy has
some standout male creations at reasonable
prices. My favourites have to be by knittingkneedle—the
fabulous knitted Penis Cushions [below] and
the Crocheted Dinosaur Skull; dennisanderson has
brewed some bars of Beer Soap out of genuine
Guinness beer (they'd go great with hand-knit
bathmitts and washcloths); and the snowconecollective has
a brilliant t-shirt design called Analog vs.
Digital. Hop onto the internet to get these
going before the mail comes to a standstill.
about does it, Mom—and if you ask
me, I'd say you got off pretty easy. I'll leave
you to your shopping and look forward to a
wonderful damage-free end of the year...and
of course to all these packages. I'll be sure
to forward your holiday wishes to the helpful
folks at the detox centre who spent so much
of their festive season watching over you and
Aunt Edna in chair restraints placed ten feet
apart. Ah, what a magical time!
Best wishes always, and a Happy New Year...