Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why I suck at Christmas shopping, #314

I went Christmas shopping today.

Yes, I know, it’s the Sunday before Christmas and that’s cutting things a little fine. I’ve been busy. And penniless.

ANYWAY. I got a paycheck last week (actually, we got three of them altogether!), so I went shopping today, and I snuck around to the outlet stores which were, as I’d hoped, almost completely deserted. Righteous. (For me. Not so much for the retailers, who were probably hoping for more swarming, desperate customers looking for those rock-bottom-priced, almost-in-fashion last-second gifts.)

I went into the Gap Outlet and began looking for cute things for the kids. Cute, but warm because it’s getting cold out there.

So I’m looking at sweaters.

NOW, my free time right now is what might be called limited. Or it might even be called rare. To put it in sentence form, it would be something like, “My free time is rarer than hen’s teeth right about now, pardner!”

Gap Outlet had some cute little sweaters. Machine wash (we approve!), acrylic (blech!) sweaters with stripes. Very cute, very trendy, very simple, very ohmygah, I could knock out one of those in, what, two weeks?! (Which is not true. I mean, if I had spare time maybe I could but please see paragraph above for commentary on how much free time I do not have right now.)

And then I started with the mental inventory of my stash. I have a cute blue and a cute pink and a cute green, and if I put those together I could make this EXACT sweater basically for FREE or at least on SUNK COSTS, which is, you know…not current-capital kind of money…

That Christmas is less than a week away is beside the point. I could make this. And I will force the space-time continuum thing to work out. Somehow.

And I’m not going to spend $20 each on cute little sweaters I could totally make myself.


And this, friends, is yet another reason why I should not be responsible for buying Christmas presents.

I also can’t remember what size shoes my kids wear for two seconds at a stretch. Lessee…Eldest wears a…1? No, wait, 13-1/2? Nooooo, that’s Danger Mouse…wait…oh crap… (That’s #315.) (#316 is the fact that I get super pissy by the third stop because while I can’t hold onto numbers related to sizes [e.g., the husband wears 36x34 jeans, needs a 17-1/2 neck with 36-37 sleeves, etc.] [and yes, I had to go look that up in the closet just now], I can’t not hold onto running totals of what I’ve spent as I go on my merry way. So when the nice kid at the third stop tells me for a third time that my total is $100 today, I suffer intense hot and cold flashes, nervous tics and an inability to let go of the card so he can swipe it.)

THEREFORE! I have decided that I’m never shopping for Christmas again. AND! I’m going to get started now on the knitting for next Christmas!

Because for Christmas 2010? I’m not going to find myself in this position yet again! That’s right! For the first time in five ten twenty forty{mumble} years, I will be prepared when December 25 rolls inexorably around!

…but first, I want to finish the Learn to Knit afghan I just started…I know, I know, it’s practically cheating for me to be doing a “learn to knit” project but the squares are so darned small and portable and I’ve been meaning to do it just forever and then I was cleaning my bedroom and said, “Wow, why do I have all this Assorted Gray And Black Acrylic” and then I was all, “Ooooooh yeah, I was going to do that learn to knit thing in a kind of monochrome thing…where is that book, anyway…” and then I found it and I realize that this would make great train knitting because the patterns are easy and the squares are small-project sized and then I just sort of cast on and cast off and I’ve got the first two squares done already and you know what else?

It makes me feel really clever to do something I already know how to do and then read the little blurbs about “examine your square, you will find that garter stitch doesn’t roll and lies nicely flat” and be all, Why yes, I knew that, actually

I wish it were wool, but it’s going into the playroom – so machine wash / dry acrylic that won’t felt if treated somewhat (ahem) roughly is kind of important. And I have to admit it feels nice (for acrylic) – it’s soft and warm, and it’s knitting up rather nicely.

Red Heart has come a long way since I learned to knit. I made my poor brother a scarf in Red Heart waaaaay back when that I think came close to sawing his head off, it was so rough.

BUT, ANYWAY – right after I finish the afghan?

I’m so getting started on Christmas Knitting 2010. And I won’t be distracted from my mission until everyone in the family has a finished sweater ready to go under the tree in December!

Except that socks don’t count.

Or hats. Hats don’t count either.

And maybe a matching scarf. And gloves.

But other than that? I am eyes on the prize.


Elizabeth L in Apex, NC said...

Considering that I just sent an email indicating the six or so things I plan to finish (or start and finish) before Christmas, I think that your plan has more merit. Start earlier next year: Check.


Elizabeth L in Apex, NC said...

PS - Did you see this? Amen.

Katrina said...

So some would consider this cheating but I don't: Get yourself a knitting machine. I whipped out an XL/Tall sweater for my son-in-law in about 5 hours total. A Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine costs about $119 off Amazon, and there are several groups on Ravelry to check into. Oh, and Merry Christmas!!

Moorecat said...

Tamar, just make sure you make the jumpers (sweaters) the size the kids will be NEXT Christmas, ok?

Merry Christmas :)