Monday, April 7, 2008

Success Fuels Our Fires

Yesterday our family celebrated our monthly birthday party. Good hugs+good food+family=Good Times.

I gave my nephew the 3 pairs of Gryffindor socks that I had knit for him. Well, let me back up. Eric has special needs. He is a Downs young adult, high functioning but still Downs. He yearns to be treated like he is normal. He hates being treated as though he is not exactly the same as everyone else in the family. So, we treat him with as much normalcy as possible. That said, I played a trick on him. I used a tall tissue box, packed all 3 pairs of socks inside and covered them carefully with tissues. My grandson inspected it, pointed out one tiny spot of red that showed through, then pronounced it perfect. I wrapped up the tissue box and gave it to Eric as his present. He sat down and carefully unwrapped the box. He looked at it, then without any hesitation at all he pulled the tissues out and went right for the socks, which he loved. He liked the joke, he grinned at me and said, "Good one, Aunt Lee!" I laughed and told him that I would have to come up with a different trick for his birthday next year and his face lit up and he grinned, "Yeah!"

So the game is afoot! I am going to have to come up with a new gag every year for his birthday. Got any suggestions?

What was the success? There were layers of them. Eric loved the joke, he loved the socks, they fit him and he loves me! The best thing in the world are hugs from my beloved nephew. (My sister sent me an email this afternoon. Eric wore his new socks to bed and is wearing them now and refuses to take them off. She said it is a good thing there are 3 pairs because if not his feet would have gotten pretty darn stinky! LOL! Its good to know that he really does like them and was not just being polite while I was there.)

My non-knitting successes were, my daughter's fiance liked the gift I got him. He had been in 4 stores looking for a special step-stool for his work truck, but had no luck finding it. I knew where to acquire one! My other nephew, Adam, needs some new clothes. He was much relieved that I did not give him any of my (LOL) hand me downs and gave him money to shop for himself, instead. And, my Dad liked the books and book stand I got for him. He wanted some how-to pattern books on building bird houses. They have a huge variety of birds up at their cottage and he wanted to know what kind of nesting boxes attract what type of bird. I found a few books that were really detailed and informative and then I promptly took them to Kinko's and had them spiral bound. He really liked that. I also found a beautiful book stand made of American Alder, at Barnes & Noble. When it arrived I liked it so well I ordered one for my Mom and one for myself. It is called a cookbook stand but don't let that limit you. It folds flat like a book so it will fit beautifully on a bookcase when not it active use, but as attractive as it is you may want to have it open for display instead of folded. So the whole day was a success.

Just as a side note: I was listening to the Yarn Thing podcast and heard Marly say that whenever she gets a new pattern or design book, or a new stitchionary, she takes it to Kinko's and has the binding cut off and has it spiral bound. This allows the book to lie open flat without having to weight it down with things to keep it open. Brilliant!! Marly, you ROCK, Girl!!!!
The only 2 hitches are...there has to be enough of a margin in the book so that the holes for the new binding don't punch into the writing. And, if it is a hard cover book, Kinko's said they cannot punch holes in the hard cover. Instead, for and additional charge, they make a color copy of the cover on heavy card stock and use that for the cover. Thus, your hard cover book becomes a paperback spiral. If you are more interested in aesthetics than function you will not be happy with that. If, however, you plan to use that pattern book over and over then you will want to sacrifice that hard cover for the greatly improved function you will have.

What's on my needles?
1. A pair of boot socks for my Dad.
2. A pair of mittens in self-striping yarn, for no one in particular.
3. About 6 more cotton disclothes (not all are cast on yet, I do them in succession).
4. A pair of bright yellow socks for one of my daughter's friends (who asked for yellow socks) one is complete the other one is not yet cast on. I do not have second sock syndrom, I just had to divert to other things that had to be finished on a deadline.
5. A Jayne Cobb Hat (for those Firefly fans out there) my son asked for one.

There are lots of things in queue but I am resisting casting on anything else until at least 2 things are cleared from my needles.

I have a UFO (a sweater) that is going to be frogged and the yarn repurposed, and I have 2 headbands for my granddaughters that are knitted and just need to be grafted (that should be a no-brainer, I mean, we are looking at 10 minutes of finishing, tops).

So, my personal mantra is "STAY ON TARGET!!!"

Be Blessed
Hugs and Prayers
Serene Knitter