Saturday, October 13, 2018


Hello, Delivered Ones! If you, like me, are feeling trepidation regarding the holidays because money is tight and you have no idea how you can possibly stretch the budget further, I have ideas and a philosophy snack for you.
I honestly can't afford any sort of fancy gifts, and people like my mother really don't need another knick-knack. My mother is also on several medications that mess with her appetite and digestion, so she doesn't want food gifts. What to do?
I rediscovered the time-honored tradition of one-of-a-kind homemade gifts quite by accident when looking for a way to relax a bit. Writing and drawing are creative, but for me, they are not relaxing. Sometimes they are quite the opposite.
Many people enjoy knitting and crocheting. 
"But I'm all thumbs!" I protest. "The time my poor old grandma tried to teach me to crochet, I made a chain and then ended up throwing the hook across the room because I have all the manual dexterity of an ox!"
As it happened, I was in Wal Mart looking for marker paper when I discovered a scarf loom and some very thick, soft, chunky yarn. I bought both, even though I didn't exactly know what I was going to do with this strange yarn. I also bought some normal-weight yarn for my new loom.
I got the hang of using the loom pretty quickly and found it fun and relaxing to loom knit the little rows of the scarf. But I was curious about what in the world to do with the yarn. I got around to searching for "chunky yarn" and "jumbo yarn," and I discovered techniques such as arm knitting.
When you have manual dexterity like mine, you will end up tying yourself up when trying to arm knit. I might be willing to give it another bash at this point, but initially, it only left me frustrated.
I then discovered finger crocheting, but most of the videos and instructional pages I found before this video said things like "make your chain of 30, then turn and double chain as you normally do when you crochet."
If I knew how to crochet, I wouldn't need instruction, would I?
Fortunately, I found this video, suitable for absolute beginners like me.
My first blanket has a few weird areas, but I really feel like I've gotten the hang of it. My son is going to be the recipient. He has some special collectible plushies and it will be used to spread under them. Future blankets shouldn't have some of the interesting (and unique) special effects that this one does.
I really enjoy finger crocheting and loom knitting, and, gentlemen, take note. This isn't just a hobby for women. Interestingly, a lot of professional athletes find knitting an enjoyable hobby because of its relaxing properties.
Now, for my philosophy snack.
We have become far too used to giving gifts with a high price tag attached. We have developed a desire to be the bestest gift giver, to show that we can out-give everyone else. This really is not done in the spirit of generosity or caring and it is not about the recipient, it is about the giver. We have also developed the erroneous attitude that mass-produced gifts are superior to handmade gifts.
I think it is time to change these attitudes.
This year, don't make the holidays about competing. Nobody wins that game.
Whether you love making tasty treats or you are a whiz with a needle (or your hands), consider making gifts utilizing your skills and an attitude of true thoughtfulness and generosity this year.


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