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Since, obviously, I don’t have enough to do, I’m kicking around the idea of knitting everyone in my family their own hat for Christmas.  “Kicking around” in this context means “checking out lots and lots of hat patterns, and printing them off and spending way too much time thinking about them when I really ought to be doing other things.”  The fun part of this is that hats, for the most part, are pretty quick and easy to knit, I would have an excuse to try out lots of interesting patterns, and I could pick hats that can be knit from yarn I already own, so ideally I would have kick-butt Christmas gifts with no extra money expenditures.  Of course, this whole idea was inspired when I saw the pattern for the Griflet hat, and immediately thought, “OMG, I have to knit that for Boy-O!  And Johnnycakes!  And maybe Johnsy too!  It’s awesome!” However, as cool as that hat is, I can’t really see, say, The Duchess wearing it.  So today I’ve spent way too much time browsing the Knitty pattern archives checking out hat patterns, and I’ve narrowed my list down to, um, 23.  So far, this is what I’m thinking:

(Note For Family Members Who Read This Blog: This is not a spoiler, since I’m not guaranteeing that I’m actually going to do this, or that whatever hat I have listed for you is the hat you’re going to get, if you get anything at all.  However, feel free to drop me a line expressing any opinions you might have about the project and/or the pattern I’ve picked for you. 🙂  And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

  • Mom: Riverbanks Hood or maybe the Reverie beret
  • Dad: A difficult one, since I think he’s worn the same basic grey knit cap all my life.  So maybe the Pismo Hat?  Except, I know that what he really wants me to knit for him is fingerless gloves (he calls them Bob Cratchit gloves, and says he wants them to keep his hands warm when he stays up at night reading).
  • Big Brother: The Carlsbad Hat
  • The Duchess: I want to say Chapeau Marnier, except I think that might really be for Indy.  So perhaps an Ishbel beret?
  • Mariah: She’s a huge fan of Girl Genius, so maybe Trilobite.  Except she also really likes Terry Pratchett, so perhaps the Bloody Stupid Johnson Hat.  Except she also loves quirkiness, so maybe Pinky.  Oh, the possibilities!
  • Sae: The Urchin hat would look so adorable on her, and I have the perfect thick/thin cream colored wool to knit it out of.  Except she’d also look really pretty in Foliage.  Or maybe the Lake Park hat.  This is so hard!
  • AnniPotts: Another Girl Genius fan, so Trilobite would be great, except she would look rather adorable in Foliage too, or Lacecap.  Sigh.
  • Indy: I think Indy really ought to have the Morgan hat, a newsboy style hat that’s pretty awesome.  Except it also looks kinda complicated.  So maybe Chapeau Marnier for her?  Or one of the other pretty lace ones?
  • Rosie: Tychus for sure.  Except maybe she ought to have a Griflet?  This decision thing is harder than you would think…
  • The Absent-Minded Professor: Actually, I’ve been wanting to knit a Trilobite for AP for some time now (see: Girl Genius, loving of).  So perhaps that’s really his hat, and the others will have to get something else.
  • Boy-O: Griflet.  There can be no other.
  • Johnnycakes: Probably a Griflet too.  Just, you know, in different colors.
  • Johnsy: The Happy Hat.  She may not know it, but she really needs this hat.  It’s true.
  • The Young Queen: One of the three colorwork Tams, except then I’d want to knit her handwarmers to match, and that would probably be done about… next fall.  Seriously.  I gave Ani the yarn for handwarmers for her Epiphany present last Christmas, and just finished knitting them on family vacation.  So that might not be such a good idea.  Sigh.

That’s… a lot of knitting.  Yes, I know Christmas is four months away.  Still, that’s pretty much a hat a week between now and Christmas.  Plus my other knitting.  And I didn’t even include Mr. T (probably a Pismo or Carlsbad hat), Fleur (Center Square), or any of the extended family (Ice Queen cowl for Aunt C).  Yup.  I have just officially become over-ambitious with my Christmas knitting.  And it’ s not even September yet!  A new record!

Sigh.

In other news, Aunt B is still in the hospital, but doing better.  The doctors still haven’t figured out what happened, although they’ve been running lots and lots of expensive tests that have shown, well, a whole lot of nothing in particular (except that it’s not lupus).  On the plus side, she’s feeling better and seems much perkier.  When I went to visit on Saturday, she sat up in bed, and chatted merrily away the whole time.  If she could just walk from one side of the room to the other without having to hold onto things, I think the doctors would let her go home.   Thank you so much to everyone who has been praying, or who has sent messages of support.  Hopefully the worst is over, but please keep praying anyway.

Also, I’ve decided to do my best to pursue the job in Madison.  I don’t want to have to leave my friends and community behind, but when I consider my current financial situation, I think it would be extremely foolish not to at least give this a try.  The worst that can happen is that they say no, and I stay in Dayton (oh, darn!).  And at best, perhaps I’d be in a much more stable position than I’ve enjoyed in way too long.  Plus, when I was thinking about it the other day, I realized that this is my dream job.  Years ago I decided that I wanted to be a theology professor because I couldn’t imagine anything more satisfying and fulfilling than teaching, reading, and writing about the Catholic Faith.  The job would be writing about Catholicism for an internet startup, explaining things in an approachable and interesting way.  That’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to do, just not, you know, in a classroom.  So I’m working with The Young Queen to put together a portfolio of my writings, and I’ll be submitting a packet with my CV and a cover letter (do you have any idea how much I hate writing cover letters?  So much!) hopefully sometime in the next few days.  And we’ll see what happens.

And while I’m writing, I should perhaps mention The Duchess’s good-bye party on Saturday, mostly because I think it may have been the Party of the Year.  This is rather surprising for me, since I’m used to thinking of this group of friends as, well, a little straight-laced.  Uptight.  Maybe even a little, well, boring.  However, at the party Saturday people really let their hair down.  There was drinking.  There was dancing (perhaps facilitated by the drinking).  There was merriment of all sorts.  At one point I walked into the kitchen looking for ice, and found three of my friends doing shots.  One of them eagerly explained to me, “Well, first we drank to Eternal Life, and then we drank to The Duchess, and then we drank to The Duchess’s Eternal Life!” It was rather adorable.  Sky came and taught a beginner swing lesson with me, which people seemed to really enjoy.  This is the first time I’ve taught with Sky, and I think it went really well.  We danced a lot too, which was lovely, as usual.  I always forget, when I haven’t been teaching a while, how exhausting it is!  By the end of the party, both of us were sprawled on the couch together, tired to the bone in a very good sort of way.  And that’s a good party!

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