Peeved at the TV

I get it.  Christmas is coming. There are cards and trees and tinsel and badly played tinny renditions of carols on every other commercial on TV. (It’s only mid-November, so it’s not /every/ commercial yet)

But that’s not all that different. Nor are the “buy your kids 12 billion things to show you love them” undertones anything new.

Yesterday, however, after driving 300 miles back from Dallas (I drove up there Saturday for my mom’s birthday), I flipped on the TV to veg out a little and relax. And the first commercial I saw?

Scruffy Dude: “Hand-made Gifts for Christmas?”

Dude looks at his smiling grandmother, sitting across from him at the table. Dude stands up and goes into the garage with the (rather nice) hand knit mittens she just gave him.

Scruffy Dude: “Who wants that? Why not buy your friends something they’ll really like.  Like a snowmobile. I hear you can get one cheap on E-Bay!”

<more e-bay paraphernalia, showing the Dude doing “fun things” with extremely expensive mechanical items out in the snow, Dude playing with expensive electronics. He’s wearing synthetic gloves.>

Scruffy Dude sniffs the mittens:  “Smells like church.”

<Cue E-Bay tag.>

Alright.  So E-bay takes pot-shots at Etsy. Great.

Just what I wanted to see after spending 25 hours over three and a half days frantically making some woollen winter things for my mother’s birthday (after she mentioned not having any before her move).

I’m sure every person who spends countless hours working on gifts so that they can be pushed aside in favor of shiny, “expensive” (previously owned/USED) things bought on E-Bay is just thrilled. I have enough of a time with gifts that I make for people. When you spend many hours working on something? Having that something get rejected … hurts. (Which is why some of my friends will not get knitted things. If I figure out that your reaction will be to act nice-nice and then shove it in a drawer? Nope.  No knits for you.)

Now, am I actually putting any stock in this particular commercial?

Not really, though (as I’m sure you noticed) I’m slightly peeved.

To be honest, it reads like E-bay is feeling threatened by Etsy’s handmade offerings, and the fact that the makers of said handmade items are choosing to sell them via Etsy rather than through E-Bay (which has kinda become an odd shamble of used items and then huge shiny stores selling all kinds of things at normal (or higher) prices).  Which, you know, whatever. If they’re threatened enough to take potshots at handmade items in order to shill their “Christmas Crap” campaign, they’ll just lose even more of their sellers to Etsy.

Still, though, I think the whole thing is misplaced and… well, not that funny.

Sure, I get that a new snowmobile is “more fun” than a pair of mittens. But you need mittens to ride a snowmobile without frostbite, and, quite honestly, I can afford to buy enough yarn to make some mittens (less than $20 even for REALLY NICE yarn).

TLDR version – Ebay is stupid, commercials are stupid, and having to put up with Christmas for three months every year is REALLY stupid.

Also?  What the fuck does “smells like church” mean?

Priorities

Left Mitten, unblocked. Pattern is Bella’s Mittens, by Marielle Henault.
I’m just now casting on its opposite.

Yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted (single spun) in colorway Pearl Ten, held double. Knit on size 8 circular (yes, I know the pattern calls for a size 11 needle. I knit loosely, and my intended recipient is not a large person. These fit me, so I know they will fit her.)

These mittens are the reason I’ve not done any NaNo writing. They’re the reason we ate pizza for dinner last night. (I’ve managed to get a crock-pot dinner going for tonight.)

They are a gift. A last minute gift, and they need to be done by Saturday morning. I have two busy evenings tonight and tomorrow, and so everything else is on hold while I cram-knit to get them done. I’m really /really/ hoping I get finished.

Updatey Things

House stuff:

As expected – the mold test results came back positive.  Very positive in some cases – but all in very localized locations.  Our… special seller’s original response was “well can we just get a contractor in to replace the insulation and sheetrock?” – to which we very firmly said no – for two reasons.  First, we have to live there, and my hubby is allergic to some kinds of mold (and I have a cat with respiratory allergies) – not worth it! THe other reason? If we don’t have a legally followed mold remediation protocol, with a post-remediation inspection, then we have documented proof of an active mold infection and no proof of removal.

Meaning we wouldn’t be able to re-sell that house.

So that’s all getting done this week (was supposed to happen this weekend, but it rained), as well as the roof replacement and all the other minor repairs, like slow drains and some fireplace maintenance.

Our tentative closing date is next Friday, hopefully early in the day (because if the money doesn’t vest on Friday, we won’t get the housekeys until Monday, and that would suck), but that may not end up working out if we can’t get all the repairs done and all that jazz.

Health Stuff:

As its warmed up, I’ve had a lot less trouble with joint pain, though it’s still a daily issue. Yoga has been something of my magic pill, so I’ve been doing that just about every day – it helps a lot, both with the stretching and because it helps me not feel cold all the time. I’m still having trouble sleeping, which doesn’t help anything, so I’m trying to find a way to help with that. Right now I’m drinking chamomile/mint tea before bed, and going to bed early enough that I can take at least half an hour to sit and crochet/knit/craft in bed with my tea.

Should be going back to the doctor sometime in March to have all of the bloodwork repeated for all the other stuff – we’ll see what happens.

Craft Stuff:

I’ve had a serious problem with start-itis lately – fortunately I recognize it when I see it, and have learned that the best way to manage start-itis is to stick to the projects I have, but to start something small that I can finish in a few hours (usually knitted/crocheted kitchen cloths, since they go fast).  I’ve got a sweater that I’ve been working on, but … I’m not enjoying it.  I’m not sure why, but working on it feels like I’m forcing myself to do it, and I’ve knitted all of 4 inches of the neckband (top down raglan).

I’m inclined to frog it and try something else with the yarn – I love the finished sweater, but I’m not sure I’m up for a big project right now with all the other stuff going on.

All the other stuff being all the projects I’m going to be picking up with the new house – painting, curtains, and pillows mostly.  I’m pretty excited!

Tour de Fleece

Apologies in advance for the whining, but I’m a little frustrated.

Granted, I did not manage to spin every day of the Tour, but I came pretty close (I did go on vacation for part of it, and airports don’t look kindly on long pointy sticks with hooks in the end).

So today I went to go look at the spindlers and rookies threads on Ravelry to get some inspiration for taking pictures of what I’d spun.

And discovered entire threads of pictures from people who have been spinning for 1-2 months that is perfectly balanced, even, and in huge quantities.  I’m not sure if the difference is the spinning wheels (most of the rookies have wheels), or that I have crappy spindles, or if I just absolutely suck and should not spin anymore, but I’ve been doing this for a year and can’t create yarn like that.

Needless to say, I’m not bothering to post my meagre, lousy skeins.  They’re only going to get felted anyway.