July Merry KAL Announcement

Growing up every Christmas it was tradition that my dad sport a ‘Bah! Humbug!’ t-shirt.

No, I’m not kidding.

I have no idea where this t-shirt came from, but I have the sneaking suspicion that either he or my mom had it specially screen printed for him. Remember screen-printing shops where you could go and they’d actually line up text and print it right there for you? I have no idea why, but I remember being at the one 2 two towns over a lot as a kid. It was on the second story of a shop on Main St and it had wood-paneled walls decorated with every variety of bowling shirt you could imagine. And the smell. How can you forget the smell of screen printing in the 1980s? Kind of mix of melting plastic and hot ironed polyester with a dash of moist steam that really just smelled vaguely sweaty.  In any case, I think my dad only stopped wearing the ‘Bah! Humbug’ shirt because it disintegrated after 15 or 20 years of wear.

This month, my dear dad is turning 70. He’s pretty much still as awesome as his ‘Bah! Humbug” t-shirt wearing days, probably moreso. He and I didn’t always get along so well growing up. I  am pretty sure it’s because we were a little too alike. As a kid I rarely understood that he was trying to teach me life lessons — it always seemed like he was just being unreasonable. These days, I get what he was doing and I’m thankful he taught me as well as he did. We get along much better now, too and we talk or text pretty much every day. I’m really thankful for that, too. Even if it’s just a couple texts, it’s nice to be in touch.

So for my dad, one-half of July’s MerryKAL will be something to represent him. A Navy vet & dedicated volunteer for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), I thought nothing would be more fitting than…

Christmas Ball #39: Anchor

This ball will also give those interested in honing or trying out duplicate stitch a good excuse. We discussed duplicate stitch briefly on the Ravelry thread last month and it reminded me of this ball. The notes at the bottom of the page in the Arne & Carlos book recommend using duplicate stitch to embroider the design rather than  attempting to trap all those long floats. It seemed as though the stars aligned for us to do this ball in July.

The other ball for this month (or the other choice) is for — you guessed it — my mom.

My mom didn’t have a funny t-shirt, but I do remember one Christmas anecdote about her. As a stay-at-home mom myself now, I understand my mom’s desire  back then —  she was also a stay-at-home-mom for the first decade of my life — to be able to financially contribute actual dollars into the family kitty for Christmas. I remember when I was young that she would hand-tie evergreen garlands for a local greenhouse for the month or 6weeks before the holiday. She’d stand in the cold garage in November and December tying the prickly branches together as neatly & quickly as she could. Her hands would be cut up, but she did it anyways to make a few extra bucks. For us.

In honor of my mom, the second July option for the MerryKAL will be:

Christmas Ball #27: Rocking Horse

As a semi-side note, my mom has recently taken up knitting. As knitting has a way of doing, it has brought us much closer together. It’s been fun to help her over hurdles and choose projects. It’s awesome to yarn shop and plan trips with her to yarn & fiber festivals. She’s the one who nudged me toward trying spinning & made one of my birthday/Christmas gifts cash toward my wheel. It’s really just one example of how supportive my parents — both of them — have always been. They have always been really engaged in my life, even when I was a really difficult & distant teenager.  If there was something I was interested in or participated in, they were always there to cheer me on. If I needed help, they gave me a hand or they helped me figure out how to help myself. They’ve always been there and I’m thankful for that.

The shirt may have said, “Bah! Humbug!”, but I appreciate that growing up all of our Christmases were happy & I’m thankful that through all of our differences, we’ve found a way to keep them that way.

Happy Christmas knitting everyone!

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