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December 15, 2004

"Uh...I made it!"

We do a Yankee Swap at our office holiday party. (Who came up with this game? It's barbaric!) And since the "official" rules linked above weren't cruel enough, our rules stipulate that if somebody steals your gift, you can chose a new one from the unopened pile or from anybody who's gone before you. Did I mention that in our office, almost everybody brings -- and expects to leave with -- hard alcohol? A greed for alcohol that inspires stealing from your coworkers: how festive!

This year, I broke ranks. I knit a scarf from Morehouse Merino -- a 2 x 2 rib pattern in gender-neutral black. (No pictures, unfortunately, but I trust you can imagine a black 2x2 rib scarf!) I wrapped it up, and included a note that said:

This scarf is made from merino wool, known for being warm and lightweight. Avoid machine washing/drying unless you want it to become a fuzzy, miniature version of its former self. Wash with mild detergent (hand soap is fine!), squeeze water out and lay flat to dry. Enjoy!

While wrapping the scarf, I indulged in some self-congratulation for bucking the trend. By the time I got to the party, though, I was feeling a little panicky. What if nobody wants it? What if the person who gets it feels compelled to be gracious when all they really wanted was the Bailey's? And finally, Why, oh why, did I bring something I knit? Giving a gift that may be poorly-received is one thing, giving a hand-knit that may be poorly-received is, well... masochistic!

The game dragged on and my little gift bag remained on the table due largely, I think, to the fact that it was distinctly non-alcohol-shaped. Then Sarah approached the table. Sarah and I are buddies -- we've suffered through some awful projects together, which is a guaranteed bonding experience. We're currently suffering through the wedding planning process together as well, which I can report is also a bonding experience. Most important, she and I have discussed the pathology of the booze-fueled Yankee Swap.

I got lucky. She plucked my non-alcohol-shaped present off the pile and came back to our table. She seemed genuinely pleased with the scarf. Best of all, since she knows I'm a knitter and was prepared (I suspect) to be getting something I knit, there was no need for me to awkwardly blurt out, "I made it!"

And with that, I happily cross "Yankee Swap scarf" off my holiday knitting list. Next!

Posted by shannon at December 15, 2004 4:29 PM | For related posts: Christmas Knitting 2004


Omigod, I started getting nervous that you were going to say that she loved it and then someone took it! How funny that everyone else was giving alcohol. :D

So what is left to do??

Posted by: alison at December 22, 2004 9:18 AM

What's left? Let's see... three more stripes on John's Redskins scarf, ALL (!) of Jason's mom's cowl and half of the tiny, doll-sized sweater for Miss Syd. The elves are very, very nervous!

Posted by: Shannon at December 22, 2004 9:29 AM

fantastic...i did the same thing for my office's yankee swap and knit a pair of fingerless gloves and a hat (both in a 2x2 rib)...i felt the same angst that you did when my gift remained one of the last to be chosen...i was so lucky that the recipient ended up being the one person i really wanted to get my gift...she couldn't believe that i had actually made them...and i got all the appropriate and ooos and ahhs that my ego required.

Posted by: lisa b at December 22, 2004 10:49 AM