|meri receives a knitting advent calendar in the mail, and glee and hand-clapping and gushing ensues.|
Cute. Neat packaging. Containers. Yarn. Also, cute.
I don’t quite remember how I came across it, but one day while wandering the Internet, I found myself browsing Jimmy Beans Wool (as I am wont to do). Clicking through their new selection, I came across the most amazing thing ever since the last most amazing thing I had ever seen: a knitting advent calendar.
You remember Advent calendars, right? They’re these boxes with little punch-out doors for each day of Advent.1 Each day, you’re supposed to open the door for that day (And only that day’s door! No rushing ahead!), and receive a pellet of some kind as reward.2 So yeah. Big container full of little containers full of goodies.
The Jimmy Beans Wool Craftvent 2016 calendar is an Advent calendar targeted at knitters. It is a big box, full of little boxes, which are in turn full of yarn or knitting-related materials. It also comes with a pattern for a shawl to be knit with the yarn contained in the calendar’s boxes. The project is a “mystery knit-along.” This means that the project pattern is doled out in clues, and the knitters generally have no idea what the item they are knitting will actually look like. I’ve done several of these, and have had fun more often than been disappointed, and I’m always game to try another one.
Soooo…. Big box. Full of little boxes. Full of yarn or knitting stuff. With a mystery knit-along. I may have been a little excited when I posted to facebook about it. But, the calendar was not inexpensive, so I had no real intention of purchasing it for myself. I let out a happy little sigh, and went about life.
Five days later.
The Saturday after I posted about the awesomeness of the Craftvent calendar, G and i were in the process of leaving the house when G discovered I had received a package.3 I took a moment to open the box before we left, and made a small “Meep!” noise4, and then sucked in a big breath as my eyes bugged out and I just gaped at the pretty pretty box inside the plain cardboard box. Once I was able to breathe again, I found the receipt in the box, and learned that my dear Jer and Shama had been crazily generous and gifted this loveliness upon me.
Right, then. What do we have here?
Getting started with day 1.
And continuing on…
Which brings us (almost) to today.
It’s obviously the 10th now, but I haven’t taken the picture of today’s box yet, nor do I have an updated progress picture. That said, I’ve owed my lovely benefactors pictures for a week now. If I stop to take more pictures, then I’ll start yet another cycle of delay, so…
(Also, that would take valuable knitting time!)
Like Thanksgiving and Easter, one has to do a bit of math (or at least stare at a calendar for a few seconds) to figure out the actual first day of Advent for any given year. Most of the Western Christian churches that observe Advent agree that it starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas, though a couple of Catholic rites disagree and begin Advent on the 6th day before Christmas.
(Eastern Christianity doesn’t do Advent. They go for the Nativity Fast, and that has a whole different set of rules, and it’s in any way related to my story, so if you want to know more, go read about it yourself.)
Anyway. Regardless of which system you use, the first day of Advent is not a static date. This makes mass-producing and pre-making Advent calendars kind of a pain in the butt, for a couple of reasons. First, there’s that whole “don’t actually know the right date” thing. Second, it’s easier for everyone to know exactly how many days’ worth of Advent thingies need to be procured per calendar. Third, it involves math, and nobody likes math. (Well, except me. But I’m a nerd.) So, in a massive effort to avoid math, many folks who care about the Advent have decided that it is also acceptable to just say that Advent starts on December 1st. As a result, most Advent calendars (especially those that are mass-produced) have little boxes for December 1st through December 24th.
- I remember it mostly being little pieces of chocolate. Honestly, I don’t remember why I remember advent calendars. I don’t think I ever received one as a child.
- He was very clever about it, with the almost tripping on it and all as he walked out the front door. For some reason, one of our postal carriers leaves things directly in front of the front door, which is great… if you’re not at home when the package arrives. If you are, then you have to train yourself to not take that first step out the door until you’re sure the coast is clear.
- If you’ve spent much time around me, you likely can actually hear that sound in your head.