Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

03 February 2010

Halfway to Spring

Yesterday I didn't get much knitting done: the child and I took down the Christmas tree.

I figured out a long time ago that there were two extremes of putting up and taking down the tree around Christmas time: at one end, you had the people who put the tree up at the earliest possible moment, say Hallowe'en.
(And I'm ignoring, la la la, the stores that put out Christmas decorations in July. La la la.)

At the other end, you have people who put the tree up and decorate it on Christmas Eve, the "Santa brings the tree and all" people.

But the far end of the season has its own extremes: very often, the same people who put their tree up the earliest are the ones whose front door opens on December 26th so they can pitch the tree into the trash, missed tinsel trailing.

And the ones who waited to put it up later generally also wait and take it down later.

I like to have the tree up about a week before Christmas, so I can enjoy it lighted and decorated in the dark of winter. After Christmas, I like to leave it up because it's a festive green thing in a season when Michigan does not show a lot of green. I figure I'm good if it's down by Valentine's Day, although that depends on the tree.

I try to buy a balsam fir if I can find one for sale. Their needles cling on tightly. But if the tree is dropping needles like crazy, I might draw the line at Twelfth night.

This year, I started wanting the light in the living room, so when we changed calendars and the kid said, "When are we going to take the tree down?" I said, "How about tomorrow?" (Which is now yesterday.)

Coincidentally, yesterday was Groundhog Day or Imbolc, the cross-quarter day halfway between the winter solstice (dark, dark, dark) and the vernal (spring) equinox. Somehow it felt really appropriate to be taking my midwinter symbol of life in the dark down on that day.
So now it's down, and the light of the longer days can shine in and give me more natural light to knit by.

I can't think of a smooth way to segue to this photo, but I'm sharing it anyway.
Ajax's dog chow comes in three-layer bags, and I tear the outer paper layers off for recycling, and throw the inner plastic layer in the trash.

As I was standing by the trash can doing this, Ajax came up and stuck his head in the bag to see if any kibbles were hiding in the bottom. He spent at least a minute trying to force his head and shoulders down to the bottom of the bag, and I had plenty of time to snatch up the camera and take his picture.

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Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Poor starving doggie... :)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Yea, he looks starving! I like the tree to stay up until early January if the needles are holding. It always makes me sad to see so many trees down before New Year's Day.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Virginia said...

The dog photo is fabulous.

And yeah, I totally agree about leaving the tree up. We generally do it for all 12 days of Christmas. When we lived in a house, it would stay up for longer, but in a small NYC apartment, not so much space. It tends to go the day after Three Kings day.

1:32 PM  
Blogger HobbygÃ¥sa said...

Hehe cool shot of the dog :-) Don't your tree drop all the needles... We got rid of ours January 2nd - then we had theese green needles all over the living room.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Taking your tree down does seem like an excellent way to celebrate Imbolc. Since our Christmas tree is a live ficus (long story) it needs to not be inside too long, so it usually goes back outdoors around New Year's, to its very great relief.

I love that dog picture! There's pretty much no smooth way to transition to that, and no way to leave it out, either.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Rose Red said...

(I still have my tree up...)(although that says more about my procrastination skills than any love of Christmas!)

8:36 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

A friend told me that her mom always left the tree up till Easter. By that time, most of the needles were gone and it was so much eaier to deal with.

I used to take a 20 lb bag of cat food, tear the top off, and lay it down on it's side. When all I could see was the cat's tail,I knew it was time to buy more chow.

10:07 PM  
Blogger peony said...

Here in Hungary, it is tradition to put up the tree on the 24th. (and it is either the angel, or the little Jesus who brings it -along with the presents, not Santa, who comes with litte sweets on the 6th of december-)also it is tradition to take it off at the tweltfth night. Putting it up at Xmas eve is observed much more strictly, taking it down... goes all over, I could see trees in the garbage at boxing day (which is the second day of Xmas here), and I heard people taking it down around easter. Ours usually is a douglas fir-which I love dearly, but could not get this year. The one I got gave me much trouble, which I am not going into here...
Cute pic of the dog.

4:09 AM  
Blogger One More Stitch said...

You have been awarded a blog award!



9:29 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

One year my mom left the tree up so long (it was in the basement) that she made us chop it up with a hatchet and carry it out in a dozen brown paper grocery bags. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

1:51 PM  

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