My Favorite Holiday

People are always taken aback when I’m asked what my favorite holiday is, and I answer with enthusiasm, “Columbus Day!”

Columbus Day?  Really?  That random day in October that not many people in the U.S. even have off anymore?  Yes, that day.  And yes, I’m aware of the controversy over honoring the explorer for which it’s named.  I really don’t care if we call it something like Solidarity with Canadian Thanksgiving Day or something bland, like Fall Bank Holiday, or anything else.  Just as long as I have the second Monday in October to enjoy as I please.

I love Columbus Day because to me, it’s Celebration of Fall Day.  Here in the shadow of the Rockies, we could be getting snow on Columbus Day, but more likely, it’s beautiful.  The aspens are luminescent.  The maples are incendiary.  The locusts practically glow in the dark.  It’s cool, but not bitter.  It’s time to wash and lay out winter sweaters to dry, but I may not quite need them right this minute.  It’s time to think about the holidays, but not panic.  Not yet.

Columbus Day occurs at my favorite time of year.  Unlike Labor Day, with its obligatory cookouts and end-of-summer energy, I’m not stressed by having just dealt with back-to-school activities.  Unlike the November holidays, I’m not staring down the calendar at weeks of holiday goings-on.  It’s deep fall.  We’re in our school-year routine without winter holiday craziness.

I love Columbus Day because nothing in particular is expected of me today, and yet I can enjoy an entire day off from work, guilt-free.  I don’t have to cook a special meal, entertain, or buy presents.  I don’t have to go to a picnic or a cookout.  Not that I don’t like those things — I do.  But often, the other holidays are just another form of work.  Work that’s fun, but still work.   Even better?  My husband has to work and the kids are in school.  I have the day to myself.  It’s a bona fide day off, so I don’t even have to compulsively check the Blackberry, as I do on my off-Fridays and other times I ‘m on leave, but work keeps on rolling.  It’s as close to a Me Day as I’ve ever come since having kids.

So, what I am up to this Columbus Day?  A whole bunch of different things, some knitterly, some not.

I started with a stint at the gym.  Then, I washed and blocked my favorite sweater.  If this weather stays cool, I’ll need it sooner, rather than later.

I’ve also gone on a bit of a Mountain Colors bender this weekend.  I’m enthralled with Mountain Colors yarn, and it never sits in my stash for long.  I’ve knit up a cowl and some mittens in Twizzle (colorway: Blooming Gale), and I’ll get those photographed just as soon as I can.  I had 200 yards leftover from those projects, so I made this Swirl Hat:

Swirl Hat

It’s blocking now.  The variegation in the yarn looks pretty neat in this stitch pattern, doesn’t it?

I’ve also started a scarf in Mountain Colors Merino Ribbon.  The pattern is Misty Garden from Scarf Style and is the tried-but-true feather and fan pattern.  The colorway is Mountain Twilight, which I think totally nails it.  These are the colors I see over the mountains when the sun has long since set, but deep night hasn’t quite taken hold yet.

Mountain Twilight Scarf

As if that’s not enough, I also cast on a garter-stitch shawl that will be edged in feather and fan.  It’s called Multnomah.  The yarn is Mountain Colors Mountain Goat.  It has a firm twist with a subtle halo.  The color is Swift Current.

Violets on Waves Shawl

So, today, I’ve got plenty of knitting to keep me occupied, along with some advance planning for the holidays.  Columbus Day, you’re the best!

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