I’ll divert the yarn balance to my own ends

I think this is the year that I buy my friend a present instead of knit one.

We’ve been friends for near six years and for most of that, I’ve knitted him something for his birthday. No sweaters or anything, but beanies with devil horns; fingerless gloves with prison tattoo-style embroidery; sturdy scarves that he can’t use much in San Francisco where he lives but that come in handy for snowboarding. He loves them and loses them anyway, and I don’t mind; he loses them because he uses them constantly.

A couple weeks ago I was pondering what to make him and it hit me: the lucha libre mask from “Son of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch” (here’s the Ravelry link), but done up like Strong Bad from Homestar Runner! I’d have to chart Strong Bad’s face for the pattern, buy the yarn, then knit like a fiend for the next week or two, but it’d be totally doable. It would be perfect!

The perfect pattern — again. Every year, I come up with the perfect present and turn in the finished product, sometimes way past deadline, often with an additional present. He loves them, but doesn’t exactly reciprocate. Come to think of it, I can’t actually remember if he’s given me a birthday present at all in the last couple years, never mind an elaborate handmade one. I’m not the kind of person who keeps tabs on that kind of thing; it’s just hard not to notice when I bust my ass on something good for him and he doesn’t remember to call on my birthday — especially when mine is only three days before his.

He’s busy, working a lot, and kinda distant lately as our lives have started peeling slowly away from each other. Neither of us has brought that up yet, and I don’t know when or if we will. Not to mention his girlfriend’s a beginning knitter, and the product of all my badass technical knitting skills wouldn’t mean much stacked next to one of her totally simple and totally earnest scarves.

He’s not a bad friend, by any means; he’s still one of my best. But I think it’s his turn to remember this time.