Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Christmas Knits

The list I made back in August when I had just ordered the yarn for the Vogue cowl seemed so modest. I thought I'd refined the strategy to perfection last year, ie plan only a realistic number of things and make sure they are patterns that I actually fancy knitting. I got very focused and came up with a one page list of very few hand knits for only those who have made requests or who I think would really like a hand knit gift and was impressed at how ahead of the game I was. Things looked so promising with that first gift ticked off at the start of September. Now with just the cowl and a sock and a bit complete I'm feeling much less smug, it's looking somewhat more daunting and yet I still want to add more to it!
I'd say I'm not sure why I do it. I am of course. I do it because I love to knit, I want to give handmade, meaningful gifts and in most cases the best way I can think to do that is with something knitted. 

The first year I learnt to knit it was just before Christmas and I dashed off some scarves and socks as gifts and was very proud of myself.  I soon learnt the lesson that not everyone will love the gift just because I made it for them - my Mum had clearly been too kind in response to everything I brought home from school - in fact I know she was as her house is still littered by wonky embroidery and strange pottery creatures! Looking back now I can see why some of those first knit gifts never saw much light of day but these days if you get a knit from me I'd say you're blessed.
No honestly! I even generously try and combine what I want to knit with something I think the recipient will want! So I've moved on from the early days but where I've got to now seems to be with wanting to knit a cardigan for my best friend - seriously? How many cardigans do I manage to make in a whole year, yet alone in about a month with a bazillion other things to knit! 

She's got a birthday in March so maybe I'll start it and then when the inevitable happens and I miss Christmas I'll be ahead of the birthday game. Actually maybe that will be my whole strategy for next year - gift knits for birthdays only and not Christmas. Though there are few knits it feels right to give in the summer. Maybe if they're a summer birthday the gift can be knit then but gifted at Christmas. I like it!

So my summer start on the list this year hasn't gained me any great headway but at least the looming deadline gives me carte blanche to have a casting on partay this weekend! I knew all this gift knitting wasn't selfless.

9 comments:

Bells said...

this post is exactly why I'm not christmas knitting this year - with the exception that I may start a pair of socks for Sean in the next few days. Birthday knits only.

I think your plan for your best friend is fabulous. Really great. Do you have a cardigan in mind?

Andrea... said...

Hi Sarah - I'm absolutely sure that none of your knitted gifts are reindeer sweaters!!! Speaking of which, check this out....http://www.digilpindirect.com/products.php?product=Stag#

marycatharine said...

Crafting for Christmas is so hard... I thought I was ahead of the game too but then a request came in and now I'm way behind. Good luck with your list!

Rose Red said...

No Christmas knitting for me this year either! I like the idea of birthday knits better too!

Charity said...

Sarah, you're too funny! I, too, am feeling the Christmas pressure, but I'm diving in headfirst, and am going to try to knit my hubby a cabled sweater by the big day! Crazy, I know... I think you can do it!

Wendy said...

Last year I burnt myself out with Christmas gift knitting. I've hardly knit a thing since then. It's sad, really. So I've decided that this year I'm not giving any knits.

Gidgetknits said...

You know, call me crazy, but I love that reindeer sweater and I would love any guy who wore such a sweater! Wonky, not perfectly knitted presents are fantastic - you just wear them about the house and they remind you of the person who got all enthusiastic about making something for you. But I have stopped Christmas knitting. Not everyone has that attitude. Knitting now just for fellow knitters or family who get a kick out of it. And not for special occasions - just random presents!

Wool Free and Lovin' Knit said...

I tried the whole "just knit for birthdays" thing this year which was a great idea except that I planned to knit 3 afghans for 3 birthdays which fall exactly 1 month apart. The first niece got her afghan a few weeks after her actual day (because that's when I traveled up to Canada) and I'm STILL working on #2 (birthday is now 2 weeks past) and I've no realistic hope of finished #3 anywhere near to before Christmas. So now no one is getting Christmas knits and I may be empty handed for a birthday too ! UGH!!

Rachel said...

Are you in my brain? I go through the exact same process and pattern every year. Maybe I never learn because even though it stresses me out each year, in the end, I always come out feeling good about what I've made.

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