Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A little bit about Christmas knitting and my philosophy thereof...

I know I've been writing a lot lately about all the "panic knitting" which has been going on. It occurs to me that this may have led some readers (assuming I have any) to wonder why on earth I set myself up for this sort of thing. What I've been failing to mention is all the joy I really do get out of knitting Christmas gifts for my family, even though as Christmas approaches, I generally have to devote some serious "marathon knitting" time in order to get it all done. (What can I say...during the rest of the year I get distracted by other stuff.)

Basically the way things happen is this: I will sometimes see a pattern and instantly envision it being worn by someone close to me. The resulting surge of creative enthusiasm can only be translated one way: "I MUST make this!!!" This always means making the item as a Christmas gift, cuz hey, why waste a good gift idea on an occasion for which I generally would not give a gift (plus, our Christmas budget gives us more to spend more on people than our regular-present budget, and that means nicer yarn). My problems begin when I have too many of these inspirations in one year, plus all the non-Christmas projects that crop up along the way. I try to give myself lots of time, to prioritize and cut Christmas knitting projects so that the workload is reasonable (for example, I've already got five adult sweater ideas for next Christmas - that'll have to get chopped down considerably). But invariably, I find myself scrambling to finish the last bits of a project at the eleventh hour. This doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying the knitting. It just means that I'm an idiot who still hasn't accurately figured out how long it will take to finish an adult-sized project, and who simply cannot put new project ideas on the backburner.

Thus far, all my Christmas gifts have been very happily received. I seem to make good choices for what suits people in terms of style and colour. What is it Edward Walker says? "I don't do ugly." Well, at least I certainly try not to. I am also fortunately surrounded by family (both mine and DH's) who appreciate the time and effort which goes into making these kinds of gifts. And hey - if a knitting gift is ever not appreciated, the recipient is very unlikely to ever get another.

The upshot of all this is that, although I may go on ad nauseum about "panic knitting", I'm definitely enjoying myself. Hey, if it wasn't fun, I wouldn't do it.

Spanish Knight sweater for Mom
Another auction appeared on eBay for ten skeins of Lavold's Silky Wool in the lava colour. So I put in a lowball bid right away to avoid having someone snatch it up with Buy it Now. I am really, really hoping to win this auction at a good price. Fingers crossed.
Catherine Parr sweater for MIL
Washed it in Eucalan last night, blocked it out, and tried to soak up all the excess dampness with towels. I think my first stab at blocking went quite well. It looks great. Here's hoping it will dry in time for Friday evening's trek over to MIL's place for Christmas. But I now consider this project complete - hooray!
Stornaway sweater for BIL (cream)
I'm now half an inch away from being able to start the cuff on sleeve #1. I might actually have a bit of sleeve #2 started by Christmas.
Persian Tiles sweater for Grandma
I'm thinking maybe I should use different yarn for this project. The two colours in the heathered cashmere/silk/cotton blend I'm currently separating are cream and dun brown. Lovely colours, but I have to be honest, they wouldn't really suit my grandma. She would look much better in a blue-based colourway. This is possibly an excellent excuse to buy more alpaca. Hmmm. Perhaps I shall save the cashmere/silk/cotton blend for my MIL, who (as a redhead) would look very nice indeed in cream and dun brown. Perhaps this will be her Christmas 2006 gift? Stay tuned.

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