Well, my cunning plan for this year worked out. Having knit like a demon all spring and summer, by the first week in December I’d almost finished all the samples for this season and had no immediate deadlines reaching over my shoulder with their sharp, deadliney claws. I was feeling pretty damned pleased with myself. All that was left was the gifts for the niece and nephews–the special fun knitting I’d been saving until now–and I had plenty of time…oh, crap. Mailing times. To Canada. Why do they always sneak up on me? Gah. As it turned out, everything I’d chosen could be made quickly–the first two took a day each–so all was not completely lost. If you’re in a last minute panic, fellow knitter, maybe these ideas will help you, too. They’re not even child-specific, in my humble opinion. Continue reading
Comfort and joy, indeed
I have, in the past, expressed my feelings about Christmas knitting, so I’ll summarize here: No. Well, mostly no. No with exceptions, those exceptions being very young (for now) and very dear to my heart. The niece and nephews still get Christmas knitting, because they’re still young enough that anything they might want will be quite small, and if I get it right, they’ll think it’s totally neat, and I’m hoping to be fondly remembered as the crazy aunt who knit them great stuff every Christmas. Last year’s gifts were pretty good—I still watch the video of the oldest nephew shouting “It’s Santa’s hat! It’s Santa’s hat!” as he unfolds and dons the hat-scarf thing. This year, though. This year, I think I hit it out of the park. Continue reading
One for you, one for me, Part 2
Being a continuation of yesterday’s post, in which I started to outline my plans for the Gift-A-Long. Again, all photos are copyright the designer unless otherwise noted, and are used here with permission.
Yesterday, I outlined gifty plans for myself, The Niece, myself, and Nephew 2. Today, let’s start with Nephew 1 and move to some backup plans, put in place just in case I’ve become a completely different person and have underestimated how much time is left in the year.
So. Last year, I made the oldest nephew the longest, stripiest, pointiest hat that ever did point. That sucker will be hard to top, but I think I’ve found the way to do it. Mittens. No, really, mittens. You haven’t seen these mittens yet. They’re the Little Hedgehog Mittens by Birch Hollow Cottage. Continue reading
One for you, one for me, Part 1
Oh, look! It’s November. Or, as many knitters know it, the frantic season. Now, in the name of sanity and continuing familial affection I have pretty much stopped with the seasonal gift knitting, and am much happier for it. I do make exceptions for the niece and nephews, though, because they’re little, and fun to knit for, and did I mention the littleness? I’m also going to make an exception for myself, since all my knitting time lately has been devoted to work stuff and a cardigan for himself (which is sort of also work stuff), and I’m feeling very virtuous. And cold. And in need of a sweater.
I do, however, need help keeping on track. (Long time readers may remember that when it comes to non-work knitting, I excel at starting projects, not so much with the finishing.) Fortunately, there’s a group for that on Ravelry: the Indie Design Gift-A-Long. From now until the end of the year, the Gift-A-Long group has stitch-alongs for every kind of project in knitting and crochet, with a huge number of prizes (over 1,800, from patterns to needle sets) to keep us motivated. There’s also a giant pattern sale, with 3,822(!) patterns at 25% off until the 21st, using the code giftalong2014. Eighteen of those sale patterns are mine; you can see which ones in my handy Gift-A-Long bundle, and all of the sale patterns on the Giant Pinterest Boards of Shopping Doom.
That’s a hell of a hat, son.
When I was little, I had this hat. This hat was long — at least as long as I was — and pointy, and it was striped in blue and grey with a tassel on the end. It was long enough to use as a scarf and a hat at the same time, and it tapered over the whole length until it was as pointy as one of those icicles on the tip of the eaves at the end of winter that almost reach the ground. It was a ridiculous hat, and I loved it so. Continue reading
A problem, a solution, a better hat
Remember my one piece of Christmas knitting? Well, it’s done. It’s done, it’s off, and thanks to my ability to procrastinate and the wonder of USPS Priority international mail, I didn’t even have to go to the post office. I know people like to complain about the postal service here, but a public service that will come to my door to pick up outgoing packages is a thing of joy and a wonder to behold. A few extra bucks to avoid the aeon in Hell’s waiting room that is a post office at Christmas is money well spent, in my book.
It was touch and go, though. I had a plan, and I thought it was an excellent plan, which should have set off the klaxons of warning right away. Continue reading
Not on your nelly
It’s that time again.
Every August (or even July), the emails begin: “It’s not too late to start your Christmas knitting!” “Five Quick Gifts You Can Make in Your Sleep!” “A Totally Not-Crazy Plan to Make a Fairisle Stocking for Everyone On Your List!” Every year, I resist. Through the chill of autumn, through the holiday gift posts and knitting magazines, I stand firm. Then, sometime in November, I lose my damned mind. “Just a couple of things for the kids,” I tell myself, “and maybe a nice hat for someone. Just a few small things.” I know this is a bad idea, and so I stop myself, and the pressure builds in that small, nagging part of my brain that thinks there are 48 hours in a day and that the whole needing sleep thing is Illuminati propaganda to keep us weak.
This really is a bad idea, though. Continue reading