Remember those dishcloths I knit up and blogged about on Knitvent Day 1? The pattern has been written up, test knit by 4 very helpful knitters, tech edited, with illustrations for the crochet cast-on created by the very talented 16yo knitter I taught 2 years ago.
As I created the pattern to knit items for my son’s school Annual Holiday Fair, proceeds from this pattern will goto the school as my son will be leaving at the end of this year for a sports highschool.
I’ll still knit up a few dozen cloths for the holiday market though. That was one of my favourite things.
In 2016, I started a new tradition for my family of 3. As a teen, I had a german friend who stated her gifts to me had to be opened on Christmas Eve – my younger brother then argued he should get to open a gift Christmas eve, and then it carried on from there.
For my husband’s family tradition, they had nothing under the tree before Santa arrived…so empty tree going to bed, means you can’t choose a gift to open Christmas Eve…so I created a tradition to work for both. In the evening, I place a box under the tree marked “Open Christmas Eve” and inside are 3 pairs of socks.
I’ve already said this, but there is more to ‘just knitting’ a gift; day 14 was blocking; day 9 was gauge swatches; day 4 was ripping back mistakes/wrong needle size/wrong yarn choice. Today is weaving in all the ends to finish the project.
I tend to leave this part last; sometimes I’ll knit up facecloths, put them in a pile to weave in the ends later. So at this point in the knitmas chaos, I ‘should’ be done the knitting and just have a pile of ends to weave in….but as mentioned on day 20, I’m behind – partly due to Day 3 (distractions) and day 4 (mistakes). So to prevent multiple IOUs (day 15) I have to weave in ends to ‘finish’ projects ASAP.
A number of years ago, my brother asked us to stop exchanging gifts and to donate what I would normally knit him. Now, I knit ALOT of items year-round that I give away one way or another such as school PAC, hospital, shelters, and to my son’s school when they take on a donation drive like the ShoeBox Project (eg http://www.shoeboxproject.com/victoria.html )
I was upset by my brother doing this, so the first year I still knit a bunch of items that I wrapped in a box for him with a note that he could choose where to donate the items. This has now become a yearly tradition – I gift a box of knits to my brother for him to donate to a cause of his choosing.
There are a number of charities accepting knits year-round, so if you knit, consider giving shelters some help during the year:
Can you spot the mistake in this? I can, and mistakes bug me, so much so that I usually rip things back and redo. But I only have less than 88 knitting hours left (I have to eat/sleep work during the 88 hours before Christmas I’m not going to calculate that and scare myself)
When I teach beginner knitting classes, I start them on a simple washcloth (all knitting), the second project is knit & purls. One thing I constantly repeat to them when they worry about mistakes is “it’s just a washcloth, it is going to be used/abused and any mistakes can be seen as ‘design features’. Extra bumps or holes help with scrubbing.”
So I repeated this to myself and put the finished cloth in the ‘gift box’.
At this point, most knitters will switch to chunkier yarn if they still need to knit more gifts, but I had already committed to 2 gifts that require fingering weight. For the non-knitters, fingering weight is a thinner yarn than chunky, requiring smaller needles and ALOT more stitches. I have half of one gift completed, but haven’t even started the 2nd one. Which wouldn’t seem too bad at this point, but I also have another 3 stars to knit (or more if I don’t stop giving them away), a dozen more washcloths, a pair of slippers and maybe a hat or two if I have time.
Day 19 – Some people get knits for life just because of the reaction I get from them.. This sneak peak item from 2015 was a hat for my youngest niece. She didn’t take that hat off for weeks on end.
The year before, I knit her socks, and she immediately took off the socks she was wearing, and put them on.
Her mother (my sister-in-law) was always appreciative of my knitmas gifts; she seemed sad the year my brother decided no more gifts for the adults – so for her, I always knit a gift for her birthday which happens to be January 2nd 🙂
This note came up in my Facebook “memories” yesterday (Dec 17) from 2011. My then 6 yr old son called upon a higher authority to have me stop knitting and play 🙂 I love how he acknowledged it was nice that I was knitting gifts…
He’s now busy with his sports, school, etc so I have plenty of knitting time over the holidays without his feeling left out.
Yesterday morning I felt so confident I bought a ball of yarn for an “extra” gift.
Later, I realized I had to rip back everything I knit Friday because my gauge swatch obviously lied. I needed to drop another needle size and start again. By the time I went to bed last night I had only got myself to the point I was before ripping back.
With 9 knitting days left – I need to revisit the plan and shift some projects to quick knits/chunky yarns – time to begin panicked, frenzy knitting!