Tis the season for the mad dashes, the frantic knitting, and the rushing to post offices to get presents out on time. Just thinking about it now makes me a bit winded. But, for the first time ever in my knitting or otherwise adult life, I will not be in that mad dash. For the first time ever, I made it!
Back in January, I did the unthinkable (for me). I plotted out who exactly I wanted to knit for. Because I had knit for everyone else, I chose my cousins on my father’s side. I mapped out exactly who I would need what for, what supplies I needed and what I already had, and budgeted my funds accordingly. The women got fingerless mitts and the men got hats. Then I pulled out my schedule.
A smart knitter would’ve schedule his/her projects out across the year, but I was feeling a major dip in my knitting mojo at that point. I’m also the kind of procrasti-knitter who will wait until I have exactly the right enough time to get something done, no more no less. I planned backwards from when I knew the knitting had to get sent off and gave myself two weeks for hats and a week for the fingerless mitts.
And I finished on schedule! All of that knitting was done by November 30th, though it’s still not sent.
For my mom, I made the Gansey Wristers by Calliope Aronis (free) out of KnitPicks Palette Tonal. It’s a beautiful pattern and super easy to follow. I do think the yarn I chose fights a bit with the pattern. It’s so tonal that the tiny Gansey details get lost a bit. My favourite part about this pattern is that it’s contoured a bit to really fit an arm. There’s some shaping to decrease around the wrist. When I tried them on, they fit perfectly. I already have plans to make a set of my own (maybe out of hot pink?).
For my cousins and aunt, I chose the Treads, a tipless gloves pattern by Victoria Anne Baker (free) out of KnitPicks Swish Worsted. I love this pattern. Seriously. I have now made these mitts no fewer than five times. I will say that I prefer modifying them a touch and making them fingerless gloves rather than mitts. This is just a personal preference. The instructions are really clear for the fingers, but I find them too fiddly and restricting. So I tend to stop at the last horizontal braid, maybe knit a row or two, and then cast-off.
For my other cousin, the -in-law cousins, and my uncle, I picked a couple of patterns out of my library. I’ve made all of these and have loved them: Antler Hat by tincanknits (free), Ridge Hat by Irina Dmitrieva (paid), Scrollwork by Irina Dmitrieva (paid), Skiff by Jared Flood (paid), I Heart Cables by Justyna Lorkowska (free), and Baby Amanda Hat by Gina House (free) out of (you guessed it!) KnitPicks Swish Worsted. I love how all of these turned out. As you might be able to guess, I’m obsessed with cables. I love doing as many different kinds as I can.
For my dad, I made Theoden Socks by Claire Ellen (paid). Let me tell you, if you are as obsessed with cables as I am, you need this pattern (and probably all of Claire Ellen’s patterns). I found this to be completely potato chippy; I could never just stop with one row. The yarn is a bit of a mystery. I think it’s a Cascade sock yarn, but I’m not entirely sure. The label decided to walk off sometime during the move in 2014.
Then there’s the little things. My mom has this tiny tree that she had been putting state ornaments on. Well, her collection has outgrown her tree; they’re shifting to the big tree now. So, as part of a new tradition, we talked and I decided to make little ornaments each year to add to the tiny tree. I want to make a small collection each year that she can mix and match as she sees fit. I made two Minikins by Woolly Wormed (free) and three Mini Christmas Stocking Ornaments by Julie Williams (free).
Other Christmas presents included Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder (free) out of Unwind Yarn Company’s Burning Rain of Death in Journey Sock Yarn and Bond Street by Kirsten Kapur out of mystery stash yarn (very likely either MadelineTosh, but I’m not 100% sure about that).
Now comes the part I seem to struggle with more than keeping to a schedule when knitting: getting everything shipped out in time to arrive by Christmas.
How has your holiday knitting been going? Are you on task or rushing at the last minute (to be honest, like I usually am)? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to share your tips for getting organised for holiday knitting!