Archive for November, 2012

35 Days ’til Christmas

Maybe it’s just me, but every Christmas there is a gift that I am uncertain about, no matter the reason.  Now that I’ve added knitting to my gift bags, it seems like there is always one project that doesn’t turn out right, or just doesn’t get finished in time.  Last Christmas, I had such a project.  It was suppose to be a pair of flip-top mittens for my brother-in-law.  I had the perfect yarn and I was so excited about them, but they were to be my first pair of adult mittens and made from a less-than-clear pattern.  I finally gave into the fact that I would not have these ready by Christmas, put them aside and knit him a hat instead (which M promptly destroyed and no one told me, so a replacement hat must be made as well).

I did tell him about the failure and decided I would have him try on the almost completed first mitten so that I could eventually finish them and be certain they would fit. I remember them being a touch big, but still measuring out how large the flip-top would need to be, with every intention to finish them.  Of course, they have sat for almost an entire year.  Upon pulling them out to finish the first and being the second I made the realization.  I am completely crazy.  THIS MITTEN IS ENORMOUS! The palm alone covers my entire hand! I have freakishly long fingers…. No human beings hand would fit in this, unless the flip-top was only one quarter of an inch tall.  It’s just ridiculous.  Let’s not even talk about the width.

Though I keep telling myself that this error is solely due to the fact that I didn’t try it on any male human during the process… I know that a lot of it has to do with the experience I have gained over the last year.  I am now at a point where I want things to, I don’t know, actually fit their recipient. Silly, I know, but everyone has their quirks.  So I’m frogging the mitten.  Since I have had a year apart from it… it won’t be too painful, but I need to start re-knitting soon if he is ever going to receive these mittens.  Otherwise, it is likely he will only get the replacement hat this year, pushing them off for another year, when I’m sure something else will go wrong.

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36 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

I seem to have finally hit my stride! Another project done and another cast on.. and they are even for family members.

The hat is a simple 1×1 rib watch cap with a three-needle bind off after a few decrease rows.  I love the colorway since it is a manly brown, but with enough variation to create interest… for me to knit. I cast on a 2×2 rib cowl with the remainder of this yarn to either go to the same recipient or another. Either way, I felt like today was a win.   Only 25 presents to go!

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37 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 4

Total Presents to Complete: 30

What’s your crazy? This question is starting to pop up everywhere in the knitting community, all spawning from a KAL (Knit-along) put on by The Fat Squirrel Speaks and the Stockinette Zombies podcasts.  Some people are responding by casting on every project in sight, others are trying their hand at monogamous knitting.  Though I clearly have a few crafting crazies at the moment (including a project that is slowly turning into a decoration doom), my current crazy is continuing to add more projects to my plate for the holidays.  Beyond that, I’m even turning one project idea into something more complicated: cowls are becoming shawls, a simple hat is becoming a hat, mitten and scarf set…. I just cannot seem to stop planning more and more projects.

It would be one thing if I was at least working in the logical order of completing my immediate family’s presents first… but no.  My daughter’s teacher’s present is done though.  So are a couple gifts for my coworkers.  Most of my works-in-progress are for my family, and a couple are close to completion… of course I’m not working on them now.  These will probably be the gifts keeping me up all Christmas Eve to sew on the last button and weave in all the ends… maybe even knit the last remaining stitches.  Though I know I have a list prioritizing all of the projects left to knit… clearly I need to actually read the list… or hire someone to beat me over the head before I start another project that is not for my family.  Both are valid ideas.

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38 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 4

Total Presents to Complete: 27

Finally, some progress! Truth be told: I just had to put aside the crochet hook for a moment.  Though I have grand ideas for the door decoration and crocheting is technically faster than knitting…. that’s only the case if you can crochet as long as you can knit.  Clearly, I cannot..

I have not completely given up on the door decoration, it just might not be ready by Thanksgiving.  However, while the project was in time-out today, I completed yet another cowl and cast on the first of five hats. Of course, as soon as the cowl was off the needles, I found it missing.  After putting M to bed, I found she had taken the time to pose one of her stuffed animals in the cowl – all ready for the finished project photos!

I think she nailed it!

 

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39 Days ’til Christmas!

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 27

That’s right, we have less than 40 days to get all of our shopping, baking and crafting completed.  I may still have quite a lot of knitted projects to go, but I’m actually on schedule.  Looking at the numbers, though, that sounds crazy.  However, 3 of the 6 cowls are finished. One of the sweaters is half way done and another has about the first fourth completed.  The first of two shawls is nearly complete, I only need to attempt to purchase more yarn for the edging and to bind off.  In all, the major, time-consuming projects are well on their way.

The other projects I am attempting to complete will either have simpler patterns or a bulkier yarn so as to make them quicker knits.  Though I am keeping a list and re-prioritizing and redrawing out my schedule nearly every other day, just to reassure myself that I can finish everything in time… I am definitely feeling the pressure.  Especially since the door decoration seems to have slowed down to an intolerable pace…. More to come on that this weekend.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well! Pretty soon it will be normal for everyone to be talking about Christmas!

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40 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 27

The holiday season not only comes with the expected gifts for your own loved ones…. but other’s as well.  I could go the entire rest of the year without any commissioned knits.  As soon as November hits, everywhere I turn, people are asking if I can knit them something to give as a Christmas gift.  Some of these requests are very doable and the people asking for them usually have an appreciation for knitting.  These are the commissions I accept and get excited about, since I know that at least the person paying for this item appreciates the work that goes into it.

Then there are the people who ask for something intricate, but after talking to them for a few minutes, they realize how unattainable it would be and settle for something more reasonable.  But, there are those people out there who ask for extremely time consuming items and expect me to be able to finish them in under a month and for less than $50.  When I tell them that the yarn alone would cost more than that… they look at me like I am the crazy one.

Luckily, this year I have mainly received these impossible requests, making it very easy to turn down.  To add to my personal present goals, I will only be completing two commission knits (so far), both of which are very exciting and should be easy to complete in a reasonable amount of time… I’m just hunting down the right yarn.  Which never takes too long, right?

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41 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 26

Do you feel it yet? Is the pressure on? It certainly is here! So how am I coping with the fact that I only have 41 days to complete my goals? That’s simple: I am COMPLETELY enjoying everything Christmas.  Music, check.  Movies, check. Eggnog and hot apple cider, check and check.  I might be making the season longer than “normal” people do, but why not cherish and enjoy it as much as possible?

One of my favorite holiday pass times – just ADDING Christmas movies to our Amazon Prime watchlist.  It may not have all the Christmasy goodness that Netflix does (from what I hear), but it has some of the wonderful movies I’ve grown to love and adore each holiday season. The other – my “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Pandora station – full of Christmas music and available all year round….. not that I listen to it all year… right.

But curling up under a blanket to watch Holiday Inn or listen to Ella Fitzgerald certainly gets me in the mood to do some holiday crafting.  So tell me, what are your holiday favorites, be it movies, music or anything that gets you excited for the season?  I may need some new inspiration once I’ve gone through all of mine…around halfway to Christmas!

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