Tuesday, November 18, 2008

the c-word

No, not that c-word. My goodness.

I’m speaking, of course, of Christmas. And Christmas knitting, which has been underway for some time. I have enthusiastically taken the handmade pledge, and I think it’s going pretty well so far. I originally intended that all the handmade gifts would be handknitted gifts, but that’s not going to happen. Besides friends and family, there are people like the kids’ teachers, all six of them (hello - only three kids), and it’s just going to be too much. I’ll probably do some baking or making things like lip balms or bath balls. The handmade holidays group in Ravelry has tons of good suggestions. And then, not all the gifts can be handmade – though that’s all I’ll say about that here.

So what have I knit so far? Well, there’s the mittens.

The last couple of pairs have been stripey wool exercises in stashbusting. On the first pair, I made the stripes completely random, and then I put a bit more structure in the second pair. I’m also perfecting my jogless join, and using up as much as I can of those annoying little balls of leftovers. Do those drive you crazy, too? Or is it just me?

I’ve also been doing a bunch of stuffed animals, mostly using the Bubby pattern from knitty. I planned to do a cat (for the baby in the family that has cats), a dog (for the baby in the family that has dogs), a bear (the pattern ends there), and a salamander. Obviously I’m not going to do a Bubby salamander, but all the others will use that pattern. The cat and dog, actually, are already done.

They just need faces, but I’d like to get some embroidery floss for that. Also, I’m not sure I like the bow ties/neckties on either of them. I think I might get some ribbon for ties and be sure to stitch it down securely. Or maybe I’ll go all-out and knit them some little clothes. That might be fun.

The toughest Christmas knitting to get through is going to be the kids’ sweaters. I get the sinking feeling I’m going to do all the fun stuff - like, say, stuffed animals and mittens - first, and wind up spending the last couple of weeks before Christmas going crazy with the big projects. Because that is how I roll. At this point Big Brother’s sweater is knit up to the armpits, plus one sleeve and a little bit of a second sleeve. I started the second sleeve last Thursday, then spent the weekend (my prime knitting time) on other, smaller projects. Honestly, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m forcing myself to save Baby Sister’s sweater for last, because it will be by far the most entertaining.
And last but not least, I knit something up for my sister's boyfriend. Which, fellow Secret Santa participants, does not necessarily mean I drew his name! So there! Last year I made him fingerless gloves, so this year I was going to go for a hat. Unfortunately for me, it turned out Nancy had knit him two hats last year (one in black and one in brown, so being a guy, he'd never need another one). So a hat was out.

Hmm, what to knit, what to knit . . . a-ha, a COWL!

Love it when I get to knit a gift and indulge an obsession. I'm going to post the pattern for this (ridiculously simple as it is), but I'll make that a separate post.

So that's it for Christmas so far. I feel like I should put a countdown in the sidebar or something, but I'm not really that organized in my thinking this year. Gone are the color-coded Excel spreadsheets of years past, there's just not enough time. Sigh . . . I've been so busy and doing so much thinking and exploring - soon I'll sit down and share my thoughts. As soon as I can get them to stay in one place long enough.