Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Icarus

Christmas knitting is more or less finished. I still have to block my daughter's sweater, and my husband's scarf is still on the needles (but it wasn't promised for Christmas anyway), but I am pretty much finished. That feels nice. FINISHED.

I would stop and take a breath of fresh air, but a new project beckons. The Icarus shawl.

I have never made, bought, or worn a shawl before, nor have I had any desire to, that is until I met Icarus. I have already bought some beautiful Malabrigo Lace weight yarn for it, and I can hardly wait t cast on. I am, however, waiting. I will finish the scarf first, as well as several more rows of the socks I am working on. Casting on will be my reward.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Knitting

Okay, I know that I said I was only going to make two Christmas gifts this year. Well, I need to rephrase my plans. I am only going to knit two Christmas gifts that will be given on Christmas day. I might make a few others. Oh yeah, I might have also modified the projects as well.

Even though my mother has never shown any interest in anything hand knit before, this year she wants a scarf. So her scarf has been made and is packed. My daughter is also getting a sweater, which would be done by now, except that she needed a hat, and both she and her brother needed mittens for our trip to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. The mittens and hat were done on time, but, my husband went to the LYS with me to get the yarn for thheem, and found some (really beautiful hand-painted) yarn that he needed to have made into a scarf, or he might just die (at least he has goo taste in yarn).


Then there are the other hand made Christmas gifts....

So far the amount that needs to be done still seems very doable. The sweater is about 75% complete, machine sewing take no time, and my husband doesn't expect his scarf to be done on time. Only the accumulating amount of cooking is beginning to seem daunting.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Holidays

It is only a few days after Halloween, but already stores are full of every Christmas gift and decoration imaginable. As a general rule I try to make as many Christmas gifts as possible, rather than buying them, but this year will be different. I have two kids, the oldest just turned two, and as a result, I have almost no time to make thoughtful Christmas presents. This year I have only two Christmas presents on the needles. I think I have a good chance of finishing both before Christmas without pulling my hair out.

I am making Debbie Bliss's "Baby Shrug" from Simply Baby and a bag for my sister that shall go unnamed on the off chance that she is reading this blog. So far I am enjoying the process of making both at a leisurely (for Christmas time) pace.

Why would I suddenly forgo attempting to make hand knits for everyone on my Christmas list? The reasons are as follows;
1) I don't have time, 2) I would like to enjoy Christmas this year, rather than feeling the weight of unfinished knits bearing down on my shoulders guilting me into knitting every spare second of the day instead of relaxing by the fire and drinking hot cocoa while reading a good book, and 3) Very few people understand the time and effort that goes into hand knits, and therefore do not fully appreciate the gift. Hand knits require weeks, sometimes months of planning and work. Store bought knits require a last minute dash to TJ Maxx. Those that give the same respect to hand knits as store bought knits do not deserve hand knits.

The look on the person's face when they open the box with my FO in it can make it or break it for me. I have at that point spent hours picking/designing a pattern, picking a yarn, and knitting the piece. Will all my work be worth it? Will they love it as much as I think they will? Perhaps not. But someone who appreciates hand knits will know that I would not have put that much time and effort into the gift if I didn't love them, and will love the effort I put into it, even if they don't love the color or pattern, or even my knitting ability. On the other hand, a person who does not appreciate hand knits will not understand the amount of effort put into the gift. They may even say the dreaded, "You didn't have to make me something. I would have liked something you bought just as much."

No more will I waste my time on the unenlightened! I will knit only for those that appreciate my craft! And those that I gave birth to, even if they will drag their hand knit sweater through the mud, or spit up on their hand knit teddy bear.