So I'm thinking about Christmas. I know I know, it's still August for crying out loud, but any knitter out there will know exactly what I'm talking about: if you're going to knit Christmas presents you have to start early.
In what can only be described as a bout of insanity, I have taken to knitting all my Christmas presents. Yes, that's right, all of them. A couple of years ago, this was a rather sad sight to behold, as my lovely friends and relatives unwrapped an unspecified lump of fluff with a tactful (and non-commital) 'thanks'.
Last year I managed to redeem myself by making some pretty cool stuff, even if I do say so myself. I did a Cobblestone for my Mum's partner (his 'special' sweater which now lives in it's own moth-evading bag), a Minimalist Cardigan for my Mum (which she practically lives in), and various scarves of my own design for the men in the family (who have even been known to wear them on occasion). All in all, it was a hit, and luckily these are folk who have some understanding of how long it takes to knit something and were suitably appreciative I came up with anything half-decent.
So I have high hopes for this year. Can't be too specific of course since my family are some of the few regulars to my little blog, but I'll have to rotate the sweater recipients this year. Always seem to need to cater for more men that women, which is annoying as I feel there are less options. Either a sweater or a scarf and fewer choices in both categories. And of course the sweaters have to be enormous and therefore take a while. Although I have spotted some manly looking mittens on Ravelry (controversial I know, but they might just work for a certain someone). I did a hot water bottle and a cushion last year, which helped vary things a bit. If anyone has any other gift ideas please let me know, I'm going to need all the help I can get!
The problem with all this gift knitting of course, is that I can't knit anything for me over the next 4 months. And there are soooo many things I want to make. In a completely selfish, me-me-me! way, that little voice is whispering in my ear about all the lovely new patterns I've found on Ravelry; that bag of Kidsilk Night I got in the sale; that pile of Troon Tweed begging for a warm and cosy cardigan.
Because I know what will happen:
In a few weeks I'll overcome the selfish gene and knit away throughout the Autumn, thinking I have it all under control; a vision of self-restraint and focused energy, deserving three gold stars and a chocolate muffin.
Mid-November I will remember three relatives who are unaccounted for and will have a mass overhaul; re-allocating yarn, patterns and working out who's going to end up with the slightly duff hat I have to give to somebody.
Around the 20th December I will start to panic and knit solidly for several days, seeing no one and staying up til 2am, buggering about with seams, i-cord and button bands. This is also the point I will discover I am one ball short of something that must be ordered by post. (The only redeeming feature at this point is the fact that I will have worked my way through most of the '24' DVD back catalogue).
I will finish someone's present on Christmas Eve, someone else's will be seamed on Christmas Day and a third will have to be sheepishly deferred until the New Year.
By January I will swear that I am never knitting again.
By February I will stumble upon a half-finished sweater I was making for myself the previous August.
By March I will finish the sweater. Just as it is too warm to wear it...
But then, about this time, my Mum will tell me she wore her sweater to work, and several people asked her about it, and she beamed and told them her daughter made it for her. And somehow it will all seem worth it.
Now, what on earth am I going to knit for a 21 year old bloke who's 6'4''?....