So far so good, people. 8 1/2 presents are done. By the end of this weekend, the total should be up to 10, which takes me over the halfway mark. Another 3 are in progress. Fear not, I'm under no illusions; I know I'll still be at it come Christmas Eve, but at least it's looking like I might just manage to have a present for everyone on the day.
Which brings me to some well earned praise for a couple of patterns, without which I'd be in some serious trouble. I cannot say enough about Ysolda's Garter Mittens. They are brilliant (see how hastily I have moved on from the grafting debacle/reminder of my own ineptitude? ahem). Quick to knit, fit really well, look great, a nice practical gift someone might actually use and did I mention they're quick to knit? And, because it's garter stitch, they're very forgiving. You don't need to hide the wraps on the short rows, you can fit them as you go along and even the grafting can be a little wobbly and no one will notice. I'm on my third pair, and resisting the temptation to kit the entire family out in them. (For those of them reading this, don't worry, I have mixed it up a little).
Cowls are also genius inventions. Quicker than a scarf, makes great use of one skein of something lovely and they're brilliantly useful when it's windy or you're jumping on and off the Tube. And did I mention they're quick to knit?
What is definitely not quick to knit is the Big One. Which I have had to start again. (Yes, again - repeated sizing issues because I'm a moron). But I'm actually rather happy about it as it gives me a chance to improve on the original idea. So, third time around, it should be perfect. Yes, I know; watch this space for predictable calamaties ahead... Although if you actually want to see what I'm attempting you'll need to be on Ravelry, away from prying eyes...
A lovely catch up with an old friend over the weekend also proved very useful, since she sat on the sofa wearing my scarf for most of the evening. A clear favourite and I'm now plotting her very own version. I often find this happens - as I knit my way through the list over several months there are always a few projects that circulate until they find the owner they want. So the gift I originally intended for my friend will go elsewhere, and suit the other person better, now I think about it.
The first round of gift-giving comes up in a couple of weeks when my university friends will meet for a Sunday/Christmas lunch. So not long til my first deadline, but I think I've only got 2 1/2 gifts to go. And the only one that needs to be posted overseas is also done.
But enough of all this chat - I have knitting to do...