Happy Boxing Day and I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. No doubt plans are now afoot as to when to attack the yarn sales at John Lewis and Libertys (if you're going in tomorrow you're a braver soul than me. I hope you're taking body armour...)
If you're wondering what became of the Christmas knitting, well, it seems I did indeed incur the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing. At 4pm on Christmas Eve I disovered I had made a pretty major mistake with the Little One - the sweater for my nephew. After two attempts to join the arms to the body and start on the yoke, I thought I was on the home stretch, until I realised the arms were not the same size. One was a good inch wider than the other. They also had an uneven number of increases (no, I don't know how I managed it). I cursed, I swore, I contemplated hard liquor at an early hour. I debated whether or not it could be fudged - would anyone really notice? But then I thought that the sleeve size would affect the yoke and my poor nephew could end up with a weirdly fitting shoulder as well, and the kid has enough problems with the crazy aunt knitting him stuff in the first place. And finally, the most important point: It would bug me. I would know.
So I ripped.
And then I carried on knitting, as if sheer willpower would bend time and make it possible to knit most of a jumper in the space of about four hours. I packed up my stuff, wrapped the other presents, jumped on the Tube and got knitting. I made it home to the family, I carried on knitting. I reached The Madness (I'm quite proud I held out so long). Finally, around midnight, my Mum and brother staged an intervention and told me to Step Away From The Knitting. So instead he'll get a New Year's jumper that may just fit him.
Christmas Day was lovely - much food, wine, noise, games and a three year old who kept asking if he could do some knitting now please. The socks for my Uncle were fine, so long as his feet grow another three inches (he kindly said he'd been wanting a pair of slippers anyway), and the scarves, mittens and hats went down well.
But - and I say this with the best Christmas spirit in the world - I am not doing this again. Three years is enough and I'm sure my family would like a different kind of gift next year. And I would like my Autumn to myself again. So it's the end of the Christmas knitting era. I'll probably still make something for Mum (who gets absurdly excited about these things, bless her - as if I'm still four and have made her a robot out of milk cartons and tin foil) and if anyone requests knitwear I will happily oblige. But next time I think I'll do what ordinary folk do and stick to HMV and Neal's Yard.
I realise this may sound like the classic I'm-never-knitting-again vow made after knitting too much for too long, but actually I'm not fed up of it at all. I'm still working on the two remaining gifts quite happily, and planning what I'm going to make next (Mum gave me four balls of cashmere tweed - oh, the possibilities....). I guess it's a case of balance. Knitting for absolutely everyone is overkill (as any other knitter could tell you and a good many have told me , but where's the fun in following good advice?....)
So, a new year, a new knitting policy. But in the meantime it's back to the Little Sweater and its grown-up counterpart. With any luck they'll be ready before next Christmas...