Saturday, July 12, 2008

Holiday Knitting

Yes, you did read that correctly. And you're thinking I'm crazy right now, aren't you? But how many years will it take of knitting franticly all December long before we all realize two things - A- The holidays come at just about the same time every year, and B- Maybe we should prepare ourselves in advance.

July starts the second half of the year - my favorite half, I have to confess, and ever since childhood I have started thinking ahead to the holidays while it is still warm outside (I used to drive my mother nuts when I was a kid, singing Christmas Carols in August!) This year I am planning something like four to six pairs of gift socks. I could wait until late November, realize that this is unrealistic, and cut the number in half, or I can knit one pair a month, starting now.

Consequently, I am about 24 hours away from finishing the first pair. By early August at the latest I'll start another. I may even be wild, and make the next pair be a pair of gift socks, too. Get the holiday knitting over and done with, so that I can knit some fun things for the house, for myself, and just enjoy the holiday season knowing that I'm all finished and my gifts are already mailed. My early knitting did backfire one year when I sent a basket of mittens to my sister's house, only to have her put them away until the holidays just to be safe, and then forget them entirely. It wasn't until she was putting all the decorations away in January that she came across the box again and found the gift. I did wonder why she hadn't mentioned them!

I like to give socks for Christmas, and they are handy not only for relatives who live in cooler climes, but also for loved ones here in Tucson who forget in the dead of summer that we do get cold in the winter, even without snow. I love all the new sock yarns and my bias is towards sock patterns with texture - lots of cables and crosses and twists. If I were to knit a pair of plain vanilla socks I would die of boredom. Nope, give me something interesting happening in the pattern, and I'm perfectly content. For me that is texture, for you that might be fair isle or intarsia, or even lace patterns. Nothing says Love like a pair of hand-knitted socks.

Scarves and hats and mittens make good gifts as well. I've recently become more and more fascinated with patterned tams and selbuvotter mittens. I know that before the winter is out I'm going to have to make some of these. Last year I found a beautiful lace scarf pattern and made it for my sister's winter birthday with Lamb's Pride worsted yarn. I actually had to talk myself into putting that one into the mail instead of around my own neck!

And toys! Can there be anything more fun than knitting or crocheting toys? Lynn has several pattern books and loose patterns in the shop for toys that you will love to make. I plan to make a sock monkey using leftover sock yarn for everyone who gets a pair of socks this year. Who do you know that is too old to enjoy a personalized sock monkey?

The advantage of all these things is that they are small projects, and so they are perfect for hot-weather knitting, and easy to grab and take with you everywhere you go. Knit on your lunch break, knit while waiting at the post office or the doctor's office. Even if your days are very busy, there are a few spare 15 minute intervals here and there that you can use to relax and yet be productive at the same time.

So if you are sitting there with summer doldrums and completely uninspired to start anything new, make up your list of people you would like to give knitted or crocheted gifts to this year. Drop into Kiwi and spend some time selecting the right pattern for each gift, and get started. You'll thank me for this in December!

Also - a reminder about our Kiwi Knits Blogiversary Quiz! Go read all the details and see the lovely prizes. Get into Kiwi now with your entries and get your 10% discount on yarn purchases when you bring your entry in.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I gave hand knit socks as Christmas gifts last year and they were a huge hit - I already have requests for more this year! : )