This year, I was a Bad Knitter. I only knitted two Christmas gifts and both were for my parents.
In my defense, I did a somewhat insane amount of knitting for last Christmas, and it went largely unappreciated, so I decided to scale back considerably. Last year, I made 31 dishcloths, two pairs of slippers and a hat.
I made three dishcloths per person for 10 of my female relatives. I started in June to make sure I had time to finish them all and not have to neglect my other knitting in the process. Each woman got a Christmas colored one, a solid one that had her initial on it, and a multi-colored one that matched the initial cloth. I tied them up with beautiful Christmas ribbon and put them in little Christmas tins. I didn’t even get thank yous for all of them.
So that accounted for 30 of dishcloths. Then I made my parents one, since I was on a roll. My mom and my boss were the recipients of the slippers, and that hat was for my dad. These last four were appreciated.
So this year, I decided less is more.
I’m an early Christmas knitter starter, so I began a shawl for my mom in July. It’s made of an awesome cotton/bamboo blend that I purchased from The Weavers Loft at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I saw the yarn, bought a brown/blue/purple color for my mom, and walked around the rest of the booths petting my lovely yarn. Then, before I knew it, I was back at the same stall, buying a different color for myself. After looking for a simple but warm pattern (the reason my mom needs one is because her office is very cold), I settled on the Talbot Hill Shawl. I think it turned out beautifully.
Then, later in July, my parents bought a new house. They had lived in their previous house for 27 years, and it was the only house I ever knew growing up, and they built most of it with their own hands. So it was quite a big move for them. And for me, as they ended up moving much closer to us. I wanted them to have something lovely to commemorate their first Christmas in their new home, and the Cable Comfort Throw seemed like a great blanket to curl up on the couch with. I made it with it with Lion Brand Hometown USA, nothing luscious, but you can wash it and dry it (which is important for something you cuddle with all the time), and it is soft.
Though I started the throw early (in August), I realized quickly that the 9 skeins I bought would not be anywhere near sufficient when I was only getting 4” in length from each skein! On size 19s, with a goal of being nearly 6 ft long, this was not going to work. I went back to my local JoAnn’s, and they had no more of my dye lot. Panic set in.
I called a different location about 30 minutes away, and they had some. I drove there after work one day and bought all they had of that dye lot. I used the trip to justify a stop at a nice yarn shop nearby that I don’t get to visit very often (and just couldn’t leave without purchasing some Addi Turbo needles). Despite the nice detour, it still wasn’t going to be enough for my throw. I called another JoAnn’s, about an hour away, and they had more of my dye lot, too. I sent my dad to get every one they had. He had no idea it was for his own present – I made it seem like it was a secret for a gift just for my mom, so he didn’t ask any questions. 16 skeins later, I was finished. I think it turned out pretty well.
And my parents really know how to receive knitted gifts. They oohed and ahhed over the throw like no one’s business. My mom immediately wrapped up in the blanket. They commented on how beautiful it looked with the colors in the house. It was enough to warm my little knitterly heart.
So all in all, it was a merry, merry Christmas. I think next year I will continue with my less is more approach. Unless I get sideswiped by a motherload of kitchen cotton again.