Saturday, December 11, 2004

Why knit holiday gifts?

Some knitters scoff and voice their disapproval about others knitting holiday presents. The grumble usually goes something like: "Why do people stress out about knitting gifts when they can buy presents? Who cares if everybody and their cat receives a pair of mittens from you?" Some cynics question the motives of handknit gifters, like we're doing it to proclaim "I'm so wonderful, I knit this for you! You owe me big time now!"

Whatever. I like it when people appreciate the things I make them but that's as far as it goes, I don't expect special treatment because I made my brother's girlfriend a hat.

If I had the money I wouldn't be knitting for everyone. Some of us knit gifts for budget reasons. Consider mom's shawl. The 1500 yards of laceweight yarn was $14.00. As far as mom gifts go, that's nothing. I used to spend several times that on a single present and I'd be surprised if between the two of us we could remember half of what I gave her BK (Before Knitting, heh). The only gift that sticks out in my mind is a crystal Fostoria vase, everything else is a blur. I'm fortunate she's That Kind of Mom who appreciates handmade things much more than anything bought in a store.

The yarn for my grandma's shawl cost $2.99 (6 balls of new yarn, labels intact, at a thrift store). Everything else is being knit from yarn that has been sitting in my stash so I'm not spending money right now to make the stuff. Too bad I have to spend money to mail it. OK, you get the point.

Earlier in the week I made a neckwarmer for my Dad's birthday this Sunday. He'll get some use out of it at Seahawks games, brrr.

This is very easy to knit and after xmas knitting is done I will make one for myself, I like it much better than a dangling scarf.

Last night I finished a hat for Jenn, using yarn set aside for mittens -- the stash was short on not-white worsted yarn (and no time for dyeing/drying) so some of the mitten yarn went into this hat:

After washing the hat I finished up a neckwarmer for Mike. It looks almost exactly like Dad's neckwarmer (same yarn, same color) so no photo. I frogged the one made out of Lamb's Pride because it was too itchy for my neck/face and I didn't want him to deal with that. As soon as Jenn's hat is dry I can mail Mike and Jenn their presents.

Andrea and Bob won't be celebrating Christmas until he returns home in January so I am not under a tight deadline with their gifts. Andrea's present is already done though, it's the soft Homepsun scarf finished several months ago, the one I forced myself to knit in garter stitch throwing the yarn with my right hand the entire time. Normally I knit with the yarn in my left hand but I use both hands for 2 color knitting. I'd made a few fair isle type hats but the process was slow and uncomfortable, I hated hated hated holding that yarn in my right hand. Light bulb moment. When I first started knitting I taught myself proper tension by making repetitive garter stitch scarves, why not do the same to master right hand knitting? The plan worked, my 2 color knitting is now a lot faster and it no longer feels awkward to hold the yarn in my right hand. Oh, speaking of cheap presents, Andrea's scarf cost $2.50 to make (1 skein of Homespun yarn, on sale).

Chris asked: May I use your chart to make a hat a la Cameron's Cap by the handknitter? (

Certainly, I'd love to see the end result. Right now both charts are in their rough draft stages, I don't finalize anything until I actually knit it up. When I have complete charts I will post much larger images so others can use them if they wish. But if anyone wants to play with the rough drafts I don't mind at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the neckwarmer you made - could you post the pattern - it looks easy. Thanks.