My feelings about Christmas knitting are somewhat mixed – fun or not? Depends on the day you catch me. On the one hand, guilt-free scouring for patterns, squishing yarn, matching colours and planning for those and-made gifts full of love! But on the other hand, deadline stress, overly-ambitious projects flopping at the last minute, and worse still under appreciated gifts (and if I’m really honest, – fitting issues).
It’s a perennial problem and I don’t particularly have a solution. The list of potential recipients grows each year but the ticks on items finished, stays quite static. And restricted to immediate family. The number of times I’ve gifted items, never to be seen again is quite large and I can’t help but feel attached to an item that has grown in my hands for at least a few hours. So I’ve devised some rules:
- Only knit something if you can be fairly confident the recipient wants it.
- If the recipient is ungracious or doesn’t use the item, don’t knit for them again.
- Knitted gifts should probably not be surprises.
- Don’t take “requests.”
Numbers three and four may seem mutually contradictory, but I think they actually work together very well. A gift should be something you choose to give to another person, not something somebody else asks you to buy or make for them. Once you’ve decided on a gift idea, it’s probably a good idea to check if it is likely to well received. Do remember knitters are no longer required to clothe the world through Christmas gifts.
The best Christmas knitting is a union of my pleasures, passions and gifts in craft with my recipient’s tastes and desires. I find that rarely, if ever, does a gift “request” take into account my own crafting abilities or preferences. And why should it? The person asking is almost always not a knitter, and can’t particularly distinguish the features of a project that would make it cripplingly hard, or alternatively, mind-numbingly easy. Projects in either category, I find, never get done; they become an other albatross around my neck, making me feel guilty when I ought to be relaxing with some needles and yarn.
Do you have any?