Christmas Knitting – Is it Fun?

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).

christmas knitting

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:

  1. Only knit something if you can be fairly confident the recipient wants it.
  2. If the recipient is ungracious or doesn’t use the item, don’t knit for them again.
  3. Knitted gifts should probably not be surprises.
  4. 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.

blogSo I’m bravely following my rules.

Do you have any?


About monsteryarns

I am a yarn enthusiast and knitter.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Craft, Knitting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Christmas Knitting – Is it Fun?

  1. Great tips and I love those mini stockings x

  2. Knitted Christmas gifts is a interesting subject. Many a non knitter has no idea the time and energy it takes to make a special knitted gift. So much more fun to make what you want and if they appreciate it great and if not, off the list they go. LOL

    I think you should enjoy yourself like everyone else gets too!! Knit something for you?! Hmmm. Think I am going to take my own advice. What to knit for me… LOL

    • I’ve got my eye on a couple of patterns – however I’m hoping to start a KAL with one of my own designs in January so frantically working on the pattern and the sizing…
      But you’re right. I think it’s about my turn now : )

  3. lollyknits says:

    I knit for my immediate family because it means a lot to my mom, I knit for my grandma because she hates being left out, and I knit for my best friends because they both deserve and appreciate wooly love, and that’s pretty much it. No knitted gifts for extended family unless there’s a baby.

    • I think my Mother would be totally amazed by how much I now knit. I’d love to be able to make things for her but I don’t think knitted tombstones are quite the thing! So I tend to focus on my boys. I’ve been known to take a detour into mad-old-woman-land and knit for my dog but that’s only happened twice so far : )
      My friends would probably appreciate it but I’m mean and have not progressed much beyond scarves/hats.

  4. teabeaknits says:

    When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I made scarves for four colleagues for Christmas. I made each one with the individual in mind – two were mega appreciated and still make frequent appearances in winter but the other two I’ve never seen since…..not surprisingly I’m definitely an adherent of rule #2

    • It’s great to hear that you think highly enough of your colleagues that you’ve made things for them : )
      There are a few out there I would make things for but I’ve resisted the temptation so far!

  5. Good rules! I think knitting for beloved toys is a good one too – special bears and dolls deserve a Christmas present and most kids love dressing them up and changing their outfits (just look at the price and demand for Build-a-Bear clothes)!
    Though saying that, Pickle has to have his Nonno bear naked for bed/nap time, as I think he likes the familiar (slightly musty) smell and texture of the worn out fur…

    Just thought I might ask you if you fancied doing me a 2014 guest post (how-to knit something – pattern? for a Build-A-Bear, which Nonno bear is), but I think that qualifies as a “request” from a non-knitter, so I won’t expect you to say yes! 😉 x

    • Hello!
      My only attempt at dressing my toys was to crochet the shortest and wobbliest scarf ever!
      Let me get back to you on Nono – will need to do some research on his essential measurements first!
      Thanks for asking 🙂

      • Aaaaw, that is very sweet! My mum used to knit for my Barbies and she made Ken a judo outfit too IIRC…
        No rush at all for Nonno – he is a patient bear and very aware that you have Christmas to get through first! 😉 x

      • Could you send me his measurements – body, arms, legs, head, length and width? Very difficult to get this off the web! I’m thinking of a onesie – no hood. Is that too ironic?

      • Sorry this took so long – only just located my tape measure! Nonno bear would look SO cute in a onesie!

        Nonno Bear’s vital stats are as follows…

        Waist circumference 38cm
        Hips circumference 43cm
        Neck to bottom 16cm
        Back of neck to front of neck, through legs 40cm
        Neck to paw tip 19cm
        Arm pit to paw tip 11cm
        Arm circumference 15cm
        Hip to paw 20cm
        Inside leg 13cm
        Leg circumference 20cm
        Head circumference 40cm inc. muzzle
        Head width 15cm
        Head height 12cm
        Head depth 10cm (12inc. muzzle)
        Neck circumference 20cm

        Is that everything you need? x

      • Pretty comprehensive stuff!
        I will draw a pattern and will get back to you!

  6. Pingback: Build-a-Bear Outfit - a Knitting Pattern by Monster Yarns

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