The Fall in Full Colour club packages have been consistently arriving a few days before the pattern release which has been a nice treat as I love pondering what the yarn is going to become. Last Monday the package arrived and contained a delicious skein of String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn’s DK Merino in the Corylus colourway which is a rich brown with gold flecks. There was also another little treat to be found in the package; a little brown box containing two delicious chocolates. The salted caramel had a wee bit too much salt for my tastes but the hazelnut was delectable!
The patterns are released in “chapters” and not only do you get the pattern but an explanation of her thought processes as to why this yarn, colour and pattern. This month’s offering has a pattern for two different cowls (aka neckwarmers). One is very pretty and feminine and the other is more unisex and utilitarian. I am making the unisex pattern but should have enough to make the more feminine one as well, though I am thinking that pattern would look very lovely in the skein of golden Lady Godiva I have.
I told Sean about the pattern first thing in the morning when I downloaded it because I thought he might like the unisex version of the cowls as he is in need of a scarf and a cowl would serve the same purpose but can be made in much less time. However he said he would never wear such a thing. Then comes later that day when I am printing out the pattern and he gets to see a picture of what I was trying to explain to him earlier on the male model and his response changed to “Oh I could wear that, you can make it for me if you like.” The cowl in the String Theory is mine but I told him if he bought a skein of yarn (I will even let him use my String Theory discount coupon) I will make him that neckwarmer.
So it has taken me many years to figure out how best to balance my desire to knit people lovely gifts for the holidays while balancing my sanity and not spending all my holiday time knitting. I’ve had many years where I take too much on and either haven’t finished it in time, spent all available free time in November and December knitting, stressed out and cursing why I decided to take too much on.
This year things have changed. I have decided to commit to taking on only three gifts to be knitted for the holiday season. Two are standard standby’s that are expected: a pair of socks for my Dad and a sweater for Sean. My Dad because socks are really the only thing he wants and there is no one else (except when Nanny’s feeling kind) that gives him a regular supply. Sean gets a sweater because he genuinely seems to like getting them from me and since it is a chunk of change and a lot of time it really only seems appropriate to be given as a holiday gift. The third slot will rotate depending on who hasn’t gotten something from me in a while and who would like whatever it is that I want to knit that year.
This doesn’t mean I will never knit more than those three gifts but it will only happen if time permits and I am in the mood. There is going to be no pressure for me to take on more than those three projects for the holidays (from myself or anyone else).
So how is this plan working for me? So far much better than anticipated. One gift is done and just needs to be blocked which I am saving for closer to the holidays. I have all the pieces done and the hems picked up and knitted for Sean’s sweater; assembly and knitting the collar is all that is left to be done. And as for Dad’s socks I believe this is the first year where at mid-November I am on the heel of the second sock. The holiday knitting is looking good and I don’t feel stressed for the first time.
I like this new plan.