Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Some madness averted, some sanity restored

My family will very happily tell you about how crazy our mum goes at Christmas time. She has to have everything just perfect, and the presents are no exception. I can recall at least two decades of sewing, crafting, wrapping, crying, stressing and occasionally yelling. It all came together on the day though, and then there was five months of rest before she started all over again.

Over the past few years I too have been guilty of this stress. I worry that only a hand made gift will suffice, that everything must be red or gold or a mix of both with a sprig of holly added (quite stupidly as there are no berries in 40°C weather). The one Christmas I relaxed was because I was in London, far far away, and even then I had a crisis rundown phone call two days later. Last year, I gave up. Entirely. Here's a thought: buy presents. No need to stress, worry or panic. Hand over cash, wrap things up a week early, crisis averted.

This year, I've decided to start early, because I want to make things again, if only to clear out my stash for the Cleggs stocktake sale on Boxing Day (you know you want new yarn too!) Yesterday I made my tension swatch so I can start designing (*bwahahahaaaa!) the cushions for my younger nieces and nephews (8), rummaged until I found suitable yarn to make a set of fluffy dice for the nephew turning 18 and gave up on a project altogether.

This is "Luvtröja Måns" from Interweave Knits Summer 2007 issue. I spotted it and instantly wanted to knit it for Felix, in charcoal gray, yes - but orange and green for the rest. I have the yarn, I have the pattern, I have read the instructions and I'm fine. I spent 30 minutes this morning knitting up the tension swatch. But I'm not knitting it for Christmas. Maybe his birthday on the Ides of March, but not Christmas.

Because I promised to knit this for my da:

"Drunken Argyle" from Knitty. He saw it, loves it, has told everyone he knows about it, and - here's the kicker - is paying for the wool. How can I say no? I was planning to make it for him one day. Well, the day is coming and it's December 25th *sigh*. I must love him. The pattern (in his size) starts "CO 175st on smaller needles (2.5mm)..."

I'm now going off to re-read the Yarn Harlot's essay on "IT". I find it can help, but not always, because human nature is just too predictable.

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