And Now I’m Thinking About Christmas Knitting

Yesterday I broke down and added the rest of my Christmas  knitting to the my Year of Projects list.   The realization that the list was not as overwhelming as I had anticipated to be was a little bit of a relief .  It did however force to me to take a step back and admit that I am not as close to being finished my Christmas knitting as I would like to be.  For me this means that I have focus more on my Holiday Knitting and less on my personal knitting.  It’s a blessing and a curse when I make this decision as I become highly productive with completing gifts and begin to hate the whole process at the same time.

So this begs the question: why, as knitters, do we engage in Holiday Gift knitting when it makes most of us crazy?  I know of countless stories both in the virtual world and in my personal life where other knitters have literally gone a little mad when the Holidays roll around.  Sane and rational people, myself included, throw all that out the window and become quivering, whimpering, knitting machines.  Knitters knit right up to the holiday deadline,  which is usually sometime before everyone wakes up to tear into their gifts on Christmas morning.  And then the knitter tries  to enjoy watching the proceedings  while suffering from exhaustion and too much caffeine.   (I strongly suggests not poking any knitter with anything at this point as they are wound so tight they may actually explode.  That would really put a damper on the whole holiday, don’t you think?)  I personally have been reduced to tears by my own Christmas knitting and yet every year I find myself doing it again and again.

For me this really stems back to my childhood.  I loved receiving handmade gifts.  The idea that someone cared enough to spend time creating something for me instead of going to the store had a huge impact on me  and now as an adult I like spreading that same feeling  around.  And I hate malls.  I hate them with a screaming passion.  I go to one only when I have to.  I hate the way that mass produced objects squelch creativity and make it difficult for independent artists and craftspeople to make a living.  I hate the way that those same objects usually come at a cost to the environment and the global economy at a price that is not reflected on the tag.  I hate having to deal with all those other people who are tired and dealing with their own holiday stresses in the mall.  It’s not fun for me on so many levels.  (I always stare in amazement at those people who have a tradition of not shopping until December 24th.  I have no idea how they do that without losing their minds.)  And my dislike of all those things is amplified right before Christmas.  So I chose to make things even if it makes me crazy and cranky.

I am always a little envious of those knitters who don’t put themselves through the yearly ordeal.  Part of me wants to be more like those knitters.   But then I’d never have the story of weaving in the ends of a scarf while in the car on they way to the Christmas party or seeing the look on my father-in-law’s face when he opened his blanket and then refused to let anyone else near it.  In the end, it makes me happy.  And that is why I do it.  Selfish, I know.  I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it if it didn’t make me happy.   Now, please remind me of that in a few months when I’m whining and complaining and unable to finish a complete project because my brain has turned to mush and is leaking out of my ears.

Check back over the next few months for my Tips on Surviving Knitting Through the Holidays.

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7 responses to “And Now I’m Thinking About Christmas Knitting

  • Natalie

    I’m all about selfish knitting… Which may sound like it means only knitting for myself, but that’s not quite it. I knit things that make me happy – that might mean it’s for me, or it might mean I knit for someone else because it makes me happy to make them something, or their reaction makes me happy. I think the key is only doing it if you want to. Also, I need to keep in mind that I don’t knit as quickly as I’d like to think! I have a small family, so I don’t have to produce many gifts at all, making the process a little less stressful too!

  • Kim

    Well–I do not know of what you speak because I have yet to knit a Christmas gift! I am too new of a knitter to put those kind of deadlines on myself. I think I would literally crumple into a mess of stress if I did that–or explode! Knitting is my way of relaxing and that kind of pressure is counterproductive for me–heck, I as stressed just trying to get my shawl finished for myself, without a real deadline. 🙂 I think knitters tend to be generous people though, and I can see myself maybe in the future sliding down the slippery slope of Christmas knitting—all that said, and yet I do have 2 hats to knit for my teenage boys for Christmas!!! These will be the first things I will be knitting for them….okay, I will shut my mouth now…..(be sure to check in with me come December 18th!)
    *smiles*

  • babygreens

    I am tempted to do a hat for one of my sisters… but should probably test the pattern out on me first. I loved reading this post, thank you.

  • metermaid50

    After one year of somewhat intense Christmas knitting, I gave it up, except for my mother-in-law. In fact, I don’t do any special occasion knitting (with the above-mentioned exception). I knit things for other people and give them when the things are finished. Much less stress for all of us.

  • poisonparty

    oh my, I haven’t even picked projects yet. /stress

  • myknittingcircle

    I feel exactly the same way you do about shopping malls, at any time, not just Christmas. And, as a result, my family has reduced our Christmas list to just us and I knit for my two closest friends that I’ve had since junior high school. Makes life easier.

  • Shateen

    you crack me up, i usually end up laughing at least once during your posts. I too am overwhelmed by the Christmas knitting I have dedicated myself to. And it’s my first Christmas!! Someone wrote on my YOP post “not a matter of eliminating christmas projects but PRIORITIZING them” or something to that effect. i liked it. so…now i have to re-think my xmas knitting list. maybe you will find that helpful! the comment, not me redo-ing my list… 😉 GOOD LUCk!

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