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Getting a Grip on Gifts

Every year, starting in November (or October), I start a mad panic to knit the Christmas gifts I intend to give. I don't give a lot of knitted gifts but my Mom and Grandma want socks and then I have some relatives in cold climates so I like to make them knitted goods. But I just don't give myself enough time, I rarely knit what I would like to give and I actually end up hurting my arms and hands because I'm knitting too much in a short amount of time. On top of Christmas (because that just isn't enough) there are a lot of birthdays in the first few months of the year that require a knitted item. There are birthdays for Mom and Grandma, who would like another pair of socks but they just don't get them because it is too close to Christmas, and birthdays for more family members in cold climates who deserve wooly love from me.

I've decided to plan out some knitting for the year. Sort of like a sock club but not restricted to socks. My personal program does end up being a pair of socks every month but that is because of the overwhelming sock demand from family and myself (who has not been able to knit a pair of socks for myself for three years). I'll also be fitting in a fair amount of hats since that is item number 2 everyone wants.

Anyone else want to join me? You don't have to knit the same project as me, you can plan out the gifts you would like to have done at the end of the year like I did and then use those as your monthly project. I'll be posting my project details here if you need inspiration or like the ideas. Depending on the interest of this, we may create a public area where we all post project details to inspire each other.

Just make out a list of the gifts you have to give during the year and who you have to give them to. Christmas, birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. and note which ones you would like to be a handknitted item and what that item is. Map out when that gift needs to be completed, so depending on the gift, you might knit it in the month or two before you give it. Take into consideration what you have going on in the month. If you have finals that month or a crazy work schedule, move either the project, or the more complicated project back so the two things are not conflicting to make your life miserable. I've also made sure I'm knitting cotton or light items in the summer instead of wooly items.

Last night I took a big ziploc storage bag for each month and put the project, pattern, and note who it was for in each bag and lined them up in a basket. I even included next January since I won't even be thinking about doing this again until well after the holidays but I still have February birthdays.

The first project will be a pair of socks. Mom's birthday is in early February and all she got from me at Christmas was a skein of yarn and a promise for socks. How lame is that? I'd like to be able to hand her a pair of socks on her birthday so she is the first gift up.

The pattern is an eyelet rib sock which is super easy but still a little entertaining. Plus it features the yarn well. The ball bands for the yarn is long gone (I've had it forever with the intention of making socks for her out of these) but it is a blue self-striping/jacquard style sock yarn that will be great with jeans. I think I picked it up at a clearance sale so it may not even be available anymore. It looks something like the denim jacquard here. This is the pattern I'll be using. I've been sitting on this forever intending to knit it because it is so cute.

I'll track the projects and provide project details on Ravelry. I'm psychobunny there and the first month's project is titled January Socks. If enough of you seem interested I'll create a group for the monthly holiday knitting group or something. It could end up being a great source of inspiration for gifts.

UPDATE: I knew Ravelry wouldn't let me down. There is already a group for this and they look like they rock. Plus they check in every month so they hold you accountable. Just exactly what I need. Hooray!


I'll root for your project list!

Great idea! I already know that there will be two less handcrafted gifts this year. Two friends made it very clear that they were disappointed with the things I made them this past year. Kinda sad really.