Posted by: jinniver | November 6, 2008

So, I’ve been challenged

Shortly after I posted my 100th blog post, Artsygal issued a challenge.  She was going to start trying to blog on a daily basis, and she challenged me to do the same.  So far, so good for both of us (although I think she’s cheated a little…).  Unfortunately, I think I left most of my limited eloquence on Ravelry today–looking back through my posts, I was apparently feeling a tad puckish and most of my posts are smart remarks.  Fortunately, they’ve all been taken in the spirit in which they were offered…I think today was just an all around puckish day.

(Yes, puckish is one of my favorite words.  Why do you ask?)

I can’t blog about the knitting project I just completed, because it’s a gift for someone who might actually read my blog.  I’ll just say I’m pretty happy with it…which is good, because I have a couple more to do.

Speaking of more to do…what’s on your Christmas knitting list, if anything?  Or do you prefer not to knit for Christmas?

I’ve never done any Christmas knitting before.  After all, I’ve only been knitting for a little over a year, and my knitting skills last year weren’t the equal of actually making something for someone they’d have to pretend to be happy to receive.  So this is my first foray on to the apparently slippery slope of handmade gifting.  I’ve read the horror stories:  of the expensive, delicate knitted project destroyed by a careless toss into the washer and dryer…of the lovingly knit afghan later spotted in the dog bed…of the project knit after weeks of combing through patterns for just the right one, never worn by the unenthusiastic recipient…of feeling pressure to make something for someone whom the knitter knows will never like or appreciate it.

I think the key to surviving Christmas knitting is two-fold:  low expectations and the ability to walk away.

The individuals I’m knitting for this year don’t know I’m doing it.  I haven’t asked them what they’d like; they haven’t requested a certain pattern.  In fact, they haven’t requested anything.  For all I know, they don’t even wear the items I’m knitting.  Basically all I’ve done is try and pick their favorite colors.

So it might very well turn out that they each open their present, put on their best pretend-I-like-this-awful-thing face (you know–the one you perfected over the underwear grandma gave you every year), and put the item away to use as a rag later.  But you know what–that’s okay.  I’m not expecting them to love it just because I made it for them.  I am loving the process.  That’s why I’m making these items; I enjoy knitting them.  If the recepients love them and wear them all the time, that’s a bonus.

If they don’t, however, I can walk away.  I can walk away from the impulse to knit gifts that won’t be appreciated, and from any sense of obligation to knit for people if I don’t want to or I don’t think they’ll like it.  It doesn’t make any sense to waste my time…or more importantly, to turn a process that I greatly enjoy into an unwanted duty.

Of course, I’m not going to get to that point unless I get back to the knitting…



  1. “make something for someone whom the knitter knows will never like or appreciate it.”

    The above statement relates to the vest I’m making for my MIL. Don’t get me wrong, she will probably like and may even wear it, but I’m making it with Claudia Hand Painted yarn and I KNOW she’s not going to understand or appreciate the signifigance of that. It’s just a good thing I managed to get it on sale…

    I’m knitting most all of my gifts this year, but I’m doing it like you…because I enjoy the knitting. If the recipients actually like the items, then that’s a bonus.

  2. Hold up a minute.. how have I cheated? I’ve posted faithfully every day so far this month! I tend to do my posting in the evenings after I’ve had dinner and am sitting in front of the TV. That way I have an opportunity to think about what happened that day that I want to blog about! 😛

    As for holiday knitting.. I don’t do it. There’s the sweater I gave a friend a while back that got ‘lost’ 2 days after I gifted it. Or the fingerless mitts I gave to a family member who proceeded to ask me to alter it in numerous ways.. and then left them in her car when she traded it in (yet managed to rescue her umbrella and car freshner) After that, forget it. I’m a selfish knitter; I knit for myself. As it is, I tend to like bigger projects on small needles, so FOs are few and far between.

  3. One of your posts was just a coupon for your store! I can’t get away with such short posts ’cause I don’t have a cool store! 😉

  4. I don’t do Christmas knitting. Not long after I married, I knit an Aran vest for my mother-in-law and a vest in a gorgeous shade of dark blue from Manos del Uruguay yarn for father-in-law. They’ve never worn them and I think both vests are way in the backs of their closets somewhere. I suppose they’ll be returned to me when they die.

    Almost all the knitting I do is for charity.


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