Every year I make a present for DH’s family members. Usually the women only, but sometimes the men. And every year the list gets longer. Initally it was just his immediate family. The next year I added his aunt, her two daughters and another female cousin. Last year I added his other cousin’s girlfriend. This year another cousin is dating a guy with three tween daughters so they’re on the list too.
It’s a lot of work, but to be honest, I don’t mind. Most days. Pretty much all of them are “knit-worthy” and to be honest, for the ones that aren’t….100% acrylic. Plus, knitting for so many people is a good stashbuster. I’ve managed to divest myself of about 50 balls of yarn this holiday cycle and I’m not done yet. Yay me!
To make my life easier, I make everyone the same thing, although I customize each gift for each person, usually selecting a colour I think/know they’ll like. I also select the yarn based on how “high maintenance” the recipient is. People who will hand wash get 100% wool. People who don’t get mostly acrylic or a wool-acrylic blend.
I don’t always knit either. A few years back I sewed aprons. Which were a huge hit with the MIL and Aunt-in-law but not so much with the younger crowd. Last year everyone got cowls and it was the reverse….big hit with the young women but not so much with the older ones. Eh, some days you win some and some days you lose.
Most years though I end up making scarves. They are quick and easy and everyone needs a scarf. Plus they are often mindless knitting which is useful for those weekend nights when the hubs and I rent movies. Or we’re at the cottage and I want to knit but don’t want to think about what I’m knitting.
This Christmas’ offering will be Saroyan for the younger crowd. I have to say, I really, really, REALLY like this pattern. Which is a good thing because by the time Dec 25 rolls around I will have made 14 of them. Not all for the Hubs’ family but mostly for them. So far I’ve made the ones for the tween’s out of Loops and Threads from Michaels. It’s a good yarn to use for kids (or adults who don’t handwash) and after a cycle in the washer and dryer it’s actually quite soft. One scarf done to pattern uses up less than a ball and two balls will easily make a longer Saroyan and a slouchy hat.
The one for the SIL came from the stash. It’s Fleece Artist’s Ottawa which is discontinued. I can see why since the yarn was a pain to knit with, sometimes thick and sometimes so think I am worried about the strength of the fabric. But it’s done and I’m not ripping it back. The SIL is actually pretty careful with her knitted things and I like to knit for her since she’s very appreciative.
One cousin will be getting a Saroyan made from Misti Alpaca Tonos in Atlantic. I have about half a skein left and probably could have used up both but honestly it’s like knitting with buttah and I wanted to keep some for myself. What I’ll do with half a skein is beyond me. Maybe make a swatch and just pet it it’s so soft. Or maybe I’ll add it to the cat’s Kitty Pi stash that will eventually become a bed for the princess next year.
The remaining two Saroyans were to be knit out of MadelineTosh Eyre. I got a great deal from Eat.Sleep.Knit when they were selling off their stock and figured two skeins would be enough. Afterall, at 218m I’d just squeak by. Sadly no. I got through the increase section of the first Eyre Saroyan and it took 3/4 of the skein. No way was I going to get 16 more repeats out of the remaining yarn. No way. Rip rip rip and back I went to Eat.Sleep.Knit and lo and behold they were sold out of Eyre. Completely. And every other yarn store on the MadelineTosh website was sold out too. Or didn’t carry Eyre. Or didn’t carry the right colourways. Grrrr.
I suppose I could have called some of the stores and asked if they could get the colours. Or posted on Ravelry in the ISO forum. But that’s a lot of work and I’m intrinsically lazy. Stash diving was also an option but I don’t wear orange or the bright blue that these two cousins do. Maybe I could have selected another colour from my stash but why spend hours knitting people things if they won’t wear them because they don’t like the colour? Anyway, who wants to lug out tote bin after tote bin to look through in the wee small hours of the night?
So I think you’ll agree that I had no choice but to go online (it was after midnight when I discovered I wouldn’t have enough yarn) and order more. Really I had no choice at all. None whatsoever. That’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.
As for the Eyre, even though none of it is my colour, I think it will make a nice pair of Fiddlehead Mittens. For me.