Sunday, December 12, 2010

Not so much with the holiday knitting

Which is not to say that I am not knitting - I am. But around August, I decided that I wasn't going to do any "holiday" knitting per se. Instead, I decided that I'd just give out whatever I knitted for people as I knitted it (you may remember that this started with the decision to give my niece her kitten mittens when I saw her this fall instead of waiting and sending them now). This has taken at least some of the pressure out of the holidays, at least in this one matter, and I get to know that the recipients are getting use out of the things I've knitted. My SIL, in fact, kindly sent me some pictures of the mittens in use, right around Hallowe'en.
Being a knitter herself (and much better with the artistic side of displaying knitted goods), she kindly got shots of all of the little nifty bits of these mittens.
Like the fish skeletons on the thumbs.
And the pawprints on the fingers. I really need to knit a pair of these for myself - I truly love them.

I also knitted a hat/mitts set for each of the girls, which I have duly handed over. And this weekend I finished a scarf for Older Daughter to add to her set. (I had enough yarn for that - barely - because she and I had the same yarn in our hats and mitts; there's a bit left over from Younger Daughter's set, but not enough for this particular scarf - I need to figure something else out for her.)
The hat and mitts are my own made-up patterns, but the scarf is Anne's latest fun pre-holiday release, the Cabled Keyhole Scarf. Isn't it fun? And it is such a quick knit; I managed to finish it up in no time, squeezed into the little bits of space I had available (a bit of time in the evening here, sitting at a feis registration desk there). It hasn't even been blocked yet, and it still looks good. (So if your holiday knit list looms large and you're looking for something quick to knit, consider this one.)
I love those chunky cables. And the keyhole construction means that it'll stay on right where it belongs, with no loose ends to get in the way and catch. It's pretty warm today (already 71 and due to get warmer - what happened to my winter?), so Older Daughter wasn't up for a long photo shoot in wool, but I'm betting I'll get some good shots of this over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, holiday madness has, of course, set in. One of the reasons why I've been searching for another way to handle the desire to give hand-knits without making Christmas the time to give them is because of how nutty this time of year gets for me (I know I'm not the only one!). Grades are due on December 22nd, and I can't tell whether I'm going to end up pushing that deadline right to the wire. I feel like I'm as organized as I can be, but finals don't come in until 5:00 pm on Tuesday, and I am heading off to Tehachapi on Friday for one last linguistic work session up there before the holidays, so that's one less work day to grade. And, of course, both of the girls end up with activity piled on activity at this time of year, most of them scheduled at the last minute (thus eating into time set aside for things like shopping and grading and and and). Younger Daughter has long had a feis scheduled for this past weekend - it's her Irish dancing school's annual competition in Palm Springs, so of course we were planning to go. We'd decided to go overnight so we could volunteer and help with set-up, only to discover that while we were in New Orleans, her teacher announced the date of the school winter play, and (you guessed it), it was Friday night. By the time we'd figured that out, Younger Daughter already had her part and her lines memorized, so we ended up juggling - Older Daughter and I caught a ride out with friends so I could meet our volunteering obligations, and Rick and Younger Daughter followed after the play. Then, their piano recital ended up being scheduled for today (my theoretical shopping day), and Older Daughter's orchestra teacher scheduled a last-minute concert for this coming Wednesday night (I kid you not, we just got the date for that one less than a week ago - am I the only one who already has tons of things scheduled for this time of year and very little room to add more?!). That means I won't be going to the party at my LYS that night!

But, the feis went well. It's a pretty full day for Younger Daughter, with lots of concentration.
She has fun, though, especially once she's past her first dance or two.
And in the end, isn't having fun what all of this is all about? With that in mind, I think I'll relax with the socks that I'm knitting for Rick. They may or may not be done in time for Christmas, but they'll keep his feet warm whenever they get to him.

15 comments:

Lori said...

your daughters both have your smile. :) i love that. and really love the bottom smiling photo, especially coming right after the more concentrating one. good luck making it through to the 22nd! it'll be wonderful when that's behind you.

Miss 376 said...

Isn't it lovely to see your knitted things being loved and used? Hope you get through to the end of the month in one piece

Alwen said...

La la la, I've been pretending it's not December, but I'm about out of time!

Geri said...

I can't get over Younger Daughter's curls. Wow! I'm not used to that but boy she looked good.

A Bitter Knitter said...

We'll miss you on Wednesday. I think I'm going to adopt your philosophy: no more knitted gifts specifically for Christmas. The time deadline just doesn't work for me! Good luck with your busy winter season.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

The cat mittens look fantastic! You should definitely make yourself a pair. I have a pair (made by my mom, after I made pouty faces for hours, because I don't do colour work) and the are absolutely my favourite mittens

PammieJR said...

OH NO! Not coming to the party! :( We'll miss you. I definitely understand the holiday knitting thing. I knitted for so many last year and the pressure was really on. Only mom is getting home knits this year...

Willow said...

The timing isn't as important as the love of giving the gift and the love of receiving-and wearing-it.

Yes, crazy schedules. I just can't keep up anymore.

Your girls just look so happy; that's great!

KnitNana said...

I think it's always crazy this time of year, but it sounds as if your school's are particularly bad at last minute scheduling!
Hang in there...
(((hugs)))

twinsetellen said...

Both daughters are looking marvelous - keep these images in mind and I predict the holiday stresses will be that much less stressful. You are clearly hitting the highest priorities out of the park.

Mary Lou said...

Why does every institution schedule things the two weeks before Christmas? Crazy. Great pictures of happy kids, though, so you must be doing something right. I got a bunch done this weekend because there was a blizzard and really impossible to go anywhere!

Rachael said...

Adorable mittens and other goodies!!

EGunn said...

It's definitely time for the Christmas crazy, isn't it? I'm not doing any holiday knitting (thank goodness...I'm not even doing any regular knitting at the moment!). Except there is probably one pair of handwarmers for my sister...I suppose that counts as holiday knitting.

Good luck with the schedule juggle! Just think how nice the week after Christmas will be. =)

Raveller said...

Very sensible about the Christmas knitting. I don't usually get drawn into it, but somehow I did this year. Some of my European relatives moved to North America and have been begging for knitwear. Alas.

AlisonH said...

Fish bones and cat prints. And daughters' smiles. Love it! Merry Christmas and happy no-stress!