The Knitting Bug was passed to me in October of 2006, but it didn’t actually become virulent until after Christmas. (I guess there’s an incubation period!) So, this will be my first Christmas as a knitter.
I’ve already succumbed to the obvious: the need to incorporate the act of knitting into the holiday season as much as possible. Am I motivated by the opportunity to bestow priceless handmade gifts instead of tossing manufactured knick-knacks onto various piles of loot? Or is it actually a rationalization to knit, disguised as ‘preparation for the holidays’? After giving it some thought, I see it’s the latter … sigh. I decided on my Christmas knitting plans way back in May and tried to keep the scope of the project within reason. Knowing that my skills would not be up to making a gift for every person on my list, I decided to make a small decorative lace scarf for each of the women in my immediate family. Five scarves at 4-5 inches wide and about 36 inches long? Perhaps ambitious, but if I didn’t reveal my plans to anyone then I could bail out at any time! That was the motivation to pore over and experiment with different lace weight yarns and stitch patterns all year. That’s right, the idea wasn’t selfless at all … it was a shameless act of knitting obsession with a focus on lace. I admit it. Bad knitter!
But the rationalization was good, real good. First, I told myself, each gift was made with the recipient in mind. Much of the time I spent studying colorways and patterns included thoughts of the future owner. Would she like this pattern? Is this a color she wears? Hmmm, maybe the younger ones would like a slightly heavier yarn so they can get more casual use out of their gift. And so forth! Second, our whole family has been moving away from the craziness of rampant gift-giving. For the last couple of years, we’ve been talking more about handmade gifts, regifting a good book to someone who would like it, sharing recipes and other more personal attempts to connect. Handknits fall into that category, don’t they? (Pleading eyes await your confirmation …)
So, with those thoughts in mind, I begin the last of the five Christmas lace scarves today. Oh, and did I mention that I’ve already planned out next year’s gift agenda? Cable scarves for each of the fellas. There would be six of those, so I will need to get started sooner …
(This picture has nothing to do with anything, just felt an obligation to decorate my post. This is Bagheera, who lies around like this. He is congenitally cute.)