Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Cards are Nice Too...

Two more gifts finished, five to go (choke).

As I've mentioned, this Christmas thing always manages to sneak up on me. There are always so many thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head that it's hard to keep things straight... or to keep track of what may be realistic and what's not. I used to keep a lot of lists which ideally were very helpful, but were inevitably lost, which left me not only with the current circus going on in my head but struggling to remember what was on the list that I was forgetting. As a result, I'd stress and worry, waste time looking for the list, forget something, and get something else done late. In order to eliminate some of the stress and worry, I finally decided to cut out a step to simplify this disaster... no more lists. After all, the end result is the same.

For example - Last week, I decided to make 8 gifts (I know this because I posted it here... although I have to constantly stop to figure out what those 8 gifts are). Let's say I'd made a list:

3 gloves
2 scarves
1 hat
1 pair of socks
1 something else (shhh... it will come to me)

Then let's say I'd gone a step further and estimated the necessary time needed to complete the gifts (within a reasonable amount of knitting time/day). BTW, this step is a total waste of time since I am a horrible estimator of the time required to pack 5 kids in the car and drive across town let alone knit something.

3 gloves - 2 days/pair
1 bulky cabled scarf - 3 days
1 DB Pure Silk scarf - 4-7 days
1 hat - 1-2 days
1 pair of socks - 3-4 days
1 something else - ?

So while in my mind, this all seems realistic since they're all short projects, once it is down on paper, I quickly (okay eventually) realize that there is no conceivable way that I'm going to finish them all before Christmas. So... I start to panic, worry, and prioritize. Should I do the small ones first so I can check them off or get the bigger ones out of the way... hmmm... Wait! I know! I'll start them all at once! At first I am likely to commit all day every day to knitting which only works for about a day because of the whole, you know, 5 kids thing. So I will eventually settle for the fact that some or most people on the list are getting late gifts. Then I get to work on the gifts for people that I will actually see on Christmas... but since I've now lost the list, I am busy looking for it instead... it's at this point I begin to get, well, not so pleasant. I get one or two things done... most gifts are late... and I'm cranky.

But nowadays, I save myself from all that stress and peacefully live in the delusion that whatever needs to get done will get done. I know I have 8 gifts (at least) to make... even though I'm not entirely sure what they are. I only suffer from brief moments of clarity in which I realize that just because they are all fairly quick knits, they can't all necessarily be knit within the same few days. I am able to quickly push this thought aside and work on the gifts for people I know I need to have soon. I also realize that if it doesn't look like I'll be able to finish my sister's silk scarf in time (which is my biggest project), I can give it to her for her birthday in January and run to the mall this weekend. End result... some gifts are done, some aren't, some people may get gift cards. Same result, less stress... see?

BTW - I really like this Fetching pattern, but, as I suspected, I had to get a second ball for the lavender ones so I did a little contrast trim with stash yarn for the second pair. Both were knit with Rowan Cashsoft Aran on size 6 dpns. And Julie, see the little row counter I got that you can slip on a circular? Big time saver, especially between those cable rows.

And... the "pink" (really deep red) scarf above is Natty being knit in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Gorgeous!


Meredith said...

Love the fetching gloves! I am going to have to start a knitting a pair of those for myself! Christmas knitting can be stressful! I have a few things I am still working on, and I am not sure if I am going to make it!

Laura said...

Beautiful knitting! Don't give up - keep knitting. You may finish everything in time!

Anonymous said...

Yeah... you know, really, it's all because of the 5 kids thing. If it wasn't for that, you'd be golden, right? :0)

I like the Fetching with the contrast trim. I've also seen a striped pair that were pretty cool.


Tammy said...

Thanks! And Charity, you are absolutely right! Golden, absolutely golden... okay maybe bronze? copper? aluminum?