Christmas is coming. Last year, I had a plan - custom made reversible quilted placemat / runner combinations for everyone. I started working on the gifts late summer, and was done, quilted, and ready to wrap by November. It worked out really well, and the gifts were well received.
This year I have another plan. Hand knitted scarves for everyone (except Dad & his wife, who put in a special request for this Christmas).
I collected the yarn while on my gad-about with Mom, Adrian and Carla in early September, and by the time I got back from that trip, had already finished two (of the 15 I need to make). Yarn weight, fiber content, and colour was selected specifically for each person.
Scarves for men are pretty predictable - most of the men in my family tend to like plain, boring knitting, so are getting scarf stitch (aka mistake rib). To get that over with (and avoid dread of an abundance of plain boring Aran weight scarves), I worked on those first. Of the 5 of those, 4 are finished, and the last one is for a 5-year old, so will be little(whew). Of the three additional men I need gifts for, two will get Fancy-Man* scarves, and the last, well, I have no friggin' idea what to do for him. He may not get a scarf at all. We'll see. * I define Fancy-Man scarves as still knitted in scarf stitch/mistake rib, but with swanky shiny (silk content) fingering weight yarn, rather than heavy Aran weight yarn.
The women, however, are a different story. I really don't want to give them all variations on the same thing (even though that's what I'm doing for the men - double standards abound in LoganLand). And, I have a lace knittin' thang going on right now. So, each woman is getting a custom selected yarn AND a custom selected lace patterned scarf. The first (and only completed woman's scarf so far) was Branching Out, from Knitty.com. The rest I am designing as I go, based on lace patterns I've found in a number of different places. And, like the one man I'm not sure of, there is one woman in the bunch who I just can't pin down. Should she get a shoulder shawl instead? Or lace gloves? I just don't know. Will have to wait and see.
Anyway, now that I've rambled and rambled and rambled, you've probably figured out that knitting scarves is currently boring the cr@p out of me. As such, this morning I started knitting a work sock for DH. He loves his home-made work socks, and I hope to have two pairs ready for him for Christmas. Which means Second Sock Syndrome, times two. Oy. Also, he likes his socks plain. Really plain. Like solid charcoal, with an allowable two stripes, but they have to be in the same place, the same width, and the same colour (dark red). Or, medium gray, with the requisite two red stripes. If I want to get really wild, I might be able to convince him to accept oatmeal as a main colour, but (of course) with the same requisite two red stripes. Although, oatmeal as a main colour may be so scare-ily different that the stripes will need to be charcoal to make them more acceptable. That's my man. Stable, dependable, and don't mess with my socks, dammit!
Gotta say, I'm really looking forward to the one quilted gift on the list (for Dad & Marion). Especially seeing as how with the bubble on board, I can't drink myself into believing that this repetitive knitting is fun, fun, fun.
All for hand made gifts. Which I love to give. And are worth it. But oy, the knitting. Next year, something quilted again.