You know, that time of year when you realize that you need x hours to finish your holiday knitting, and you have x-19 hours to do it in. Sigh. And nothing ever changes! Every year I tell myself, “Next year, I will knit no gifts! I will buy everything and have lots of time to enjoy myself, happy holidaying and merry everything.” No stress! No worries! No sobbing on Christmas eve!

(okay, okay, it’s never gotten that bad. But close! Very, very close.)

So this year, I vowed to pick one person to receive a hand knitted gift. And I have chosen my mother-in-law. She is a truly wonderful person, she loves to wear big triangular scarves, and I know she would appreciate it (not like unmentioned brothers, grumble grumble). I’m making the Swallowtail shawl from the fall issue of IK, but I think I mentioned that before. Anyway, it’s coming along very nicely and I’m really enjoying knitting it (I haven’t come to the “nupps” yet, though. I live in fear of the nupps). It’s going so well in fact, that I found myself thinking, “Well, maybe I do have time for another knitted gift or two!”

(please start soft and ominous music in the background)

So I think, “Hey! What about my niece and nephew? They’re little! To knit for them won’t take much time!”

So I did. Niece Elizabeth, 6, will get Paton’s SWS legwarmers. They turned out cute. Already done. Pretty quick, too. Not bad, not bad.

legwarmers

You can’t tell by this picture, but they’re cabled. I didn’t know how big around to make them, so I compromised by making cables and ribs. And yes, I know the stripes don’t match. I’m not a matching stripes kind of person.

Onto nephew Eric, 4. What does a four year old boy really want? A monster hat! I made this out of gigantic monster yarn (Lamb’s Pride BurlySpun) that I dyed monster colors. Held together with a strand of Fun Fur (oh god, I know, I said the f-word. Sorry sorry. I bought it when I first started knitting, please don’t hold me accountable. Anyway, I used it all up, so it’ll be out of my house soon, yay!), it makes a pretty monstrous hat. Here it is so far:

monster hat 1

To be added are the googly eyes and the felted fangs. This is an adaptation from a pattern in New Knits on the Block. I like this book. The patterns in there actually look weird and wonky, but everything I’ve made from there has gone over like gangbusters by the recipients.

Okay, so. Two presents down. I’m feeling pretty good. Why not add some more? Why not indeed…

Well, I can say in my defense that I have to finish this next one. Yes, it’s the never ending baby blanket for little John. It was supposed to be a “Hey, it’s great that you were born” gift, but baby arrived before end of knitting. So. Now it is Christmas present. That if I don’t finish I will commit hara-kiri with my knitting needles. Yeah. So, working on that. See, I’ve made some progress, right? Um, right? I want it to be about 24 x 30″. As of last night, it was 14.5 x 16.5″. I have a ways to go, I know. But it’s really stretchy, so maybe I’ll be able to block it bigger!

blanket 1

(Please, no one tell me that this won’t work. I like living under my delusion. It’s warm and cozy and safe in here. I want to stay.)

So that’s the baby blanket. But, if I make something for John, I have to make something for his big sister, Hanna, who’s three. I love making things for Hanna. I know I may be prejudiced, but she is the cutest little girl in the whole world. Seriously. I’m not making that up. And what does a cute girl need but a cute sweater? I’ve chosen Reid, from knitty. The main color is a pale pink, contrasting color a pale brown. I’m thinking that this will be friggin adorable. So how can I not make it?

So I’m up to what, five knitted gifts now? But there is one more person. A very important person. A person who puts up with my moods and cooks me dinner every night and in general is very nice. Of course, I mean the blub.

my lovely blub

I mean, look at him! Look at that sweet little face! What could I possibly make that would be good enough for this gentle, retiring soul?

Cashmere…

cashmere on log 1

But rugged cashmere! Manly cashmere! Cashmere that smells like a garage!

It’s a cone of DK weight cashmere from colourmartUK. The yarn is pretty scratchy off the cone, and yes, oiled. And it smells like oil. After a washing, though….oooooh. Ahhhh. Feels soooo nice. And it is perfect for hypoteneuse.

I love this pattern. Did I say I love it? I LOVE it. Go right now and buy one from anne. You won’t regret it.

The problem with knitting presents for someone that you live with is that you can’t do it in front of them. But as I mentioned (did I?) my husband is a chef, and chefs go to work very early in the morning. Like 5:30 am. So this morning, after he left, I dragged my butt outta bed and cast on. This is how far I got in an hour:

hypotenuse in progress

I see myself getting a lot less sleep in the next month…especially after I snapped this picture, I realized I screwed something up two rows back. So tomorrow morning, I get to rip back what I did today. Oh well.

So have I gone crazy? Am I truly nuts? I said I would knit one gift and I knitting six! Can I do it while maintaining my (loose grip on) sanity?

I guess I’ll find out on Christmas eve…

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