• Christmas and the finished objects pictures ...

    I have finally ... 
    (this is the most recently 'finally' ... )
    sworn off knitting Christmas gifts.  

    This year was a busy year for planned knitted Christmas gifts.  I knew I had to start early.  Is April early enough?  I knew I had to remain focused on the goal.  I did.  And I knew I must not knit right up to Christmas Eve ...  early December was a good deadline!  Why?  Because knitting Gods are quirky and can place obstacles in your way to finishing on time.

    The last time I had such a heavy knitted gift list was 2003.  I planned 8 projects.  EIGHT!!  I started in October!  OCTOBER!!  For the non-knitting readers out there, that is insane!  Who does that??? But I made my deadline in 2003.  How?  The knitting Gods stepped in - this time with 'help.'  In early December my gallbladder blew up putting me in the ER - followed by a surgery, and 3 weeks off from work with the instructions to lift nothing heavier than knitting needles.  Done!!  I had to give up a body organ, but I made my deadline.  That year I swore off Christmas knitting forever.  I only have so many disposable organs!!

    Forever came and went however ... and here we are in 2019!

    I didn't plan 8 projects this year - only 3.  A dress and sweater set for my grand daughter and a sweater for my grand nephew.  A reasonable number in 9 months.  What I didn't plan for was how much knitting thin yarns and small needles really is or how time consuming (and thumb injuring) some fancy knitting stitches are to old thumbs.

    Grand daughter's dress and sweater (Projects 1 and 2)

    I am very pleased with how cute this set turned out.  Items knitted in fine yarns (fingering weight) with small needles have a wonderful finished look and drape.  Of course, I moaned and fussed about how long it took.  I probably won't go that thin with yarn again for a child's garment - it takes too long, they grow so fast and the use of the item is limited.  But it was an effort of love for a child who holds my heart in her tiny hands.  I'll knit fine yarn items for her again one day when she is older and her growth isn't so dramatic.

    Grand nephew's sweater (Project 3)

    It took me a long time window shopping through Ravelry to find this sweater pattern.  I loved it the moment I saw it.  While this yarn was thicker (sport weight,) the stitch creation was slower and it just about robbed my thumbs of fixability.  The basket weave stitch in the body is interesting with a density that speaks of jacket weight verses sweater weight.   But I was forced to switch to stockinette stitch for the sleeves - out of the desire to avoid injury.  When I purchased this uni-sex pattern, I planned to make one of these sweaters for my grand daughter too, but those plans went out the window quickly.

    Five cowls (Project 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)

    I made 2 of the silver gray cowls.
    The thick yarn cowls were a knee-jerk reaction to so much thin yarn knitting.  The fat yarn captured my eye in Joann's weeks ago and I purchased enough for 2 cowls - one for my daughter and one for my daughter-in-law.  They turned out so well, I returned and got another color for me.  Fast, fast, fast.  One evening and one cowl is done.  I have seen others wearing cowls made of thick yarn so I suspect this is in vogue right now.

    The other two cowls were thinner yarns.  Larger cowl loop designs that are meant to wrap around the neck an additional time.  The red cowl was a Mobius design, but I twisted it an additional time so that the front of the stitch would remain outward.  Not sure it achieved what I was going for, but once wrapped around the neck, it is a non-issue.

    Son's hat (Project 9)

    My son has never requested anything knit.  He did ask me to crochet matching Viking helmets for him and his daughter which I did.  Esk has outgrown hers, and I need to make the next size up for her (January project), but I thought I would make a quickie hat for him.  After all, I had more than met my deadline.  And he shaves his head - so cold weather needs more than a ball cap.

    I finished his hat with 2 weeks to spare.  I briefly considered looking for one other project (crazy thinking).  Then I got sick and so did my husband.  The knitting Gods had stepped in and smack me across my head to bring me to my senses.

    If anyone is counting ... I knitted 9 projects - exactly one more than in 2003.  And I only meant to knit 3 projects.  I wasn't trying to break any records and I sure as h*ll didn't want to give up another organ ... so next year we are aiming for moderation and no deadlines.  That should keep the knitting Gods happy.

    Onward to 2020
     and the freedom to knit whatever!

    PS - Looking for pictures of Christmas Eve??  There are none!  Can you believe it?  It was crazy bedlam here with 5 adults, an almost 2 year old and 3 dogs in our condo (two who do not get along and have to be gated separately!). But it was fun. Take it from me, next year I won't make this picture mistake again.  We are attending another extended family Christmas party on Saturday. It is at my sister's so the pressure is off me and I can focus on pictures.  Promise.
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